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Inclusive citizenship as a framework for Jewish-Arab relations in Israel

The article deals with the civil and national status of the Arab minority in Israel with an attempt to find a balancing formula between definitions of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. It discusses three paradigms of Jewish-Arab relations within Israel: the inevitable conflict, the structural conflict between the definitions of “Jewish and democratic”, and the inclusive citizenship. Using a special public opinion survey it argues that most Jews and most Arabs would like to see a State policy that fits the inclusive citizenship paradigm that the Israeli government advocates but fails to implement.

The majority of the Jewish public believes that the road towards a more stable format for Jewish-Arab relations in Israel passes through a change of concept: from an exclusive citizenship that disregards the Arabs towards an inclusive citizenship that embraces them as part of the State project, and sees them as equal citizens without reducing the rights of Jews for dominance of the state and its public space.

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