© 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 our local partner I’lam (Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research), 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.

You can find the publications of the PCIG published on the website of our partner I’lam. While ORG facilitates the PCIG, the group members have ownership over the content of the discussions and any outputs, therefore, positions expressed in any material published by the group do not necessarily represent the views of ORG.


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 a senior consultant to the Strategic Peacebuilding Programme (fomerly Middle East Programme), which she founded and directed until 2015. She is the Director of the Oxford...

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Dr Bashir Bashir

Bashir Bashir works with ORG as a consultant on its strategic thinking projects in Israel and Palestine. He is a Research Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, our local partner. ...

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Marzuq Halabi

Marzuq Halabi is the Local Coordinator 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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Professor Oliver Ramsbotham

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

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