General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Parasha / E-Letter, Refugees rights - UNHCR

Passover Thoughts 5776: Where is God’s Glory?

No Comments 26 April 2016

As we near the final days of Passover, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president and senior rabbi for Rabbis for Human Rights, shares his thoughts on the holiday. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

“I am embarrassed that the kids go to school with falling apart shoes”

No Comments 25 April 2016

“I am embarrased” she tells me “that I can’t pay for the cultural activities at school, and that the kids go to school with shoes that are falling apart.”

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General, Justice in Israel

Correspondence between RHR and the UN regarding UNHRC

1 Comment 13 April 2016

First letter from Rabbis for Human Rights to UN’s S.G Ban Ki Moon

October 19, 2015

 

Mr. Ban Ki Moon

Secretary General

The United Nations

 

Your Excellency,

 

For a quarter century Rabbis for Human Rights has served on the front lines of the human rights struggles in Israel and the Occupied Territories. We have had the honor to protect the Palestinian olive harvest year after year. We run a welfare and human rights office inside the Green Line in the city of Hadera that protects the rights of Israeli workers and the poor. We promote democracy and educate toward equality. We engage in interfaith dialogue and support fair treatment of minorities in our country. Our central guiding light is the Jewish religious concept of humanity created in the Divine Image, and therefore of infinite inherent worth.

 

We write to Your Excellency to ask for review of the modes of operation of international human rights institutions responsible for the protection of human rights in inhabited combat zones. We think this reflection is crucial in order to restore the credibility of the global and local human rights network. In that regard, we wish to call attention, in particular, to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. It is hard to find objective criteria that can justify the the record of condemnation of Israel: Since 2006 the UNHRC has issued 62 condemnations of our country. The next most reprimanded country, Syria, has faced 16. This policy portrays the UNHRC criticism on Israel as biased and unprofessional and renders it ineffective. The dysfunctions of the UNHRC impact broadly on the credibility of the work of the human rights community worldwide.  In short: by hurting the credibility of the human rights network of organizations, it hurts the struggle for human rights.

 

 

We seek dialogue with Your Excellency so as to move forward in terms of rectifying this situation that has done so much harm to the discourse of international human rights law in our time. Our task is to address Israeli society, but when the institutions of the International Community so profoundly line up in ways that are unacceptable to any fair minded person, it is understandable that the discourse within our country becomes attenuated and difficult. That is our challenge. We respectfully suggest that the promulgation of equal, universal and universally applied criteria of intervention is a primary responsibility of the family of nations. You can play a key role in bringing that about by taking action to call the UNHRC to order.

 

 

We look forward to further dialogue at your nearest convenience.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Rabbi Amy Klein                                              

Chair                                                                

 

Rabbi Ed Rettig

Board Member

 

—-        

The UN’s response to RHR’s letter:

Download the PDF file .

 

UNs responds

—-

 

Rabbis for Human Rights second letter to the UN

To:                 

Mohammad Ali Ansour

Officer-in-Charge,

The Middle East and North Africa Section,

OHCHR

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your letter of 3 November 1015, addressed originally to His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. We take this correspondence seriously and have devoted significant time and energy to consider our response.

 

We wish to point out that your letter did not address our core query. We noted that “It is hard to find objective criteria that can justify record of condemnation of Israel: Since 2006, the UNHRC has issued 62 condemnations of our country. The next most reprimanded country, Syria, has faced 16.”  

 

We then pointed out that this imbalance “portrays UNHRC criticism on Israel as biased and unprofessional and renders it ineffective.”

 

Most important, in the absence of explicit criteria that can determine when to focus a resolution on the perceived dysfunctions of a particular country, the imbalance in the UNHRC focus on Israel “impact broadly on the credibility of the work of the human rights community worldwide. In short: by hurting the credibility of the human rights network of organizations it hurts the struggle for human rights.”

 

We congratulate you on the numerous processes you delineated for us, including over 1000 resolutions and decisions. However, the UNHRC’s perceived dysfunctions regarding our region force us to focus our discussion. We look forward to dialogue with the UNHRC on the issues we raise.

 

In closing, we thank you for your kind comments on our work with the Palestinian olive harvest.

 

Respectfully,

             

 

Rabbi Amy Klein                                            Rabbi Edward Rettig

Chair                                                                Board Member

Justice in Israel

The Credit Database: Why we should all be concerned

No Comments 10 April 2016

Most of the Israeli Public isn’t aware of it yet, but in another two years they will awake to an economic reality different from that to which they are accustomed today. Rabbi Idit Lev explains the dangers entailed in the credit database that was recently ratified in the Knesset Economic Committee. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel, Press Releases

Amendments to Public Housing Transparency Bill passed in huge win for tenants

No Comments 31 March 2016

PRESS RELEASE | MARCH 30 2016

The Amendments to the Public Housing Transparency Bill passed, the Forum for Public Housing celebrates an end of abuse and harassment of public housing tenants 

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Education, General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Parasha / E-Letter

Every Person Has Their Hour: Purim Thoughts for 5776

1 Comment 23 March 2016

“Perhaps some of the students, and some of you, are/were infuriated by any suggestion that the responsibility for what we had just seen lay with anybody other than the perpetrator, or perhaps Palestinians in general. Others may be angry with me for justifying violence against Palestinians by seemingly backing the dangerous assertion we actually hear from time to time, that Palestinians are descendants of Amalek.” Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Amendments to the public housing transparency bill passed in Knesset

No Comments 22 March 2016

On March 16th, amendments to the public housing transparency bill were passed in the Knesset. This marked an important day for human rights in general and to the residents of public housing specifically. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

On International Women’s Day, we honor the memory of Kultum Agabariya

No Comments 08 March 2016

Today, on International Women’s Day, we honor the memory of Kultum Agabariya, a leader, activist and mother. We must not be silent about violence against women.

A Rabbis for Human Rights activist from our Socio-Economic Rights Center in Hadera, Kultum Agabariya, was murdered. Her death was not published in the media, and she did not apear in Haaretz’s recent special project on women who have been murdered. As a result, we contacted Haaretz’s staff and they’ve since added Kultum and her story. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Hadera socio-economic rights center moves to a new location!

No Comments 08 February 2016

Yesterday, our Hadera Socio-Economic Rights center moved to its new home, still in Hadera of course. Moving is never easy, so congratulations to the staff for getting things set up so quickly! Their doors will officially open once again tomorrow, February 9th. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

LISTEN: Rabbi Idit Lev on Israeli radio with Keren Neubach on the new credit history bill

No Comments 27 January 2016

Yesterday (January 26th), Rabbi Idit lev, the head of RHR’s Socioeconomic justice department was one of Keren Neubach’s interviewees on the planned bill on new credit history and current debt information bank. Generally progressive Zionist Union MKs say that it will not hurt those living in poverty and they are open to input in working out any potential problems. Rabbi Lev, on the show,  detailed how those living in poverty are almost always juggling debts, and the concern is that this bill could result in the inability of those living in poverty to even rent an apartment. Rabbi Lev expressed hope that those working on the bill are truly committed to improving it so that it will not harm those already struggling in poverty.

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