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Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation

by Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Bus 18 (Courtesy of ACRI)
Bus 18 (Courtesy of ACRI)

Dear Friends,

 

Greetings to you from Adalah! 

One of the most important strategic litigation issues that Adalah challenges before Israeli courts is that of racial profiling, which targets Palestinian Arab citizens and residents of Israel and Palestinians living in the 1967 Occupied Territories. Over the years we have brought a series of cases against racial profiling at the airport; with car rental companies; and most recently, our Afula Park case, in which the municipality tried to ban non-residents (read: Arab) from entering the park; Adalah won this case in the summer of 2019!

We have had another success this month in yet a further racial profiling case. During this litigation before the Israeli Supreme Court, it was revealed that the police had an official policy of profiling bus passengers who seem to have an “Arab appearance”, asking them to show their identification cards. If the passengers are not citizens of Israel, they must get off the bus - “Dan In the South” #18 bus line, which stops at Barzilay Hosptial in Ashkelon in the south of Israel - and wait outside the hospital grounds until the bus completes its route through the hospital grounds.

During the hearing held on 27 January 2020, the Supreme Court found that there was a formal procedure being undertaken by the Israeli police, which involved the checking of bus passengers according to "suspicious signs". The state presented a new security policy to the Court as "secret evidence" during the hearing, in which petitioners were not present.

The proceedings concluded with the police agreeing to end the profiling policy on bus #18. Further, the state is required to update the Court within 90 days about its progress in forming a permanent security procedure, which does not include profiling.

Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), along with Physicians for Human Rights – Israel and the Israel Religious Action Center’s Racism Crisis Center, filed the petition before the Israeli Supreme Court in 2019 demanding a halt to the discriminatory security checks on the bus. The petition was filed by Adalah Attorney Sari Arraf and ACRI Attorney Anne Suciu.

The petition before the Supreme Court argued that racial profiling based on Arab passengers’ ethnicity creates a degrading and insulting experience, labels individuals as dangerous simply because of their national and ethnic identity, and infringes on Arab passengers’ fundamental right to dignity, equality, and privacy. The petition also stressed that this practice, which includes heightened security and forcing Palestinian Arabs who are residents of the West Bank and Gaza (who have permits to be in Israel) to get off the bus, is done without the appropriate authority.

Adalah Attorney Sari Arraf: “The many partners undertaking these racial profiling practices completely ignored the sweeping prohibition given to such conduct in the past. The most senior echelons of the hospital and government offices, who are responsible for preventing such discrimination, legitimized this humiliating behavior. The fight against racial profiling will continue."

As always, Adalah needs you to stand with us strongly against all forms of discrimination, and especially discrimination based on national ethnic and racial belonging.

We would be grateful if you would consider a monthly recurring donation to Adalah – the first month of which would be matched by GlobalGiving – to continue the struggle against racial profiling and discrimination, and to defend human rights.

With appreciation and in solidarity,

(Center) Adalah Attorney Sari Arraf, Supreme Court
(Center) Adalah Attorney Sari Arraf, Supreme Court

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All-camp photo!
All-camp photo!

Dear friends,

Thanks to your support, Adalah held its 14th annual Law Students Conference on 12-14 September 2019 in Beit Sahour, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. What an inspiring three-day experience it was for the students, the speakers, and all of the Adalah family!

The camp – held in Arabic – brings together Palestinian students from Israeli and Palestinian universities. It is very rare for Palestinian students from Israel and the West Bank to convene in a legal, academic context.

The Adalah camp facilitates this connection and functions as a platform that allows the sharing of ideas, subjects, and dialogue that are usually absent from their regular law school curricula. It also encourages the students to learn more about public interest or cause lawyering for human rights by introducing the students to many different practitioners and organizations engaged in this struggle.

CLICK HERE to see all the photos from the camp!

Sixty students from Palestinian and Israeli universities participated in this year's camp, the theme of which was "State of Emergency". Israel has been operating under a self-declared state of emergency since 1948.

A series of panels and workshops highlighted different aspects of this state of emergency and the ways in which this situation works to violate the human rights of Palestinians, both citizens of Israel and people living under Occupation.

In addition, a tour of the divided West Bank city of Al Khalil (Hebron) and a screening of The Advocate also helped the students to better grasp the theme and its ongoing repercussions for their lives and the lives of their potential clients.

This year's invited speakers provided both theoretical academic, practitioner, and personal story-telling perspectives to give students a holistic lens through which to view the state of emergency in law and practice.

CLICK HERE to see the full program.

Below are examples of the feedback from the student participants:

Marah, Nazareth | 1st year law student, Haifa University:

“The concepts discussed in the panels and workshops were very rich and stimulating. The camp encouraged us as students to approach our course of study and curricula in a more critical eye and to be more engaged.”

Murad, Nablus | 2018 graduate, An-Najah National University:
 

“Palestinians lack platforms that bring us together. Adalah was able to give us this platform. It provided us with a safe space where our voices can be heard. Adalah’s camp isn’t just a project, it’s a family.”

Lama, Maghar | 1st year law student, Tel Aviv University:

"The visit to Hebron was an eye opener for me. Even though I thought I was familiar with the situation there on paper, it was a completely different experience to actually be there and visit the city. Meeting students from the West Bank was the highlight of the camp for me. We learned so much from each other!"

Duaa, Haifa, | 3rd year law student, Tel Aviv University:

"I felt very empowered and inspired to be in an inclusive Palestinian environment where all the participants are politically aware and engaged in studying the Palestinian cause."

Adalah’s annual camp is made possible by your support. In fact, a $100 donation would help to cover a student’s fee to attend next year’s camp and tour. Will you make this generous contribution or more today?

Students in discussion with lecturers
Students in discussion with lecturers
Law students sporting our camp t-shirts!
Law students sporting our camp t-shirts!
Students participating (& enjoying!) the workshops
Students participating (& enjoying!) the workshops
Students in discussion with lecturers
Students in discussion with lecturers
Group photo while touring Hebron in the West Bank
Group photo while touring Hebron in the West Bank
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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
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Organization Information

Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Location: Haifa - Israel
Website:
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Twitter: @adalahcenter
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