A new campaign is working to ensure that Palestinian Israelis – about 20% of Israel’s population – are not ignored in the current election campaigns. Simultaneously, our network of activists are working to bring attention to critical social justice issues, including the tens of thousands of Israelis (both Jewish and Arab) waiting for public housing, the working poor, contracted workers, and other key issues. NIF’s action-arm Shatil is working hard to flood the airwaves, TV channels, newspapers, web, and pre-election gatherings with these issues — and making sure the candidates address them.
At this critical window of influence, when Knesset candidates are talking to the public and are more accessible, Shatil is giving voice to activists and issues of utmost importance to many Israelis.
The campaign, run by the Abraham Fund in collaboration with Shatil, aims to strengthen cooperation between the Arab sector and the Knesset. President Ruby Rivlin gave the issue a high profile boost when he said, “Building bridges between the Jewish and Arab public is of utmost importance.”
The public housing scandal is also continuing to make huge waves. An expose by the Shatil-led Forum for Public Housing uncovered that Housing Minister Uri Ariel had sold state property designated for public housing to religious institutions affiliated with his Jewish Home political party at discount prices. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of underprivileged families are in desperate need of housing solutions. Channel One’s popular prime-time Friday night news show devoted 10 minutes to the issue in a dramatic, documentary-style film clip (in Hebrew), which featured Forum activists, a single mother about to be evicted from home, and other people’s struggle for public housing.
Shatil’s Danny Gigi informed the hundreds of thousands of viewers about the NIS 2.75 billion that disappeared from the state’s public housing fund. Another popular radio news/talk show (in Hebrew) discussed housing and pressed candidates for their stance on the issue.