|M.Sc Student||Karmit Ohayon|
|Subject||Majority-Minority Relations in Municipal Administration in|
Israel from a Cross-National Comparative
Perspective - The Case of Yizrael Valley
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Alterman Rachelle|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The problem of managing minority-majority relations within the local authority is common to many countries. This issue has become especially acute in recent years due to the increasing demand of minorities for equal treatment from the municipal system. In order to cope better with this new situation, there is a real need for efficient tools for the planning system around the world. Such tools will assist in conflict resolution and will result in a better municipal management of majority-minority relations. In order to create an efficient tool, we have examined a unique case in Israel and compared it to three other cases in other countries that were analyzed in the professional literature.
In Israel, the discussion on majority-minority management at the local level has arisen because of the growing political awareness of the Bedouin Arabs of the north, and their demand for self-local-governance. Most of these Bedouin villages are members of a mixed regional council. In the last decade, the Bedouin villages who belong to the same regional council as Jewish villages were debating whether the mixed structure is preferable, or should they opt out and create an independent small municipality of their own.
This evaluation study is based on
the stand points of Israeli policy makers and public representatives. These
were based on questioner which was prepared according to indicators that were
set on the basis of the Israeli literature review and debates with
knowledgeable planners. The Yizrael ethnically mixed regional council was found
to be a suitable case study, due to a process it has been through the last
decade. Along these years 4 of the 5 Bedouin Villages that were a part of the
regional council has departed from it and shifted to different kinds of
municipal authorities. Only one village has stayed within that council .
In the next stage we compared knowledge gathered from the Israeli chapters to the knowledge from the experience of minorities in other countries with respect to municipal administration, as it was described in the literature. The minorities were selected because of their similar backgrounds to that of the Bedouins. Those minorities have experienced significant changes in policy and law. We have found three similar minority groups: the United States Native American's, the Australian's Aborigines and Hungary's Romas (Gypsies). In all three cases, major changes in municipal management have occurred since the 90's of the last century.