Jewish Democratic State: Creating Shared Space All People Israel
Every fifth citizen in Israel belongs to the Arab minority. This group's integration in Israeli society constitutes a difficult challenge, given that their fellow Arabs in the Middle East are in a state of war against Israel. This challenge is coupled with the collective memory of the events of 1948, which are a central motif in the Palestinian narrative in Israel and the surrounding region. This presentation will focus on these issues through the personal stories of Ulfat Haider and Asaf Ron as well as their mutual work experience at Beit HaGefen, a Haifa-based Arab Jewish Cultural Center founded in 1963. Beit HaGefen believes that interpersonal acquaintanceship and an encounter with another culture and its narratives are essential for breaking down barriers and building trust. We will focus on the city of Haifa as a unique model of living together with mutual respect and understanding, and discuss how the Bay Area -- Haifa's "sister city" -- does the same.