Photo by Yotam Ronen, Activestills
Arab Minority Rights
Arab citizens of Israel face entrenched discrimination in all fields of life. In recent years, the prevalent attitude of hostility and mistrust towards Arab citizens has become more pronounced, with large sections of the Israeli public viewing the Arab minority as both a fifth column and a demographic threat. There are glaring socioeconomic differences between Jewish and Arab population groups, particularly with regard to land, urban planning, housing, infrastructure, economic development, and education. Over half of the poor families in Israel are Arab families, and Arab municipalities constitute the poorest municipalities within Israel.
ACRI seeks to eradicate this socioeconomic inequality. Consequently, a majority of ACRI’s work regarding Arab equality involves the discrepancies in housing and infrastructure. ACRI engages in legal maneuvers and public advocacy to promote equality in housing and planning, to challenge discriminatory policies and decisions, to oppose home demolitions, to promote local planning efforts, and to encourage equal distribution of state resources. ACRI also seeks to ensure equal access to education, including the construction of Arabic schools in mixed and predominantly Arab cities. In addition, ACRI addresses a number of other issues in an attempt to ensure overall equality, including safeguarding the rights of Arab Knesset members and political parties, promoting the sufficient inclusion of Arab representatives in State bodies, protecting the freedom of expression, and opposing the legalization of racial profiling.