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Welfare geography of a peripheralized national minority: The case of Israel's Arab population

Citation: Urban Geography, 1999, 20, 5, 417-437

This paper examines three interrelated issues concerning several aspects of minority well-being and social justice: (1) the way in which Israel’s Arab citizens have been marginalized systematically from social, economic, and development programs within the state’s peripheral regions; (2) the scope of housing constraints on Arab households in five mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel; and (3) how Arabs and Jews in these ethnically mixed cities assess their living conditions and well-being. Drawing on concepts of minority control and bias in modem regional planning, and based on supporting empirical data obtained from a survey of 1,170 Arab and Jewish households, this paper concludes that the barriers to minority development and well-being are a consequence and manifestation of ideology and state policy. Moreover, discrimination is not only maintained on the basis of ethnic cleavage but also on actual location. Contextually, those who are living in cities in minority neighborhoods are more vulnerable than those living in rural localities.

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