According to the data of Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2009, Israel had 7,5 million residents, including 5,7 million Jews (75 percent of the population) and 1,5 million Arabs (20,3 percent of the population). Christians and followers of other religions constituted 319,000 of Israel’s inhabitants.
Minorities in Israel are mostly Arabs, Druze and Circassians, which are Muslims and Christians. Their rights are protected by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
A Jewish state intent on maintaining a Jewish majority, Israel also states that it is a liberal democracy that protects the rights of minorities. However, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed concern over the lack of a written provision for equality and prohibition of racial discrimination in Israel’s bill of rights. The panel pointed out that the Israel’s explicit definition as a Jewish nation state must not translate to any systemic distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin in the enjoyment of human rights.