New Israel Fund February Newsletter
“And then, all of a sudden, I saw the door. I couldn’t see it before as we hadn’t built that high yet, but now, standing at the height of the electric wires and looking down, it stood out between the branches and leaves of the tree. A heavy door, made of iron, with engravings on the sides. Just like I remembered it. When we lived there, the door was at the front, naturally. With the Jews who live across from Madmoni, it’s the back door that leads nowhere. I slapped my forehead, why didn’t I think of that? I remembered the house from a different direction, and whenever I looked at it these last few months it was from the wrong direction.”
– Eshkol Nevo, Homesick
I hope you and your families had a good first month of 2022.
Maybe it is because Jewish Book Week is coming up that it feels fitting to introduce our February Newsletter with the words of Saddiq, a character in Eshkol Nevo’s Homesick. Saddiq is a builder who finds himself working next to the home his family left behind.
As we said when commenting on the JNF “forestation” clashes last month, we are concerned for the wellbeing and future of Israel. To be socially and environmentally sustainable, home for some cannot come at the expense of homes, land and rights for all residents of Israel.
Support for Israel must mean support for all Israelis.
I am deeply proud of the progress made by NIF’s grantees who are working towards making Israel a home where everyone can feel safe. Just this month our grantees ACRI, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, and HaMoked have together prevented the Israeli government from using an expired and unjust law that keeps Palestinian families apart. Although this law is in danger of being re-introduced, our grantees will continue to fight for the rights of families across Israel & Palestine.
A group including NIF Grantees have written to Israel’s Attorney General and the Israeli Police demanding that they immediately stop the use of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware in investigations. I continue to be amazed by the work of our grantees like ACRI in defending the rights of the individual, and under the new leadership of Noa Sattath they will continue to go from strength to strength.
Just over half a year into my role, I am increasingly motivated and moved by NIF, a community which embraces complexity and nuance, and works towards justice and equality for all.
While events such as the recent Sheikh Jarrah demolitions demonstrate the battles ahead of us, we won’t stop fighting for justice.
Returning to the upcoming Jewish Book Week, I hope you can join our global CEO Daniel Sokatch in conversation with Anshel Pfeffer and the event we are proud to be associated with featuring David Grossman.
Thank you for your time and continued support.
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