An Arab residential building in the mixed city of Lod

Israel's Arabs underfunded, underserved in mixed cities, comptroller says

In his report, ombudsman finds municipalities provide less budget for infrastructure and education, fewer services, less senior positions in city jobs; calls for long-term government plan to address inequality

Yaron Druckman |
Published: 07.27.22, 22:53
The State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman, said on Wednesday that Israel invests far less in its Arab citizens than it does in its Jewish population.
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  • In a report reviewing mixed Arab and Jewish cities, the ombudsman also said there are fewer Arab representatives in city councils and the population is underserved for that reason.
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    An Arab residential building in the mixed city of Lod
    (Photo: Yotam Jacobson)
    Englman's report found infrastructure in Arab neighborhoods in mixed cities, were substandard and only a small number of city owned buildings were made available for use by the Arab residents. He found only 5 out of 500 city owned building were being used to serve the Arab sector.
    The report also states that mixed cities collected less taxes in Arab neighborhoods.
    Education and infrastructure in schools, including access to computers, were found to be underbudgeted. As a result, high school equivalency was far lower among Arab student.
    Many city services were not being offered to the Arab-speaking population - the report found.
    The report noted that in all mixed Jewish Arab cities under review, there were far fewer Arabs in senior positions than their percentage in the population.
    In Haifa for example, only 7.7% of senior jobs went to Arabs, in Lod only 1% in Acre only 9% and in Tel Aviv, only 1.5%.
    In one mixed city – Ramle – no senior positions were manned by Arabs.
    Some mixed cities did not present the comptroller with data concerning city funding to Arab community projects and needs.
    In the cities that did provide the information, less than 6% of funding from the municipality was earmarked for the Arab population.
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    הנזקים בלוד לאחר המהומות
    הנזקים בלוד לאחר המהומות
    The mixed Arab Jewish city of Lod after rioting in 2021
    Englman called for the government ministries to present a long-term plan to reduce the gap between the Jewish and Arab populations in mixed cities and for the budgeting to reflect the needs of the population.
    He said mixed cities must review the services they are offering to address the needs of all groups of residents in order to solidify a unified community.

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