The Attorney General Declares that All Government Ministries Must Print Their Official Notices in Arabic and Hebrew; Direct Result of Adalah's Legal Advocacy

The Attorney General today instructed all government ministries to begin printing their official notices in Arabic as well as Hebrew, specifically referring to those announcements calling for the submission of requests for government financial support. The directive informed the legal advisors of the various government ministries that printing in Arabic is a legal obligation stemming "first and foremost from the legal status of Arabic as an official language, as well as from the principle of equality." In addition, the directive stated that since "a large minority in the country speaks Arabic. . .ads must be published in this language to enable them to submit requests for support." 

The issue arose following an advertisement by the Ministry of Education calling for the submission of organizational requests for financial support. The advertisement was only printed in Hebrew, prompting Adalah, on behalf of Ittijah, an umbrella organization for Palestinian NGOs in Israel, to issue a request that the Minister delay the final date for submitting applications. Adalah argued that since the advertisement had not been printed in Arabic, Palestinian NGOs and committees had inferior access to the information. In addition, Adalah also began proceedings to petition the Supreme Court of Israel concerning this advertisement, as well as similar advertisements by the public inheritance fund and other ministries. 

The Attorney General's directive also stated that Arabic ads must run on the same day as the Hebrew ads, or as close as possible.