Thank you for your support! In just three months we have successfully raised over £32,000 to pay for an emergency lawyer to represent Palestinian juveniles in the West Bank. See below to learn all about the campaign and follow us on facebook to keep up to date with our news.
As young Zionist leaders from across the Jewish community in Britain, we want to see a Jewish, democratic and peaceful Israel thrive. We feel that to do this Israel must uphold the values of freedom, justice and social and political equality laid out in Israel’s own Declaration of Independence. These are ideals which Israeli organisations across the political spectrum are working to support.
Where it all started…
In September 2014, 15 of us participated on the Yachad Student Trip. We spent a day in Ofer Military Court, one of the two military courts in the West Bank where Palestinians are prosecuted. Through meeting Israeli lawyers working to defend Palestinians in the courts, and speaking with Palestinian children and their mothers, we began to understand some of the major issues at hand.
What we learnt…
Every year 500-700 children are prosecuted in the military court system. They experience a different reality from their Israeli peers who, if arrested in the West Bank, would face a civilian court. We learned of many troubling issues, including the treatment that Palestinian children receive at the time of arrest, and during detention and court proceedings. You can read more about the differences here. We discovered that many Palestinian children lack access to a lawyer or any kind of representation throughout interrogation and a huge majority are unaware of their rights in this process.
Supporting the law and due process…
We believe that if someone has committed a crime, they should be held accountable. Israel has a duty to ensure that it is a safe and secure nation. However, we also believe that every person is entitled to due legal process and that Palestinian children should have access to a lawyer throughout their judicial process.
What we want did next…
It was a troubling reality to face but as educators and active members of Zionist youth movements we wanted to return to Britain and start an important conversation with our own community about this issue. Launched at the end of January 2015, Kids Court in Conflict started that conversation with the aim to make a tangible difference to the situation on the ground by supporting Israeli organisations working in the field today. We see this as the highest expression of our Zionist and Jewish values.
Our aim was to raise £26,000 to fund a lawyer who will work for the Israeli firm Lasky Law and will be dedicated as an on-call emergency lawyer to represent Palestinian juveniles from arrest throughout their entire judicial process. We smashed our target, successfully raising over £32,000! Over 30 of us hiked, climbed, baked and ran other activities to raise this money. Find out who we are and sponsor us here! Alongside our fundraising efforts we ran a series of educational events and campaigns.
We are delighted to report that our lawyer, Hamze Abu Meizer is providing legal assistance to Palestinian juveniles in the West Bank military court system.
Hamze is a resident of East Jerusalem and graduate of Al-Quds University School of Law, where he was vice-president of the student body. Hamze is a member of both the Israeli and Palestinian Bar Associations, and has been practicing both criminal and administrative law for the past seven years, with extensive experience in both military and Israeli civilian courts
Its not too late to get involved. You can still:
Email the Israeli Ambassador and express your concern about the issue.
Run your own education event and/or fundraiser with our helpful education packs. Email us for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org