In recent years Israel has seen a disturbing rise in racist acts and rhetoric. Racism in Israel is complicated by the multi-cultural nature of our society. New and older Jewish immigrants from 70 countries; Arabs; labor migrants from Asia and Africa and Eastern Europe rub shoulders daily on its streets and in its offices. Racism can be felt in our sports stadiums, on our buses, in our supermarkets, in schools and other government agencies – in short, just about everywhere. As an organization promoting human and civil rights, as well as the respect of religious and cultural differences, it is incumbent on Shatil to work against racism.
Shatil combats racism among decision makers and influential public figures, and within the public at large. Methods include training, coalition coordination, networking, media work and advocacy. We aim to bring together disparate communities in the fight against racism. This will create an environment in which racism is illegitimate across the board, no matter its target. Focusing on the plight of just one community while neglecting the others will not be effective. When racism against one community is legitimate then it will spill over into other communities. We believe that the increase in solidarity that this process will engender will represent an important stepping stone in the creation of a shared society.
Shatil works with an array of partners – Achoti, Tag Meir, the Coalition against Racism in Israel, the Mizrachi Democratic Rainbow, Mussawa, Tebeka, Shaharit, Morashtenu, Abraham Fund, the African Refugee Development Center, and Tmura – the Legal Center for the Prevention of Discrimination, as well as many more – to design new strategies, outreach to policymakers and public figures, learn from best practices elsewhere and implement the most effective activities aimed at promoting tolerance and rooting out racism.
Action and Outcomes
An annual online campaign and anti-racism conference brings together major players in the anti-racism field to discuss ongoing efforts. NIF Supported project KIAH, aims to create a curriculum of moderate and anti racist Jewish texts and literature to bring to the forefront.
Expected outcomes include:
- Strong network of activists around the country who are trained and equipped to identify cases of racism, and to mobilize public support and decision makers to combat it.
- Collaboration and joint activity, including monitoring, advocacy, and legal work between anti racism activists and local officials from diverse communities.
- Promotion of an anti racism curriculum in the education system
- Increased collaboration among the main actors in this field
- Significant increases in the public backlash against racist discourse, policies and action
- Policy adjustment and implementation on the national, local, and institutional levels
In a narrow sense, communities who are most likely to be negatively impacted by racism include the Mizrahi, Ethiopian, Russian speaking, Palestinian, Bedouin, and ultra Orthodox communities. In a wider sense however, racism negatively impacts all who aspire to a just and egalitarian society that works for the benefit and wellbeing of all of its residents.
By setting concrete objectives in combating racism through widening the variety of voices speaking out and through an increase in monitoring, advocacy, and educational work, the entire Israeli population will be aware of the problem, and their ability to prosper in a truly shared society.
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