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Israel Admits to Discrimination against Arabs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinians scuffle with an Israeli soldier as they try to prevent him from detaining a boy during a protest against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah

Tel Aviv-In an official document released recently, the Israeli government admitted to adopting discriminatory policies against Arabs especially in education and economy.

The document comes after the Israeli government decided to allocate a budget of four billion dollars to be paid over five years in response to the demands of Arab political leadershipس to diminish the gap created by the discrimination.

According to the document of which Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper received a copy, discrimination against Arabs exits in all aspects of life including: education, public transportation, employment, infrastructure, local authorities and other fields.

Eligibility for higher education has increased among Arabs and Jews, yet the gap between both groups has widened as well.

Based on Education Ministry data, the number of Arab students applying to receive the general certificate of education had increased by 2.5% during 2014/2015 and reached 48.4% of all applicants. Meanwhile, the number of Jews applying had doubled to reach 75.6%.

Statistics reveal that what the government spends on an Arab student (734 Shekel) is a quarter of what it spends on a Jewish student (3,344 Shekel).

There is a rise in the number of educated 17-year-old Arabs from 80.5% in 2013/2014 to 84.6% in 2014/2015. Despite the increase, the difference between Arab students and Jews is still high.

The document also pointed out that social status has a great influence on how well the educational system might be. Most students of the Arab educational system come from difficult economic situations and thus it affected their Bagrut achievement. Last year, the percentage of Bagrut achievers among Arabs increased from 51% to 53%.

Bagrut is a certificate which attests that a student has successfully passed high school matriculation examination.

Hours offered to aid Jewish students who need educational assistance is 25% more in elementary school, 50 in middle, and 75% in high school.

Jewish students receive state funding of 31 thousand Shekels while Arabs receive 18 thousand Shekels.

Unemployment rate among Arabs reaches 25% whereas it doesn’t exceed 6% among Jews. Most Arab women remain unemployed and their employment rate is decreasing. Female Jewish workers are around 79.7% whereas it is 31.5% among Arabs. The government plans to increase the rate to 41% by the year 2020.

The income of an Arab is 2048 Shekel, while a Jew gets 5745 Shekels; thus making the income of an Arab family of almost 9711 Shekels and 17811 Shekels for a Jewish family.

As for municipalities and villages, Arab citizen receives 5571 Shekels per year while the Jewish person receives 8000 Shekels despite the increase in taxes’ collection among Arabs (from 40% to 68%).

The document concludes with several recommendations to different ministers in order to reduce the gap between Arabs and Jews. Of the suggested recommendations are: allocating additional funding to Arabs on the expense of the Jews, increasing the percentage of female Arab workers to 41% within 5 years, and increasing the education budget by 400%.