© Judah Passow 1997
© Judah Passow 1998
© Judah Passow 1997

The Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Oxford Research Group is currently hosting a seminal initiative to give a voice to the "forgotten Palestinians": the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Since the ongoing conflict in the region has always focused on Israel’s relationship with Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza, and the neighbouring Arab states, the Palestinian citizens of Israel have been neglected as a national, religious, linguistic and cultural minority. However, Palestinian citizens of Israel make up about 20% of the population of Israel, and are both key to the peace process, as well as deeply affected by any future peace settlement. Still, they have so far not been given a real voice to contribute to processes and negotiations that will affect their future.

In close consultation with local partners and prospective participants, this initiative engages with the issues of the Palestinians in Israel. We aim to foster inclusive internal dialogue among Palestinians in Israel to develop a strategic vision in order to impact policy-making in Israel and internationally. This group is particularly crucial at this time as Israeli society veers further to the right and discriminatory bills that directly affect and target Palestinian citizens of Israel are brought before the Knesset. Thus far, however, the Palestinian citizens of Israel have been overlooked by regional players, as well as by the international community. The issues of Palestinians in Israel, which inevitably go the heart of contradictions of the Israeli state as equal, inclusive and democratic, need to be firmly placed on international and local agendas of relevant parties.


The project revolves around research, smaller working groups, workshops, consultations with the community, and presentations from invited speakers. Bringing together a small but influential group of high-level thinkers from the Palestinian community inside Israel, the project builds on previous and current initiatives. What will be different about this project is that it aspires to transcend the sense of crisis the community feels by shaping an overarching strategic vision. This vision will be action-oriented and focused on how to move forward.


To learn more about how you can support this work, please click here.


The Palestinian Citizens of Israel project is supported by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. 

Photo credits © Judah Passow



Gabrielle Rifkind

Gabrielle Rifkind is the Director of the Middle East programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG). She is a group analyst and specialist in conflict resolution. Gabrielle combines in-depth political...

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Sarah Bollinger

Sarah Bollinger joined ORG in 2013 as a Programme Assistant on the Middle East Programme. She is a specialist in the history and politics of the modern Middle East, with a focus on the hydrocarbon...

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Sara Hassan

Sara Hassan is the Programme Manager for Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East programme. Prior to joining ORG, she spent four years as a Middle East Analyst with IHS Global Insight’s country...

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Professor Oliver Ramsbotham

Oliver Ramsbotham is a Consultant on Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East Programme. He was Chair of the Board from April 2007 until July 2013.

Oliver is a specialist on...

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Dr. Bashir Bashir

Dr. Bashir Bashir is a Research Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He taught political philosophy at the LSE, Queen's University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His primary...

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Marzuq Halabi

Marzuq Halabi is the Local Director of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel Group under the Middle East Programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG). He is a journalist, writer, political advisor and...

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