Introduction to Arab citizens of Israel

An introductory UK Task Force peula on Arab citizens of Israel

Group size: 10-30
Age range: 14-16 year olds
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


  1. For chanichim to be aware that there are a substantial number of Arab citizens of Israel
  2. To introduce chanichim to some of the issues Arab citizens of Israel can face
  3. To strengthen participants' connection to Israel whilst reflecting the reality and diversity of issues and people in Israel

Trigger (10 minutes)

  • Energetic group split (3 minutes)
  • Team names and buzzer sounds (2 minutes)
  • Short general quiz to introduce key facts (10 minutes)

  1. What is the population of the UK? 64.1 million
  2. What is the population of Israel? 8.01 million
  3. What is the population of this room? 15
  4. How many Jews are there in the world? 13.86 million
  5. How many Jews live in the UK? 290,000 (0.46%)
  6. What is the largest city by population in Israel? Jerusalem
  7. Bonus: What percentage of Israel is Arab? 20.7% (1.66 million)

  • Now have chanichim stand along line on a spectrum from 0-100 percent, marking at 20 percent intervals
  • Then move 20% of chanichim to one side of room to visualize Arab population in Israel

Main (70 minutes)

  1. Introduction to UK Task Force & RSY-Netzer's place within it as a member organisation (5 minutes)

    • Coalition of 39 Jewish organisations
    • An educational organisation, rather than a political organisation
    • Address gaps in knowledge about Arab citizens of Israel among British Jewry
    • Israeli ambassador's endorsement shows importance of the issue
      • "For the government of Israel, developing the potential of Israel's Arab citizens is a matter of great and long-term importance. The UK Task Force has generated impressively broad based support from across the Jewish community towards this vital goal. I wish you continued success working alongside Israel as we strive for further progress."
    • RSY-Netzer's place: To gain an understanding of why, as young British Jews, it is important for us to care about all aspects of Israeli society, including its non-Jewish minority, in our future Israel engagement

  2. Who are Arab citizens of Israel? Religious and geographical spread (10 minutes)

    • Have each team draw a giant pie chart displaying their guesses for the religious make up of the Israeli Arab population (Bedouin 13%/Muslim 71%/Christian 8%/Druze 8%) (5 minutes)
    • Who lives where? Draw or use a human model as a map of Israel, which chanichim have to fill in. Reveal answer (5 minutes)

  3. Play your cards right activity: Display this variety of key facts (w/brief case study info when relevant) as a higher or lower game, using the numbers as you see fit. (5 minutes)

    • What percentage of Israeli parliamentarians are Arab citizens?
    • 13% of MKs
    • What percentage of university undergraduate students are Arab citizens?
    • 9% of university undergraduate students
    • What percentage of Israel's state development budget was allocated toward the Arab population?
    • 6.25% of state developmentbudget
    • What percentage of Arab citizens of Israel identify as 'proud' to be Israeli?
    • 65% identify proudly as Israeli
    • What percentage of Arab citizens of Israel live below the poverty line?
    • 50% are under poverty line (compared to 20% of Jews - but has gone down from 54% since 2009)
    • How many Arab citizens of Israel completed military service in the 2012/13 year?
    • 3600 did military service, increasing by hundreds per year
    • How many civil society organisations work on issues relating to Israel's Arab minority?
    • 1500 civil society organisations working on issues relating to Arab citizens

  4. Declaration of Independence activity - why you should care (20 minutes):

  5. Write two or three sentences of a Declaration of Independence for a theoretical new country (based on Zionist thinker and Jewish text sources) that relate to treatment of a minority population (10 minutes). Use Sources:
    • What does Judaism say about 'the other'?
    • What did Zionist thinkers say about Arabs in Israel?
    • Draw an appropriate flag that is inclusive for all inhabitants.

    Teams present back to the whole group (10 minutes)

  6. Case study activity (25 minutes)

  7. So with all that in mind, what is being done to empower Arab communities and mitigate some of the challenges they face?
    • In groups, each receives one case study envelope. Inside the envelope is a specific case study with a challenge (case studies found and can be printed from e-resource)
    • Each group needs to design a presentation to display each challenge and suggest initiatives to address each challenge in different forms (poster, opera, a rap, mime) (10 mins)
    • Present your government/civil society initiative to empower Arab citizens in that specific issue area/case study to the whole group (15 mins)

Sikkum (5 minutes)

Summarise session with the same quiz as the session started out with (mainly a fun speed game, but also links back to the start of the session).

Resource List