COVID-19 virus and our work for equality

Between Israel’s most recent election and the uncertainty around the COVID-19 virus, it’s been an anxious few weeks.

We’re thinking about everyone affected by the outbreak and hoping for easier news in the days ahead.

NIF is taking all of the necessary precautions, in Israel, in the UK, and in our offices around the world, to ensure the safety of our staff, partners, and community members.

At the same time, we can’t put our vital work on hold.

Equality and inclusion are not afterthoughts during a public health crisis. That is especially the case during times like these: inequality becomes even more dire and dangerous when people on the margins of society are the most at-risk.

Right now, the Israeli government is publishing new information and advisories on coronavirus – but in Hebrew only. Updates in Arabic are published after significant delays, if at all.

This puts the health and wellbeing of Arab citizens – and everyone in Israel – at risk.

On Wednesday, our grantee Adalah called on Israel’s Ministry of Health to ensure that public health advisories are accessible to all Israeli citizens, without delay.

Another grantee, Zazim, started a petition demanding that the ministry fully translate all coronavirus-related information in Arabic. It’s already received almost 2,000 signatures.

And NIF grantee Physicians for Human Rights Israel is advocating for the Ministry of Health to provide services and treatment to African asylum seekers, who do not have access to the Israeli healthcare system.

The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. Governments shouldn’t either.

We’re working to ensure that everyone in Israel – no matter their legal status or what language they speak – has access to government services and public health information.

This work is only possible with your support of the New Israel Fund. With your help, we will continue standing up for shared values.

Thank you for standing with us.
Adam Ognall, CEO
New Israel Fund