The deepest rift in Israeli society is between Jewish and Palestinian citizens (sometimes called Israeli Arabs). This is rooted in strong national identities and exacerbated by the greater conflict between Israel and its neighbors, the prolonged occupation, and accelerating ultra-nationalist and racist political trends. In addition, there are troubling disconnects and enmities between Jewish sectors of the public.
But despite the common emphasis on conflict, there are many areas of cooperation — microcosms throughout Israel that might “scale up” to the national level. There is also growing public awareness of the phenomenon of racism, and new opportunities for shared society-building through networking, community organizing, advocacy and litigation.
Our approach stresses the advantages of social diversity, strengthens moderating voices, and builds places for intercultural encounter that can deepen bonds and prevent escalation.