Task Force Activities
In July 2018, directors from some of Israel's leading companies personally submitted 'progress reports' on their integration of Arab employees to President of Israel Reuven Rivlin as part of the third annual Collective Impact Employers Conference. Held in the Bedouin town of Kuseife, the conference marked three years of cooperation between the Collective Impact Partnership for Arab Employment (CI) and President Rivlin's Israeli Hope for Employment initiative, which are working together to achieve a breakthrough in Arab representation within Israel's core business sector.
The new Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People is widely perceived within Israel’s Arab society and among shared society organizations as a turning point in Jewish-Arab and state-minority relations and its passage has been met with strong opposition. In an earlier briefing document, the Task Force detailed the discourse for and against the law, and controversy surrounding its substance. This update summarizes Arab and civil-society response in the weeks since its passage; government and political leadership responses in return; and actions taken by shared society organizations.
In early 2017, Government Resolution 2345 (Hebrew) established an Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by Ministry of Justice DG Adv. Emi Palmor, to study and make recommendations for appropriately addressing polygamy in Bedouin society.
On July 19th, 2018, the Knesset passed the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish people after nearly a decade of controversy and vehement debate. Its passage has been met with ongoing strong and polarized response, in large part centered on the law's impact on Israel's Arab citizens and Jewish Arab relations.
This Task Force update provides an overview of the new legislation and related discourse regarding its implications for Israel's Arab society.
After being proposed and postponed for nearly a decade, the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, (see English translation here) was passed into law on July 19th (62:55). While significantly revised from its original version, this law remains highly controversial for tipping the delicate balance between Israel's dual commitments to its democratic and Jewish character. Arab citizens, Israel's largest non-Jewish population, have been vehemently opposed to the legislation out of concerns that it diminishes the promise of equal citizenship and legitimizes discrimination by law and in public discourse.
Listen to a recording of a Task Force conference call, held Monday, July 30, with Dr. Amir Fuchs, from the Israeli Democracy Institute, and Mohammad Darawshe, from Givat Haviva, about the current and potential implications of this law for Israeli democracy, and for Israel's Arab society in terms of status, sense of belonging and related discourse.
Our quarterly publication covers recent developments in government, legislation, civil society, and public discourse in the field.