Oct 16, 2019

Israeli police must be held accountable to Palestinian citizens

Adalah's meme linking October 2000 to October 2019
Adalah's meme linking October 2000 to October 2019

Dear friends,

Nineteen years ago, in October 2000, Israeli police shot dead 13 Palestinians in Israel during mass protests against Israel's repressive policies in the Occupied Territories at the start of the Second Intifada. The police, who used live-fire and rubber bullets, also wounded 1,000 protestors and arrested 660 in Israel.

For years Adalah represented the families of the 13 killed Palestinian protestors, demanding that those responsible be investigated and prosecuted.

In a 2003 report, a commission of inquiry confirmed that there was no justification for the police's use of lethal force against the protestors. It also called on the police to "root out the existence of negative prejudices against the Arab sector" across its ranks, adding that the police should no longer see the Palestinian citizens as an "enemy".

Despite these strong words, the Attorney General in 2008 closed all of the files against police officers, commanders, and political leaders. To this day, not a single Israeli officer or other official has been indicted for the killings. And years later, it is clear that the Israeli authorities have refused to heed Palestinian demands for fair, humane, and accountable law enforcement.

This month, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel have taken to the streets to protest the police's systemic negligence in tackling the rise of deadly violent crime in Arab communities.

On 3 October, Adalah participated in a general strike by the Palestinian community to protest the police's inactivity. Adalah staff also attended a mass demonstration in the northern town of Majd Al-Krum, where we legally observed the protests and stood ready for any legal representations of protestorsthat may have been necessary.

To commemorate October 2000, Adalah issued a meme on its social media pages connecting the protests in 2000 with the current protests of October 2019 (see above), and reiterating our demand for justice and accountability for the killings and injuries of Palestinians past and present, whether by the police themselves or by their grave inaction.

Our persistent efforts over all these years to protect Palestinian citizens’ right to protest, and to hold the Israeli police accountable to the people they are meant to serve, can only be possible by your ongoing, generous support for our work.

A monthly, recurring donation will help to ensure our continued ability to “Protect the Protest”.

Will you make a new contribution to Adalah today?

Thank you in advance for all of your support to our crucial work.

Jul 31, 2019

Win! Afula public park ends racist ban on non-residents

Entrance to Afula public park
Entrance to Afula public park

Dear friends,

We won!

Following Adalah's lawsuit, the Municipality of Afula in northern Israel was compelled by court on 14 July 2019 to end its ban on non-residents from entering a public park in the city.

This policy was aimed at blocking residents of nearby Arab communities from using the facility. We know because the municipality told us so.

Earlier this month, Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi and her infant son arrived at the park and found a new large sign at the entrance reading: "The park is open … to Afula residents only".

Upon learning that they are from the nearby Arab city of Nazareth, a security guard at the park entrance forbade them from entering.

"I felt deeply humiliated by the situation," said Attorney Shehadeh-Zoabi.

"Jewish residents freely walked past me into the very park that I so often enjoyed with my son while I was prevented from entering and forced to leave – simply because I am from the Arab city of Nazareth".

The ban was issued following an explicit election promise by Afula Mayor Avi Elkabetz to act against what he deigned the "conquest of the park" by residents of surrounding Arab towns. He called on the city's Jewish residents to "proudly hoist Israeli flags throughout the park and play music in Hebrew".

The ban was also made public just days after Mayor Elkabetz took part in a protest against the sale of a home in the city to Palestinian citizens of Israel, and after newly-elected city council members were sworn into office pledging to act to preserve the city's Jewish character.

This positive result following Adalah’s legal interventions – which were widely covered in local and international media – effectively rebukes the city and its mayor for their racist policies, and ensures that Palestinian families in Israel can enjoy free access to the public park.

Our victory shows what Adalah is able to achieve with your contributions.

For Adalah to continue its fight against racism and discrimination, and to secure just rights for all Palestinians, we need your support.

Will you donate to Adalah today? Will you share our appeal with friends and family? We would be very grateful.

In solidarity,

Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)

Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi
Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi
Adalah Attorney Fady Khoury speaking to media
Adalah Attorney Fady Khoury speaking to media
Jul 15, 2019

Going on a class trip? Learn racist propaganda first

Screenshot of video in the online hasbara course
Screenshot of video in the online hasbara course

Dear friends,

This year, 25 bright Palestinian students at a high school in Nazareth were supposed to travel to Sweden for an exciting exchange program.

But the students, all citizens of Israel, discovered that a new rule had been put in place by Israel's Education Ministry: all high schoolers in the country – Arab and Jewish – had to pass an online government propaganda course in order to participate in overseas class trips.

The mandatory course requires students to watch a series of videos and then take a multiple choice exam – the correct answers of which are shockingly racist and promote the Israeli government's "hasbara" (propaganda) messages against Palestinians.

For example, one question asks: "How do Palestinian organizations use digital social networks?" The correct answer of four possible choices: "Encouraging violence".

Another question asks students to identify the origins of modern anti-Semitism. The exam's correct answer: "Muslim organizations" and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

"The Israeli Education Ministry is trying to turn high school students into agents of propaganda charged with spreading extreme racist ideology," said Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi, who wrote a letter to the Education Ministry last month on behalf of the school, the Masar Association.

Adalah argued in its letter that, in addition to violating Israeli laws, the propaganda course is an affront to the values of educational pluralism and constitute blatant humiliation of Palestinian high school students, who are essentially being told to internalize racist ideologies and beliefs about their own community.

"This is outrageous and illegal", said Attorney Shehadeh-Zoabi. "Political and ideological coercion of citizens radically contradicts the goals of education. Adalah will take all necessary steps to abolish this course, which is repugnantly offensive to Arab citizens and students".

Adalah is preparing to take further legal actions to cancel the propaganda course by the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, so that all high schoolers in Israel can participate in foreign exchange programs without the racist indoctrination of the government.

Will you donate today to help us in this effort?

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