Image courtesy of the United States State Department
In a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Mossawa Center called on him to monitor the new Israeli government’s treatment of the Arab community in Israel. As Blinken and his team landed in Israel as part of a trip to the Middle East which is focused on the new Israeli government, the Mossawa Center urged the Secretary of State to act to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, which it has occupied since 1967, promote peace between all parties, and denounce violent attacks.
Also in the letter, the Mossawa Center highlights the current government’s actions and plans to undermine the human and civil rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel. This includes threats to peace, the targeting of mixed cities, home demolitions of both Bedouin communities and Arab citizens in other localities and their lack of plans to deal with the subsequent homelessness, and social and economic deprivation problems that these policies will create.
The risks for a rise in internal violence, both poverty-based violence and police violence, under the new government is also emphasized. Moreover, the new government is looking to cut economic development plans for the Arab society in Israel (such as Government Plan 550 that was approved in November 2021).
The most worrisome risk from the new government comes in the form of new legislative proposals, including the “Override Clause” where the Knesset allows itself to override Supreme Court rulings, encroaching on the checks and balances and democratic norms of existing government institutions, eroding Israel’s democratic integrity. The threats the current far-right coalition poses to both Palestinians and Israelis are reflected in the coalition agreements. You can find more information in a report published by the Mossawa Center here.
The Mossawa Center called on Secretary Blinken and the American Embassy in Israel to continuously monitor these issues and to discuss and address them in their meetings with Israeli government officials. The Mossawa Center also called on the creation of a team to mitigate the government’s work to complicate the already unstable situation in Israel.