Today there are 1.4 million Arab-Israelis, who make up approximately 20 percent of Israel's population. They enjoy full equal civil rights.
Israel's Arab sector is well ahead of most Arab populations in the region in terms of economic development and well being. However, there are still major challenges within the Israeli Arab community, which lags well behind the country's averages according to most economic indicators. The International Christianity Embassy Jerusalem commissioned the most comprehensive study ever on Israeli Arab welfare. This study is being used to guide Israeli authorities in addressing the challenges facing the country's Arab communities.
- Hear from an Israeli Arab woman about the rights and freedoms she routinely enjoys.
- Israeli Arab tells UNHRC to 'end witch hunt' of Israel, only place in Middle East where Christians are safe.
- Official PA Newspaper lauds Israel's treatment of Palestinian workers
- Christian Arab now an Israeli Diplomat tells story of his family once refugees.
Many of Israel's Christians feel that their history, culture and heritage have been hijacked by Muslim Arabs in the region. They have formed their own political parties and sought to integrate their communities into the larger society.
A few facts about Israel's Arab minority:
- Arabic and Hebrew are both official languages in Israel.
- There are five official Israeli-Arab political parties - and many Israeli-Arab politicians. Israeli-Arabs hold ten percent of the seats in Israel's current parliament.
- Israel's government administers a range of programs to help minority citizens advance their social and economic standing.
- Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which the Christian population has grown.
- Many Israeli-Arabs have reached the highest levels of government, business and the arts in Israel, including:
- Salim Jurban, Supreme Court Justice, who helped to foster ties between Jews and Arabs, and oversaw the trial of former Israeli President Moshe Katzav
- Nawaf Massalha, a politician and the former Deputy Foreign Minister
- Mira Awwad, popular singer who represented Israel in the Eurovision song contest. Watch her Eurovision performance.
- Angelina Fares, the former Ms. Israel. Watch a recent PBS story on her.
- Ali Yahya, Walid Mansour and Mohammed Masarwa, Israeli Ambassadors
- Major General Hussain Fares, Head Commander of the Border Police
Quote by Hamad Amar, a Druze citizen of Israel and Deputy Speaker of Israel's Knesset:
"In our whole region consisting of over 350 million Arabs, there are only 1,658,000 Arabs who have complete political and religious freedom and have the right to vote in full democratic elections. It is no coincidence that all of these Arabs live as full and equal citizens in the one Jewish State."