Photo: Hagai Aharon
Arab protesters in Nazareth
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Report: Arab representation still lacking

Despite government decision, Arabs inadequately represented in public service, according to report by Association for the Advancement of Civil Equality in Israel

A newly released report slams the government for Inadequate representation of Arabs in government offices, a failure to implementat of government decisions designed to advance Arabs, and discrimination in welfare budgeting.


The findings were included in a report prepared by Sikkuy, the Association for the Advancement of Civil Equality in Israel.


The report, which was published on Wednesday covers the year 2005 and charges that Arab citizens are inadequately represented in all government offices. Moreover, despite decisions taken in recent years in a bid to advance the Arab population, most of them were never implemented because of various reasons, according to the report.


Meanwhile, the report says, most government offices completely ignored decisions regarding the Arab community and by doing so prevented the development of infrastructure, construction, and a boost in education.


Most government offices hired no Arab citizens last year, the report says.


The Sikkuy association supervises annually the implementation of the Or committee recommendations regarding Israel's Arab community. This year's report focused on three issues: Monitoring government implementation of decisions made regarding the Arab sector since 1999, monitoring adequate representation of Arab citizens in the civil service and in government companies, and comparing welfare budgeting.


According to the report, despite many government decisions only 5.5 percent of government employees are Arab citizens. In local authorities the situation is worse – less than 1.5 percent, and in government companies it is less than one percent. In the past few years decisions have been passed in a bid to promote representation of Arab citizens in most government offices, but 843 Arab employees, - 90.13 percent of all Arab government employees - are employed by six government offices.


About 56 percent of them are employed by the Health Ministry, including in government hospitals.


A partial list of government offices and departments that did not hire Arab employees in 2004include the following: Prime Minister's office, the Civil Service, Finance Ministry, Internal Security, Educational TV, and the Water Commission, among others


When it comes to government aid and welfare the Sikkuy association compared 10 Arab communities with 10 Jewish communities and showed that although Israel's Arab population is poorer than the Jewish population, the welfare budget allocated to Arab communities is considerably lower Jewish budtes.


Sikkuy's Co-Executive Directror Ali Haider said: "There is a government policy of neglect and ignoring Arab citizens' rights, and there is systematic and intentional discrimination.


"The required change in policy is deep and fundamental and it can't be achieved unless the government maintains ongoing dialogue with the leadership of the Arab sector and shares with it the planning, policy, and implantation," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 04.27.06, 10:08
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