The Palestinian-Israeli community is the main national non-Jewish minority within Israel and is affected directly by the historical Israeli-Arab conflict. Discrimination against this minority is rife in land planning and distribution, education, municipal funding, representation of Palestinian citizens in decision-making bodies, and more.
Land use and planning is an explosive issue within the Palestinian community, particularly in the Negev where an imposed “solution” on Bedouin land claims threatens to exacerbate the overall tension between Israeli Jews and Arabs. NIF’s strategic focus begins with partnering with organizations advancing land planning to the benefit of the Arab community, with the aim of increasing the supply of available housing and expanding economic opportunity.
Another key strategy is the empowerment of Palestinian-Israeli women. The traditional family clan structure in Palestinian society makes it difficult for young adults, women, and professionals to assume leadership positions at the local level. Increasing women’s representation, both in preparing women to run as candidates and in preparing Palestinian society to advance women in leadership positions, could change the dynamic.
Finally, NIF invests in efforts to promote civic engagement in the local arena. This can both be a starting point for broader political involvement and a means of strengthening the overall community.