Locating state attitudes
In order to investigate the accuracy of the viewpoints identified within the literature, this study has sought out the opinions of 36 different individuals who are either connected with the Palestinian Christian community or have firsthand experience of the particular issues affecting them today. The format of a semi-structured interview was followed in order to facilitate an open and fairly flexible framework for discussion. The respondents were initially asked to describe the situation of Palestinian Christians in Israel in a general manner, and where then asked to identify any similarities or differences which they could observe between their situation and that of other segments of the minority. They were then asked what represented, to their mind, the greatest issues or most pressing concerns affecting Palestinian Christians living in Israel today. As a final question, the respondents were asked to describe what role, if any, they saw state policies or attitudes as playing in the general situation and status of Palestinian Christians in Israel today. This pivotal question was left until the end of the interview so as not to crowd or guide the interviewee in his or her thought process.