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Shared Cities

Nowhere do Jewish and Arab citizens live in closer proximity than in Israel’s seven mixed cities. Despite the potential for friction and conflict, these communities offer unique opportunities for collaboration and partnership. For the first time, the 2018 municipal elections in Israel resulted in Jewish-Arab city council coalitions in every mixed city. The Abraham Initiatives launched the Shared Cities Initiative to ensure the success of these nascent political partnerships, and to provide a model to communities quickly becoming mixed, as well as to the national political arena.

The Abraham Initiatives published a comprehensive survey in December 2019 that systematically examines the relationship between Jews and Arabs in mixed cities.

Among the findings:

–81% of Jewish respondents and 89% of Arabs described the relationship between Jews and Arabs in their cities as positive.

–41% of Jews and 32% of Arabs in all cities agreed (somewhat or very much) with the saying: “Arabs and Jews should be separated and everyone will live in a separate, non-national neighborhood.”

–31% of the Jews strongly agreed with the saying: “I allow my children to play with Arab children,” and 26% expressed opposition (disagree or strongly disagree). Among Arabs, 41% strongly agreed with the opposite (“I allow my children to play with Jewish children”), and only 5% opposed this statement.

–18% of Jewish residents of mixed cities fear moving around Arab neighborhoods, 14% of Arabs in these cities report that they often encounter discrimination.

For an infographic highlighting the main findings, click here.

For for the full findings, click here.

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