Safeguarding Human Rights and Democracy

A Just Society at Peace with Itself and Its Neighbors

Israel’s Declaration of Independence establishes a state that ensures “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” NIF works to transform that ideal into reality and to promote the protection of human rights for all people living under Israel’s control.

Over the past decade, respect for democracy and human rights has declined, both among government leaders and the Israeli public. These values are too frequently derided as illegitimate or are distorted to mean unbridled majority rule. The ultra-nationalist right continues to propose legislation and policies to curtail freedom of expression.

NIF’s program is designed to advance pro-democracy values and their expression in Israel’s public life, safeguard human and civil rights — particularly in the occupied territories — and strengthen public trust in and support for democratic rights and values.

Our program focuses first on preserving freedom of speech, a right that is the mainspring for other democratic values, by empowering activists with the information they need about their own rights and protecting those rights in court. Our second focus, safeguarding democratic institutions and processes, aims to counter legislative threats to democracy while developing mechanisms for public participation and transparency. And finally we invest in partners who remind Israelis of the human, social, and economic cost of the occupation, as well as those attempting to bring equity and social justice to all the residents of Jerusalem.