Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Israeli-Arabs move into Jewish neighborhoods

In the Jewish state, Jews and Arabs generally live separately. Even in so-called mixed cities like Haifa, Akko, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle, and Jerusalem—whose heterogeneous populations predate statehood—there are Arab neighborhoods and Jewish ones. It’s unusual to find members of the two communities living on the same block, let alone in the same apartment building.

Most people seem to like it this way. Even for those who consider themselves liberals, their ideal is more often “separate but equal” than equal and integrated. But in recent years, things have been changing, if only because conditions in Arab municipalities are anything but equal to those in Jewish towns.

Prof. Aziz Haidar discovered just to what extent several years ago, when he and his colleagues at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute began mapping the Arab citizenry of Israel. They started with the raw population statistics compiled by the Central Bureau of Statistics, but when they added up the numbers of Arabs living in all the country’s Arab municipalities and in its mixed cities, “we discovered that there were 60,000 missing,” he said. That is, that the sum they arrived at was 60,000 less than the total number of Israelis classified in their identity cards as Arabs—in 2010, some 1.5 million. “It turned out,” Haidar said, “that they were living in Jewish cities. That was a big surprise.”

1 comment :

  1. Some interesting comments going at the Tablet website.


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