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The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.


A term used to refer to citizens of Israel who attained Israeli citizenship by birth or by naturalization. Demographically, Israel's population is predominantly Jewish, but also includes a sizable Arab population, comprised of Palestinians, Druze and Bedouin. In 2009, Israel's demographic breakdown per the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics was: 5,703,700 Jews; 1,535,600 Arabs; and 312,700 others. Included in the "Jews" category are Jewish Israelis living in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Per Israel's Law of Return, Jews anywhere in the world can immigrate to Israel and become citizens. Israeli citizenship is relatively simple to define-whoever holds an Israeli passport is an Israeli citizen. Identification as an Israeli is far more complex, as many Palestinian citizens of Israel hold an Israeli passport, but identify as Palestinian, and do not identify as Israeli. See "Israel's dilemma: Who can be an Israeli?", Daniel Sokatch and David Myers, L.A. Times, Jan 14, 2014; and "Who Is an Israeli?" Leonard Fein, the Jewish Daily Forward, July 8, 2009. See also "Why Sayed Kashua is leaving Jerusalem and never coming back," Sayed Kashua, Ha'aretz, July 4, 2014.