Inequality between Arab-Palestinian Citizens and Jewish Citizens in Israel
The current status of inequality between Jews and Arabs in Israel is both unjust and dangerous. Since the establishment of the state, Arab citizens have been discriminated against in all walks of life. All Israeli governments have advanced a consistent policy of institutional discrimination against Arab citizens. As a result, a gap has been created between the two communities that has resulted in violating the civil and human rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel and endangers the possibility of shared existence in the country. The Or Commission, which was established in the aftermath of the October 2000 “events”, stated that the government must, “Erase the stain of discrimination against the Arab citizens and make this its priority.”
Sikkuy: The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel—Our Mission:
Sikkuy is a civil society organization shared by Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel. Founded in 1991, Sikkuy’s mission is to promote full equality in all fields and on all levels between the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jewish citizens. Sikkuy has a shared board of directors with Jewish and Arab co-chairs and Arab and Jewish co-executive directors. The Association’s agenda and actions are the outcome of an in-depth and honest dialogue between the Arab and Jewish staff and board members who represent the main streams of their societies.
Sikkuy advances full equality between Arab-Palestinian and Jewish citizens through a variety of programs and initiatives.
The Equality Policy Department is Sikkuy’s flagship program. The Department promotes equality in the distribution of material and symbolic resources in order to close the gaps between Arab and Jewish citizens. Using a unique research methodology, Sikkuy maps barriers in government ministries and Arab municipalities that prevent equal distribution of state resources to Arab citizens, develops detailed policy recommendations to overcome the inequalities, engages in advocacy and information sharing, and accompanies policy makers and local government officials through policy change and implementation. Among the areas in which Sikkuy actively advances policy change are housing and planning, public transportation, social welfare, education, tourism, fair representation and employment equity, and successful implementation of government five year economic development plans.
The “Shared Tourism for Shared Society” project will bring large numbers of Jewish Israelis and international tourists including and especially youth and women to visit shared regions and Arab communities and engage Arabs and Jews as participants in shared-society tourism-generating programs. The project will increase equality in tourism resource allocations by the government of Israel, develop tourism infrastructure in the Arab communities, integrate Arab communities into local and regional tourism frameworks and increase shared regional tourism initiatives by Arabs and Jews. This will increase economic opportunity and development for Arab communities and for the region as a whole. By substantially increasing the visits by Jewish Israelis to Arab communities and the number of tourism frameworks developed jointly by Jews and Arabs, the project will increase the sense of shared society between the Jewish and Arab citizens.
The Shared Public Space (SPS) Project promotes the visibility of the culture, language and symbols of the Arab citizens in the public space in Israel. In so doing it will engender a far-reaching change making the public space in Israel a public space shared by Arab and Jewish citizens.