Shackled at Home : The Palestinian Minority in Israel

18-09-2012

More than one in five Israeli citizens is Palestinian — 'Arab' according to Israeli administrative terminology. A minority in their homeland, these Palestinians face ever-widening forms of discrimination. Many Israeli Jews and their politicians advocate revoking the Palestinian minority's basic civil and political rights. Those who perceive Palestinians as a threat to the Jewish nature of the Israeli state increasingly support the idea of transferring Palestinians out of the country. More than 30 Israeli laws effectively penalise the minority, and new ones are currently being introduced. For Israeli Palestinians, the implications are severe and unremitting. Not only does the minority suffer from higher unemployment and poverty rates than their Jewish counterparts, but Palestinian towns are poor and lack adequate infrastructure. Whilst the international community and the EU have expressed concern about specific discriminatory legal acts in Israel, actions are now needed. The EU should establish a policy-oriented approach consistent with its values of democracy and respect for human rights — fundamental elements of the Association Agreement between the EU and Israel.

More than one in five Israeli citizens is Palestinian — 'Arab' according to Israeli administrative terminology. A minority in their homeland, these Palestinians face ever-widening forms of discrimination. Many Israeli Jews and their politicians advocate revoking the Palestinian minority's basic civil and political rights. Those who perceive Palestinians as a threat to the Jewish nature of the Israeli state increasingly support the idea of transferring Palestinians out of the country. More than 30 Israeli laws effectively penalise the minority, and new ones are currently being introduced. For Israeli Palestinians, the implications are severe and unremitting. Not only does the minority suffer from higher unemployment and poverty rates than their Jewish counterparts, but Palestinian towns are poor and lack adequate infrastructure. Whilst the international community and the EU have expressed concern about specific discriminatory legal acts in Israel, actions are now needed. The EU should establish a policy-oriented approach consistent with its values of democracy and respect for human rights — fundamental elements of the Association Agreement between the EU and Israel.