The question of the nature of the Israeli regime is related to two different but connected inquiries. First, its proper classification under the categories of democracy/non-democracy, a question that is closely connected to our understanding of the nature and basic features of democracy. This question has received considerable scholarly attention in the past two decades. Beside its traditional classification as a liberal democracy (see, e.g., Yakobson and Rubinstein 2008), Smooha (1990, 1998) formulated the “ethnic democracy” model to account for Israel’s political structure, Rouhana (1997) classified Israel as “ethnic state” and its regime as “exclusive ethnic state,” Peled and Navot (2005) refer to the Israeli regime as a “majoritarian democracy,” while Yiftachel (1997, 2006) described it as an archetype for “ethnocracy.” I have also dealt with the classification of the Israeli regime on several previous occasions (Ghanem 1998, 2001, 2010; Ghanem, Rouhana, and Yiftachel 2000; Rouhana and Ghanem 1998).
As'ad Ghanem and Mohanad Mustafa
In December 2006, a group of politicians and intellectuals published the "Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel," a document that attracted national and international interest and elicited a wide variety of responses across the political spectrum. The document can be defined as a historic event in the history of Palestinians in Israel. This is the first time a representative national body of Palestinians in Israel has prepared and published a document that describes both the existing situation and the changes that are needed across a broad spectrum of their lives. The document was written by activists from all political leanings among the Palestinian community in Israel, and delineates the achievements necessary for defining the future relationship between the majority and the minority in the State of Israel. This article analyzes the background of this document and argues that the notion of a "Future Vision" for Palestinians in Israel functions as a way for the community to cope with the fallout of the Palestinian Nakba in 1948 and their exclusion from the Palestinian National Movement as well as their exclusion from the Peace Talks between the PLO and Israel, following the signing of the Oslo Declaration in 1993.