On Tuesday, February 24 – 2015, the JPC hosted Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, Co-Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives and Mr. Amnon Be’eri Sulitzeanu, Co-Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives. They spoke with members of the club about trends in the current election campaign, including the unification of Arab parties under one list and the effect of recent events such as the Gaza war on the Arab minority’s attitude toward the elections.
A key point in the discussion was an opinion poll that was conducted by The Abraham Fund Initiatives which reveals that after over a decade of a decline in political participation, the Arab minority is returning to the polls. Part of the discussion dealt with the fact that the current election campaign has the potential to break the vicious cycle that usually excludes Arabs from meaningful and effective participation.
Amnon was appointed as Executive Director of The Abraham Initiatives in 2004. Before then he was the Director of Marketing Communications at the Jerusalem Foundation, under the leadership of the late Mayor Teddy Kollek and Ms. Ruth Cheshin, where he worked to initiate and develop educational, cultural and social enterprises in Jerusalem. Prior to this, between the years 1992-1996, Amnon served as an adviser to the Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Mr. Yair Tsaban (Meretz) and as the spokesperson of the Ministry. He was particularly active in designing public policy during the massive waves of migration from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.
Dr. Thabet Abu Rass
Thabet was selected as The Abraham Fund Initiatives’ Co-Executive Director in April 2014. Previously, he served on Adalah’s Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008, and joined the staff in October 2010 as the director of their office in the Negev. From 2007 to 2009, Thabet was a co-director of the NGO “New Horizon” – The Arab-Jewish Center for Dialogue and a Shared Society; from 2003 to 2005, he served as the director of Shatil’s office in Be’er Sheva; and from 2005-2007, he directed a development project for the recently-recognized villages in the Negev. He is a member of the Board of Directors of several environmental and Jewish-Arab educational organizations, and has also been co-chair of the Board of Hand In Hand, the Bilingual schools in Israel, and is the Co-founder of AEJI, the Association of Environmental Justice in Israel.