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.
Ahead of the 2023 Givat Haviva Conference for a Shared Society, a joint survey was conducted for Givat Haviva and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung under the supervision of Dr. Nohad Ali from the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research at the Technion and a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College among interviewees from the Jewish and Arab communities. The goal of the survey was to get an up-to-date picture of the situation regarding the positions of the two communities regarding each other and to identify trends that may indicate the development of a shared society in Israel.