Gisha

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitewww.gisha.org
Founded2005
In their own wordsAims “to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents.”

Funding

Activities

  • Claims Israel has developed “a complex system of rules and sanctions” to control the “fundamental right of Palestinians to freedom of movement” and violates Palestinian “basic rights… including the right to life, the right to access medical care, the right to education, the right to livelihood, the right to family unity and the right to freedom of religion.”

Political Advocacy

  • In May 2021, Gisha participated in a conference in the Israeli Knesset titled “After 54 years: Between occupation and apartheid.”
  • In February 2021, Gisha welcomed the announcement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it has the jurisdiction to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to Gisha, “it is unsurprising that the ICC prosecutor found sufficient basis for conducting an investigation into the situation in the region. Grave violations of basic rights and of international law, which take place daily as a matter of routine, must be stopped immediately, and justice ensured for victims.”
  • In January 2021, Gisha published an article titled “Naming the reality,” writing that “word apartheid evokes revulsion, as it should. There are undoubtedly differences between the apartheid regime in South Africa and Israel, but the thread that connects them is undeniable.”
  • In January 2021, Gisha, alongside a number of Israeli, Palestinian, and international organizations,  issued a declaration that the “Vaccine Roll-Out Exposes Israel’s Inhumane Acts of Apartheid.” Gisha falsely claimed that Israel has “legal obligations” to “ensure that quality vaccines be provided to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and control.” The NGOs altogether ignore that Palestinians residing in Jerusalem are part of the Israeli health care system; that under the Oslo Accords the PA is responsible for health care of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and that the PA has adopted its own vaccine policyfor its population.
  • In August 2020, Gisha published a blog post referring to Gaza as a “penal colony.”
  • In April 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gisha Director of International Relations Beth Oppenheim published an article in Arab News entitled “Israel must take responsibility for Gaza,” delegitimizing Israel’s security policies and ignoring the fact that Hamas is a violent and internationally designated terrorist organization.  Oppenheim denied Hamas and other Palestinian actors agency for diverting resources to weapons, tunnels, and terror, instead of public infrastructure, and pivoted from her organization’s previous preemptive blaming of Israel for the potential spread of the pandemic in Gaza to a premature blaming of Israel for the “economic reverberations” that will be felt following the pandemic.
  • In January 2020, Gisha released a statement comparing the Trump peace plan to apartheid South Africa, likening proposed Palestinian enclaves to “Bantustans” and referring to the plan as a “plan for ongoing conflict.”
  • In July 2019, Gisha signed on a letter to the German parliament claiming that BDS is not antisemitic, saying that it was “a disservice to the true fight against antisemitism to equate it with BDS.”
  • In April 2018, Gisha, together with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Yesh Din, and Hamokedpetitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that the “Court order the cancellation of open-fire regulations allowing IDF soldiers to fire live ammunition at demonstrators who do not endanger the lives of soldiers on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.” The petition ignores the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.The Court rejected the petition, stating that the NGOs misrepresented the situation along the border and the applicable international legal framework. The court also found that following the NGOs’ recommended steps would result in more Palestinian casualties.
  • On June 30, 2017, Executive Director Tania Hary, Gisha’s executive director, spoke at the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) “Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation” discussing a “policy of hubris and cruelty. I think that what’s happening in the Gaza Strip and what’s been happening now for at least the last 10 years is one of the biggest experimentation projects on the planet. The idea is how do you test the breaking point of 2 million people?”
  • In June 2017, to mark 50 years of occupation, Gisha launched “50 shades of control” showing an “exhaustive list of aspects of the lives of residents of Gaza still controlled by Israel” including “employ[ing] collective punishment” and “harm[ing] the economy.”
  • On February 15, 2017, Gisha participated in a Knesset conference on 50 Years of Occupation with the message that “Israel must choose between peace with the Palestinians, and the road to apartheid or war.”
  • In January 2017, Gisha released a report titled “Hand on the Switch” on the lack of infrastructure in Gaza, claiming that “One fact stands out above all… Israel has maintained 50 years of continuous control over Gaza.”
  • In 2010, released a video game, titled “Safe Passage,” which aims “to inform about the legal and military measures that Israel uses to implement its policy of separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank” and urges users to “assist in the building of a prosperous Palestinian society.”
  • In 2010, then executive director Sari Bashi accused the IDF of enacting policies in order “to empty the West Bank of Palestinians” and alleged that the “policy appear[s] to be political rather than security-oriented.”
  • In 2007, Gisha partnered with Yesh Din, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, HaMoked, Machsom Watch, Physicians for Human Rights and Bimkom, to petition the Israeli High Court of Justice to demand “the abolishment of the order which forbids Palestinians from traveling in Israeli cars driven by Israelis or foreigners.” The preface of the appeal alleged that “[o]ut of all the red lines [Israel has] crossed… the order on ‘traffic and transportation’ carries within it grave seeds of evil.”

Staff

  • Sari Bashi, founder of Gisha and board member, became the Israel and Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch in April 2014.
    • In January 2017, Bashi wrote an op-ed (“Fifa must take strong stance against Israeli settlement clubs”) stating that “FIFA should heed the UN Security Council’s reaffirmation that the West Bank is not part of Israel, and that settlements are illegal. The only logical conclusion is for FIFA to instruct the Israel Football Association to stop holding matches in West Bank settlements.”
    • On November 21, 2016, Bashi sent a letter to the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein praising the latest efforts to establish a UN boycott of Israel and offer up three specific companies to be included.
  • Noam Rabinovich, Gisha Director of International Relations, was formerly the Fundraising Manager at the New Israel Fund and an International Relations Associate at B’Tselem.

Foreign donations (amounts in NIS)

2018-2019 amounts based on NGO annual reports; 2020-2021 amounts based on quarterly financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

Donor2021202020192018
United Kingdom237,614371,798395,275
Oxfam 118,364370,082
Trocaire (Ireland)105,883
Oxfam Novib (Netherlands) 230,711191,594
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)46,946
UNDP 429,107252,259722,58972,933
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)153,328186,310198,751211,597
Irish Aid (Ireland) 323,178310,111382,671
Finland57,46459,81141,216
Germany399,146
Switzerland118,784259,539144,170
lnstitute for Foreign Cultural Relations - Germany399,145
Denmark1,322,152288,395559,162
Action Against Hunger (France)22,060183,584201,063
Netherlands11,982280,254
Norway438,727394,114390,332
NGO Development Center (Ramallah)1,411,9372,324,681
Foundation for Middle East Peace126,627
New Israel Fund143,634
Open Society Institute324,936
Rockefeller Brothers Fund206,525
Sigrid Rausing Trust380,594
Bread for the World57,41058,810

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