Ensuring Women’s Freedoms
Israel’s High Court ruled that street signs demanding that women dress modestly, or not walk on certain sidewalks, must be removed in Beit Shemesh. Lower court ruling were defied by the city’s mayor, and the High Court is still considering imposing fines on the city.
Confronting Hate Crimes
For years, right-wing extremists engaged in “Price Tag” attacks on Palestinians, Christian and Muslim holy sites, and even the IDF. In 2016, the Israeli government finally began locating perpetrators and seeking criminal indictments. In June 2017, a prominent West Bank rabbi was indicted for incitement to violence for articles he authored praising perpetrators of these hate crimes.
Ending Segregation in Maternity Wards
The news that hospitals were segregating Jewish and Arab women at maternity wards galvanized the members of Zazim, an organization incubated and launched by NIF, to pressure hospitals to end the practice. Among other victories, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, also an NIF grantee, was invited to run anti-racism trainings for hospital staff.
Upholding the Rights of Refugees
In a case argued by NIF-supported groups, Israel’s High Court ruled that the government must cease threatening indefinite detention to compel refugees to “voluntarily” leave Israel. Previously some asylum seekers had been detained for as long as 12 months.
Closing Health Disparities
A Shatil-led Arab-Jewish forum successfully pressed the Israeli government to open a radiation therapy center in a part of the Galilee that had no such facilities for cancer treatments. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman formally opened the center in June.
Stopping Religious Indoctrination
The Secular Forum persuaded the Education Ministry to revise school textbooks designed for Israel’s secular public schools that contained religious indoctrination. The group’s volunteers – parents concerned about the Education Minister’s propaganda efforts – reviewed 80 books used in Israeli elementary schools.
Years of advocacy brought Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant to introduce a $1 billion shekel plan that would make 2,000 housing units available to Israel’s poorest citizens. The plan also eases conditions for public housing tenants to eventually purchase their homes.
Talking, in Progressive Terms, about Security
Video footage, obtained by NIF grantee B’Tselem, of an Israeli soldier killing an incapacitated terrorist sparked a deep national conversation on morality, the rule of law, and the cost of the occupation. Progressive voices on national-security issues were prominent in this debate, which continued through the soldier’s trial and appeal in July of 2017.
Showing up for Jerusalem Pride
After years of hateful rhetoric and violence surrounding the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance, the event attracted more than 20,000 marchers for the second year in a row. A large number were religious Israelis. These unexpected partnerships between Orthodox and secular supporters of equality are growing stronger and are poised to carry this movement into the coming years.
Ending Budget Discrimination
Years of advocacy, organized in part by NIF grantee Sikkuy, led to the Cabinet’s approval of a transformative 15 billion shekel plan to end budgetary discrimination against Israel’s Arab citizens. With ongoing monitoring and advocacy by Israeli NGOs, implementation of the plan will help equalize investment in education, welfare, housing, culture, and transportation.