In these days of war, the work of promoting tolerance, mutual respect and cooperation between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel is more important than ever. Anger, pain and racism can collapse bridges that were carefully built for many years.
Unfortunately, there are too many people trying to stoke tensions between Jews and Arabs in Israel. It is clear to us: if the racists and extremists win, we will all lose.
We recognize a phenomenon of serious incitement directed towards Palestinian citizens of Israel. Together with partner organizations in civil society, we have called for an end to incitement and for calm. We have directly addressed senior officials in many authorities—ministers, mayors, university presidents—and recommended to them ways of action to calm the spirits.
We are also deepening our field work in mixed cities. Among other initiatives, we have have been working directly with municipal welfare departments to deal with the many social challenges placed before them today. We are now working to establish and expand infrastructure for shared life in mixed areas. We are not only looking to prevent violence and reduce tensions, but to also find opportunities for positive shared life—especially in these times.
The educators with whom we work on a regular basis have faced many difficulties, and so we initiated a series of teachers’ meetings in Hebrew and Arabic to give them tools to confront extremism, hatred, racism, and instances of violence in the classroom. It is important to us that our partners in the education system continue to support shared life, and we are so far encouraged by the response.Finally, we continue to support efforts to protect Bedouin residents of the Negev, in both the recognized and unrecognized villages.
We have come away from our meetings with Home Front Command and other emergency service providers with the belief that all the parties involved understand that Bedouin citizens must be adequately protected. We are especially proud that graduates of our personal security courses have volunteered in their communities, on October 7th and in the weeks since.
We will continue to work so that we all live in peace, security and equality. Thank you for your continued support of The Abraham Initiatives.