Current Events

Click here to register for the lecture with Rachel Korazim on Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Power, Identity, and Leadership:
Israeli-Arabs in contemporary Israeli society
Tuesday, February 20, 7:30pm in Stern Hall

Visiting Scholar at Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at UC Berkeley

This lecture will focus on the development of politics, identity, and leadership among Arabs in Israel. It is presented in light of the historical development and contemporary trends of “integration vs. segregation” of Israeli Arabs in the Israeli political system. Special attention will be given to the different positions and attitudes of Muslims, Druze, and Christians.

Israeli Arabs, also known as Israeli minorities or the ‘Arab Sector,’ are those non-Jewish religious and ethnic communities who found themselves inside the State of Israel after the armistice demarcation lines (the green line) were drawn in the summer of 1949. Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel they were known as the ‘South Syria Arabs’ or ‘Palestinian Arabs’ as opposed to ‘Palestinian Jews.’

The roughly 156,000 Arabs, who in 1949 made up 15% of the total population, were granted citizenship. After the 1967 war, some additional 70,000 East Jerusalem Muslims and Christians and 6,500 Druze of the Golan Heights were given permanent residence status, and after these areas were annexed by Israel, they can apply to become citizens. However, only few of them apply to become citizens and from those who apply, the majority are denied.

Today, Israeli minorities number 1,786,000, make up 21% of the country’s total population of 8.7 million, and belong to subgroups of Muslims 84%, mostly Sunni, Christians, 8%, mostly Arabs, and Druze 8%. Most Arabs see themselves as part of the ‘Arabic Culture’, but still cherish their Israeli citizenship, and some refer to themselves as the ’48 Arabs, while others, after the rise of Palestinian nationalism, go by “Israeli Palestinians”.

RAMI ZEEDAN, PH.D. is an interdisciplinary researcher in political science and history. His recent research ranges between urban affairs/local governments in cities, ethnic politics, public opinion, and Israel studies. Since 2014, he has held a two-year fellowship for outstanding post-doctoral research from the Council for Higher Education in Israel, during which he was a Taub-Schusterman Post-Doctoral Fellow at New York University, 2014-2015, and a Fritz Thyssen post-doctoral research fellow with the Zentrum Moderner Orient (Germany), 2015-2016.  Zeedan has also taught at the Open University of Israel, New York University, and at the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee. His teaching interests include: “Politics and Government in Israel”; “Research Methods in Political Sciences”; and “Introduction to Statistics.” He holds a Ph.D. in Israel Studies from the University of Haifa.