Breaking New Ground, The Roadmap for a Shared Society

Over the past two years, Givat Haviva has worked with the Israeli government, civil society organizations, the media the academic community and hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens to create Israel’s first-ever "Strategic Master Plan" on shared society: The Roadmap for a Shared Society. The Roadmap represents a “people’s statement” on how to address the country’s most pressing issues: the reconciliation of divided Jewish and Arab societies, and the social/economic empowerment of Arab citizens.

70 Arab and Jewish authorities cooperated on the generation of key recommendations in the areas of education, economic development, government and governance, land use, cultural representation and restorative processes.

The recommendations were reviewed by over 160,000 Israeli citizens, and 60 concrete proposals were presented to Israel’s Knesset this past December in a conference sponsored by the Knesset Coalition for Shared Living.

This event signals Givat Haviva’s emergence as Israel’s pre-eminent thought leader on shared society. The Roadmap offers Americans an invaluable view into what shared society looks like to the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. We will soon announce the availability of an English translation of the Roadmap document as presented in the Knesset.

So what’s next? A consortium of NGOs are now working together to begin to chart the course for implementation of these ambitious proposals. Givat Haviva Educational Foundation is currently organizing live educational events throughout the US featuring key Israeli organizers of the Roadmap process who will share about what has already happened – and where these efforts are heading.

Earlier this month, Mohammad Darawshe, Director of Givat Haviva’s Center for Equality and Shared Society, discussed the Roadmap at the home of board member Claude Ghez in New York City.

"Instead of assuming the continuation of the problematic and discriminatory “status quo” between us and Arabs, it is possible and feasible to propose new directions, allowing the Arab society in Israel full partnership in the decision-making process, and full political and professional representation, to the benefit of the whole of Israeli populace...

"...The Roadmap is shelf-ready for government officials in all the relevant ministries and offices. Violent protesters in Wadi Ara are a small and dangerous minority. The vast majority of Arab society needs a different and honest conversation, not racist generalizations to escalate alienation and incite the region."