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  1. Israel 'blocks international academics' in West Bank, Gaza
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  3. Number of Arab students in Israeli universities grows 78% in 7 years

However, the ministry's online course is offered only in Hebrew, thereby discriminating against students who take the exam in Arabic.


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Approximately one-third of all students in Israel take the psychometric examination in Arabic and this figure has been steadily increasing over the past decade. There is a significant gap between average test scores in Arabic and in Hebrew. In , the average Hebrew-language score was while the average Arabic-language score was Subscribe for our daily newsletter.

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Mike Evans. My meeting with Egyptian President Sisi. Jeff Barak. Shmuley Boteach. Seth J. Is Israel being pushed into a corner with alliance of convenient friends? Most Read. Similar conclusions were reached in the case of polygamy, which is still widely practiced in the Bedouin community in southern Israel. At times, the problem with not effectuating equitable norms and policies is not so much the passivity of law enforcement authorities but that of courts that would rather allow patriarchal norms within the Palestinian-Arab community to persist.

For example, one of the long-standing hallmarks of the patriarchal nature of the Palestinian-Arab community is women's renunciation of their inheritance rights in favor of the male heirs in the family. Though women probably do so as a result of social pressure and their inferior status in a patriarchal society, courts have not been forthcoming in helping such women to secure their rights as heirs. This in turn afforded Palestinian-Arab Muslim and Christian women the option of filing their alimony claims before the Court for Family Affairs rather than solely before their respective religious courts, as was the case until this amendment.

It is generally believed that granting such an option improves the status of women given the general tendency of civil courts to be more supportive and understanding than religious courts of women's claims. When it comes to the Palestinian-Arab religious groups, the group comes first and the individual second. To reconnect this discussion to the constitutional values of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state I can state the following: while Israel's Jewish values support the group rights concept for the Palestinian-Arab religious groups, the democratic values come out split—with one component supporting the group rights concept and the other component supporting individual rights against the encroachment of religious jurisdiction.

The most significant result is that while in of the Jewish community, Israel's democratic values will push in full force in order to safeguard individual liberties against religious jurisdiction, this same value pushes at best only partially in this direction when it comes to Palestinian-Arab individuals. As already indicated, another portion of Israel's democratic values backs the principle of group autonomy of Palestinian-Arab religious communities.

The major significance of identifying these two concepts of group rights is that they enable us better to understand the present status of the Palestinian-Arab minority in Israel, at least in terms of their status as a single national group, in contrast to their status as a cluster of religious groups.

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Other than that, this identification can aid in contemplating strategies of change and reform. The thin concept of group rights in the sphere of the Palestinian-Arab minority as a national group implies that there is a considerable barrier to successful legislation or litigation when arguing in the name of the Palestinian-Arab minority as a national group.

It seems that the existing constitutional structure even actively legitimizes the thinness of the Palestinian-Arab group rights in Israel.

Israel 'blocks international academics' in West Bank, Gaza

Therefore, in the sphere of national group rights it might be more beneficial to bring legal action in the name of individual members seeking recognition of their individual rights rather than group based claims. What can prove to be instrumental in adopting this strategy is the relatively rich literature on liberal multiculturalism which provides that group rights for minorities are essentially legitimized in that they seek to serve first and foremost the individual members of such groups. Coming back to the Adalah decision on the obligation to add Arabic inscription on road signs, the petition could have been filed in the name of individual Palestinian-Arab residents in each of these municipalities who in turn can argue that their personal right to equal treatment and respect has been infringed.

Municipality of Upper Nazareth. According to the municipal by-laws of Upper Nazareth, notices on city billboards are to be posted in Hebrew, or in Hebrew and another language as long as Hebrew occupies at least two thirds of the notice's space and the Hebrew title's letters are on top and are larger than those in the other language. Given these by-laws, the development company was refused permission to post its all-Arabic advertisement notices on the billboards in Upper Nazareth. Consequently, the development company filed a civil action before the District Court of Nazareth asking for injunction relief ordering the municipality to permit the posting of its all-Arabic notices.

The District Court dismissed the claim, but its judgment was reversed on appeal and the development company ultimately prevailed. Even though the Supreme Court acknowledged the special status of Hebrew in Israel, it recognized the development company's right to post notices in Arabic as part of its freedom of speech. The court stressed that self-fulfillment is intrinsically tied with the ability to use language in order to express oneself. Language is also connected to one's way of thinking and thus is also part of a person's dignity.

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After discussing and evaluating the conflict between the need to accord Hebrew a special status and the claimant's freedom of speech, the Court preferred the development company's freedom of speech. This decision clearly demonstrates how a right generally taken to be a group right can be reduced to an individual right.

Given the thick concept of religious group rights on the other hand, it would seem hard to push for reforms within the Palestinian-Arab religious communities, if these reforms seek to diminish the encroachment of religious norms on individual members. Against the interests of individuals will always stand the interests of the community as a group, and the Jewish character of the state as well as a significant portion of Israel's democratic values support the interests of the Palestinian-Arab religious community rather than the interests of the Palestinian-Arab individual apart from the religious community.

If one adds to this that the Palestinian-Arab community is still patriarchal in nature and is in a permanent state of conflict with the state and its Jewish hegemonic majority, it is not surprising that reform movements from within are also silenced. However, if enough intra-group power is galvanized and is ready to push for liberal reform, the prospects for success are relatively high. The initiative would be aligned with the institutional perception under which the religious jurisdiction accorded to the Palestinian-Arab religious communities is a form of group accommodation.

Concerns about the stability of a government coalition or the unity of this or that Palestinian-Arab religious community is not a consideration for the dominant Israeli political establishment as is the case when liberal reforms are suggested within the Jewish religious community. A prominent example in this respect is the Druze family law as applied by the Druze religious courts in Israel. By and large this body of law was taken from the Druze family law of Lebanon and considered to be relatively liberal.


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The law bans polygamy, it instructs the husband to treat his wife in an egalitarian manner, and offers the husband's adultery as cause for divorce. Once the community sought it, it received it. Partial evidence also exists in the Knesset enactment of the s in which certain religious practices were criminalized, such as in the case of the marriage of minors, polygamy and unilateral divorce, there is sufficient group backing for reform as well. At the time, it was stressed that similar reforms were taking place in Arab countries in the Middle East. Given the fact that these reforms are solely concerned with the particular Palestinian-Arab religious community, Jewish interests are by definition neutralized, and given the fact the reform is group-based and liberal in nature, Israel's democratic norms are also satisfied.

This article attempts to reveal the legal substance of the group right concept as it relates to the Palestinian-Arab minority under Israel's constitutional definition as a Jewish and democratic state. The analysis provides a dichotomy in the concept: one governing concept when it comes to the national rights of the Palestinian-Arab minority as a single national group and another governing concept when it comes to the Palestinian-Arab minority as a cluster of religious groups.

This is a descriptive thesis. Yet as I argue towards the end, the descriptive thesis can be instrumental in exposing the limits and opportunities for bringing change to the status of the Palestinian-Arab minority under Israel's current constitutional conditions.

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Number of Arab students in Israeli universities grows 78% in 7 years

Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. The thin concept: national group rights. The thick concept: religious group rights. Oxford Academic.

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https://vievilode.tk Permissions Icon Permissions. According to the census Israel had a total population of 7,, of which 1,, were Palestinian-Arabs. One should note however, that the official statistics include the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem given the fact that this part of the West Bank was effectively annexed to Israel following the Six-Day War.

The Palestinian population currently living in Jerusalem numbers , The discussion in this article, however, will relate to the Palestinian minority in Israel, not including East Jerusalem. Their number is about , 1. See R. In addition to these there is the Bahai Community—a religious group recognized since H IST. See, e. At times the condition is about Israel as a Jewish state. See e.

Kellerman et al. DeWitt-Arar eds. P HIL. However, the mode in which I chose to use the thin and thick concepts of group rights is different from that used by her. My concepts are more focused on the extent of the group accommodation in a nation state setting rather than on the nature and content of the accommodated cultures.