DIRASAT, the Arab Center for Law and Policy, is a non-profit, non-governmental, and non-partisan organization, working towards the fulfillment of substantive equality for the Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel at both the individual and collective levels.
The organization was initiated by a core group of academics, professionals and community activists dedicated to carrying out the mission and goals of this institution. The establishment of DIRASAT [ďStudiesĒ in Arabic] was motivated by the belief that meeting the challenges of engendering full equality and citizenship for the Arab minority requires moving beyond the intense work of responding to daily rights violations. It demands adopting proactive strategies and formulating viable alternatives to existing frameworks of the Stateís laws and policies. If substantive citizenship is to be realized, these alternatives must be underpinned in clear strategic goals with regard to the status of the Arab minority and its relationship to the State.
In this sense, DIRASAT endeavor adds significant leverage to the litigation and advocacy work of both Arab and human rights organizations in Israel, as it provides a fresh perspective on the types of laws and policies needed to ensure full equality and participation of the Arab-Palestinian citizens in the state. DIRASATís work relies heavily on applied research that can inform the internal (within the Arab minority) decision-making processes regarding the design and development of strategic goals for substantive citizenship fulfillment, while at the same time influencing the external decision-making processes (at the state level) toward the innovation of laws and policies that are more equitable and inclusive.
Centers such as DIRASAT have played, and continue to play, an essential role in the advancement of the disadvantaged and marginalized around the globe. In addition to high quality research, these centers employ a wide array of mechanisms to inform and influence internal and external decision-making processes including the issuing of position papers, holding of study and seminars, lobbying, training, publication and more. Their successes serve as inspiration and guidance for DIRASATís initiatives.
In fact, in 2008 DIRASAT conducted a survey of similar minority and civil rights law and policy organizations around the world. The goal of this study was to examine the work of successful, comparable public policy centers around the world (mainly in the US, Europe and South Africa), and to examine the types of goals and strategies for social change adopted by these groups, in order to share them with organizations such as DIRASAT to inform our missions and activities. The resulting comparative study is now available at: