Profile of the Palestinian Christians in Israel
Before an analysis of state attitudes towards Palestinian Christians in Israel can be conducted, it is first necessary to address who the Palestinian Christians in Israel are, what distinguishes them, as a community, from other segments of the Palestinian Arab minority and what features they share with the wider Palestinian and Jewish societies. This chapter addresses key issues concerning the ethnicity, nationality, religious make-up, demographic size, regional distribution, urban concentration, vital statistics, economic indicators and political representation of this community which are presented in order to facilitate a deeper understanding of this small community. The relevance of this profile cannot be understated. In the first instance, it provides the reader with an empirical basis through which a number of assumptions which will be encountered in the next chapter can be cross-referenced and thereby either confirmed or dispelled. It also provides a solid basis through which the state’s national priorities and attitudes towards its Palestinian Christian population can be juxtaposed and examined.