Prior to 2021, there was a need to explain and illustrate the importance of building Jewish-Arab relations In Israel's mixed cities. However, in 2021, in the month of May, Israel experienced unprecedented inter-ethnic violence between Jews and Arabs on the streets of the Mixed Cities. There is no longer confusion or disregard for this issue among decision-makers. It is important to build a Jewish-Arab partnership and provide concrete recommendations. Abraham's Initiatives, supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, is facilitating the Mixed City Leadership forum of council members as a platform for best practice sharing, learning, and collective troubleshooting. In the aftermath of the May events, the forum met and discussed how well each municipality performed during the crisis. The experiences of the cities varied greatly. Much can be learned from these events. When there is a partnership on the municipal level, things move in a positive direction which helps in emergencies. One of the main determining factors in the character of Jewish-Arab relations is whether municipal leadership sees its role as serving residents equitably and impartially.
Another project we conducted this year, in light of the rise of crime and violence in Arab society and particularly in the city of Umm al-Fahm, was research and survey concerning personal security in Umm al-Fahm. The survey addressed feelings of protection and personal security among different ages and areas of the city (parks, streets, schools, residential areas, etc.); matters of violence that are top priorities in the eyes of residents; willingness among residents to integrate into projects or action against crime and violence in the city. The full report will be published at the beginning of 2022.
We are continuing this year the important work with Abraham Initiatives, as a key organization in its' field, in promoting a shared society in Israel.