Lapid looking sullen 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Planned budget cuts will cost Arab families an average of NIS 800 a month,
Mossawa Center director Jafar Farah said Monday, more than double the NIS 300 a
month that Finance Minister Yair Lapid estimated.
Even though Arabs
represent 20 percent of the population, they only received 6% of the budget’s
funds and constitute just 6.2% of government employees, he said.
spoke at a conference at the Knesset on the budget’s implications for Israel’s
Deputy Finance Minister Micky Levy (Yesh Atid) called
for establishing a regular forum on Arab inequality.
“We cannot solve
this problem in one fell swoop,” he said. “We must establish a forum of Knesset
members and the local authorities that will meet every month and a half. The
forum will examine how to remove barriers and secure funds to pass on to the
The committee will be chaired by Levy and will include MKs
Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al), Hanna Sweid (Hadash) and Basel Ghattas
“The state’s attitude toward the Arab and Beduin sector is a
disgrace,” Welfare Minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) said at the meeting. A lack
of air conditioning in classrooms was embarrassing, he said.
he would cancel the policy of requiring matching funds for poor Arab authorities
that could not meet their financial requirements.
Funds set aside for
Arabs were not taken advantage of because of too many restrictions, Construction
and Housing Ministry director-general Shlomo Ben-Eliyahu said. Only NIS 43
million of the NIS 90m. allotted from 2010-2012 was spent, he
“There’s no shortage of funds for the Arab sector for development
planning and putting houses on the market,” Ben-Eliyahu said, “but local
authorities need more money as well.”
MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud- Yisrael
Beytenu) said Arab politicians were partly to blame for the
“If my dream came true and Arab parties were in the coalition,
they would have political power and all these problems would be solved,” he
A study by the Taub Center to be released on Tuesday found that
general inequality in Israel has grown over time, but more pronounced
differences have emerged between certain groups, including Jews and
“Over the years there has been a rise in the contribution of
residential location, sector (Jews/Arabs) and number of children to inequality,”
the report said. “This indicates a widening of gaps between the center and the
periphery of the country, between Jews and Arabs and between smaller and larger families."