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UK backs Arab Israeli Task Force

    More than 40 British Jews have taken part in a mission run by the UK Task Force, dedicated to exploring issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel living in mixed cities.

    Last week delegates toured Jaffa, Lod and Haifa, visiting projects and meeting leaders of the Arab community, in both the public sector and civil society.

    The Task Force trip was led by its co-chairs, the UJIA chief executive Michael Wegier and Pears Foundation executive chair Trevor Pears.

    Twenty per cent of Israel’s population is Arab but, according to a report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in January 2010, 50 per cent of the Arab population lives in poverty.

    Jeremy Newmark, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “The visit showed, in a stark way, how the issues around the integration of the Arab minority in Israel are riddled with complexity.

    “There are no easy solutions but we met personalities and saw projects, all of which exuded a palpable commitment and enthusiasm to helping Israel meet the commitments enshrined in its Declaration of Independence. The UK Jewish community can be immensely proud that its key institutions have created a Task Force to inform, educate and work on these issues.”

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