Mobilizing for the Lives of Women
Groups like Israel Women’s Network (IWN), Zazim — Community Action, and Omdim Beyachad (Standing Together), Women Against Violence mobilized to bring 30,000 demonstrators to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to protest the Israeli authorities’ failure to take action on violence against women. NIF gave emergency grants to organize this demonstration, which was the largest women’s protest ever held in Israel.
Bringing Down Racist Campaign Ads
After the national-religious Jewish Home party put up campaign ads in Ramle that used racist imagery and warned of intermarriage between Jews and Arabs, NIF grantees spoke out. Sikkuy: The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and Tag Meir condemned the racist campaign, and the Ramle municipality took down the ads.
Putting Arabic in the Main Square
In response to the clause in the Nation-State Law that downgraded the status of the Arabic language, Israelis held a protest event in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square dubbed “the world’s largest Arabic lesson.” Thousands of Israelis gathered to learn Arabic and hear performances by Arab and Jewish musicians.
Standing Up to Cultural Censorship
NIF supported a coalition of artists and activists advocating against the Cultural Censorship bill, which would have allowed Culture Minister Miri Regev to act as a chief censor and control budgets of cultural institutions. Zazim — Community Action gathered over 8,000 signatures against the law. Thanks in part to these efforts, the vote on the bill has been indefinitely postponed.
Securing Welfare Services
People with mental health disabilities will now have access to welfare services. Following a petition from The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Bizchut: The Israel Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities, and the Sderot Municipality, the Ministry of Welfare overturned its policy to deny services to people with mental health disabilities.
Marching with Pride
Police initially refused to issue a permit for the firstever LGBTQ pride march in Kfar Saba this summer unless the organizers paid for security costs and placed a two-meter fence that would obscure the marchers from public view. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel sued, and the police backed down from the demands. NIF has helped LGBTQ organizers overcome similar obstacles in Be’er Sheva and Jerusalem.
Holding Business Accountable for Discrimination
Following a petition from The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Israel Land Administration fined Mishab Housing and Construction NIS 30,000 ($8,300) for discriminating against Arab home-buyers in the Galilee town of Maalot-Tarshiha. The firm offered significant discounts to prospective Jewish buyers, but consistently told Arab buyers that the special offers had ended.
Opposing Gender Discrimination
The Israel Religious Action Center won a case representing an 81-year-old woman forced to move from her seat to accommodate a male ultra-Orthodox passenger who refused to sit next to a woman. The court ordered the airline to prohibit flight attendants from asking women to change their seats for this reason.
Ending a Ban on Women’s Voices
The Jerusalem District Court ordered the ultra-Orthodox Kol BaRama radio station to pay NIS 1 million ($280,000) in damages for barring women from speaking on the air. The ruling followed a class action suit by NIF grantee Kolech: Religious Women’s Forum. The ruling established a key precedent allowing class action lawsuits in civil rights cases.
Stopping Deportations of Asylum Seekers
After the Israeli government announced it would make people seeking refuge choose between prison or deportation, NIF-backed organizations mobilized Israelis of every stripe, including Holocaust survivors, Mizrahi leaders, and the urban poor. More than 20,000 Israelis turned out for a demonstration against the deportations. The government has since suspended its forced-deportation program.
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.
Fighting for Public Housing
Years of advocacy brought the Israeli government to embark on a plan to double the current public housing stock in Israel. An additional 7,000 apartments will become available, every year, to house Israel’s poorest citizens. Single-parent households are the most likely to end up in public housing and will benefit from this program.