Israel Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran.
(photo credit: screenshot)
Though the state’s Declaration of Independence proclaims equality for all, “unfortunately this has not been actualized on the ground,” Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran said.
Joubran, speaking at a prosecutors conference in Eilat late Wednesday night, said that the Or Commission that investigated incidents in October 2000 in which police killed 13 Israeli Arabs during protests, had declared that “the Arab citizens of Israel live in a reality which harmfully discriminates against them.
“There are gaps in education, employment, allotment of land for building and expanding towns, gaps in industry and gaps in infrastructure,” he said.
His criticism was not reserved solely for the Jewish majority, as he said that Israeli-Arab leaders “also need to take responsibility for resolving problems” and to “meet with ministers in order to reduce the gaps.”
Joubran complimented the Justice Ministry, saying that he did not remember a conference of similar size and stature with a focus on the Arab sector.
Next, he said, “The time has come when the matter must be put on the public agenda, and we should talk about it, for good or for bad, with a focus to advance the process of dialogue on equality between the sides.”
The Supreme Court justice also listed off achievements and advancements regarding the Arab sector, such as church-organized schools (as opposed to less-good state schools), healthcare, employment in healthcare and the status of women.
Joubran finished with a call for more dialogue among community leaders and more coexistence projects, such as schools serving both Jewish and Arab students.