MK Michael Melchior
Photo: Gil Yochanan
A bill to establish Israel’s first official Academy of the Arabic Language was approved by the Knesset Wednesday.
The academy will operate alongside the Academy of the Hebrew Language. The new institute will deal with the research of the Arabic language, including its different branches, grammar and vocabulary, and its adaptation throughout different eras.
The bill was initiated by chairman of the Knesset's Education, Culture and Sports Committee, MK Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad), and MK Nadia Hilou (Labor-Meimad). Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports Minister Raleb Majadele (Labor-Meimad) was also involved in proposing the bill.
“This is the first time an academy for the Arabic language will be established outside the Arab world,” Melchior said.
“This bill shows an important shift in the country’s attitude to the Arab community in Israel, and the Arabic language. The academy will serve as a cultural bridge between the populations in Israel, and between Israel and its neighboring countries,” he added.
“This is a historic step that contributes to Israeli democracy,” MK Hilou said, “This is another step in promoting equality between citizens. I believe the approval of this bill will open the door to dialogue with similar institutes in Arab countries.”