Givat Haviva and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Israel embarked on The Locals – Eye Level Dialogue in 2019, to reach audiences in the heart of Israeli society, who had not given any thought to the effect of the Nation-State Law and its implications on Arab-Palestinian citizens and on Israeli society at large.
The campaign features videos of Arab-Palestinians from different vocations who are involved in Israeli society. We felt it was important to show the Israeli public how the interviewees felt about the Law.
We did not presume to offer concrete solutions, rather tried to evoke interest and conversation on the subject, in hope of encouraging understanding of the problematic situation and its effect on the citizens of the country. As a result of the extensive social media campaign, a vibrant and meaningful discussion ensued. Both Jews and Arab-Palestinians participated in the discussion.
We realized that there is great need and potential in open dialogue regarding various issues Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens care about, and the different ways Jews and Arab-Palestinians can communicate, get better acquainted and more trusting, making the State of Israel a better place for all of us – Jews and Arab-Palestinians. So, we decided to continue this project, using it to expose more issues affecting Jewish-Arab relations in Israel, going deeper into them and building the necessary infrastructure for a shared society in Israel.
Entrepreneurs – Success Stories in Arab Society
This project is a continuation of The Locals – Eye-Level Dialogue campaign, which in its first year (2019) focused on the implications of the Nation-State Law on the Arab citizens of Israel, and in 2020 dealt with inequality in budget distribution between Arab and Jewish citizens.
This year (2021), we have chosen to emphasize an important and less familiar angle to most Jewish society in Israel and convey a more optimistic message.
The Jewish mainstream’s familiarity with Arab society remains at the level of stereotype and the ease of looking through one-dimensional glasses, so the common narrative disparagingly labels Arabs as incapable and lacking in initiative.
The Jewish public is not aware of most of the success stories in Arab society, and the stories that are known are perceived as exceptional.
A different point of view enables the Jewish mainstream, most of whom do not tend to believe in the potential for a possible partnership between Israel’s Arab and Jewish populations, to entertain the possibility.
This helps to cultivate a more complex consciousness regarding the identity of the Arab population in Israel,
removing psychological barriers to meeting authentically, and normalizing the idea of partnership in building the civic future in Israel.
We believe that the videos we have produced will help those who drive through Arab localities to deviate from this main road to other roads and side streets, where a multidimensional picture of society is revealed, which most Jews are unaware of.
Through these “side roads” the audience will be exposed to local and even international success stories, and through them will connect to human sentiment that allows empathy for people as people.
The campaign includes a glimpse into the world of successful business men and women, entrepreneurs, academics from diverse fields, ventures in education, social action and more.