When the heavy heat of summer coincided with the events of the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif, and with the law of nationality widening the political rift between Jews and Arabs in Israel, friends asked me, “How do you still believe in shared society?” And I replied, “Just come with me to Givat Haviva any day and you’ll understand.”
Givat Haviva marked the month of Ramadan with a traditional Iftar meal at the common dining hall. The meal, on June 8, was part of the day’s events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the occupation. Many guests attended the meal, including the mayors and representatives of the municipalities taking part in the Shared Communities program, participants from the various programs, representatives of peace organizations, members of HaShomer HaTzair and the Agial Youth Movements, and the Givat Haviva team.
A couple of weeks ago, many Israelis celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. Israelis went out to the sites of celebration and entertainment, but the national minority of Arab Israeli citizens is still not part of that party. Not that they don’t feel as partners in the State of Israel. On the contrary…
Two opposite processes occurring simultaneously characterized 2016. On the one hand an increasing extremism in political discourse, with racist bills introduced in the Knesset, bitter accusations against Arab society, and deepening fear and hatred. On the other hand very positive developments for civil society in the field of shared society and even a government decision that is supposed to lead to significant investment in Arab society.