Conflict & Justice

Israeli-Arab tensions on the rise in Israel

This Arab restaurant worker says Arab hospitality means welcoming guests with food as soon as they walk in. He says many of his friends have graduated from Israeli universities but they can't find jobs, in part because many Israeli companies require job applicants to have served military service. Unlike Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs aren't drafted and few volunteer. The worker says many Israeli Arab youths feel like second class citizens. From 1948 until 1966 Arab citizens of Israel needed a permit to move from area of Israel to another and they say they feel still like they live on the fringe of Israeli society. This researcher says Israeli Arabs receive only 4% of the state budget even though they comprise 20% of the population. All this has led to increasing frustration and last month Israeli Arab violence broke out on Yom Kippur. During other violence, many Arab houses were destroyed and there are fears that violence could spread to other mixed neighborhoods in Israel. But this Palestinian artist says that's not likely. Polls among Israeli Arabs show that they would choose to remain in Israel even if there was an independent Palestine but they also want to feel like normal citizens in Israel.

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