Human Rights Day 2009

"Discrimination lies at the root of many of the world’s most pressing human rights problems. No country is immune from this scourge.  Eliminating discrimination is a duty of the highest order."

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

This year the United Nations declared End Discrimination the theme for International Human Rights Day. Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel has been leading the struggle to end discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel for over 13 years. While we have had success in overturning discriminatory policies and laws, we face a near-constant stream of new discriminatory policies and laws, many of which threaten the citizenship and basic rights of Arab citizens of Israel.  It is for this reason that on the occasion of International Human Rights Day we ask you, our friends, colleagues and supporters to continue to support Adalah in our struggle for equal human rights in Israel.

We wish we could report a decrease in inequality between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel. However, in reality 2009 witnessed the reverse trend: a disturbing rise in discrimination against Arab citizens of the state.

Numerous Israeli political parties, including the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu (the two largest political parties in Israel today), ran on virulently “anti-Arab” platforms in this year’s general elections.  Arab political leaders and parties found themselves, as in previous elections, fighting for the basic right to elect and be elected. Adalah intervened in the Central Elections Committee and the Supreme Court, after which all the “banned” Arab political parties were able to freely and fairly participate in elections.
After taking office, members of Netanyahu’s new ruling coalition – one of the most right-wing governments in Israeli history – launched a flood of anti-democratic, anti-Arab legislation in the Knesset. These bills threaten to exclude Palestinian citizens of Israel from the political life of the country, impose conditions on their citizenship, and criminalize their political expression. Adalah continues to advocate locally and internationally against the enactment of these discriminatory new bills and laws. 
Tens of thousands of Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel in the Naqab (Negev) spent yet another year under the threat of having their homes demolished and being forced off their land. In July 2009, the courts ordered the eviction of residents from the “unrecognized” Arab Bedouin village of Umm al-Hieran, 60 years after the Israeli military ordered them to leave their ancestral lands and relocate to the village. Adalah learned that the objective behind this latest displacement is to clear the land for the establishment of the Jewish town of “Hiran.” Adalah is appealing the eviction orders.
Over 800 anti-war protestors, Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, were imprisoned for protesting against Israel’s brutal military attacks on Gaza. Adalah represented demonstrators and reported on how the police, state prosecutors, the General Security Services (“Shabak”), the courts and even academic institutions used arrest and imprisonment as a means to intimidate and deter them from voicing their opposition. The Goldstone Report relied heavily on Adalah’s work concerning Gaza and its findings in this regard. The Goldstone Report dedicated an entire chapter to the arrest and harassment of anti-war protestors, and recommended that Israel investigate whether demonstrators were discriminated against by the authorities. Adalah has demanded that the state implement this recommendation

Please help Adalah in our struggle to end discrimination against Arab citizens in Israel:

1.   Subscribe to Adalahs electronic monthly newsletter to receive regular updates, reports, articles and commentaries in Arabic, Hebrew and English.

Click here to subscribe to Adalah's Newsletter

2.    Receive and distribute Adalah’s materials, reports and journals, such as the newly released Volume 5 of Adalah’s Review: “On Criminalization”.

Click here to order

3.    Volunteer/intern with Adalah.

Click here for more information on these opportunities 

4.     Support Adalah’s pioneering work

Click here to learn more about how to make a donation



Hassan Jabareen, Advocate

General Director, Adalah

Main office: 94 Yaffa Street, PO Box 8921, Haifa 31090 Tel: (972)-4-950-1610 Fax: (972)-4-950-3140
Naqab office: 28 Reger Ave # 35 Beer el Sabe, Israel Tel: (972)-8-665-0740 Fax: (972)-8-665-0853
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