Mossawa, the advocacy centre for Arab citizens in Israel, recently published its latest report on systematic discrimination suffered by the Arab community within Israel. The latest Israeli offensive in Gaza has triggered a worsening situation, with raised tensions and racist incitement against Palestinians.According to the Palestinian News Network (PNN), Mossawa’s updated report on the Legal Status of Arab Citizens in Israel has detailed all discriminatory laws, proposed legislation and policies implemented by the Israeli government. The findings ‘paint the picture of a worsening situation for the Arab community in Israel.’

Since the elections in 2009, over 35 discriminatory bills have been proposed in the Knesset — more than any other Knesset assembly.

Arab citizens in Israel are discriminated against in almost all aspects of life, from education and employment to land allocation. Mossawa’s report points to the lack of an official constitution, as well as a paradoxical definition of Israel as both a Jewish and Democratic state, as key factors in the continuing discrimination against Arab citizens.

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There has been growing discrimination, racism and out right violence against the Arab community — both Christian and Muslim — leading up to and during Israeli aggressions on the Gaza Strip.

PNN further reports that the new wave of Israeli discriminatory laws and policies, over the last decade, demonstrates the ongoing unequal treatment of the Palestinian Arab community and the further entrenchment of their status as second‐class citizens. The two‐tiered nature of Israel’s legal system operates to privilege the interests of the Jewish community, while simultaneously disenfranchising its Palestinian Arab minority.

This would evidently challenge Israel’s self-perceived status as a ‘democratic state’ within the international community.

In light of systemic legal discrimination in Israel against Palestinian Arab citizens, the Mossawa Center continues to expose and challenge Israel’s discriminatory legal regime, whilst advocating for equality, minority status recognition and indigenous rights.