Message from Rachel Benziman, Executive Director of ACRI
In the past months we witnessed two decisions that directly affect the
status of non-Jews in Israel. The Supreme Court, with a six to five majority, opted to
dismiss petitions challenging the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which prevents
the naturalization in Israel of Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories who are
spouses of Israeli citizens (in most cases Arab citizens of Israel). A few weeks later,
the Minister of the Interior, Roni Bar-On, decided to widen
the eligibility criteria for children of migrant workers, who were born or grew up in
Israel, for gaining residency status in Israel. This followed a lengthy struggle conducted
by ACRI and other social change organizations on behalf of these children. However, the
decision was carefully worded to deny eligibility to children, who were born or raised in
Israel, to Palestinians who are residents of the occupied territories, and who entered the
The Supreme Court's decision was allegedly based on the state's security concerns, thus ignoring the "demographic" considerations, which were referred to freely by politicians. The Interior Minister's decision, hailed by liberals and human rights activists, was severely criticized by the Shas Minister of Employment, Eli Yishay, as posing a danger to the Jewish character of the state.
While being appalled by the Supreme Courts decision and pleased by the Interior Ministers decision, notwithstanding its limited scope, I cannot help but recognize that both of them exemplify a state policy of guarding the gates of Israel against non-Jews, and especially against Arabs who wish to become Israeli citizens. Furthermore, it is a disturbing fact that a succession of Israeli governments have used the alleged demographic threat as a means of justifying outright discrimination against the Arab minority.
This is only one form of the many examples of discrimination that ACRI regularly addresses as we face the ongoing challenge in our work to promote a just and tolerant society. Your ongoing support for our efforts is therefore critical to the wide range of population sectors that benefit from our work.
Protect Palestinian Children from Settler Violence
The following is a translation of a letter, and a related article that appeared in Haaretz on 9.4.06, that was sent to the Prime Minister by 30 artists and intellectuals, including ACRI President Sami Michael, to protest the ongoing and unchecked attacks on Palestinian children by Jewish settlers.
Hate in the Name of God
Below is a presentation that was delivered by ACRI Attorney, Avner Pinchuk at a recent high-profile academic conference in Budapest on the subject of Hate Speech.
ACRI Online email@example.comThe Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Issue No. 4 June 2006
Jun 27, 2006