Many Arabs are also frustrated by infighting among Arab politicians.
In theory, the Arab population could deliver enough seats in the 120-member parliament to influence the makeup of a coalition government. But Arab parties have been divided by ideological differences and personal rivalries, leaving them on the margins of Israeli politics. In the outgoing parliament, Arab parties held just 11 of the 120 seats.
Hoping to reverse this trend, a Bedouin Arab politician, Atef Krinawi, has founded what he calls the first "pro-Israel" Arab political party.
Krinawi says too many Arab politicians focus on the conflict with the Palestinians to the detriment of domestic issues like poverty and crime. He also believes Arabs should serve in in the Israeli military, a recommendation that most Arabs reject.
Although many surveys indicate that civic issues eclipse the Palestinian issue as main concerns among Arabs, Krinawi's party isn't finding much traction.
"If you want to change the system, yes, you must learn to play the game from within," said Jasmine Abusif, a student at the College of Management Academic Studies. "But you can't separate the Palestinian issue. You're tied to it and you're stuck in the middle."
The conflict between Israel's Jews and Arabs goes back to the country's establishment in 1948. At the time, hundreds of thousands of Arabs either fled or were driven out of the country, leaving properties and relatives behind. For the first 18 years of Israel's existence, Arabs lived under martial law that included curfews and travel permits.
Many Arab Israelis mark 2000, when police killed 13 Israeli Arabs during riots that broke out following the eruption of a Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza, as a turning point. Many say the state failed to properly investigate the riot and take action against the police officers responsible.
"After that, we really started questioning how exactly we fit into this state," said Marie Totry, a professor at Tel Aviv University.
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