UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy

Book launch with Ben White - author and activist Thursday, 26 January 2012, 6.30pm – 8.00pm at Amnesty International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. Discussion followed by Q and A and reception - signed copies will be available to buy The event is free and will start at 6.30pm - please ensure you book to reserve your tickets http://www.amnesty.org.uk/benwhitebooklaunch

'Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy' is the new book by Ben White, and considers an issue neglected by the mainstream “peace process” and many commentators: the Palestinian minority in Israel.

With a foreword by Member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi, and endorsements by the likes of Prof. Ilan Pappe and Booker Prize-shortlisted author Ahdaf Soueif, White argues that “a consistent emphasis on privileging one ethno-religious group over another cannot be seen as compatible with democratic values and that, unless addressed, will undermine any attempts to find a lasting peace”.


Israel’s Palestinian citizens are subject to formal and informal discrimination in a variety of areas. Amnesty is increasing its work on this issue with a particular focus on discrimination in relation to the right to adequate housing. This includes work on discriminatory laws and policies relating to planning, zoning, building, and land ownership, and show how these result in systematic discrimination against Palestinians’ right to housing in different types of Palestinian communities inside Israel e.g. recognized municipalities, unrecognized villages, unrecognized neighbourhoods, mixed cities.

The second area of focus will be on the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev in southern Israel. The Prawer plan, recently passed by the Israeli cabinet, recommends resettling residents of many of these villages to seven already over-crowded townships in the Negev, which lack the land, housing and services for their existing populations. Israeli human rights groups estimate that implementation of this plan, which is expected to start in 2012, will forcibly evict some 30,000 Bedouin from the land on which their livelihoods are based and the villages where they have lived for generations.