Fighting for a Shared Future
After hostilities began between Israel and Hamas and within mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel, NIF grantee, Omdim Beyachad (Standing Together), brought thousands of Jews and Arabs across the country to the streets to unite against the escalation and violence. Before the announcement of the Israel-Hamas ceasefire on May 21, Omdim Beyachad organized Jewish-Arab anti-war demonstrations in dozens of cities across Israel.
Supporting Marginalized Communities Through COVID-19
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel’s Ministry of Health was publishing urgent public health regulations, but only in Hebrew. After advocacy by Physicians for Human Rights Israel and Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, government websites began publishing public health information in Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, and other languages. Thanks to these efforts, Arab citizens, African asylum seekers, and Ethiopian Israelis were able to access urgent and credible public health information in their native languages.
Ensuring Equity for Bedouin Villages
Six Bedouin towns are among the 11 disadvantaged localities benefiting from the redistribution of $6 million in annual regional tax revenues, thanks to the advocacy and guidance of Shatil and NIF grantees. These funds will increase municipal budgets and improve living conditions in Bedouin villages, among the poorest communities in Israel.
Fighting For Equitable Vaccination Against COVID-19
Following intense pressure from NIF grantees, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gantz approved a vaccination drive for the roughly 120,000 Palestinians, or 2.5% of the Palestinian population, with permits to work in Israel and the settlements. After another successful campaign by five NIF grantees in January 2021, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) began vaccinating all prisoners over age 45, including Palestinian security prisoners.
Combating Settlement Expansion
After a petition filed by 23 Palestinian local councils, together with human rights organizations, including veteran NIF grantees Adalah and ACRI, Israel’s Supreme Court struck down the “Expropriation Law.” Under this unjust law, the Israeli government retroactively approved illegal Jewish settlement construction on private Palestinian land.
Protecting Womens’ Employment Rights
Thanks to pressure from NIF grantees, the Israeli cabinet reversed a decision allowing employers to lay off pregnant women and women on maternity leave without restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis. The cabinet backtracked following petitions filed by several NIF grantees, including the Israel Women’s Network (IWN).
Calling for Calm and Equality
During the escalation of violence in May 2021, The Abraham Initiatives — an NIF grantee that works to promote shared society and equality between Jews and Arabs in Israel — mobilized local political leaders, especially those in mixed cities across Israel, to do their utmost to calm tensions while at the same time allowing for non-violent protests, even large-scale ones, in their towns and cities.
Safeguarding the Right to Privacy
In a major victory for the right to privacy, Israel’s Supreme Court restricted the tracking of citizens’ of mobile phones for contact tracing by the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service. In response to a petition by three NIF grantees, the court ruled that the government’s use of such surveillance violated fundamental rights and revoked its use except for cases in which individuals refused to cooperate with contact tracers.
Providing Healthcare in the West Bank
For the past 30 years, the Physicians for Human Rights Israel mobile clinic has been providing vital medical treatment to residents of Palestinian villages throughout the West Bank. During the COVID-19 crisis and its accompanying lockdowns and restrictions on movement, the clinic became an even more vital lifeline for Palestinians.
Supporting the Arab LGBTQ Community
The Aguda – Israel’s LGBT Task Force launched an Arabic-language hotline that provides support and resources to queer Palestinian citizens of Israel. This is a vital resource for a minority group that lacks the resources and infrastructure to provide such support.
Ensuring Access to Healthcare in the Galilee
Following advocacy by the Shatil-led Arab-Jewish Citizens’ Forum for the Promotion of Health in the Galilee, Israel’s Ministry of Health ordered the Galilee Medical Center to open a 25-patient dialysis unit for COVID-19 patients. “This success is the result of Shatil’s professional work in mobilizing a network of activists and encouraging initiatives and actions, which in this case led to a lifesaving achievement,” said Shira Eytan, Shatil’s director of Social and Economic Justice.
Defending Religious Freedom and Civil Rights
Following a petition from NIF grantees Adalah and Israel Hofsheet (Be Free Israel), Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that hospitals cannot prevent visitors from bringing in leavened food products (chametz) during Passover. While the petition acknowledged the legitimate need for many Jewish Israelis to uphold their beliefs and not eat such items during Passover, the court agreed with Adalah and Israel Hofsheet that this could not override the fundamental freedoms of Arab and secular Jewish citizens.