Study: Israeli Jews Live Nearly 4 Years Longer Than Israeli Arabs

Report reveals deepening gaps between Jewish, Arab sectors in education, housing, welfare and more.

A new study reveals that Jewish Israeli men live an average of three and a half years longer than Israeli Arabs, in addition to enjoying substantially more government resources.

Sikkuy, the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel, published its annual report on equality between Jewish and Arab citizens on Wednesday. The report focused on the gaps between Jews and Arabs in education, housing, welfare, health and employment.

This year's report revealed that the gaps have deepened over the last year in most fields. According to the data, the Arab population receives only 70 percent of the resources they are entitled to in accordance with the percentage of Arabs within the general population. The biggest gap was recorded in the welfare field, where Arabs receive only 49 percent of the benefits they are entitled to. The state of Israel invests NIS 508 in every Jewish citizen on average, while only NIS 348 are invested in Arab citizens.

Furthermore, the report shows that these gaps result in 65.7 percent of Arab children living below the poverty line, as opposed to 31.4 percent of Jewish children.

The primary reasons for this, the report says, are the cutbacks in welfare stipends and Israel's taxing policy. Moreover, the system in which the government conditions the transfer of funds on the matching contributions of the local authorities (matching), creates a vicious cycle among poor authorities that can't fund their part of the welfare budget and consequently lose their funding.

Another factor is funds earmarked for local authorities that absorb Jewish immigrants, which the Arab sector does not enjoy. "The report reflects the Arab population's reality," said attorney Ali Haider. "You can see the deterioration in the quality of life and level of the Arab public," he added.

One of the most alarming findings in the report is that gap in life expectancy. During recent years, the life expectancy of Jewish Israelis rose consistently among both men and women, while that of the Arab sector rose only slightly. The life expectancy of a Jewish man is three and a half years longer than that of an Arab man, and a Jewish woman lives four years longer than an Arab woman, on average.

There is also a substantial gap in the infant mortality rates among Jewish and Arab citizens, with 8.4 out of every 1000 Arab babies dying as opposed to 3.4 of every 1000 Jewish babies.

The only gap to be slightly reduced between Jewish and Arab sectors is that in education. The gap in matriculation grew smaller, with 56 percent of Jewish students and 50 percent of Arab students passing their matriculation exams.

Dropout rates among students in both groups also declined. However, the report says there is still a four percent difference in dropout rates among Jewish and Arab students, with 8 percent of Arab students dropping out of high school, as opposed to 4 percent of Jewish students.

The only field in which Arabs display an advantage over Jews is home ownership. 93 percent of Israeli Arabs are home owners, while only 70 percent of Jews own their homes. However, the average value of an apartment in a Jewish town is NIS 770,000 while the average value of an apartment in an Arab community is NIS 618,000. The number of people per room averages 0.85 people among Jews and 1.42 people among Arabs. The amount of square meters per person is 50 percent higher among Jews than Arabs.