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The Minister of Minorities is a member of the Israeli cabinet. The post was resurrected in 2009, having previously existed in the provisional government between 1948 and 1949 (as the Minister of Minority Affairs),[1] and also for a brief period in 1999 (as the Minister for Israeli Arab Affairs). The current minister is Avishay Braverman of the Labor Party.


The Ministry of Minority Affairs was founded after independence, and was the only new ministry not based on Yishuv institutions.[2] The ministerial post was held by Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, an Arabic speaker who was popular with the country's Arab population. Sheetrit attempted to promote integration and equality, but was hamstrung by the Military Government, which controlled most Arab areas after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, as well as Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who vetoed Sheetrit's proposal for an Arab advisory council in the ministry.[3]

Following disagreements with the Ministry of Religions and the Military government (which controlled most Arab areas after the war had ended), the Ministry of Minority Affairs was closed in 1949.[3] Following its closure, Arab-related matters were handled by an advisor on Arab affairs in the Prime Minister's Office.

On 18 June 1999 Moshe Katsav was appointed Minister for Israeli Arab Affairs.[4] However, the post was abolished when the next government was formed on 6 July that year.

The position was resurrected in March 2009 upon the formation of the Netanyahu government.


  1. ^ The Signatories of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel Jewish Virtual Library
  2. ^ Peled, Alisa Rubin (2002) The Other Side of 1948: The Forgotten Benevolence of Bechor Shalom Shitrit and the Ministry of Minority Affairs Israel Affairs, Vol.8, No.3, pp 84-103
  3. ^ a b Dowty, Alan (1988) The Jewish State : A Century Later University of California Press
  4. ^ Moshe Katsav Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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