arab israeli mother child 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Arab households are more than twice as likely to be under the poverty line in
Israel than their Jewish counterparts, according to a report issued on
The Equality between Jewish and Arab Citizens of Israel index
released by Sikkuy – the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality,
found that 26.5 % of Jewish homes are poor as opposed to 60.6% of Arab
households, part of what it says is an continued, widening gap in social
indicators between the two sectors in recent years.
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The report covered
the years 2004- 2008 and examined five central areas: education, health,
welfare, employment, and housing.
Among the more glaring indicators, the
report found that there are on average 351 clients for every social worker in
the Jewish sector, as opposed to 522 in the Arab sector.
In schools, the
report found that there are on average 24.7 children per classroom in Jewish
elementary schools and 28.9 per class in the Arab sector.
The report also
states that the inequality begins long before elementary school, with the infant
mortality rate among Arabs being double that of Jews, at 7.7 per 1,000 births,
as opposed to 3.3 per 1,000 births among Jews.
Ron Gerlitz, co-executive
director of Sikkuy, said that the findings indicate that instead of parceling
out state projects in the millions of shekels to help the Arab sector, what’s
needed is to “invest billions of shekels in order to bring the sector to the
same level as that of Jews.
“We need a system of equal allocation of
resources and the push should be towards reaching equality across both sectors,”
Gerlitz said that the gaps are increasing largely because one
side is stronger and receives greater resources and so will continue to grow
stronger than its counterpart.