May 2019 Newsletter: Violence in the Israeli Arab Community: Survey and Analysis

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The COVID-19 has not frozen everything. Early police reports for this spring report a change in criminality, and a surge in specific forms of crimes, such as violence inside the family. The Israeli Arab community traditionnally is a hotspot of endemic crime, and arguments over the resons for it have long been used and misused for political blame games on all sides. This month we offer a deeper analysis of this plague, based on most recent data.

Violence in the Israeli Arab Community: Survey and Analysis
The violence in Israel’s Arab community has, for the last two decades, been a real problem requiring attention and resolution. During the last year, the situation has reached an unprecedented new low: 92 murder victims that account for more than 60% of the country’s total murder cases, and this, while the Arab sector constitutes approximately 20% of the general population. This study sought to undertake a comprehensive examination of the issue.
We pondered whether it would be possible, after comparing the data and standardizing it to the size of Israel’s Arab population, to identify a clear trend and provide a rationale for the various figures. It is possible, we believe, that the changes in the number of murder cases in the Arab community over recent years are too minor to accord them excessive significance. Nevertheless, even if we cannot identify a deterioration in the situation, the problem should be addressed using the state tools at the government’s disposal.
The police has adopted a two-faced policy in addressing this problem. The establishment of the Israel Police Force’s Arab Sector Administration was intended to strengthen its connection with the Arab community, both by opening police stations in Arab towns and cities and by adding jobs specifically for Muslim police officers. Another measure adopted was the “City Without Violence” Model of urban policing for contending with the different forms of violence, especially among young people. We then presented the State Comptroller’s Report for 2018 which examined police activity and its efforts to reduce violence and the use of weapons in the Arab community.
The degree of sympathy and support received by the police from Arab citizens necessarily influences its effectiveness and success, all the more so when it may testify to its failure as an organization operating with, and alongside, citizens and communities. Indeed, we found that public trust in the police force influences the degree of police efficiency which, in turn, re-influences public trust in the police. The Israel Police Force has yet to successfully extricate itself from this vicious circle, a fact that only serves to illustrate the problematic nature of its position.
According to our understanding, this violence should be viewed as stemming both from internal-cultural causes and from external-establishment factors. The internal causes include deep-rooted cultural norms, a traditional social structure, and culture handed down from one generation to the next, while among the external factors are the Israeli government attitude towards Arab society, the physical resources invested in solving its problems, and the infrastructures that facilitate the spread of violence.

The Arab community itself would seem to be responsible for addressing the problem’s internal-cultural causes. This is a slow and painful process that the Arab community must engage in with itself. As any social process related to changing traditional social norms, this process too must also take place bottom-up whereby the community itself seeks to change its own lifestyle. Such a process, even if seemingly taken for granted and understood, could take many years with only a limited ability to exert any external influence on it.

Regarding the external-establishment factors – the government plans that were aimed at addressing the Arab neighborhoods, the Arab education system, and the employment options open to this sector are those that will make a positive contribution to the wider circles of the struggle against violence in the Arab society. Furthermore, in addition to bolstering the police ranks with members of the Arab community, action should also be taken to enhance the police training programs. Studies at the National Police Academy should also include courses that deal with policing in a multi-ethnic society. This should include learning Arabic and the police’s sensitive role in the conflict with the State of Israel’s Arab community. In order to improve police operation in Israeli Arab society, a supervised body should be established to routinely assess police conduct, assist in identifying shortcomings, and help address them. Its conclusions will be transparent and available to the public and members will also include representatives from the Israeli Arab community.

For the Complete Study


With the gradual reopening of the Israeli society and the end of the Ramadan period, we are glad to announce our field activity is back to normal. After over two months of distance learning, and together with the education system, we are now operating our Hebrew courses in East Jerusalem in regular classes, while keeping the Health Ministry’s safety measures.

April 2020 newsletter: The Rise of the Radical Right and Anti-Semitism: Three European Case Studies

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A day after Yom Ha’atzmaut it is good to remember that although Israel has given Jews a haven from antisemitism, this phenomenon remains an all too accute issue today. Our monthly paper focuses on the political contexts behind contemporary European antisemitism. Throughout the 20th century it was tightly connected to nationalist movements throughout the continent. Hence, their comeback in the past years has raised concerns among local Jewish communities. In this research we measured the strength of this connection in the 21st century in three countries hosting most of the European Jewry: France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The Rise of the Radical Right and Anti-Semitism: Three European Case Studies

This study is published with the support of the World Zionist Oranization. It examines the connection between the rise of the radical right and antisemitism in three West European countries. Throughout the previous century, populistic nationalist movements were typified by a link to antisemitic views and dissemination of those views in the public domain. It is no wonder therefore that the resurgence of extreme right-wing parties and their re-appearance on the center of the political stage is arousing grave concern of increased antisemitism among many Jews.
In recent years, claims have been voiced linking radical right parties and antisemitism and the current study therefore proposes to examine the correlation between these two phenomena in order to determine the radical right parties’ degree of responsibility for the deteriorating security of the local Jewish communities. In order to ascertain the answer, we examined the three countries with the largest Jewish communities in Western Europe: France, Britain and Germany.
The study opens with a survey including an ideological analysis of the radical right, and subsequently designates the time period used to examine the correlation between the growth and strengthening of the radical right-wing party in teach country and the level of antisemitism. To this end, the study uses several indices of antisemitism: antisemitic incidents and violent attacks, and the prevalence of antisemitic stereotypes in civil society.
Since the re-emergence of the National Rally Party (formerly: The National Front) in its new form, led since 2011 by Marine Le Pen, there has been no general rise in the number of antisemitic incidents or in the level of identification with antisemitic statements.
A quantitative scrutiny of the violent outbursts that occurred in certain months and reports of victims of antisemitism indicates a higher prevalence of attacks with an anti-Israel and Islamic background than those related to nationalist radical right factors.

Statistical analysis of the antisemitism figures within the designated time period reveals no connection between the growth of the UKIP Party and the increase in the number of antisemitic incidents.
The rise in antisemitism in particular and in hate crimes in general appears to have occurred around the time of the debate on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and extended beyond the limits of the radical right’s influence.
The rise in power of the Alternative for Germany Party does not correspond with the increase in the number of antisemitic incidents during the time period analyzed.
According to the data in our possession, the radical right does play a role in the phenomenon of antisemitism however this is significantly less than that published by the German authorities in 2018.
In our opinion, the radical right is not the main motive for antisemitism in Western Europe today, and the changes in the degree of antisemitism – should they exist – are not specifically related to its political strength.



For the Complete Study

The Best of Zionist thought – now on your bookshelf


Get ready for Jerusalem Day! Our ‘HaZman’ series, booklets of Zionist thought centered on the Jewish calendar’ are up for sale. So far we have published five issues:

– מה עניין שמיטה אצל הציונות?
– תקומה וחורבן: בין זיכרון לשיכחה
– מהודו ועד כוש – ציונות מזרחית-ספרדית: יש דברים כאלה
– נשים בציונות: לוקחות גורלן בידיהן
– 3000 שנים של ירושלים בהגות ובשיר


Each booklet is available for 50NIS, the whole collection for 220NIS. Details and orders: +972-2-581-7196

The IZS in the News

In addition to the Jerusalem Post piece, our reasearch on contemporary Europan antisemitism was featured on the German website Die Achse des Guten, and a critique of it was published by the Forward.

March 2020 Newsletter: Meet our Students – Adapting our work to COVID-19

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CEO’s Word

Shalom Miri_3
We are in the midst of a difficult period – the Corona period. This year, when we sit around the Pesach Seder table and ask: “Why is this night different from all other nights”, there will be no shortage of answers because much has changed.
For me personally, a great deal is different. My dear father and teacher, Prof. Ma’aravi Peretz, a renowned scholar of bible studies and medieval bible commentary, passed away a month ago. This week, on the 8th of Nisan, he would have celebrated his 80th birthday.

Aside from my private sorrow and grief, we are confronted with many other questions:

How is it that in the season when nature appears in all its beauty, with its blossoming flowers, spring atmosphere and a sense of renewal that all call on us to leave our winter hibernation and take in the beauty outside, we must now each confine ourselves to our own homes?

How is it that on the Seder night, the night when we all sit together around the same table, when we are specifically commanded to tell our children the story of the Jewish People, we will this year sit alone in our own homes, our family atmosphere divided into separate units, and not together as one “tribe”?

How is it that the holiday born out of haste, when the Children of Israel were in such a hurry to leave Egypt that their dough didn’t rise in time, we are now sitting at home, not hurrying anywhere? The pace of our lives has slowed dramatically, and our Pesach preparations are being done at a leisurely pace.

Here at the Institute we are also asking what has changed this year – and a great deal has changed.

Last Pesach, we had one Hebrew studies class in East Jerusalem and a single civil rights center in a one East Jerusalem neighborhood.

This year on Pesach, we have 10 Hebrew studies classes and 2 civil rights centers in 7 East Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Although we too have reduced the scope of our activity due to the Corona crisis, we are still trying to continue with the help of technology. We are helping people exercise their rights as part of the crisis, teaching Hebrew online, and preparing for the period after the crisis. We invite you to read further details about our activities in this newsletter.

Chag Sameach – Happy Pesach and wishes for better times.
Miri Shalem

Meet our Students!

This year’s internship program enables us to continue leveraging the Institute’s activity. Our students accompany us throughout the academic year, each in his own field of expertise. They come from different academic institutions (The Hebrew University, Shalem College, Haifa University, Herzog College and others). Most of them are presented here – we wish to express our gratitude for their valuable work in research, at the security crossings, and in education of IDF values, civil rights and Hebrew courses.


___________11We would also like to take this opportunity to share with you tour map of this year’s field-activity as part of our East Jerusalem ‘OptimEAST – Sovereignty with Responsibility’ projects. Our interns conduct 10 Hebrew studies classes in Tzur Baher, Silwan, The Mount of Olives, Issawiya, Shuafat, and Bayt Hanina. They also help to provide a response for bureaucratic issues and connect the local population to relevant government bodies in Tzur Baher and Abu Tor. And finally, as in previous years, we are continuing our activity at the security crossings on the outskirts of Jerusalem (Rachel/300 and Kalandia).


IZS Activities under the Cloud of the COVID-19 Virus

Like the rest of the economy, we are currently contending with the ramifications of the Corona epidemic. If researchers and scholars are relatively immune to the restrictions on movement and social gatherings, we have made great effort to limit the damage to the scope of our field activities by transferring as much as possible to online platforms. Zoom, WhatsApp and Google Drive have proven their efficiency in assisting effective remote learning.


There is another aspect to the Corona crisis. Effective governance difficulties are heightened during periods of emergency. There are already reports indicating that East Jerusalem may be one of the epicenters of the outbreak due to the combination of suspicion towards the authorities and a lack of awareness.

___________11We view the present crisis as a classic challenge of “sovereignty with responsibility” and are therefore also taking part in efforts to raise awareness among the local residents. Among others, we helped a ‘Magen David Adom’ team to translate and edit an explanatory video clip about the drive-in Corona testing stations.


In the News

* CBN News on the importance of our Hebrew courses
* Ritual immersion and Corona: The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel and Israel Hayom surveyed the debate over the halakhic opinion that recommends women to refrain from immersing in most of the mikvaot in Israel due to fears of infection. The ruling was based on, and quotes, our 2015 study that surveys the deficiencies in sanitary supervision of the mikvaot in Israel.

February 2020 Newsletter: Emigration from Israel – Problem or Opportunity?

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Shalom טובי

Emigration from Israel is an issue which has fed existential fears since before the independance of the State of Israel. However, throughout the decades, the nature, characteristics and scope of emigratiom have changed a lot. In this month’s research we dived into the figures behind the fantasies and tried to make sense of the phenomenon in 2020.

Also in the newsletter: the best of Zionsit thought, and important media coverage of the IZS activities.

Emigration from Israel: Problem or Opportunity?
What are the factors behind ‘yerida’ – emigation from Israel? What have been its main characteristics throughout time? This study examined the phenomenon of emigration from Israel over recent decades and the emigrant communities in the main countries of destination.

Uri Altman describes the change in Israeli society’s attitude towards the emigrants – from a critical view deploring their abandonment of the Zionist vision to an understanding, almost admiring attitude hoping for their return in the near future.
The main reason for emigration from Israel over recent decades is the desire for a better standard of living. Despite Israel’s complex security reality, this consideration was of only minor importance in the decision to leave. In reality, emigrants from Israel are not unlike other emigrants worldwide who seek new professional and economic opportunities in richer, more developed countries, while maintaining a connection with family and society in their country of origin, a task made simpler with the widespread use of the internet
The data for the last decade reveals that emigration from Israel has slowed markedly and stands at a level comparable to parallel global figures. Both the rate of those emigrating and of the overall immigration balance (the difference between the number of Israelis emigrating and the number of returning Israelis) are in constant and significant decline.

Furthermore, a significant proportion of the emigrants are themselves new immigrants to Israel such that the fluctuation in the number of emigrants can often be attributed to trends of immigration to Israel during those same years. A high rate of emigration was found among Israelis who are graduates of higher education and whose professional advancement almost inevitably involves a tenure of several years at foreign universities. Action must be taken by policy makers to redress this situation and to enable a smooth return for those leaving Israel in general, and particularly for those from the academic sphere.
The prominent communities of Israelis around the world today are in the United States, Germany, and England. The majority of emigrants from Israel move to the US and the Israeli community in America has in recent years become an organized community and even one wielding political power. The community organizations attempt to contend with the weakening Israeli and Jewish identity of the second generation of emigrant Israelis who tend to assimilate fully into the American environment in which they are raised.
The Israelis in Germany differ from other Israeli emigrants: they are considered as more secular and as possessing views more critical of Israel. While most emigrants from Israel express pride in their Israeliness and frequently ponder returning, a significant segment of the Israelis in Germany left Israel with a negative feeling for the country and do not see themselves returning in the future. Despite the media attention gained by Israelis in Germany, especially those in Berlin, studies conducted in recent years estimate the number of Israelis currently living in Germany at approximately 25 thousand, only about 4% of all Israelis living in the Diaspora.

In contrast to the Israelis living in Germany, those in England express positive sentiments towards Israel and many even consider the option of returning. The relative geographical proximity between the two countries in contrast to other English-speaking countries, has made England a relatively comfortable emigration destination. The Israeli community in England is also in the process of economic and political organization, a result of the lack of connection between themselves and the local Jewish community, a common phenomenon in most emigration countries.
Following more than 70 years during which the State of Israel has been transformed from an impoverished refugee-absorbing country into an economic and military power, there is every reason for strong Israeli self-confidence, even vis-à-vis those Israelis living in the Diaspora. The State of Israel should not regard these emigrants as a threat to its internal strength but rather, build, together with them, a bridge that will reinforce their Israeli identity, especially among the second generation who tend to assimilate into the familiar local environment, thereby enabling them an inviting route back that will increase the chances of their future return to Israel.

For the Complete Study

The Best of Zionist thought – now on your bookshelf


We are proud to announce our ‘HaZman’ series, booklets of Zionist thought centered on the Jewish calendar’ are now up for sale. So far we have published five issues:



– מה עניין שמיטה אצל הציונות?
– תקומה וחורבן: בין זיכרון לשיכחה
– מהודו ועד כוש – ציונות מזרחית-ספרדית: יש דברים כאלה
– נשים בציונות: לוקחות גורלן בידיהן
– 3000 שנים של ירושלים ב בהגות ובשיר

Each booklet is available for 50NIS, the whole collection for 220NIS. Details and orders: +972-2-581-7196


The IZS team is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Prof. Maaravi Peretz, father of our CEO Miri Shalem. Peretz, born in Tunisia and educated in England, was a professor of biblical studies at Bar-Ilan University. His field of research was medieval Sephardic commentaries on the Torah. He died at the age of 79.


The IZS in the News

* The Washington Post: Israel aims to unite Jerusalem with better city services. Arabs want political change.

* The Jerusalem Post: Rise of far Right not the main source of antisemitism in Europe – IZS study shows.

* Nicolas Nissim Touboul, projects manager at the IZS, shows how BDS supporters misused a tragedy in Jerusalem for Israel bashing, and what story this tragedy actually tells (JTA).

*IZS researcher Nadav Lawrence explains how Israel could handle the radicalization processes in the Democratic Party (Arutz7).

January 2020 Newsletter: The Radicalization of the Democratic Party

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The 2020 US presidential election is alreday raising interest among the Israeli public. Talks about the growing distance between the Jewish State and parts of the Democratic Party are becoming widespread. In our monthly research we have tried to measure this phenomenon and analyze its sources.

The Radicalization of the Democratic Party

Our paper this month charts the changing attitudes towards Israel within the American Democratic Party. The paper surveys the historically close relationship between the party and American Jewry which endured throughout the 20th century, as well as almost universal support in the party for the special bond between the US and Israel.

The paper then moves to consider the context in which that universal support has begun to crumble and to investigate the change in rhetoric by prominent Democrats. This section looks at the cooling of relations between the US and Israel during Barak Obama’s presidency, as well as anti-Israel rhetoric which is voiced by several prominent figures in the party such as Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
The next section of the paper investigates the changing attitudes towards Israel within the Democratic grassroots, with opinions being divided between the ‘moderate’ mainstream of the party and the more ‘liberal’ wing, which is where the bulk of anti-Israel sentiment is coming from.

The next chapter looks at the historic support of American Jewry for the Democratic Party and asks what impact, if any, changing attitudes towards Israel will have on the Jewish vote.

At this point the paper turns to examine the causes for the change in attitudes towards liberal democrats. The paper focuses on how radical left-wing ideology frames the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the impact that this has on shaping negative views about Israel. Changing demographics within American society are also assessed for their impact on discourse about Israel within society as a whole and the Democratic Party in particular.
In concluding, the paper offers suggestions for how negative attitudes towards Israel and narratives often put forward by radical liberals can be challenged and how Israel and its advocates can reshape discourse about the country among the American left.

For the complete research


Meanwhile, on the ground

Israel beyond the wall. This month we have gladely accepted the Israeli police request to provide bureaucratic assistance to residents of the Shuafat camp, a Jerusalem area beyond the separation fence. It is good to see the security establishment understands better public services make for a steadier, safer city.
Meanwhile, we have met several groups of American students (George Mason, Penn, Austin), eager to hear about a national liberal vision for Israel they are ususally not exposed to.

In the Media

The Jerusalem Post: If Israel and its supporters are to begin challenging negative attitudes toward the country on the Left, they must begin to speak the language of the Left.
Knesset Channel hosted IZS CEO Miri Shalem on the latest political devlopments
Veteran Israeli journalist Eliezer Yaari on our Jerusalem projects.

October 2019 Newsletter: Collective Rights of Minorities in Democratic Countries

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CEO’s Word


Holidays are a great time for thoughts, reflection, introspection, and recalculation – especially holidays like this year’s that are filled with “Yom Tov”. Between the pots and pans of the numerous holiday meals, I found myself asking questions about our work at the Institute.
We are a small team that works ceaselessly and that believes strongly in what we do, in the liberal spirit of national Zionism, and in the focus that we have now adopted – promoting fieldwork with, and research on, the minorities living in Israel. We engage in this field out of a specifically Zionist, pro-Israeli outlook that strives for the true integration of minority populations in general and of Israeli Arabs in particular as a Zionist obligation and a right. We do this out of an understanding that by concentrating on interpersonal relationships and communication, we can generate a larger change in society at large and that only action at a grassroots level will enable us to generate this change – both within Israel’s Jewish society and among the minorities living here together with us.

And yet … the road to achieving this goal is difficult and winding and can only be sustained with a deep-rooted faith in the path we have chosen. The world we live in tends towards dichotomy – black or white; right-wing or left-wing. Each side is enclosed within a pre-determined set of values so that if a right-winger wants to work with Arabs and help them realize their civil rights, he is immediately challenged by his colleagues on the right as a “lefty”; at the same time he suspected by left-wingers as having ulterior motives. No-one really listens and hardly any effort is made to act in a more complex manner that rises above these shallow distinctions.

Fundraising is another world in which it’s hard to convey complex messages. We are asked about the very legitimacy of our request for support, and about our claim that we are doing something important on a national level. We are scrutinized as to what camp we belong to. Do we support the 2-state solution or annexation? Attempts are made to place us in one of the only two camps that exist – the national camp or the peace camp. Our attempt to express a different voice whereby we are not engaged in a political solution but rather action that alters the fabric of relations tends to generally fall on deaf ears.

If however, we proclaim our desire to benefit both sides living here – the Arabs who will increasingly feel part of the country rather than like foreigners and thereby desire to contribute more; and right-wingers who will understand that the Arabs are here to stay, thereby necessitating the building of bridges and connections with them – our message, lacking a single-party flag, becomes easier to criticize.

We are proud to be a brave and complex voice bearing many banners. We view ourselves as pioneers in this field of National-Zionist organizations that will eventually understand that it is by specifically working with minorities, and not by alienating them, that the hope for co-existence may prevail. It is difficult being a pioneer, outlining and adhering to a path despite the opposition from all sides, positioning our activity at the top of national priorities.

We therefore need you as our partners, as someone who understands the issues and their complexity, to join us in seeing beyond the horizon, to generate a genuine change in the fabric of relations between the two peoples living on this small piece of land of ours, and to provide hope. Together with you, we can prove that our activity does indeed positively influence society, that our approach is indeed pioneering Zionist activism and not just hopeful dreams.

Collective Rights of Minorities in Democratic Countries – A Comparative Survey

The debates on collective rights awarded to national, ethnic or religious minorities are shared by many democratic nation states. What is the right scope of autonomy in fields such as language, education and religion?

This month we survey the ways these issues were dealt with for five minority groups. We hope to contribute to the deepening of the debate on these questions in Israel by comparing their fate to Israeli Arabs’.
Coupling these five cases with processed data from the Knessset research department on other countries we can give this broader picture:


10 of the 12 countries surveyed maintain statutes that obligate the state to provide official documents, public services and access to the court system in the minority population’s language.

In 7 of the 12 countries surveyed, speakers of minority languages enjoy special rights in a district or region with a high concentration of minority populations, such as signs in the minority language, public services in their language and others.

In 5 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population’s language has been declared an official local language in districts with a high concentration of minority populations.

In 6 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population’s language is an official state language without necessarily enjoying an equal legal status as that of the majority.

In 2 of the 12 countries surveyed, a special committee has been established to promote the minority population’s language.




Public education in the minority population’s language or bilingual education is officially guaranteed in all the countries surveyed.

In practice, in 10 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population makes widespread use of educational institutions in their own language or of bi-lingual education.
In 3 of the 12 countries surveyed, the minority population pupils are also legally obligated to learn the language of the majority together with their own language studied at the minority language schools.

For the Complete Study


Blue&White Human Rights

___________11Standing with the Syrian Kurds

In the midst of the Turkish operation in Kurdish-held areas of Syria, we joined together with several other Jewish NGOs to call for humanitarian support for the Kurds.

At the initiative of the International Legal Forum, we reminded Jews and Kurds share a long history, values, interests and a special relationship.

You can still take part and share the word. (Link enclosed in the picture)

In the Media

* Hashiloach magazine had an interesting review of the National-Liberal anthology we published last July.
* Arutz7 read our latest reasearch first hand and reported its central conclusions
* The Jerusalem Post on our campaign for the Kurds.

September 2019 Newsletter: 5779 Year End Summary

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CEO’s Word

In just a few days, we will sit around the holiday table with hopes and prayers for a good, blessed, sweet new year, a year in which, in the words of the traditional Rosh Hashanah blessing, we ask to be “as the head and not as the tail”. But what if everyone is at the head? How can we achieve anything with so many heads?
For us at the Institute for Zionist Strategies, this blessing means that each person should try and find the place where he/she can lead and be at the head – whether in the private or public domain, within the family circle or on the national stage. The meaning of being “as the head” is that, wherever we may be, we should all strive to make the world a better place, to take responsibility for our own individual surroundings, to look at the world from a birds-eye view and understand the whole picture rather than just the minor details. And this can be only be achieved out of a consciousness of being as a head and not a tail.

This then is our blessing for you – and for ourselves. We have proven this year that we are capable of leading and being at the head of our unique field as a rightwing-nationalist organization which understands that Jewish sovereignty entails an obligation and responsibility towards the minority populations in Israel. As we reported to you throughout the year, we have begun working with the Arab population in East Jerusalem, personally assisting hundreds of people. With this same sense of obligation and responsibility, we have successfully overcome many hurdles and gained the insight that peace agreements must begin between individuals, long before any signature ceremony on the lawns of the White House.

We hope to continue leading this field, to expand and widen our influence in additional neighborhoods, and to enhance the lives of yet more people. We have chosen a challenging mission and invite you to partner us in fulfilling it.

Shana Tova

May we all be at the head!

5779: a Summary

5779 was a particularly fruitful year for the IZS.

First, our decision to deal with the issues related to East Jerusalem were largely welcomed, both by the authorities and many residents. The demand for Hebrew courses as a tool for integration is such that while we opened the year with one class we are closing it with five, spread throughout the city.
We also gave bureaucratic support, responding to close to 400 requests. We helped translating and filling forms, connected residents to the relevant public services… In other words, we made sure the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem is expressed through taking responsability.
Second, the Institute has continued researching the fields of rights and duties, majority-minority relations, and National Liberal thought. Throughout the year we published 11 papers:

* Rights and Duties in Democratic Countries
* Overpopulation: a Threat to Israel’s Future?
* Family Reunification
* Law Enforcement in the Arab Sector
* The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria
* Palestinian Laborers in the Israeli Construction Industry
* From Oslo until Today: Human Rights Report
* Internationalization of the Israeli Law
* Liberal Nationalism: an Anthology
* Tikkun Olam according to Jabotinsky
* Integrating the Ultra-Orthodox and Arab Sectors in the Israeli Academy

Third we pushed forward with the ‘Blue&White Human Rights’ programs at the crossings and through the pre-army Ethics course – Biglal Haruach.

At the crossings around Jerusalem we accompanied the massive infrastructure changes which allowed a drastic improve in the workers’ lines. We explained the meaning of these changes both to touring groups and the media.

We wish to thank our partners in the different programs, and welcome 5780 with the certainty of making it even better.

Students? Not too late to join our yearly internship!


IZS News

Meet our new research coordinator!

This month Amit Aizenman has joined the IZS team. Amit, a Jerusalem resident, was an intern at the Institute the past two years. He is the author of an international review of legal tools used in the war against terror; family reunion in the framework of the Nation State; the National Liberal Anthology.
Amit is a PHD student in a prestigious political science program at the Hebrew University. He holds a MA in political science and a BA in psychology and sociology, both from Bar Ilan University. His MA thesis dealt with conservative political thought.

He will replace Noa Lazimi, our research coordinator for the past two years. She accompanied the reserachers’ work with precision and passion, from topic framing to the various stages of writing, publication and beyond. Her work has contributed a lot to the Institute.

Wish them both good luck!

In the Media

* On the eve of the elections, IZS director Miri Shalem was invited by the Knesset Channel to talk about the possible outcomes.
* The Forward: groups like the IZS acting on the ground show the strength of the Israeli democracy.

The following articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

* Miri Shalem, CEO of the Institute, shows that behind the personal accusations, the two main parties are not so different politically. (The Jewish Journal)
* Israel Harel, founding president of the IZS, discusses Netanyahu’s options. (Haaretz)
* Nicolas Nissim Touboul, projects manager at the Institute, reveals the Hebron roots of Zionism. (The Jerusalem Post)

August 2019 Newsletter

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The CEO’s word


A new study published by the Institute this month assessed the success of government programs aimed at integrating Haredim and Arabs into mainstream education and the workforce. The study revealed an interesting finding whereby programs for Arab integration had a significantly higher success rate than those aimed at promoting Haredim integration.
This week, we heard MK Ayman Odeh’s declaration about his willingness to join a center-left coalition. After observing the low rate of Arab participation in the previous elections (49%) and in light of polls showing similar expectations in the upcoming elections, Odeh realized that the voters, primarily the younger ones, refrain from voting because they feel that their vote lacks any real influence, and because they have no interest in their elected representatives sitting in perpetual opposition. Their agenda is primarily civilian rather than political and focuses on the daily problems of the Arab sector.

Odeh’s demands include those that are easy to agree with such as the demand to curb the violence in the Arab sector, to collect weapons, for police action against crime organizations, and to establish an inter-departmental team to fight crime. Other demands cannot be agreed with such as revocation of the Nation State Law or halting the demolition of illegal buildings and the legalizing of illegal construction on privately-owned property.

If we ignore the demands for a moment and focus on the statement itself, we will find a clear correlation between our study and Odeh’s declaration: Israeli Arabs do indeed integrate well into Israeli society. They are bothered by their leaders’ incessant preoccupation with the Palestinian problem and prefer that they concentrate on improving the quality of life of Israel’s Arab population. The low voter turnout primarily indicates a lack of faith in their leadership. Odeh seemingly understands this however this may not suffice. The burden of proof is his – and ours. The political leadership and civilian society bear great responsibility towards Israeli Arabs. We at the Institute have begun implementing this responsibility in East Jerusalem. Our next step will be to do so in other Israeli-Arab towns and cities.

Integrating the Ultra-Orthodox and Arab Sectors in the Israeli Academy

We surveyed in depth the programs initiated between the years 2011-2016 by the Council for Higher Education that were aimed at integrating the Arab and Haredi populations into academia.

The program for integration of the Arab population in academia achieved relative success.

A 50% increase in the number of students in institutions of higher education. The representation of Arab students among all undergraduate students rose from approximately 11% to approximately 15%.
Diversification in study fields of fields of study: Between 2009-2010 and 2016-7, the ratio of Arab students in the engineering and architectural fields rose by 66%. During the same period, the Arab student representation in mathematics, computer science and exact sciences increased by 44%.
Dropout rate: No such success was achieved in this parameter. The dropout rate among Arab students remains very high compared to the non-Haredi Jewish sector.

In contrast, the program for integration of the Haredi population has been unsuccessful and failed to register significant achievements in any of the three parameters:

Number of students and in their representation in institutions of higher education: less than 80% of the set goal set was achieved ; the increase in the number of students, which was not one of the program’s goals, was because of the number of female students from the Haredi sector.
Diversification in study fields of fields of study: here too, the program’s goals remain unrealized. Between the academic years 2011-2 and 2014-5, a sharp increase of 80% was registered in the number of programs for Haredim, from 62 to 110. However, the overwhelming majority of the graduates choose to study education, a market with too few available jobs for the number of those seeking employment.
Dropout rate: the program’s achievements in this parameter are extremely worrying. According to the State Comptroller’s report, the rate of Haredi men dropping out of academic studies reaches about 46% while among female Haredim the dropout rate stands at approximately 28%

Click on the image for the interview of the author of the paper:

For the Complete Study


IZS News

Students in school year 5780? Join our interns program!







Once again we will open our doors to outstanding students willing to work with us on a variety of topics: research, East Jerusalem projects, video editing…
Contact us

Instructors for pre-army ethics course







‘For the Spirit’ classes will continue to thrive in highschools throughout Israel. Served in a fighting position in the IDF? Come join us!
Contact us

The IZS in the News

Why would a Zionist organization invest in East Jerusalem? The Jewish Chronicle has the answers.
The 5 Towns Jewish Times surveyed the changes in the crossings between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria – and asked us about our activities there. (click on the picture for the video piece)



Publications by members of the Institute:


Miri Shalem, CEO of the IZS, wonders what Tlaib and Omar could have learned about the real Israeli civil society. (Yedioth Ahronoth)
Israel Harel, founder of the IZS, describes how those in charge of protecting the law bypass it. (Haaretz)
Noa Lazimi, our reseach coordinator, explains why developing East Jerusalem is an Israeli interest.

June 2019 Newsletter

By Newsletters

CEO’s Remarks

The Institute for Zionist Strategies is proud and delighted to present this anthology of essays, articles and contemplative expositions on “liberal nationalism”.
We tend today to regard the phrase “liberal nationalism” as a strange hybrid that amalgamates contradictory values. The concept of “liberal nationalism” is commonly attacked on three grounds. Firstly, nationalism is perceived as a value granting preference to one nation over another and therefore as being at odds with humane liberal values which emphasis the centrality of the individual. The very definition of nationalism occupies a central position in contemporary discussions of political philosophy. Secondly, the definition “liberalism” is vague and unclear while being bandied about daily and used to express a range of different, and even, conflicting views. The third argument is that the very connection between the concepts “nationalism” and “liberalism” is occasionally perceived as an oxymoron. Consequently, the nationalist-liberal theory is sometimes attacked as untrue, inconsistent and incomplete.

The Institute for Zionist Strategies seeks to promote a liberal-national outlook, advocating the belief that an inherent component of human rights supports every person’s right to national self-definition. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the theory of Roy Baumeister, this self-definition is the means to self-fulfillment while the right to a sense of belonging and identity is the realization of a basic psychological need.

The liberal-national view advocates that nationalism is intended to serve the individual, not to enslave him. Accordingly, there is no contradiction between Jabotinsky’s statements that: “In the beginning, God created the individual” and “In the beginning, God created the nation”. Jabotinsky claimed that humans gather together into a group, community or state in order to improve their standard of living and to increase the liberty of each of its members.

Jabotinsky supported the assumption that the nation is the desired vehicle for a person’s self-fulfillment. He viewed it as a natural entity for an individual to belong to – just as a person is born to a mother and father, so too he is born to his people and it is only within the broad national context of this framework, and through a bond to its unique culture, that a system of collective self-expression can be formed without one culture diminishing from or compelling another.

We invite you to peruse this anthology and to delve deeper with us into the liberal-national perception.

Liberal Nationalism: an Anthology

The etymology of the word “anthology” indicates its origins in ancient Greek and means “bouquet of flowers”. An anthology gathers the best literary works and presents them to the reader while coalescing them around a specific subject, common theme, or similar artistic motifs. In so doing, it enables the contemporary reader access to remote and concealed textual sources he may otherwise have lacked the inclination or time to pursue. Nevertheless, this anthology involves more demanding requirements. It does not merely offer its readers the opportunity to inhale and bask in the fragrance of ancient and contemporary political literature but rather, imposes upon them the obligation to ponder and contemplate.

One of the most common political concepts in our public discourse is “liberal nationalism”. Although many may claim to know of the origins of this ideological variation and its prominent proponents throughout history, its present-day meaning its somewhat vague. A heated argument rages between scholars, polemicists, and politicians as to the essence of national liberalism, and it is not this anthology’s intention to stymie this lively discussion. In practice, it may well be the nature of ideology to change form according to the manner it is understood in any specific place and time, such that any effort to arrive at a final and absolute definition is doomed to failure. We have therefore chosen to tread a different path here.

Naturally, when an editor is required to gather compositions and determine whether they are destined to be published or neglected, every choice or non-choice may potentially result in grievance on the part of participating scholars. Categorizing and classifying ideas is important however the analytical distinctions between similar contributions are, on occasion, too amorphous and do not necessarily further the intellectual discussion.
The political vision that the Institute of Zionist Strategies is attempting to formulate is located somewhere between the curves in the road, the peaks and the valleys that comprise the national-liberal landscape. We invite you to join us in exploring this anthology and to become our partners in the resultant ideological journey.
For the complete study

East Jerusalem

A single figure indicative of the tremendous deficiency in access to public institutions enjoyed by the residents of East Jerusalem.According to the 2018 report issued by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, the residents of the city’s Arab neighborhoods make up only 22% of those receiving a discount the city tax (arnona). This is while they comprise 38% of the city’s total population and the overwhelming majority of its poor.

Receiving an approval for reduction in arnona is subject to clear criteria and supposed to be granted upon request without need for personal consideration of a municipality official. The discrepancy in the number of recipients stems therefore from the residents’ lack of familiarity with the workings of the relevant municipal and state institutions.

Such unfamiliarity has a detrimental influence, not only on the local population’s trust in those same institutions, but also on the entire city economy. Ultimately, improving the standard of living in the Arab neighborhoods is therefore an interest of all parties.
Over recent months, we have assisted dozens of East Jerusalem residents to receive a reduction on their arnona, many of whom were not even aware that such an option existed, not to mention entertaining the possibility that they may be eligible for it.

IZS News

This summer, the Institute is opening its doors to a group of students from North America who are coming to specialize in our research division.

They will be asked to assist in studying the manners in which democratic countries contend with separatist groups and the radicalization processes of some in the U.S Democrat camp in their stance towards Israel.
For further details on volunteering, internship, research and Hebrew teaching possibilities, please contact:

The Institute in the media

Miri Shalem was the guest of the political talk show ‘Mishkan Halayla’ on the Knesset TV. There she dealt with the returning elections and the potential window of opportunity for women in politics.


The following articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

Miri Shalem, CEO of the Institute, reveals the true meaning of the potential political deal between Orly Levy and Alona Barkat.
Israel Harel, founding president of the IZS, explains how the Supreme Court ends up undermining equality of opportunity for Arabs. (Haaretz)
Aryeh Green, research fellow at the IZS, details Jabotinsky’s social thought. (Hashiloach)

July 2019 newsletter – Adopt an Intern

By Newsletters

Dear Readers-Partners,

In the previous newsletters we told you about the amazing work we have had the privilege of undertaking this year in East Jerusalem. We call it “amazing” because that’s what our partners call it. Senior officials in the Israel Police Force tell us how the Hebrew studies classrooms spread over several focal points in East Jerusalem are increasing the students’ sense of belonging, reducing their alienization and, thereby, also contributing to a lowering of terror activity.

Ramadan, the mukhtar of Zur Baher and Khaled, the director of the local community center, tell us of the good work being done by our volunteers in the civil rights’ center. They talk the residents’ language, understand their needs, provide them polite and efficient service, relate to them with respect and patience – even calling them in the evening to ensure that a problem was solved, and provide them access to all the services they need and any payments to which they are entitled.

Senior officials in the Jerusalem municipality tell us how important and meaningful our work is and of the significant impact it is having on the ground.

We want to expand this activity and are therefore inviting you to join us in supporting the “Adopt an Intern” Project.

The 130 hours service to the community provided by each of our interns costs us NIS 10000.

We invite you to adopt an intern by covering 50% of the cost of the scholarship – NIS 5000 – and we will match the other half.

This is your opportunity to have a real influence, to generate a genuine change in the lives of our Jerusalem neighbors, to repair the fabric of relations in the city and to connect its divided pieces.
Only NIS 5000 for one intern who has a name and a face and who can add light to the world and do good in your name.

The donation can be sent by check to “The Institute for Zionist Strategies” (with the details of the donor), by bank transfer or via PayPal.

The donation is recognized for tax purposes under Clause 46.

Help us double the number of our interns, to reach more and more neighborhoods, and to help


Tikkun Olam According to Jabotinsky and as Reflected in his Socio-Economic Creed

”The Lord has created this world such as it is, but Man should not agree to leave it ‘such as it is’. ‘Such as it is’ the world is full of defects. It is Man’s mission to improve it.”
Zeev Jabotinsky, ”The Social Philosophy of the Bible” (1932)


This month we invite you to delve deeper into the philosophy of the esteemed Zionist leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and familiarize yourselves with his view of the concept of ‘Tikkun Olam’ (lit. repair of the world). This study offers an in-depth analysis of Jabotinsky’s perception of a person’s role within the society in which he lives. Furthermore, the essay presents the manner in which the expressions of Jabotinsky’s view are reflected in his attitude towards socio-economic issues.
Jabotinsky, who is frequently accused of having adopted occasionally conflicting political persuasions, is revealed here as a liberty-seeking statesman who believed in the individual’s ability to enhance the world around him while still demonstrating sensitivity towards the weaker members of society.

This essay is presented as part of our “Kol Koreh” project publishing outstanding academic essays.

Click on the image for the interview of the author of the paper:

For the Complete Study

East Jerusalem

Every year, radical Islamic organizations take advantage of the vacuum created during the summer vacation to run activities for children that incite the youth in East Jerusalem against Israel.

This summer, the Institute has responded to a request from the Israel Police to offer an alternative. We are currently conducting two Hebrew classes for youngsters from the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood.
Even in such a complex place, there is no lack of residents looking to give their the children the necessary tools for their future in Israel. This is a critical and welcome trend that we are witnessing to some degree or other throughout East Jerusalem. After 52 years, it’s definitely time.

IZS News

Students in school year 5780? Join our interns program!

Once again we will open our doors to outstanding students willing to work with us on a variety of topics: research, East Jerusalem projects, video editing…
Contact us



Instructors for pre-army ethics course

‘For the Spirit’ classes will continue to thrive in highschools throughout Israel. Served in a fighting position in the IDF? Come join us!
Contact us



Call for outstanding academic papers

Once a semester we publish an academic paper dealing with a political-social issue relevant to the IZS activities.
Contact us


Pensioners? Volunteer with us a few hours a week!

We have several options for people willing to deal with education and bureaucratic counseling in East Jerusalem.
Contact us



The IZS in the News

Journalist and writer Yifat Erlich visited our activities in Sur Baher and reported how important it is in her Yediot Aharonot column.
From Tiberias to Ramat Gan the Shabbath wars are back in the news. Globes magazine based their report on this ongoing issue on our Shabbath and business activites researches.

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