The Separate Nature of the Religious Accommodations for the Palestinian-Arab Minority in Israel

Karayanni, Michael Mousa | January 1, 2007

In Israel, religious identity can serve to identify the governing law in a number of circumstances such as those concerning family law. While there is no separation between religion and state in Israel, separation does exist in the nature and justification for the existing religious accommodations of the Jewish majority on the one hand and those of the Palestinian-Arab minority on the other hand. The article asserts that because of the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, almost all of the apparatuses governing the “religion and state” debate have centered around Judaism.Religious accommodations granted to the Palestinian-Arab minority and other groups were relegated to a separate realmthat of minority (group) accommodations.The result of this disparate treatment has led to a “paradigm of separateness” in religion and state relations in Israel.The political and legal environment in Israel has also reinforced this “paradigm of separateness,” especially in light of the national conflict that exists within and between the Palestinian-Arab minority in Israel and the State itself.