Middle East Studies

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National Schism and Civil Integration

Mutual relations between the Israeli central government and the Israeli Arab Palestinian minority

Prof. Alexander Bligh is the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, Israel. Formerly: Acting Dean, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities and Director, Middle East Research Center, Ariel University, and Advisor to the Prime Minister for Arab Affairs.

Gadi Hitman is lecturer at the Department of Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies, Ariel University and Beit Berl Academic College, Israel. His first book, Israel and its Arab Minority: Dialogue, Protest and Violence 1948–2008, was published in 2016.

This book analyzes the changes that have taken place in the mutual relationship between the Israeli establishment and the Arab minority since the early 1990s. Changing internal political circumstances on both sides, often led by external world events, have shaped action/reaction and made relations complex. To date this relationship has not been subject to social science analysis, despite some excellent books and journal articles setting out the historic and political relations from 1948 onward, some with a particular emphasis on the Arab polity. National Schism and Civil Integration is the first comprehensive book to tackle the multi-faceted political dimensions of the relationship, and likewise the first to study the linkage between the inner politics of the Arab communities and their relations with the central government.

Special attention is paid to the central government's engagement from a security-based dialogue to one encompassing civil policy. The study assesses the emergence of Arab Israeli Palestinian composite nationalism, and the advent of new political groupings, in terms of the political players and how they have been influenced by a growing civil awareness of a more structured and dynamic Palestinian national personality.

The study is based on primary sources in all pertinent languages. Resources include official governmental documents, minutes of parliamentary meetings and verdicts of the Supreme Court, as well as Arab manifestos of political parties, declarations and interviews with Arab leaders (MK members, and heads of local councils) and press reports. The book is essential reading for all those interested in and engaged with Israeli and Arab politics in general, and the Arab Israeli Palestinian political stance in the context of a final peace agreement.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-649-3
Hardback Price: £65.00 / $79.95
Release Date: March 2018
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



Part One – The Historical Background

1 The Formation of a Policy after 1948: Security versus Citizenship
2 The Establishment of the Military Government
3 Policy About the Refugee Issue
4 Different Perceptions Regarding Arab Lands
5 The Intensity of Enforcing the Governmental Policy
6 Main Policy Lines, 1967–1990
7 After “Land Day” 1976 – Citizenship or Security? 8 Ways the Arab Minority Deals with Israeli Policy
9 The Pattern of Activities of the Arab Minority, 1948–1967
10 Patterns of Adaptation Adopted by the Arabs from 1967 to 1990
11 After “Land Day”: New Arab Political Structures 12 Signs of growing Activism on the Background of the First Lebanese War
13 Accelerated Processes of Politicization, 1982–1990

Part Two – The Government’s Policy, 1987–2010
1  The Civil Dimension of the Policy Towards the Arabs:
The First Signs of a Change in the Direction of Narrowing the Gap
2  After the 1992 Elections: from Intentions to Deeds
3  The Civil Policy from 1996 to 2000: One-sided Striving to Reduce the Gaps
4  After the Events of October 2000: Strengthening the Effort to Compensate the Arab Minority
5  The Sharon Government: Continuation of the
Government’s Treatment of the Arab Population
6  The Olmert and Netanyahu Governments: Acceleration of Improvements in Treatment of the Arab Population
7  The Attitude of the Jewish Majority to the Arab Minority: Increasing Radicalization, Hatred and Alienation
8  Central Government Resolutions and Politics in the Aftermath of Two Waves of Violence

Part Three – Political and Social Changes within the Arab Minority
1  The Political Reality in Israel at the Beginning of the 1990s
2  The Political Power Frameworks
3  Four Possible Choices that can be Made by Protest Groups
4  The 1990 Temple Mount Events
5  The Gulf War, 1990–1991
6  The Opening of the Western Wall Tunnel
7  The Al-Roha Lands Affair
8  The Events of October 2000
9  The Political System after the October Events
10  Changes in the Arab Public Demography and Main Characteristics
11  The Israeli Arab: Sociological Characteristics and Political Participation
12  The Arab Associations: A Mixture of Integration and Separatism
13  Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
14  Social Aspects and Employment in the Arab Sector
15  The Arab Minority and the Issue of National/Civilian Service




This book deals with the relationship between Israel, as a Jewish-democratic state, and its Arab minority. It explains the state of Israel’s policies toward the Arab minority and seeks to understand how the Arab side responded to changes in policy over the decades. After a section of historical background, Part 2 charts the Israeli government’s policy from 1987 to 2010. The last section analyzes the central political and social frameworks in the Arab minority, especially since 1990, looking at the demographic, sociological, employment, and social changes it has undergone in the past 20 years, such as women in the workplace.

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