High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel
The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab citizens of Israel (Hebrew: ועדת המעקב העליונה של הציבור הערבי בישראל, Arabic: لجنة المتابعة العليا للجماهير العربية في إسرائيل, also, High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Affairs and High Follow-Up Committee for the Arab Masses in Israel) is an extra-parliamentary umbrella organization that represents Arab citizens of Israel at the national level. It is "the top representative body deliberating matters of general concern to the entire Arab community and making binding decisions." While it enjoys de facto recognition from the State of Israel, it lacks official or de jure recognition from the state for its activities in this capacity. The National Committee of the Heads of Arab Localities (NCALC), the sole non-partisan organization representing the Palestinian minority in Israel, constitutes the main party in the High Follow-Up Committee (or Follow-Up Committee; its shorthand forms).
The High Follow-Up Committee was established sometime between 1982 and 1984, after the events of Land Day in 1976. Members are drawn from the Arab heads of local authorities and major Arab organisations and parties in Israel. Because they do not have to submit to direct election and reach decisions by consensus, often leading to paralysis, the committee has been criticized by the community for being unwieldy and ineffective. Jonathan Cook writes that in recent years, there have been calls from Arab political factions for direct elections to be held for the positions in the High Follow-Up Committee, but that, "the Israeli government has intimated that it would consider an Arab 'parliament' as an attempt at secession and react harshly."
Many resolutions have been passed since the establishment of the committee. Notable among these are many declarations calling for the holding of general strikes to protest Israeli policies, and a number of these have been successfully observed.
The High Follow-Up Committee and NCALC published their first manifesto, The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel, in December 2006. The document calls for Israel to be transformed from a Jewish state that privileges its Jewish majority into "a state of all its citizens". It also calls for radical reforms to the national system of land allocation and development, which the authors charge is designed to exclude Palestinian citizens from influence.
- Payes, 2005, p. 112.
- Yaniv, 1993, pp. 121-122.
- Jonathan Cook (14–20 December 2006). "We didn't disappear". Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- High Follow-Up Committee for the Arabs in Israel and the National Committee for the Heads of Local Arab Councils in Israel (2006). "The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel" (PDF). Mossawa. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- Roee Nahmias (March 30, 2007). "Arabs mark Land Day". Ynet. Retrieved 2009-08-12.