The UK Task Force on issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel is a broad-based coalition of organisations committed to the welfare of Israel and its secure and peaceful existence. Members of the UK Task Force support Israel’s Declaration of Independence, including the article promising social and political equality for all its inhabitants — Jews and Arabs alike.
The British Jewish community supporting an inclusive Israeli society.
To inform the British Jewish community about issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel and facilitate partnerships to advance the opportunities of Israel’s Arab minority.
-The UK Task Force exists solely for educational purposes; is apolitical and non-partisan
-The UK Task Force operates within a framework of openness, collaboration, partnership and equality – in accordance with Jewish traditions and values
20% of Israel’s population is Arab. According to the 2014 Annual Report on Poverty and Social Gaps from the National Insurance Institute of Israel, 53% of Arab families live below the poverty line, compared to 19% of the Jewish population, with socio-economic gaps between Jews and Arabs in Israel widening year-on-year to the detriment of the Arab population.
Since the publication of the Orr Commission report in 2003, many in the Israeli government and wider society have deemed the integration of Israel’s Arab population to be the biggest domestic challenge the country currently faces, affecting Israel’s prosperity, security and global standing. Many British Jews share this concern and the Task Force aims to provide them with the resources to support Israel on this issue.
The coalition was set up in March 2010 by the following founding organisations which now form the Executive Committee: The Board of Deputies of British Jews, New Israel Fund UK, Pears Foundation, The UK Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, United Jewish Israel Appeal. The UK Task Force is modelled on the North American Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF): www.iataskforce.org.
The UK Task Force team is based in JHub, as part of support in kind from Pears Foundation. JHub is an operating programme of Pears Foundation and exists to inspire and support positive social change in the British Jewish Community and beyond.
Since 2010, the UK Task Force coalition has grown extensively, reflecting the broad support for its work across the community, see here.
Pursuing equality between Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens will:
- Safeguard both the Jewish and democratic principles upon which Israel was founded, in accordance with the Declaration of Independence.
- Ensure a stable and peaceful future for Israel, improving social relations and breaking down barriers and prejudices.
- Strengthen Israel’s economy. The lost potential to Israel’s economy as a result of the failure to utilise the potential of the Arab workforce amounts to 31 billion shekels a year.
- Bolster Israel’s global standing; help prepare the ground for a lasting, peaceful and stable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and increase the chances of regional peace.