Resilience Centers: Welfare State Funded Only in the Settlements

>> Read the full position paper in pdf

On 6 December 2023, the Knesset Health Committee held a brief debate at which Zulat sought to voice its opposition to the impending closure of the resilience center in the Golan Heights. MK Gilad Kariv presented Zulat’s position, as formulated in this paper.

Zulat wishes to express its opposition to the government’s selective funding of resilience centers, which will leave the residents of northern Israel without proper mental health care.

The shocking massacre perpetrated by Hamas in Israel’s southern border communities on 7 October 2023 and the ensuing state of war in the south and north of the country have led to a sharp increase in the mental distress of Israel’s citizens, to which the state must provide a response.

Since 2009, the Health Ministry has been operating “resilience centers” to promote the civil fortitude of communities facing a security threat. Their professional-organizational and therapeutic services enable the authorities to provide a response to individuals, families, and communities.

The under-budgeting of resilience centers has been on the public agenda for many years. Nevertheless, governments have failed to fund them or to set up a strategy to meet the population’s needs for mental health care. Two centers did open in 2021 in the Galilee, but clear criteria have yet to be set for opening and funding such centers.

Given that it has not been allocated a budget, the resilience center in the Golan is set to be closed. At the same time, as part of the allocations in the 2023 state budget stemming from the coalition agreements signed with the parties, the government decided to allot an additional 6 million shekels to the resilience centers in West Bank settlements, plus another 4 million shekels in the 2024 budget.

Adding such a large budget to the settlers, while ignoring the residents of the north, is a mere extension of the government’s decision to cultivate a welfare state in the settlements and further reduce the social rights of residents of the State of Israel. This is a decision that cries to high heaven, particularly at a time when residents of northern Israel are having to contend with war in their backyards.

Zulat calls on the Knesset to prevent the severe discrimination against the residents of northern Israel and to ensure that the resilience center in the Golan continues to function and provide mental health care to those in need.



Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.