Civil and Human Rights

A Push for Tolerance

07 August 2014 By New Israel Fund

 While all of Israel continues to be preoccupied with the war and hoping the new cease fire will hold, our work for social change continues unabated. Despite the tensions and violence, over the past few weeks we've celebrated victories for equal pay, public housing and disability rights. In addition, SHATIL is continuing its work to alleviate flaring tensions between Arab and Jewish resulting from the conflict, and to reduce violence and incitement from extremists on both sides.

Below are examples of our activities over the past two weeks:

  • Mapping and responding to the needs of Israelis living under threat of rocket attack in order to provide emergency advice and assistance to front-line groups;
  • Encouraging influential political figures – MKs and ministers – to strengthen freedom of expression and condemn violence in the public sphere. Our actions have resulted in public statements from several Knesset members;
  • Initiated an emergency "Haifa against Racism and Violence" conference and other public events taking place this week to strengthen Haifa as a shared city;
  • Encouraged social media users to report pages promoting incitement and hate, which resulted in a rare Facebook move to shut down two incendiary pages: "Vengeance of the Jews" and "Concentration of Enemies of Israel;"
  • Signed a public statement against incitement, racism, and violence toward Palestinian Israelis;
  • Sultan Abu Abaid, Director of SHATIL Be'er Sheva, spoke at the NIF-sponsored "Border Tikkun" event -- a concert held in the heart of old city Be'er Sheva, which promoted a sense of a shared society, empowered voices from the south, and brought together Israelis from across the spectrum through art;
  • Organized a local Jerusalem coalition of organizations and activists to promote freedom of speech and to oppose violence, racism, and incitement.

Click here for more examples of NIF/SHATIL's work during the conflict.