Human Rights – That’s Our Entire Story: Time Travel With Us
Fifty years ago this week, on June 26, 1972, seven people notified the Ministry of the Interior of the establishment of an association whose goal was to “work toward the defense of civil rights in Israel.” ACRI, which began as a small volunteer organization with no resources, has since grown to become the leading human rights organization in Israel.
Join us on a journey through 50 moments in time, from the first petition ACRI submitted to the High Court of Justice, to the challenges posed by the coronavirus and the digital age. There’s no pretense of rigorous historical research, beyond 50 diverse milestones over the course of ACRI’s 50 years of extensive work. We wanted to share our story with you, which reflects that of Israeli society to a degree – especially the difficult and controversial issues and the stories of the most vulnerable and alienated groups.
Many commendable individuals have contributed to ACRI’s operations over the years and have been partners in the effort to defend and promote human rights. Without each and every one of them, ACRI would not be what it is, and society in Israel would also be quite different. You can read about some of their achievements and the dilemmas they contend with on the special website we launched, which tells ACRI’s story.
ACRI has diligently worked toward social change, and may look back today with a sense of satisfaction: it has made a significant and unique contribution to the defense of human rights in Israel and the occupied territories, achieving very meaningful successes that have become milestones in the struggle to promote human rights and change the face of society in Israel in a vast variety of realms. Alongside the achievements were also disappointments, difficulties, and mistakes. ACRI has faced public challenges and been criticized for the unpopularity of some of the issues with which it contends. The struggle for human rights and democracy is not easy, and never ends. It can be Sisyphean, frustrating, and exhausting, but we won’t pass up the privilege of looking back with pride, and better yet, looking ahead with optimism.
All human rights achievements are always the result of a struggle, and they are never merely granted by the government’s generosity. Thus, ACRI intends to continue to work vigorously toward the rights of all people as human beings, even in the years to come. We will continue to remind the state, continuously and uncompromisingly, that it is responsible for protecting and realizing the rights of all under its control, especially those of the most vulnerable and alienated individuals.
The story hasn’t ended; it’s just beginning.
Noa Sattath, Executive Director
Tal Dahan, Content and Website Manager