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Arab Citizens of Israel

18 March 2009 By New Israel Fund

This do-it-yourself program explores issues of Arab citizens of Israel in the context of “the stranger among you.”  Using biblical and Haggadah texts, a video about the issue, and discussion questions, the program encourages participants to explore the connection between biblical stipulations to protect the stranger and modern-day realities.

Through a text study, you will explore the biblical definitions of “strangers”, the challenges faced by the “stranger” in biblical times and today, and the biblical injunctions for the protection of the stranger.  After watching a video about children of migrant workers*, you will discuss the complexities in the context of the modern nation-state: what should be the state’s obligations towards the “stranger”, what factors can complicate these, and what should be the place of the “stranger” in modern-day Israel.  

* The video tells the story of Beni Bomegin, a soccer coach and activist in the struggle to combat racism on the soccer field through promoting a love of the sport between young Arabs and Jews. Beni is a leading volunteer in NIF's New Voice in the Stadium campaign, which seeks to eradicate racism and violence in Israeli society through soccer.

A DVD will be sent to hosts for the program.

Please note:  We recognize that the use of the term “stranger” to describe Arab citizens of Israel is problematic, given that these are full citizens of the State, who were born – as were their parents and grandparents going back generations – in what is today the State of Israel.  Nevertheless, they are often treated as an “other”, and are not treated as fully a part of Israeli society.

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