NIF’s grantees in the spotlight

Sikkuy is one of NIF’s key strategic grantees in the area of shared society. It works to promote far-reaching changes in government policies towards Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel, creating a new reality of a more equal society.

In 2018, we were thrilled to honour Sikkuy with a Human Rights Award, click here to watch Sikkuy’s video.

Following the third election in Israel we will be holding a numbers of event with Ofer Dagan and Amjad Shbita, the new executive co-directors of Sikkuy – The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality.

Click here to attend our upcoming events in March with Sikkuy:

New Gen Q&A with Sikkuy. Tuesday 3rd March

Post-election analysis event.  Thursday 5th March

2019 was a tempestuous year. Although challenging, it also offered some important opportunities – of which Sikkuy took full advantage. Politically, this was an intense period, with two rounds of national elections. The escalating anti-Arab incitement continued, crossing more red lines with repeated attempts to delegitimise Arab citizens. Sikkuy raised a strong public outcry against this tide. At the same time, Sikkuy pressed on with their advocacy work, speaking with senior government officials and decision-makers in the media and the private sector. The process yielded gratifying and dramatic changes that continue to unfold. The quest for greater equality and partnership between Jewish and Arab citizens produced some significant achievements in 2019, thanks to intensive and professional work by Sikkuy and thanks to you.

Here are some of Sikkuy’s most outstanding accomplishments in advancing equality and partnership between Arab and Jewish citizens in 2019:

 

 

This year at long last, Arabic appeared in the electronic destination signs on buses throughout the country, in addition to Arabic signage at bus stops. And Israel Railways added signage and passenger information in Arabic in its new coaches. Behold bilingual public spaces – a major step toward a shared society.

 

 

This past year, 10 Arab towns received NIS 112 million (approximately $32 million) to plan and develop new residential neighbourhoods and legalise existing structures. This funding had been stalled for a long time because the requirements set by the government for receiving it were all but impossible to meet. In partnership with the Arab Center for Alternative Planning, Sikkuy were able to help most of the towns meet the preconditions and persuade the government to grant waivers to the others.

 

Despite stiff resistance, Sikkuy’s determined efforts saw a new high school built and opened in the unrecognised village of Al Zarnouq in the Negev. While 15,000 high-school students live in unrecognised villages in the country’s south, this is only the second high school to serve them

 

Thanks to Sikkuy intensive work on the Media Representation Index and its corresponding election campaign (#Present_Absentee), together with The Seventh Eye, the percentage of Arab interviewees in election-related media coverage increased by 60%: from 4.5% in the first round of elections to 7.5% in the second round.

 

All these huge wins notwithstanding, there is still a long way to go – the challenges are many and complex along the path to full equality and a truly shared society. Sikkuy continues working for change;
Here is some sample of the new projects planned for 2020:

  1. Greater representation for Arab society in pedagogic materials:

    Sikkuy has embarked on a broad effort to increase the presence of the Arabic language and Arab culture in the Hebrew-language curriculum materials used in all school subjects.

  2.  Advancing a new Government Decision to rectify budgetary discrimination:

    Partnering with leaders in the Arab community and civil society, Sikkuy working to promote a government decision that will follow in the footsteps of the unprecedented Government Decision 922 (which allocated more than 10 billion shekels to Arab society). The new decision will seek to close budgetary gaps in areas that 922 did not address – including welfare, education, health, and industrial zone development.

  3. Turning Israel’s museums bilingual:

    We will soon be launching a major initiative aiming to expand the presence of Arabic in leading art and science museums in Israel, to make them more accessible to Arab citizens.

  4. Relaunching the renewed Arab experts media database:

    We will soon be relaunching the renewed “A-list” – a database listing Arab experts in various fields for the use of media professionals. The refreshed list will include an expanded and upgraded database of Arab women and men with expertise in even more fields. No more excuses for excluding Arab citizens from Israeli media interviews and panels! This versatile pool of excellent spokespersons will be available to the media and conference organisers.

  5. Urban renewal in Arab towns and cities:

    In partnership with the Arab Center for Alternative Planning and the Hagar Center, Sikkuy developing an urban renewal model addressing the specific needs of Arab communities.

  6. Sikkuy has initiated what is intended to be a long-term collaborative partnership with outstanding leaders in the Arab community to delve ever more deeply into the barriers to equality and shared society in Israel and to work together with these partners to develop solutions that advance true change.

We were thrilled to honour Sikkuy with a Human Rights Award in 2018, click here to watch Sikkuy’s video.