If you can't see this newsletter properly click here

Newsletter 5/14 December 23, 2014



Dear Friends of Sikkuy,

We’d like to share two recent “headlines” that demonstrate Sikkuy’s commitment to and effectiveness in advancing our message of equality through constructive dialogue at the highest levels.



Recently we met with Israel’s president, Reuven “Rubi” Rivlin at his residence, as part of a dialogue initiated by Said Abu Shakra, founding head of the Umm El Fahem Art Gallery, on the topic of fighting racism. The delegation included Sikkuy supporters Patsy Landa and Doris Arkin, MK Afu Agbariah and others.

In the recent months since his election, President Rivlin has been outspoken in condemning racism and other forms of anti-Arab incitement in Israel.

Here is what we said to the president:

Jabir told the president that Arab citizens have listened carefully to and been encouraged by the president’s statements. The moral voice of the President was important for the Arab citizens to hear, but that they are also waiting for actions. He called upon the president to speak out against statements by politicians and other public figures who incite against the Arab citizens and to ask the Attorney-General to investigate and act against racism.

Jabir also told the president that it is vital that Israel’s education system implement “Education for Shared Society”, a broad-based curriculum to educate both Jewish and Arab youth for “shared society”. Jabir suggested that the president initiate regular meetings with the heads of the education ministry to monitor and advance the implementation of “Education for Shared Society” for the entire school system in Israel.

Ron praised the president’s outspoken stance against racism in recent months along with his calls to advance material equality, recognition of the Arab citizen’s narrative and symbols and the full integration of the Arab citizens as partners in the country.

Ron told the president that the deterioration in relations between the Jewish and Arab citizens is so serious that “I came here to tell you that it is not possible to convince the racists not to be racists, even you cannot succeed at that. But it is vital that we have zero tolerance for pubic expressions of racism - signs on the streets and highways that say ‘Death to Arabs’, stores posting signs, ‘We don’t employ Arabs’ and the defacing of Arabic on road signs and more…”

“…I suggest that you convene the mayors of Israel’s largest cities and ask them what they are doing to remove these expressions of racism from the public space. Invite the mayors of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa mayors and tell them that their declarations against racism are not enough and that they should dispatch municipal inspectors and staff to remove the expressions of racism from their cities.”

Ron also called upon the president to convene business leaders to ask them to check their own businesses and the chain of management to make sure that no one is forbidding employees to speak Arabic. “You should bring all the prestige of your office to call upon all of these factors and bodies to fight racism. This is possible, it will make a change and it will clear the public space of expressions of racism which unfortunately, all of us, Arabs and Jews have gotten used to seeing.”

The president and his wife didn’t just listen to us. They both promised to act in this regard in the public space and to convene the forum regularly.

This is proof positive that Sikkuy’s efforts to bring its message to the highest levels of leadership in Israel are bearing fruit.



Last week Ron was invited to speak in Jerusalem to a leadership delegation of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the national public affairs arm of the organized North American Jewish community. He praised the important actions of Jewish organizations like the JCPA in supporting actions in Israel to advance equality and shared society.

Ron also mentioned the unique importance of the SVF - The Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society – which is a collaborative funding body within JFNA. He told them that the financial and political support that those bodies provide to the NGOs in Israel is significant in the struggle for equality and shared society.

He also declared that the time had also come for them to speak out against the forces in Israel working to destroy the fabric of cooperation between Arab and Jewish citizens which is already very fragile.

Ron told to them that two weeks ago, Israel’s Foreign Minister Lieberman had proposed to provide financial incentives for Arab citizens to leave Israel. Ron asked the delegates how they would feel if their government’s offered to pay Jews to leave their homes in North America. He said the time had come for American Jews to speak out clearly against such unacceptable and anti-democratic behavior – even when the spokesman is the foreign minister of Israel.

Sikkuy will continue to speak out forcefully both in Israel and abroad not only because it is important to achieving our goals but because it is the right thing to do.

We look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Jabir and Ron

If you wish to unsubscribe click here
This newsletter was generated on Altro