Religion and State Among the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel: A Realm of “Their” Own

Michael Karayanni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The religion-and-state debate in Israel is Jewish-centered, systematically disregarding the status of the Palestinian-Arab minority. This is rather puzzling, not least because, in many other countries, this debate does pick up conflicts pertaining to minority religions, and the Palestinian-Arab minority has generated a rich and diverse series of questions that might easily have qualified as highly relevant to it. The article decodes this anomaly by pointing out the existence of a legal matrix in the Israeli religion-and-state conflict. This matrix identifies a value system in the Israeli legal system by which the recognition accorded to Jewish religious institutions and norms is regarded as “public and coercive” and the recognition accorded to the Palestinian-Arabs is regarded as “private and liberal.” The second part of the article comments on some legal implications of this matrix and critically evaluates the question whether what seems to be “private and liberal” is so in fact.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7-23
Number of pages17
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Liberal group accommodations
  • Minority religions
  • Religion and state in Israel


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