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, Tigrine, 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 the languages they speak.
Demanding Police Accountability
Thanks to legal advocacy by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Jerusalem Court for Administrative Affairs ordered the Israeli Police to publish its operating procedures, as required by law. In a victory for accountability, the Israeli Police acknowledged that it will comply with its obligation.
Ensuring Equity for Bedouin Villages
Eight Bedouin towns are now benefiting from regional public facilities revenues after Bedouin leaders received guidance from Shatil and Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights. By ensuring a fairer distribution of government allocations towards Bedouin communities, this work can dramatically improve living conditions in Bedouin villages, some of the poorest towns in Israel.
Fighting for Gay Parents
Israel’s Supreme Court upheld surrogacy rights for same-sex couples and single men after a petition was filed by Aguda – Israel’s LGBT Task Force and The Association of Israeli Gay Fathers. The five-justice panel unanimously ruled that the Knesset must amend the law it passed in July 2018 — allowing access to surrogacy procedures for only heterosexual couples and single mothers — so that the right is extended to same-sex couples and single men.
Combating Settlement Expansion
After a petition filed by 23 Palestinian local councils, together with human rights organizations including veteran NIF grantees, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Israel’s Supreme Court struck down the “Regularization Law.” Under this unjust law, the Israeli government had legalized settlements built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the West Bank.
Protecting Womens’ Employment Rights
Thanks to pressure from NIF grantees, the Israeli cabinet reversed a decision allowing employers to lay off pregnant women or women on maternity leave without restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis. The cabinet backtracked following petitions filed by several NIF grantees, including Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline, Itach-Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice, and the Israel Women’s Network (IWN).
Standing Up for Asylum Seekers
Thanks to a petition from several NIF grantees including Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline, ASSAF – Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, and the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, Israel’s Supreme Court struck down the 2017 “Deposit Law,” which confiscated 20% of every paycheck earned by the 36,000 asylum seekers in Israel. Under the draconian law, intended to incentivize leaving the country, this money was held by the government until asylum seekers did so.
Public Transportation on Shabbat
After persistent campaigning by NIF grantees Israel Hofsheet (Be Free Israel) and the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), Tel Aviv and several nearby municipalities introduced public transportation on Saturdays, attracting tens of thousands of passengers. In the wake of the success of these Shabbat buses, other municipalities said they intend to operate public transportation on Saturdays.
Providing Healthcare in the West Bank
For the past 30 years, Physicians for Human Rights Israel’s mobile clinic has been providing vital medical treatment to Palestinian villages throughout the West Bank. During the COVID-19 crisis, with many West Bank villages under strict curfew to prevent the disease from spreading, the clinic became and even more vital lifeline for Palestinian villagers.
Supporting the Arab LGBTQ Community
The Aguda – Israel’s LGBT Task Force has set up an Arabic-language hotline, which will provide support and resources to queer Palestinian citizens of Israel. This is an important step toward creating an Israeli society and an Israeli LGBTQ movement that is truly inclusive of all people.
Elevating Russian-Speaking Voices
In collaboration with the Seventh Eye, Shatil recently launched the Ru.il website, an online database of Russian-speaking experts. The database is intended for journalists, researchers, and editors to find progressive Russian-speaking voices and increase their representation in Israel’s Russian and Hebrew media.
Defending Religious Freedom and Civil Rights
Following a petition from NIF grantees Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights and Israel Hofsheet (Be Free Israel), Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that hospitals cannot prevent visitors from bringing in food for patients during Passover. While the petition acknowledged the legitimate need for many Jewish Israelis to uphold their beliefs and not eat leavened products during Passover, the court agreed with Adalah and Israel Hofsheet that this could not override the fundamental freedoms of Arab and secular Jewish citizens.