July 14, 2014

On the ground efforts to show solidarity, strengthen Jewish-Arab relations in Israel – July 4 – 19


Amid escalation in tensions in Israel, Jewish and Arab citizens are coming together for joint rallies and encounters, expressing mutual support and standing together against violence. Below are a selection of such events since July 7th: 


In response to the strain current events have placed on Jewish-Arab relations within Israel, numerous organizations are bringing Jewish and Arab citizens together in solidarity and to address tensions. Below are just a few examples of such efforts in the week of July 12 – 19th:

July 19, 2014 – “Living Together” – A Kfar Saba and Taibe joint community group

A community evening for families from the “Living Together” group of  Kfar Saba and Taibe is taking place at the Tishreen Organization in Taibe. The evening will include a Darbuka (drum) activity for kids, coffee and pastry for the adults and jointly listening to the poem by Mahmoud Darwish called “Think of the Other”, which says: “While you are waging wars. Think of the other, don’t forget the seekers of peace…and while you are thinking about those others far away, think about yourself, say: ‘I wish I was a candle in the dark.'”


July 18, 2014 – A Human Chain – Rally in Barakai Junction – “Neighbors of Peace!”

Organized by Awareness for YouHand in Hand’s Bridge over the Wadi School, and the Green Carpet Tourism Initiative, Jews and Arabs who seek to live together in peace in Wadi Ara call to stop the violence and incitement and to promote good neighborly relations.

Awareness for You issued this message and invitation:
“We, Arab and Jewish citizens together, take the lead in calming the situation. Our response to this escalation of violence is to gather together with the message that Jews and Arabs can exist side by side peacefully. We have already planned and executed two human chains of hundreds of Jewish and Arab Israelis carrying the message “Neighbors in Peace”. These events took place on Friday afternoons just before the Jewish Sabbath at the entrance to our village Kfar Kara, located on a main highway, where hundreds of drivers saw the unusual display of solidarity. We plan to continue these weekly vigils for peace and cooperation and may initiate further Arab-Jewish co-existence activities in Wadi Ara.”

See the Social TV report on the human chain from last Friday (7.11)(Hebrew)

July 17th , 2014 – 17th of Tamuz: Joint Iftar and Break-fast dinners

Numerous Jewish and Arab activists chose this date, 17th of the Hebrew month of Tamuz, to hold a shared Iftar and fast breaking dinner together. One such dinner supported by the New Israel Fund was held in Yerucham for residents of Yerucham and the unrecognized Bedouin village Rame. More than 40 people took part. The event included a meal and a discussion about how to stop the violence against the Bedouins in the area of Yerucahm. Read more about this dinner (report in Hebrew)

July 17, 2014 – Kifaya (Enough!)” –  Shutafut Sharaka launched a campaign against racism

Via a new website and App, Shutafut Sharaka invites people to report on incidents of racism against Arabs arouind the country. Incidents are displayed on a map and followed up with state and local authorities. View the website and download and share the app here: http://he.kifaya.org.il/main.



July 16, 2014 – Hagar: Arab-Jewish Education – Jewish-Arab Iftar meal

A shared Iftar meal for the Jewish Arab community of Hagar- Arab-Jewish Education in Israel’s south and other residents of Be’er Sheva region was held on Wednesday. See more photos.




July 16, 2014 – Language as a cultural bridge – Ya Salam Seminar

In spite of the tense situation between Arabs and Jews in Israel, and the threat of rockets, 30 teachers in the Abraham Fund Initiative’s Ya Salam program came together on Wednesday. They made the journey to share challenges and successes of being an Arab teacher in a Jewish school and teaching spoken Arabic to 5th & 6th Grade students.

July 16 2014 — Dialogue Circles in Pardes Hannah

Following clashes that occurred on July 5th in Pardes Hanna between activists who denounced the violent attack on Arab workers at the local shopping center and groups of locals who called for “Death to the Arabs,” residents of Pardes Hanna organized open dialogue circles to bring together people of different views for peaceful interaction. See the invitation on Facebook (Hebrew).

July 13, 2014 – Hand in Hand community march

On Sunday approximately 200 participants — including  Hand in Hand families, neighbors and activists — came together in Jerusalem’s railway park.  One community activist said: “This is not a protest, it is a family march, without signs or flags. Jews and Arabs marching together through public space. That is our message.” Follow Hand in Hand’s activities on Facebook. 


July 12, 2014 – Jewish and Arabs refuse to be enemies

On Saturday, Neve Shalom/Wahat Al Salam, Sikkuy and others organized a rally in Tira under the slogan “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” Approximately 400 Jewish and Arab participants attended. Read more

Speakers included:

  • Mr. Ma’amoun Abdel Hai, Mayor of Tira and Mr. Ilay Harsegor, Deputy Mayor of Kfar Saba
  • Dr. Alon Liel – Former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Prof. Yossi Yona, Ksshet Demokratit Misrahit
  • Dr. Maram Masarwa, Head of Early Childhood Department, Al Qassemi College of Education
  • Dr. Iyfat Biton – Head of Tmura Center Against Discrimination
  • Dr. Naza Zonshein – Head of the School for Peace, Neve Shalom/Wahat El Salam
  • Dr. Yousef Jabareen – Faculty of Architecture and urban Planning, Technion
  • Ron Gerlitz, Co-Executive Director, Sikkuy
  • MK Merav Michaeli, Labor Party
  • MK Mohamed Barakah – Hadash

Discounts for Coexistence!

Fauzi Azar Inn in Nazareth (owned by Maoz Ynon) is offering 50% discount on reservations until the end of the month to help dissiminate the message that “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” See on Facebook (Hebrew)


Hand in Hand Schools

July 6th, Hand in Hand held a community dialogue in the school’s library in solidarity to discuss how to respond to the situation. 

July 7th, along with Green Carpet and Awareness 4 Youthe school community organized a quiet demonstration on the Kfar Kara (Wadi Ara) Junction forming a human chain, holding hands, wearing white.

July 11th, a demonstration against racism was held in Jaffa. SEE IT HERE on Israel Social TV. 

See Hand in Hand’s Facebook page for ongoing updates.

Givat Haviva and the Ecological Green House in Ein Shemer

On July 11th a Jewish-Arab shared encounter organized in the Green House included Jewish and Arab educators, business people, public figures, parents, and youth strengthening their commitment to stop deterioration of relations.  


Tag Meir a coalition of organizations dedicated to fighting political and religious hate crimes and violence

Tag Meir held one of the first rallies in response to the situation in Jerusalem under the banner, “We mourn, we don’t take vengeance.” Among their many responses to the situation, the coalition also organized a major rally in Kikar Rabin in Tel Aviv under the title, “We will not let the extremists win!” though this event was subsequently cancelled due to deterioration of the security situation. 



ANU (“We”)

ANU launched a campaign calling on the media in Israel to give exposure to the dozens of peace and reconciliation initiatives taking place all over Israel which receive almost no publicity. Their campaign asserts that media coverage is biased towards news about extremism and incitement, ultimately aggravating the situation and intensifying fear and hatred. See the campaigns page here (Hebrew)


Dror Israel

Dror Israel issued a statement of deep concern over incidents of violence and racism throughout the country “including appalling calls for revenge and brutality on social media, which have exposed the fragile nature of our democracy and peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel.”

Dror Israel members have been working to bring together and strengthen the connection between Jewish and Arab members of the Hanoar HaOved VeHalomed youth movement. Further, after a modest monument to the murder of Muhammed Abu-Khdeir created by local residents at the site of the murder was dismantled,Dror Israel members replaced the small stone monument and held a short ceremony at the site. See their complete update.

Local Initiatives

Pardes Hanna:  Following violent attacks on July 5th against Arab workers in a shoping center in Pardes Hanna, locals organized a demonstration against racism and racist violence in the same center. Hundreds of people joined the demonstration. See the Facebook page for the event (Hebrew). 

Ben Gurion University: On July 7th Students organized an a-political student encounter entitled “Against Violence and Instigation: Students at Ben Gurion choose Tolerance.”  See the Facebook invitation for this event. 



Explore Further
Shared Society Between Jewish and Arab Citizens of Israel - Realities, Visions and Practices | February 2014 Learn more
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