As Canadians, we’re accustomed to seeing multiculturalism represented on our TV screens. Showing the plurality of our cultures, the media has taught us tolerance, understanding and has shaped who we are.
In Israel, two percent of the interviewees in the media are from the Arab community, though they actually make up twenty percent of the population. When they are invited, it’s usually to serve as a counterpoint for conflict, and not for their expertise.
But recently, there has been a shift.
New Israel Fund of Canada partner Sikkuy (“chance” in Hebrew) created the Representation Index. The Index is part watchdog, part advocate, educating those in the media about the abilities of Arab reporters, pundits and journalists for greater inclusion in TV, radio and print.
Since then, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of Arabs invited for interviews as experts in their fields. With greater representation comes greater understanding about the composition of Israel’s fabric.
This is how NIFC has been working for 30 years: effectively fostering equality and democracy for all Israelis. Together, our partnership is helping to create a shared, multicultural society where all voices are represented at the table.
We have more work to do, but let’s raise those voices together. Please give generously.