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NIF's Achievements in Israel - 2013

rsz_shatil_poverty_forum_1.jpg2013 has been a big year for NIF -- both in Australia, and in Israel.

You can read more about NIF Australia's progress in our 2013 report, and below the work of NIF and its grantees across the width and breadth of Israeli society.

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Participate in Human Rights Week in Israel

ACRI-HRWeek.jpgNIF flagship grantee the Association for Civil Rights in Israel is running its Human Rights Week to celebrate International Human Rights Day on December 10th.

The photo on the right is of NIF Australia Executive Director Liam Getreu showing his support for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.

All you need to do to participate is print off this poster, add to it your most important human rights issue, and upload it with the hashtag #HRWeek to Facebook or Twitter.

See some of the photos ACRI has already uploaded to Facebook

Update on the Prawer-Begin Plan

As Israel's development and implementation of the Prawer-Begin Plan progresses, we have collated a number of resources to help you better understand its implications for Israel's Bedouin sector. Most usefully is an excellent video from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI):

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“Kick Racism Out of Football” Celebrates 10 Years

Arab-fan-presents-a-Jewish-player-with-flowers.jpgThe New Israel Fund’s “Kick Racism Out of Football” campaign is celebrating a decade of enormous success this year. 

In events organised by the campaign, dozens of Arab and Jewish fans met before the opening match of Israel's new soccer season to prepare anti-racism banners, and the fans of Hapoel Tel Aviv and from the Arab city of Sakhnin also discussed the need for shared society and tolerance.

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Thanks to Shatil, activists bring social justice issues to Israel's municipal elections

Uriel_Sinai___Getty_Images.jpg
Photo: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

More local councils around the country will be equipped to promote democracy, social justice and shared society issues as a result of Shatil's focus on the municipal elections this year. Shatil, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, is NIF's action arm in Israel.

Seven new local council members who won seats in the October 22 elections were trained in Shatil's pre-election leadership courses for social change in the local authorities. Ten other course graduates, who decided to run after taking the course, did not win their bids for municipal council seats, but raised important progressive issues during their campaigns. Eleven new Ethiopian Israelis are now city council members and all of them attended Shatil trainings. At least one course graduate completely changed the discourse in his city around tolerance vis a vis the gay community.

All in all, 52 activists graduated from four trainings and many more attended a range of workshops focused on leveraging the elections to promote issues such as religious pluralism, environmental protection and social housing.

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Taking Our Place: Women of the Wall's 25th Anniversary

Five prominent Australian women have contributed to a book celebrating the 25th anniversary of Israeli organisation “Women of the Wall”.

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Bring Democracy Back to Education Before It's Too Late

According to a new poll, nearly half of Israeli Jews think they should have more rights than non-Jews, with the figures particularly disturbing among young people. This is the result of a system that must be changed.

Continue reading for an article by NIF Executive Director Rachel Liel originally published in Walla. You can read more about the poll at the Times of Israel.

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Changing the language from rationalisation to responsibility - by Barbara Swirski

This article by Adva Center (The Study of Israeli Society and for Social Justice and Equality) executive director Barbara Swirski was published in NIF's Ha'aretz Yom Kippur supplement, and was read by tens of thousands of Israelis.

adva.jpgNow that the government has spent three decades striving to downsize, following the neo-liberal model, perhaps the time has come to transition from the language of rationalization to that of responsibility. Downsizing means budget cuts, privatization, and exchanging worker-employer relations for consumer-product relations. Responsibility, by contrast, means ensuring adequate funding for social services; reversing the privatization trend; and a return to worker-employer relations, so that Israel continues to be a welfare state rather than one promoting the wellbeing and profit of labor contractors.

How can we bring about the change? Here are two examples: retirement savings plans  and healthcare.

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Difference and indifference - by Anat Hoffman

This article by Anat Hoffman was published in NIF's Ha'aretz Yom Kippur supplement, and was read by tens of thousands of Israelis.

anat-hoffman-article.jpgFellow Israelis, let me tell you how it came to pass. We were indifferent, and allowed an extreme minority within Judaism to build partitions amongst us. A partition is not necessarily bad; it's fine, as long as it furthers empowerment and solidarity; as long as she who is behind it enjoys equality amid difference, not if she is excluded and silenced by sheer force. 

You need to know how to construct a partition. Take for example the mother of all Israeli partitions: the mehitza separating men from women at the Western Wall. That barrier now rises above human height, requiring grannies to climb up on plastic chairs to glimpse their grandson having his Bar Mitzvah. Over the years, the partition was moved, in order to expand the men's section at the expense of the women's; the men's section is now five times larger than the women's section. 

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Israeli High Court Strikes Down "Anti-Infiltrator" Asylum Seeker Detention Law

OverturnedFollowing a petition by NIF grantees, the Israeli High Court of Justice has struck down Israel's "anti-infiltration" law, which allowed to state to detain asylum seekers for three years without processing them.

NIF grantees the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and the Migrant Workers Hotline were among those involved in the petition.

 

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