Our Emergency Response to the tragic October 7th attacks and the consecutive war
Since the horrifying events of October 7th and the subsequent war, the entire population of Israel has been struggling to cope with the emotional, physical, and social ramifications of the situation. Despite the unprecedented engagement of Israel’s Arab citizens during these dark hours, the crisis has put shared society under pressure, with Arabs and Jews struggling to negotiate their already complex relationships at a time of increased sensitivity and heightened emotions. The shock and anger aroused by the 7 October attacks increased suspicion, racism and incitement which threatens to widen the gap between Jews and Arabs within Israel. In work environments, Co-Impact noted increased tensions between Arab and Jewish workers, with Arab workers also feeling threatened on public transport to and from work, and during work within Jewish communities.
Our immediate Response
Since Oct 7th CI has been at the forefront of supporting Israel’s largest employers to cope with these complexities within shared workplaces. This has included supporting new companies which reached out to us as a result of the crisis. From day one,our field teams offered their guidance and support to senior management teams, middle managers and HR staff through:
helping craft internal and external messaging,
holding emergency training and peer-learning sessions
carrying out one-to-one guidance sessions with managers and HR staff working with diverse teams
supporting Arab staff members in understanding and negotiating workplace issues.
Our strategic Approach
We believe it is crucial to keep the DEI of Arab Society as a priority and to preserve the importance of shared workplaces in this sensitive and difficult period.
CI is highly trusted by both leaders and employees. This has allowed it to rapidly sense the needs of both the business sector and Arab community, and to develop a strategic approach to minimize any further deterioration in the already fragile workplace relationship between Jews and Arabs at this time. CI believes that top-down and bottom-up processes, both high-level and on the ground, are essential to reduce anxiety and friction, and to promote a discourse of hope for a prosperous shared and cohesive society.
We have elaborated a comprehensive Action Plan including a series of complementary activities and we work in close cooperation with our partners, including the President of Israel and his spouse, the Companies, the Ministry of Social Equality, Maala organization, CI’s wide NGOs Forum, and Arab- Jewish Business Council.
All this work aims to ensure that workforce diversity is preserved, and an atmosphere of understanding, cohesion, and tolerance is maintained as a model of national resilience.
The President and first lady reinforced their commitment to Co Impact’s efforts toward shared society and addressed the business leadership: “We want to support every initiative you raise. The business sector has a huge impact, and you are very influential people….These are very difficult times, which test the country and Israeli society at large. There are many fears, challenges, and much pain. Yet, on the other side, we see vast powers and collaborations that inspire hope”.