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NIF's Recent Achievements - August, 2013

Here is an update on just some of NIF and its grantees' latest achievements.

Progress for Egalitarian Prayer at the Kotel

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Following an appeal by police who wanted to justify their detention of NIF grantee Women of the Wall activists, in a precedent-setting ruling the court decided that the Orthodox authorities do not have a monopoly on determining how Jews pray at the Kotel. The decision is a major victory in the ongoing struggle for egalitarian prayer at Judaism’s holiest site. In a second landmark victory for religious pluralism, the government announced that it will now allow rabbis from the Reform and Conservative movements to serve as state-salaried community rabbis. The decision follows a seven-year legal struggle by veteran NIF grantee Israel Religious Action Center 

Countering “Price Tag” and Racist Attacks

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From the onset of the vicious “price tag” attacks – the price radical extremists exact in response to any government attempt to close down illegal settlement outposts – NIF began intensive efforts promoting a shared society. From solidarity visits to mosques, a monastery and other sites of price-tag violence, the NIF network has been a strong voice for tolerance. Most recently, the NIF-convened Tag Meir coalition held a solidarity event in the village of Abu Ghosh, a symbol of shared society between Jews and Arabs, following attacks in the town.

An Important Victory for Arab Land Rights

Three.jpgIn a precedent-setting ruling, the Haifa Magistrate Court approved a settlement against a real estate developer who discriminated against Arab buyers. Attorney Gil Gan-Mor, Director of ACRI’s Right to Housing Project and NIF Law Fellow alum, said: "Developers and real estate entrepreneurs who discriminate in the marketing of apartment units now know that they are exposed to civil lawsuits, disqualifications from tenders and steep fines."

An End to Gender Segregation?

Four.jpgIn May, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructed the government to immediately stop the exclusion and segregation of women in the public sphere. The announcement follows a multi-year campaign by NIF and its grantees. The NIF network will continue monitoring the situation to ensure sure that public gender segregation and exclusion has no place in a modern, democratic Israel.

Victory against Pro-Developer Planning Bill

Five.jpgThe SHATIL-coordinated Forum for Responsible Planning won this year’s prestigious Green Globe award – Israel’s environmental Oscars. The Forum campaigned successfully against a proposed planning bill that would have tilted the building process towards wealthy developers and which threatened to alter Israel’s social and environmental landscape beyond recognition. Their campaign resulted in significant amendments to the proposed reform of Israel's Planning and Building Law, which has not been passed pending improvements to the legislation.

Eritrean Mothers and Children Released from Prison

Six.jpgIn the beginning of May, 9 Eritrean female asylum seekers and their 10 children were released from a detention center in Israel. The asylum seekers had not committed any crime, but were facing indefinite detention for entering Israel without proper documentation. NIF grantee Hotline for Migrant Workers petitioned for their release, and NIF Law Fellow alum Raya Meiler represented two Eritrean girls. The NIF family of organizations is now working on securing the release of refugee children in detention, from Sudan and other countries 


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