Razek is one of the dozens of residents of Tzur Baher who received our help applying for a discount on the municipal tax. Like many residents of East Jerusalem, he is entitled to a discount for income reasons, but according to the municipal data we compiled, they are 38% of the population and only 22% of the recipients. This is a simple procedure that is done according to clear criteria, and it is a classic case of the lack of awareness of the possibility of getting discount, and of the language barrier. (The municipality has a website in Arabic, but the submission of online forms is still in Hebrew.)
Samah, a resident of Ras Alamud who studies Hebrew in our Hebrew classes, and who previously failed a Hebrew test required for getting Israeli citizenship, passed it successfully after a few months with us.
Nadeh, a resident of Tzur Baher and a mother to a first-grade child, contacted us on September 01. She did not register her daughter to a school, and the schools she applied for, refused to take her. We contacted a number of relevant parties in the Jerusalem city council to settle the matter, and they offered several alternatives. The next day the girl could already join first grade
Suleiman, a 62-year-old resident of Um-Tuba, contacted us for assistance and guidance in the process of filing a general disability claim. Although he speaks Hebrew just fine, he does not write or read, making it difficult for him to fill out forms and understand what is expected of him. We helped him open his personal data on the Social Security website, compile all the necessary documents and obtain the relevant medical certificates. We accompanied Suleiman all the way to the medical committee that determined his eligibility
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.
Blue&White Human Rights
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.
The vociferous debate over the expulsion of illegal immigrants from Israel is characterized by many myths and few facts. Opponents of expulsion voice incessant claims about a discriminatory and inhumane immigration policy and contend that Israel fails to comply with international standards, especially concerning its obligations towards the UN Refugee Convention to which it is a signatory.
In order to verify these facts, we examined the treatment of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers in four western countries that, like Israel, are contending with the phenomenon of large-scale illegal immigration: The United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
Our study presents a comprehensive description of the policy regarding illegal immigration as expressed in legislation, government resolutions, and other various programs in the respective countries, while distinguishing between the many concepts that tend to become “scrambled” in the public debate: illegal immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.
We gathered the illegal immigration figures for each country (the immigrants’ identity, the circumstances of their arrival etc.) and surveyed the measures adopted by each country during recent years in order to curb illegal immigration. We also examined the policy towards asylum seekers – the ratio of approved refugee status requests, the process of determining their status, resettlement etc.
The main findings are presented below:
Without exception, each of the countries surveyed invests significant resources in attempting to reduce the phenomenon of illegal immigration, occasionally adopting harsh measures, in accordance with the extent of the threat posed by the wave of immigration:
- Australia combats human smuggling in boats with a “Sovereign Borders” campaign to bolster border enforcement and has restricted immigration to Australia via the establishment of an “Offshore Processing” policy whereby illegal immigrants are dealt with outside the country’s borders until their status is finalized.
- The United States has invested huge sums in securing its border with Mexico, from “Operation Gatekeeper” in the Clinton era to the construction of a security fence under the Bush administration. President Trump has continued this trend by leading a legal battle to cancel immigration programs that had been implemented under the Obama administration and through the extension of security forces’ authority to detain foreigners.
- The United Kingdom has focused on limiting negative socio-economic consequences for its citizens that stem from the increased immigration of cheap labor into Britain. For example, the UK passed legislative reforms that penalize companies which choose to employ illegal immigrants and impose restrictions on service provided to immigrants by public institutions.
- Canada, a country with a proven positive attitude towards immigration, has recently adopted a non-compromising policy towards illegal immigration. During the ten-year term of the previous Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, Canada reinforced its borders and adopted harsher punishments against human smuggling. This policy was relaxed markedly when Prime Minster Trudeau entered office in 2015. Despite the change and following an increasing trend of mass immigration from the US, Canada has recently begun signaling a lack of tolerance towards this phenomenon.
Even more significant differences between the different countries were found when examining treatment of asylum seekers and refugees:
- Australia refuses the entry of immigrants attempting to breach its borders by boat (regardless of their reasons for immigrating), and transfers them to detention facilities, mainly in Papua New Guinea or Nauru, where they await a decision in their case by the Australian Ministry of Immigration. In general, even if they are eventually recognized as refugees, Australia usually attempts to resettle them in other countries.
- In comparison to the other countries surveyed, Canada demonstrates an extremely friendly attitude towards asylum seekers, with an especially high ratio of approved asylum requests – close to 70% as of 2017 (an increase of approximately 44% from 2013).
- The UK has registered a fairly constant ratio of refugee recognition in recent years. Our study reveals that Britain’s relative share of approved refugee requests is tiny compared to the other E.U. countries. The current government has a clear policy according to which every possible effort should be made to restrict the entry of asylum seekers into Britain. In practice, this is achieved by transferring large-scale financial aid to other countries willing to accept refugees and by returning those denied asylum to their country of origin.
- The US adopted a relatively friendly attitude towards asylum seekers until the beginning of the Trump era. The Obama administration set extremely high refugee quotas that positioned the country as a leader in the resettlement of refugees within its own borders. However, President Trump has striven to reduce these quotas and toughen the conditions for receiving political asylum in the United States.
Regarding the treatment of illegal immigrants, our study found that the holding of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants in detention centers is a common phenomenon. Israel is no different to Australia, Great Britain and the United States in its use of this means, perceived as a central means of deterrent in dealing with illegal immigration. Conditions in these facilities vary from country to country but cannot be described as comfortable in any of them. The underlying assumption of this approach is that a more generous policy will constitute an incentive for future would-be infiltrators.
Ultimately, Israel’s policy towards illegal immigrants is consistent with that of other leading western democracies. An analysis of the situation in Israel reveals an even more complex picture of the immigrant population and it is reasonable to assume that most of them are indeed not refugees. Nevertheless, the survey indicates the absence of formal policy that is expressed by the failure to determine a legally based refugee quota and the inadequate treatment of requests for political asylum.
We believe that the State of Israel must initiate primary legislation that determines the desired refugee quota while weighing up demographic, social, as well as humanitarian considerations. Furthermore, it would, in our opinion, be fitting were the State of Israel to adopt a more comprehensive immigration policy that distinguishes between refugees who are persecuted in their country of origin and fled its horrors and migrant workers seeking better living conditions. Resources and personnel must be allocated to a more thorough clarification of their identity and to enable the relevant authorities to offer quicker and more individual treatment of each request.
The State of Israel must acknowledge the new reality of global immigration and adjust its immigration policy that for years has primarily been directed at the absorption of Jewish immigrants. A more efficient system will assist in the eradication of illegal immigration while at the same time lead to an improvement in the human rights of illegal immigrants until final clarification of their status.
This study conducted a comparative survey on the collective rights awarded to national, ethnic or religious minorities in democratic nation states. Five minority groups were selected for the survey which aimed to examine the policy adopted regarding recognition of their rights as a collective group in the fields of language, education and religion. The survey also incorporated findings of a previous survey on this topic conducted by the Knesset Research and Information Center in 2017.
The objective of this paper is to enable a discussion of the collective rights enjoyed by the Israeli-Arab minority in the State of Israel that is based on empiric facts and figures. A broad understanding of the accepted practice in other countries around the world will allow us to conduct a more in-depth examination of this issue in Israel and to determine the degree to which the State of Israel conforms to international norms.
The main findings of the Institute for Zionist Strategies’ comparative survey and of the Knesset study on this topic are presented below in three categories: rights in the fields of language, education and religious:
- 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: Denmark (only the courts), Hungary, Greece (only the courts), Macedonia (partial rights), Norway, Spain (except the courts), Finland, and Canada; Belgium and the UK – only for the resident of Wallonia and Wales, respectively.
- 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: Italy, Hungary, Macedonia, Norway, and Finland; Belgium and the UK – only for the resident of Wallonia and Wales, respectively.
- 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: Italy, India, and Spain; Belgium and the UK – only for the resident of Wallonia and Wales, respectively.
- 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: Belgium, UK, Macedonia, Norway, Finland, and Canada.
- In 2 of the 12 countries surveyed, a special committee has been established to promote the minority population’s language: UK and Norway.
- 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: Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Greece, Macedonia, Norway, Finland, Spain, Canada.
- 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: Italy, Macedonia, Finland.
- One of the two countries surveyed provide financial support for, and official recognition of, the minority population’s religion: Greece.
- In 1 of the 2 countries surveyed, there is a secular public domain and a neutral official attitude: India.
Conclusions and Discussion Relating to the Arab Minority in Israel
- In Israel, as in 10 of the 12 countries surveyed, the state is legally obligated to provide official documents, public services, and access to the court system in Arabic. This obligation was legislated during the British Mandate and has been subsequently expanded to include street and road signs.
- In Israel, as in 5 of the 12 countries surveyed, Arabic speakers do not enjoy special rights in regional councils with a relatively large Arab population. Moreover, Arabic is not recognized as an official local language in those areas with a relatively large Arab population – a situation similar to that in 7 of the 12 countries surveyed.
- Arabic was initially recognized as an official language in Israel, alongside Arabic and English, in keeping with Mandatory legislation. However, this status is no longer valid due to a number of court rulings and legislative acts. Although Arabic is not an official language, it has a special status and takes precedence over other minority languages in Israel.
- No special committee for promoting Arabic has been established in Israel – a situation similar to that in 10 of the 12 countries surveyed.
- As in all the other countries surveyed, public education in Arabic is guaranteed in Israel. Furthermore, as in 10 of the 12 countries surveyed, in practice, there is widespread use of Arabic educational institutions among the Arab population.
- As in 3 of the 12 countries surveyed, all minority population pupils in Israel are obligated to learn Hebrew as well as Arabic (from Grade 3).
- The public domain in Israel is not entirely religiously neutral and features certain Jewish characteristics such as the cessation of public services on Shabbat and the official state emblems which are of a Jewish nature. At the same time however, there is official state financial support for and recognition of Islam.
The above findings reveal that the State of Israel meets international standards with regards to collective rights awarded to the Arab minority, especially in the fields of language and edication.
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.
May we all be at the head!
5779: a Summary
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!
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)
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
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%
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…
‘For the Spirit’ classes will continue to thrive in highschools throughout Israel. Served in a fighting position in the IDF? Come join 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.
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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)