Bilingual Business Initiative Promotes Shared Society

30 October 2019

NIF grantee Omdim Beyachad (Standing Together) has launched a new bilingual campaign for businesses in Israel. Dozens of Jewish and Arab businesses, mainly cafes and restaurants around the country, have already joined the campaign and been awarded the “bilingual badge.”

The goal of the “bilingual badge” is to encourage businesses to create welcoming environments for both Arab and Jewish patrons by ensuring that all materials such as menus and store signs are in both Arabic and Hebrew. This is a fundamental part of the businesses’ commitment to equal treatment for all customers regardless of race, religion, color, gender and language, and the creation of an open atmosphere of tolerance and shared living.

Omdim Beyachad (Standing Together) is a grassroots movement of Arab and Jewish Israelis who promote campaigns for peace, equality, and social justice. The bilingual business campaign is one of this movement’s many responses to the Nation-State Law, enacted by the Knesset in 2018, which declared Israel as exclusively the nation state of the Jewish people, and rendered Arab citizens and other minorities as second-class citizens.

Initiatives like the bilingual badge are vital to repairing the damage done by the Nation-State Law and creating inclusive public spaces for all Israelis.