International Advocacy 2012

HIGHLIGHTS - NGO Coalition submits report to Committee Against Torture. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination presents Concluding Observations following Adalah's briefing mission. Presentations and meetings in US.

Highlights | UN Advocacy | EU Advocacy | US Advocacy


US and EU Reports on Israel Highlight Discrimination against Arab Citizens of Israel

The US and the EU both released their annual human rights and progress reports on Israel, respectively, in 5/12. Each one substantially criticized the state of minority rights in the country. The US State Department called the "institutional and societal discrimination" against Arab citizens of Israel one of the country's top three human rights issues of the year in its Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Israel in 2011, and the EU stressed that "progress on the situation of the Arab minority was limited" in its 2011 Progress Report on Implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy. Adalah submitted reports to and attended NGO meetings with human rights officers of the US State Department and with EU officials on human rights violations against Palestinian citizens of Israel in 2011 to contribute to these reports. Read: Briefing paper to the EU.

Adalah’s International Advocacy Director Rina Rosenberg published an editorial in Ha’aretz English Edition, “Words are not enough,” in 6/12 pointing out that while the acknowledgment of discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel is welcome, these words alone are not an adequate response to the urgency of a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation. Although the super-powered friends of Israel are recognizing the "right" wrongs, and saying the right things about the degradation of the rule of law in Israel, she says, words and recognition in oft-neglected reports are insufficient.

European Parliament Calls for Withdrawal of Prawer Plan, Linking Forced Displacement of Arab Bedouin in Naqab to Israel’s Policies in the OPT

Press Release (8 July 2012) – On 5 July 2012, the European Parliament (EP) passed a historic resolution (291 to 274, with 39 abstentions) strongly condemning Israeli policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including forced displacement and home demolitions. The resolution, proposed by the Socialists and Democrats (SD) Group in the EP, is particularly noteworthy for its inclusion of Israeli government policies in Israel against the Arab Bedouin citizens in the Naqab (Negev). The EP call on Israel to withdraw the government-approved Prawer Plan is the result of months of intensive advocacy by Adalah and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) in Brussels, including a briefing by Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara before the EP’s Working Group on the Middle East in June 2012 in Strasbourg.

Read: Briefing Paper for the EU Parliament | Myths and Misconceptions about the Arab Bedouin| Understanding the Prawer Plan Bill

UN Advocacy

UN Human Rights Committee (more information)

17 of 26 questions raised by HRC to Israel discussed in Adalah’s reports

Press Release (18 September 2012) – On 31 August 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) posed 26 questions to Israel (List of Issues Prior to Reporting, called the LOIPR) regarding its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  The HRC adopted 8 of the 10 urgent issues listed in Adalah's report on discrimination, submitted in June 2012 (Press Release on Report to HRC on Discrimination – 12 June 2012)

Press Release (19 September 2012) – The UNHRC’s LOIPR to Israel also directly discussed 9 issues raised by The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Adalah, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) in a briefing paper on Israel’s lack of compliance with the ICCPR regarding torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners and of the broader Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). (Press Release on Briefing Paper on Torture's Submission to HRC – 14 June 2012)

Press Release (14 June 2012) – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Adalah, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) submitted a briefing paper to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) to assist in the preparation of its “List of Issues” for the State of Israel.

Press Release (12 June 2012) – On 11 June 2012, Adalah submitted a report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UN HRC) to assist it in preparing a “List of Issues” for Israel in July 2012.

UN Committee Against Torture (more information)

UN Committee Against Torture Releases List of Issues for Israel: 37 of 59 Questions Regarding Israel’s Compliance with the Convention Against Torture Relate to Issues Raised in NGO Report

Press Release (18 July 2012) – The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) posed 59 questions to Israel regarding its compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Adalah, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) submitted a joint report to CAT on Israel’s non-compliance with the convention in order to call the expert members of the Committee attention to Israel's use of torture.

Press Release (27 March 2012) – Adalah, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, PHR-I, and Al Mezan submitted a joint report to the Committee Against Torture on Israel’s failure to implement the Convention Against Torture for preparation of the List of Issues presented to Israel in May.

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (more information)

UNCERD calls on Israel to End Discriminatory Laws, Discrimination against Palestinians in Israel

Press Release (15 March 2012) – The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination released its Concluding Observations on Israel, which call on Israel to, among other things, revoke the Admissions Committee Law and Citizenship Law, and end discriminatory land policies.

Press Release (14 February 2012) - In February, Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn briefed (text) the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva during their 2012 evaluation of Israel’s Periodic Reports of 2010 and 2011. Attorney Kohn also met with officials mandated to perform special procedures of the Human Rights Council, and held a diplomatic briefing with several other local and international NGOs entitled “Racial Discrimination in Israel and the OPT:  Update and Assessment from the Field.

UN Committee Concluding Observations Translated

Press Release (21 June 2012) – Adalah was informed on 19 June 2012 that the Israeli Ministry of Justice has translated several “Concluding Observations” issued by United Nations human rights treaty bodies into Hebrew, and has made these documents available on the Ministry’s website. The United Nations also translates some concluding observations into Arabic, one of the UN’s official languages, which are also now available. This year, in advance of International Women’s Day in March 2012, Adalah sent a letter to the Attorney General requesting that he issue directives to the Israeli government to translate the concluding observations of the UN human rights treaty bodies regarding the rights of women into Hebrew and Arabic, and that he ensure that the relevant ministries adopt and implement them. 

UN Expert on Adequate Housing

Land Development model in Israel and OPT Excludes, Discriminates, and Displaces Palestinians

Press Release (14 February 2012) – On 12 February 2012, the UN Special Rapporteur (SR) on Adequate Housing, Ms. Raquel Rolnik, completed her two week official visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Adalah provided briefings to the UN SR on our key concerns regarding the right to adequate housing for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, and accompanied a tour in the Naqab (Negev). Ms. Rolnik issued her strong preliminary statements at a press conference in Jerusalem on 12 February.

EU Advocacy

EU Critical of Israel’s Human Rights Violations While Strengthening Economic Cooperation

Press Release (29 July 2012) – On 27 July 2012, in a statement issued by the EU-Israel Association Council, the European Union (EU) sharply criticized Israel for a wide range of human rights violations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) welcome language in the statement calling for rectification of human rights violations in Israel and the OPT. Among other issues, the statement refers to Israel's obligation to protect the rights of the Arab-Palestinian minority, stressing the “importance to address it as a core problem in its own right,” and to seek equitable and sustainable solutions with regard to the unrecognized Arab Bedouin villages in close consultation with the communities affected.

EMHRN Statement on 5 Years of Illegal Closure of the Gaza Strip

Press Release (14 June 2012) – 14 June 2012 marked the fifth year of Israel’s closure – by land, air and sea – of the Gaza Strip. The closure, also widely referred to as a ‘blockade’ (1), has had a major impact on all aspects of the lives of the 1.6 million Palestinians living in Gaza. It severely restricts their freedom of movement and trade, and violates their basic human rights, including the right to life, health, education, food, water, standard of living, and adequate housing. Read more from the statement.

Letter to the EU on the Human Rights Strategy for Israel

Adalah; Amnesty International – Israel Section; Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), and  Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) sent a letter to the EU COHOM working group; The MaMa working groups; Members of the Israel, OPT, Human Rights Desks and Middle East Division of the EEAS; EU Delegation, Ramat Gan; EU Representations, East Jerusalem and Ramallah. Read the letter (14 June 2012)

European Members of Parliament Express Deep Concern About Prawer Plan

Press Release (14 June 2012) – senior Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara provided an in-depth briefing to the European Parliament’s (EP) Working Group on the Middle East on the Israeli government-approved Prawer Plan that aims to forcibly displace up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel from their ancestral land in the Naqab (Negev). The former President of the European Parliament and the current Chairman of the Working Group, Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering (Germany) extended an official invitation to Adalah to appear before the Committee earlier this month. Adalah requested that the European Parliament take a series of actions and call on Israel to stop the devastating Prawer Plan.

Israeli and Palestinian Human Rights NGOs Conduct EU Advocacy Mission for Prisoners and Detainees Rights and an End to Administrative Detention

Press Release (28 May 2012) – AdalahPhysicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) conducted an advocacy visit to Brussels to push for more active EU engagement with Israel to end torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment (CIDT) of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons, and the use of administrative detention /detention under the Unlawful Combatants Law – 2002. The visit took place from 15-16 May 2012 in the context of the mass hunger strike staged by Palestinian prisoners against Israel’s use of administrative detention / detention under the Unlawful Combatants Law, solitary confinement, the lack of family visits and other severe measures and conditions of imprisonment. These conditions did not improve after the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011 but only worsened, and combined may constitute CIDT in violation of international law.

US Advocacy

Adalah General Director Attorney Hassan Jabareen spoke April at Yale Law School at a talk entitled “Israel’s New Era of Legalizing Discrimination and Passing Anti-Democratic Laws: Why Now?”

During the same trip, Attorney Jabareen and International Advocacy Director Rina Rosenberg briefed several officers from the US Department of State on Israel’s current laws and policies for the 2011 Human Rights Country Report, and the International Religious Freedom Report.