Why Atidna

The Challenge

After 70 years of growth and development, Israel still faces its greatest challenge: the successful integration of Arabs and Jews into a united civil society. 

This has not yet happened due to a lack of ongoing projects aimed at finding a solution, but rather because what we really need is a comprehensive movement that appeals effectively and courageously to the Arab-Jewish mainstream.

Leadership

Our Arab Cohort

We, the Arab side, are proud of our identity and our Arab roots.

As Arab Israelis, we unequivocally accept, declare and affirm our citizenship in the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic State.

We are confident that the power of this recognition can erode the walls of fear among our Jewish friends and chart a new course in the long struggle that our forebears began for the full equality of Arabs in Israel. We know that there are many Arabs who feel like us, but also many who think otherwise.

That is why we willingly volunteer to bear the banner of change and why we are striving to create a new paradigm within the community in which we live.

Courage

Our Jewish Cohort

We, the Jewish partners in this mission, individuals who belong to the center-right nationalist camp in Israel, respect and support this bold initiative on the part of our Arab friends and fellow citizens.

We feel a duty to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with these like-minded fellow citizens for the full equality of Arabs in the State of Israel.

Indeed, we believe that our efforts will culminate in the fulfillment of the vision of the Zionist founders of Israel.

Nevertheless, we realize that there are many in our nationalist camp who refuse to accept Arabs in Israel as equals. We recognize the immensity of the challenge to integrate Arabs – in theory and practice – into Israeli society.

We believe that this is a critically important effort for a secure future of the State of Israel.

We, Arabs & Jews

have joined forces to fight the strident voices among us and to encourage the spirit of reconciliation on the ground and at the higher levels, among the public and in government. We are fully aware of the gravity of the task and understand that it will not always be easy to carry it out. Nevertheless, we have joined together to declare and to actualize this agreement on both the symbolic level, but even more so in actual practice.

We envision Israel as a state in which identity does not detract from equality, and equality does not detract from identity.

Atidna's Observations

1 |

Effective Access

Arab citizens of Israel today lack effective access to centers of influence and power in the Israeli public sphere.

2 |

Leadership Crisis

Israel suffers from a leadership crisis that diminishes the country’s social strength and intensifies the rift between Arabs and Jews as Israeli citizens.

3 |

Political Tone

Most of the existing integration initiatives have an extreme political tone that does not appeal to wide audiences, either among the Arab public or the Jewish public.
Many of the programs operating currently or in the past have failed to produce an authentic and effective leadership and integration movement.

4 |

Youth Movements

Israel’s Arab sector suffers from a severe shortage of high-quality and effective educational youth leadership training programs.
More importantly, there are no independent Arab youth movements.

5 |

Effective Work Plan

In order to address the partnership and integration challenges, any effective work plan must include:

A. Both personal and national considerations.

B. A practical new model of successful integration.

Attorney Ayman Aburiya

Ayman has a BA in law from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and has worked as a public and private sector attorney. Beginning in 2003, Ayman has owned and run a law firm in Haifa that is considered one of the leading law firms in the country in the area of land expropriation compensation. The firm represents both private and large institutional bodies such as the municipality of Haifa and the Yaffe Nof Transport & Infrastructure Company Ltd.

Erez Eshel

A social activist, Erez was among the founders of the social-leadership academies, and served as the head of the Ein Prat Leadership Academy for a decade. Erez was the Director of Social and Youth Administration in the Ministry of Education and was among the leaders of the students’ campaign to lower tuition in 1998. He currently serves as chairperson of the One Heart Organization. He also serves as a lieutenant colonel in the IDF.

Ali Zachalka

Graduate of Ben Gurion University, Director of Education and Organizational Consulting at Tel Aviv University. Ali has extensive experience in the management of innovative education systems, as well as of schools in Arab society (40 years), in which he also established and managed the first democratic school in Kafr Qara. Ali is a partner to the establishment of various ventures and associations such as the Arab-Jewish Forum in Wadi Ara, the Kafr Qara Bilingual School, the Spiritual Empowerment Association in Education, the Social Educational Association for National Civil Service in Wadi Ara. In addition, Ali lectures on Arab and Jewish relations to participants in Birthright and other forums.

Yifat Sela

Holds a BA in Israel studies, and an MA in gender studies and law and is a board member of several social organizations. Yifat began her professional career at the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI), where she worked for close to a decade, starting as a tour guide and working her way up to director of the training division. Yifat joined Aluma in 2000, where she currently serves as CEO. Aluma encourages young people to take responsibility and join the circles of action and influence in Israeli society

Ashraf Jabur

Ashraf has an MA in Education Systems Management and a BA in Educational Sciences from Haifa University. In addition, he is a graduate of the program for career counselors for MA Degree holders at Tel Aviv University. Ashraf began his career as a teacher in the Jewish and Arab sectors. He was the principal of the Shfar’am Municipal High School . Since 2014, has been the director of the National Program to make higher education accessible to the Arab, Druze, Circassian and Bedouin communities. Ashraf volunteers with organizations working for co-existence between Arabs and Jews. Ashraf is one of the founders of the Joint Israeli Leadership Program, a member of the Israeli Congress at Bar Ilan University and is a member of various education committees.

Mohammed Abu Alhiga

Mohammed has a BA in education and history from Beit Berl College and an MA in Sociology from Haifa University. Throughout his life, Mohammed has been active in youth movements and has held various positions. He was among the first in Arab society to do a year of volunteer service in a youth movement. Muhammad has held various positions in the training and management of youth programs and as the director of the informal education department in the municipality of Tamra and deputy chairman of the Association of Youth Departments in Israel.

Amit Deri

After 10 years of service in the IDF, Amit was discharged with the rank of major and since 2011, has been engaged in entrepreneurship, management and social-educational activities with an emphasis on youth and teens. Amit studied civil engineering at the Technion and has a BA in political science from Haifa University.

Dr. Dalia Fadila

Dr. Fadila (PhD in English Literature) is the founder of Q Schools: Education, Consultation & Development, an institution for the promotion of quality education in Israeli Arab society. She is an international speaker on the subjects of minority women, identity and education.
In 2013-2018, Dr. Fadila was president of the Baqa al-Garbiyyeh College for Science and Engineering, boosting the small technological institute into a leading academic and professional college that trains engineers in the Arab community in Israel.
In 2000-2011, Dr. Fadila, was the Academic Director of Al Qasemi Teacher Training College. As a member of the college leadership, she helped develop it from a religious seminary into an academic institution.

Vicki Badrian

Vicki has an MA degree in public policy and internal auditing. She has worked in the public sector for the past twenty years in a wide variety of roles. In the past year, Vicki ran for election as mayor of Katzrin. As the daughter of an Ethiopian immigrant who has served the community throughout her career, Vicki’s work over the years has likewise been devoted to the community in Katzrin. She worked as a spokesperson for the Katzrin municipality, and in addition was in charge of integrating new immigrants and residents, forging relationships with government offices and developing programs in the city.