Equal Rights for All Citizens
At Standing Together, we believe that all citizens, Jews and Arabs, men and women, members of the LGBTQ community, young and old, deserve the same rights. As a joint movement of Arabs and Jews we refuse to accept laws that divide us. It is because of this core value that one of our most most consistent fights has been against the racist Nation State Law.
Peace and End to the Occupation
We know that we cannot have a truly just society as long as there is a violent occupation in the Palestinian territories. The current situation is not viable nor is it beneficial for Arabs or Jews who live both within and outside of the green line. We have lead various joint Arab-Jewish marches and protests against the occupation and are consistently responding to any escalating violence that occurs.
The rights and safety of women are and have been under attack all over the world. Unfortunately, Israel is no exception. Standing Together stands with our sisters, Arab and Jewish, to fight for equal rights because we know that equal rights for women is vital to ensure a just society. We have joined various feminist coalitions over the years, including supporting nation-wide women’s strikes.
Social and Economic Justice
Economic and social inequalities underlie and intersect with all other issues that we address from minority rights to religious discrimination. We know that they underpin many other inequalities in Israel. We have tackled economic and social inequality many times including campaigns about fair housing, food price increases, and pensions that meet minimum wage requirements.
Democracy and freedom of speech are under attack in Israel. Human rights organizations are subject to smear campaigns. Standing Together has organized various marches and protests against undemocratic attacks and government appointments, such as of the war-mongering and race-baiting Avigdor Liberman as Minister of Defense.
OUR FIGHT AGAINST THE NATION STATE LAW
When the racist Nation State Bill was proposed, we knew that it was a discriminatory bill meant to divide us. As a joint Arab-Jewish movement, it was an obvious decision to fight against it. Throughout the summer of 2018 we held multiple protests against the bill. When the bill passed and became a law, we used the momentum from previous gatherings to organize the largest joint Arab-Jewish protest in history. Tens of thousands of Israelis came together to show that we refuse to be divided. Also after it was passed, we lead a multi-day tour of Arab villages in the Negev that would no longer be recognized under the law. We brought dozens of activists there in the hopes of raising awareness and shining a light on these villages.
Standing Together remains steadfast in this fight and plans to keep working until the law is repealed.
OUR FIGHT AGAINST THE DEPORTATION, AND FOR SOUTH TEL-AVIV
In February 2018, the Israeli government made a plan to deport thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers, many of whom have been living in Israel for a decade, to “third party countries” such as Rwanda. The right-wing framed asylum seekers as a threat to Israeli society and as scapegoats for challenges faced in the neighborhood of South Tel Aviv. We knew that these claims were completely false; we immediately sprang into action.
We brought thousands of Israelis to the streets in protest. Our movement organized 10 different action hubs throughout the country and organized multiple rallies. We called out the government for not actually addressing the issues faced by South Tel Aviv, including constant evictions, and instead needlessly blaming asylum seekers.
And it worked! We were a key member of a coalition of organizations that stopped these deportations, and brought together different communities to fight for one another.
OUR STRUGGLE FOR THE NEGEV
The Arab population in the Negev has been a target of the Israeli government since the state’s founding including a long history of systematic displacement and forcible evictions. This is unacceptable: a government that turns 20% of the population into enemies is illegitimate.
Standing Together has been in solidarity with these villages for multiple years. On January 18, 2017, our activists were there when heavily armed police raided Umm al-Hieran to evacuate the village so that the government could build a Jewish town in its place. Very quickly the place became a battlefield: the firing of tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets, and live fire from the police. The results were appalling with two dead and dozens injured.
A government that comes with armed forces to confront its citizens is a dangerous government for all of us. A government that claims that its citizens are "terrorists" is a government willing to go to frightening places. A government that forcibly evicts and refuses to recognize 20% of its citizens is unacceptable. They intentionally try to create a divide Jews and Arabs.
We refuse to accept this as a reality. As a joint Arab-Jewish movement, will continue to stand with our brothers and sisters in the Negev as they continue to face violence and displacement.
OUR FIGHT TO RAISE THE INCOME OF SENIOR CITIZENS TO 5,000 NIS
One in four of elderly Israelis live in poverty because the pensions they recieve are not a livable wage. Israel’s minimum wage is 5,000 NIS and pension payments are often less than 3,000 NIS per month. Research shows that half of the people of retirement age do not receive any pension and a third of people do not retire at all.
Our parents and grandparents should be able to live in dignity. We reject that they are unable to do so. During the summer of 2017 Standing Together led a campaign to demand that every citizen over the age of 65 will receive at least 5,000 NIS per month from the government, in line with our minimum wage.
We proposed that as a society we take money from those who have extra and give it to those who are in need. We proposed raising corporate and inheritance taxes paid by large corporations and those who inherit more than 7 million NIS. These taxes and income are more than sufficient to provide every senior citizens a dignified life.
We succeeded - the bill we proposed was signed by more than half Knesset, but we are still waiting for it to come to a vote.
We will stand together with our parents and grandparents, who have given us so much, to ensure they they can retire with dignity.
OUR FIGHT AGAINST THE OCCUPATION, FOR PEACE & FREEDOM
It is difficult to find hope in Israel. Everywhere we go, we see violence, occupation, and hate becoming more entrenched. Everywhere we look - media, street and politics - we hear that this is the only possibility, and there is no alternative.
But we refuse to accept this. We imagined and implemented an alternate solution - hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians, Arabs and Jews, marching together for freedom with hope. During a year of joint struggle, we gathered for a monthly Freedom March organized by Combatants for Peace and a coalition of other groups. We called for a peaceful end to the occupation and an end to the cycle of racism, hatred, incitement, and violence.
Unfortunately, the Israeli government does not want this future. Every time they take a step away from peace, we are there to oppose it. We protested the “Settlement Law” when they gave legitimacy to appropriating Palestinian land in the West Bank. When conflict periodically escalates on the Gaza border, we always choose to stand against violence.
As a joint Arab-Jewish movement, we will continue to work together towards an end to the occupation and lasting peace. We will continue to struggle, because when there is struggle, there is hope.
Living With Dignity
The struggle of the disabled to their raise allowances is one of the most important recent struggles in Israel. Brave people left their homes took to the streets, demanding that the government treat them with respect and equality. Many disabled people are only given the humiliating amount of 2,342 NIS per month by the government, which is less than half the minimum wage. No one can live on this amount.
We must decide which society we wish to live: an equal society in which each person is valued, or an exploitative society that does not care about the well-being of all of its citizens.
Despite their incredibly limited income, many disabled activists were fined by the police for protesting. Standing Together came together and organized a mass funding campaign to pay these fines and ensure that their struggle for dignity continued.
Within 24 hours we received 651 donations and raised 82,558 NIS, over 275% of our original goal. The amount of donations we received to this campaign proved that the vast majority of the public supports an increased governmental wage and stands in solidarity with the disabled community.