Organizations involved in the Israeli-Arab sector admit that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made investments in it, but say such benefits are not enough and canceled out due to his government’s anti-Arab policies.
Netanyahu said on Monday he regretted offending the country’s Arabs during a rallying call on Election Day last week.
Speaking to the Israeli-Arab leaders, he emphasized his record of “tremendous investment in minority communities” and said that he regards himself “as the prime minister of each and every one of you, all the citizens of Israel, regardless of faith, ethnicity or gender.”
Fearing his voters would stay home, Netanyahu, who won a surprise election victory last Tuesday and is set to head a new government, accused left-wing organizations of busing Israeli-Arabs to the polls “in droves” to vote against him.
Jafar Farah, the director of Haifa’s Mossawa Center – The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Tuesday that Netanyahu’s government has carried out a discriminatory investment policy in the Arab sector.
“The streets are in a terrible state, towns are without proper sewage systems, and houses can’t be finished because of bureaucratic obstacles,” he said. “Less than 4 percent of the state’s development budget went to Arabs in 2014.”
“So how do you bridge the gap?” he asked.