The Israeli government has approved a five-year plan aimed at closing socioeconomic gaps between Arab Israeli and Jewish Israeli society. The new five-year plan follows up on a previous policy that passed in 2016 called Resolution 922, which only passed after NIF grantees exerted enormous pressure on the government.
The plan expands the budget for the Arab sector and increases equity proportional to Israel’s Arab population. For example, 25% of the Israeli government budget for early childhood day care centers is now for the Arab sector, and 40% for public transport.
A coalition of organizations fought for the adoption of the plan, including Sikkuy – The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality, Mossawa Center, Galilee Society, the Arab Center for Alternative Planning, Tsofen, and Injaz Center. The organizations have welcomed the new five-year plan and also pledged to monitor its implementation.
Sikkuy said, “We are proud of this success together with our many partners. We are especially happy about two new elements in the new plan, which respond to the repeated criticisms about the first plan (922). This time, the plan includes social as well as economic areas. The 922 plan dealt mainly with employment and left huge areas of discrimination on social matters without a solution. But the new decision relates to areas that are not just economic like healthcare and welfare. In addition, this plan has a more in-depth process for implementing the changes with the input of professional bodies including a committee of leaders from local authorities and civil society. This process increases the chances for a plan best adapted to the needs of Arab society.”