The Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, was established in 1999 to promote the economic, social, cultural, and political rights of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel and the recognition of this community as a national indigenous minority with its own national, cultural, and historical distinctiveness. The Mossawa Center seeks to promote a democratic society and acts against all forms of discrimination.
In order to achieve the objectives outlined in our mission, the Mossawa Center engages in:
- Knesset and governmental advocacy
- International advocacy in political centers of power
- International grassroots advocacy
- Economic research and state budget analysis
- Community organizing
- Strengthening Arab civil society through capacity and network-building
- Youth engagement
- Outreach to the Jewish community
- Collaboration with Palestinians in the OPT
- Media advocacy
In 1948, roughly 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their lands. Those who managed to remain now constitute the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel. The approximately 1.6 million Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel comprise over 20% of the population and reside in the Galilee in the North, the Triangle in the Center, the Naqab (Negev Desert) in the South, as well as in “mixed” cities, including Haifa, Akka (Acre), Jaffa, Lod and Ramleh. Despite their status as citizens, the state of Israel has consistently and systematically discriminated against the Arab community since its founding. This discrimination manifests itself in many aspects of daily life for Arab citizens in Israel. The Arab community suffers from land confiscation and inequitable administration, home demolitions, systematic attacks on their civil rights, and racial incitement. Moreover, as a result of discrimination in state budgeting, nearly 50% of Arab families live in poverty.
Our Role in Peace-Building
Despite the challenges it faces, the Arab Palestinian minority is not merely a victimized community. On the contrary, Arab Palestinian citizens constitute an integral component of the social and political sphere in Israel. Because of its unique position, the Palestinian Arab minority has unrivaled potential to foster mutual understanding and trust between Palestinians and Israelis and, ultimately, a just peace.