For Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, interactions with the other take place on the interpersonal level as well as part of majority-minority and state-minority relations. In 2017, the Israel Democracy Institute survey of Jewish-Arab relations showed that while substantial disagreements exist between Jews and Arabs on the state level, on the societal and personal levels relations are less tense. What do these differences tell us about Jewish-Arab relations in Israel? What challenges do they point to in terms of strengthening Jewish-Arab relations? What existing strengths do they reveal?
The morning session began with opening remarks recorded by President of Israel Reuven Rivlin for this meeting, and was followed by our keynote speaker, the recently retired Supreme Court Deputy Chief Justice, Salim Joubran. Justice Joubran, who discussed his experience as the first Arab citizen on Israel's Supreme Court and serving as the only Arab judge on some of Israel's most sensitive cases.
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Meir Elran, from Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, and Dr. Maram Masrawi, senior researcher and lecturer at the Minerva Institute at Tel Aviv University, and lecturer at Al Qasemi College joined us for a panel discussion on state-minority relations and Jewish-Arab relations.
Shared Life Education programs have long been part of both the Jewish and Arab public school streams and Israel’s bilingual schools. In recent years, these programs have been growing in number, reach and range of content, as reported in the Task Force mapping paper, "Shared Life Education in the Israeli Public School System."
This school year, the expansion continues. Many programs have increased in size and several organizations have added new initiatives encompassing hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of Jewish and Arab students from all over the country.
On October 31st the Knesset dedicated a day for discussions of Negev Bedouin society. Special attention was given to women and children’s issues, welfare policies, transportation infrastructure, and the government’s 5-year socio-economic development plan for Negev Bedouin.