ISRAEL IS A SMALL NATION-STATE—about the size of Minnesota—that was established in Palestine in 1948 as a homeland for the Jews following the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were killed by Germany's Nazi government during World War II (Bateman & Egan, 1993). Both the Jews and the Palestinians have historic ties to Israel, as do three of the world's great religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In 2000, Israel had a population of over 6 million; about 82% of the population were ethnically Jewish, and 17% were Arabs. The religious distribution of the population was roughly the same as the ethnic group distribution: 82% Jewish and 14% Muslim (Forbes, Grose-Hode, Hewitt, et al., 1999). About 2% of the population were Druze, and 2% were Christian. Hebrew is the official language for the Jewish population; Arab is the official language for the Arab minority (Forbes, Grose-Hode, Hewitt, et al.).
Tatar (Chapter 14) describes the complex and unique challenges for diverse ethnic, national, cultural, and religious groups who seek full citizenship in Israel—a Jewish and democratic nation-state founded as a haven for Jews who were persecuted worldwide. He focuses on two groups that face significant challenges attaining full citizenship rights and recognition in Israel: Arab citizens and new Jewish
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Publication information: Book title: Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives. Contributors: James A. Banks - Editor. Publisher: Jossey-Bass. Place of publication: San Francisco. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 375.
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