According to the Bank of Israel, the price of the average Israeli home has risen nearly 50% since December 2007 with rent prices also climbing sharply. Over the past year alone, apartment prices have risen 15%. Earlier this month, a small group of young Israelis began to protest by pitching tents on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard. Soon, tent cities sprung up across Israel, and on Saturday, August 6th, more than 300,000 Israelis across the country demonstrated not only for affordable housing, but also for broad reform on a range of burning social justice issues including health care, education and social services. Stand with these Israelis. Stand for social justice, for equality, and for democracy.
Although the eruption of anger and activism has taken Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government by surprise, The New Israel Fund and SHATIL have supported key organizations that work for social justice in housing for all Israelis for years. Because of this, our experts and partners were prepared to offer immediate guidance and moral and economic support to protest organizers, many of whom are desperate citizens and not longtime activists. Show your solidarity with the Israeli street. Make a contribution now.
The challenge is not only to build houses and to ensure that young families have a roof over their heads; it is to build a better society and to ensure that all of Israel’s citizens live in dignity. At this unprecedented moment, NIF is in need of funding to help support the following SHATIL efforts together with dozens of grantees working towards these goals.
• Assisting protestors in setting up new protest encampments, and in effectively communicating with the media;
• Basic supplies for the encampments, such as water and tarps;
• Publication and distribution of activist handbooks by SHATIL and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel;
• Bringing Israelis from the periphery to key rallies at the Knesset;
• Public lectures in the encampments providing political and legal education to protestors;
• Legal defense for arrested activists;
• Drafting and promoting Affordable Housing legislation;
• Fighting home evictions for Israelis struggling with mortgage payments;
• Drafting fair practice rules for Israeli contractors to reform the sale of apartments;
• Fighting to make the Israeli Land Administration’s decisions more just and transparent;
• A user-friendly website that enumerates Israelis’ rights and helps citizens, refugees, and guest workers to realize them, with dozens of pages related to housing;
• Advocating for the right of the disabled to accessible and affordable housing;
• Coverage of the events by progressive media and arts outlets;
• Promoting housing rights of Israel’s Arab minority;
• Fighting home demolitions in unrecognized Bedouin villages.
NIF grantees working on these issues with SHATIL include: Association for Civil Rights in Israel; Coalition for Affordable Housing; Community Advocacy; Public Trust; Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights; Mahapach; Kol Zchut; Darna; Negev Coexistence Forum; Israel Center for Persons with Disabilities; Affordable Housing in Tirat Carmel; and more.