October 20, 2005
Delegation: Improve Israeli Arabs’ Status
(Page 2 - Previous Page)
• An Arab family is three times more likely to be poor than a Jewish family;\n
• Only 63 percent of Arab men aged 45-54 are in the workforce, compared to 87 percent among Jewish men of the same age;\n
• In Arab towns, specialty medical clinics serve an average of 29,500 residents, compared with 15,500 residents per clinic in Jewish towns; and\n
• Only 1.5 percent of government allocations to nonprofits go to Arab groups that help the poor.
Arab participants in the meetings expressed interest in the involvement of American Jewry on their behalf. That represented a change from the past, when Arabs were hostile to American involvement in the region, Lurie said.
Is the American Jewish public receptive to supporting the Arab population in Israel?
"That's a difficult question," Garber said. "Parts of the American Jewish community are disconnected from Israel; others focus on security issues. I think we should focus on the leaders."
But not only them.
"The ignorance of American Jewish public opinion is enormous," Lurie said. "The average American Jew does not even know that 20 percent of Israel's citizens are non-Jews."
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