Members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues, a coalition of North American Jewish organizations, foundations, private philanthropists and international affiliates, are committed to the welfare of Israel and support the Jewish state's right to a secure and peaceful existence. Members of the Task Force are proud of the democratic, sovereign state of the Jewish people and support Israel's Declaration of Independence including the article that promises social and political equality for all its inhabitants, Jews and Arabs alike.
The Arab citizens of Israel represent nearly 21% of the population, one of every five Israelis, 1.9 million members of Israeli society. In accordance with the official recommendations of the Or Commission, an Israeli board of inquiry convened after the violent events in 2000, the Government pledged to make elimination of inequality and discrimination between Jewish and Arab citizens a top national priority. This Task Force aims to generate awareness among the North American Jewish and Israeli public to advance civic equality in Israel, where Israeli Jews and Arabs can contribute, participate and benefit as full citizens.
The Task Force exists to create greater coordination within and maximum impact of the organized Jewish community. Task Force activities will include informing the American Jewish community on majority/minority relations in Israel; increasing awareness of economic, educational and social service weaknesses facing Israeli Arab communities and, in certain cases, leveraging financial resources to provide effective solutions; supporting Task Force members with a mandate to advocate on behalf of civic equality and working with Israeli organizations to strengthen civil society activity including the strengthening of Jewish and Arab leadership.
Jewish tradition and our democratic beliefs charge us with this challenge for the future of Israel and the Jewish people. Because of its strong support for the State of Israel and concern for Israel's long-term security and welfare, North American Jewry seeks to do our part to make civic equality in Israel a priority for the Jewish people. We pledge ourselves to furthering this objective, each of us committing to carry out meaningful and constructive steps within the ability of our respective organizational missions.