ACRI's Historical Petition on Behalf of 38 Human Rights Organizations
Yesterday we submitted a historical petition to the High Court of Justice, on behalf of ourselves and 37 other human rights organizations against the cancellation of the "Reasonableness Clause." We are calling on the High Court to cancel the law that was passed just two weeks ago despite public objection that was expressed through some of the biggest and most impassioned protests in the history of Israel. Building upon other petitions that have been filed against the law that focus on flaws in the legislative process and its impact on good governance, our petition focuses on the threat that this law poses to human rights and to the mechanisms we have to protect human rights.
The coalition of 38 organizations represent a diverse range of populations who are expected be harmed the most by this law - people living in poverty, Arab society in Israel, the LGBTQ+ community, Bedouins in the Negev, women, Ethiopian-Israeli citizens, Mizrahim, Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem, migrant workers, asylum seekers, and more. Our petition also delves into the various ways the law will impact the defense of all our human rights. While the courts have additional tools to protect human rights in Israel, such as proportionality, interpretation, and more, the argument of reasonableness plays a significant role in safeguarding our rights and in our fight for justice. In a country where the courts cannot assess the reasonableness of Minister's decisions, even constitutionally protected rights and precedents can become hollow statements that offer no practical protection. The gravity is intensified for rights yet to be fortified in Israeli law and are entirely dependent on ministerial decisions.
We must also not forget the broader context in which this law was passed – this law is but the first in a series of transformative measures leading us toward a police state. The courts' authority, especially that of the High Court, will be severely curtailed, granting unbridled power to the government to trample on our fundamental rights. Unless we resist, these laws will reshape our country and erode its essence.
We continue to fight for justice through all available means – for us, for our 37 partner organizations, and for all Israelis.
Join us in this collective endeavour.
Noa Sattath Executive Director Association for Civil Rights in Israel