UK Task Force

The UK Task Force is a broad-based coalition of 37 organisations set up in 2010 to inform the UK Jewish community of issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel and facilitate partnerships to advance the opportunities of Israel’s Arab minority.

Location: London , United Kingdom
Year founded: 2010

Description

We provide members with a forum for information-sharing and discussion of the issues, providing members with briefings, advice, support and contacts with Arab communities in Israel, as well as study trips to learn about the realities on the ground. Just over 20% of Israel’s population is Arab. According to data provided by the Israeli Welfare Ministry in 2013, 54% of the total Arab population live below the poverty line, with socio-economic gaps between Jews and Arabs in Israel widening year-on-year. Since the publication of the Or Commission report in 2003, many in the Israeli government and wider society consider the integration of Israel’s Arab population to be the biggest domestic challenge the country currently faces, affecting Israel’s prosperity, security and global standing. Modelled on the North American Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab issues, the UK Task Force was founded by the following organisations which form the Executive Committee: The Board of Deputies of British Jews, New Israel Fund UK, Pears Foundation, The UK Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, and the United Jewish Israel Appeal. With a solid foundation built during the organisation’s first three years, the strategic focus for 2014-2017 will now be on broadening our reach, working to embed education about Israel’s Arab citizens across the Jewish community, and encouraging the environment, both nationally and internationally, for those seeking partnerships to support civic equality in Israel. In order to achieve our mission, we have identified the following aims and objectives, which will provide a framework for our work over the next three years. The UK Task Force will: Educate: To raise awareness and deepen understanding of issues relating to Israel’s Arab citizens among the UK Jewish community and beyond. We will: • Extend the Task Force’s outreach work throughout the Jewish community in order to embed education of the issues in the curricula of youth movements, synagogues, schools and other organisations; • Provide high quality information and tailored educational resources for UK Task Force stakeholders; • Raise awareness of the work being undertaken by government and civil society organisations in Israel to advance the opportunities of Israel’s Arab population. Engage: To connect British Jews with partners in Israel and bringing UK participants face to face with key people and issues during Study Trips to Israel. We will: • Increase engagement with the issues through the development of targeted, tailor-made Study Trips • Create multi-layered opportunities for British Jews, opinion formers and policymakers to engage with the issues through educational events, training, workshops and speaker tours; • Facilitate members and stakeholders to educate on these issues within their own communities; • Play a connector role for members and civil society organisations working on these issues. Empower: To facilitate partnerships, business links and, where appropriate, leverage resources to support government and civil society initiatives to provide effective solutions on the ground. We will: • Act as educational consultants to members and Task Force stakeholders to inform their programming and engagement strategies relating to Arab citizens of Israel; • Strengthen cooperation between the IATF and the UK Task Force in order to maximise opportunities for stakeholders to have an impact; • Continue to facilitate partnerships with the British and Israeli governments and Task Force members • Establish links with EU organisations and explore opportunities for collaboration; • Bring together policymakers and practitioners to strengthen quality and impact of work on the ground.

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