1. Israel's Human Rights Problems from an International Perspective
The course will be taught by Dr. Yuval Shany, Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in International Law, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Academic Director, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The course will introduce the students to Israel's legal system and will critically evaluate whether the protections it affords to human rights meet international standards (in particular, the six major human rights treaties to which Israel is party). It will specifically address the following issues: the application of human rights treaties in the occupied territories, security-based restrictions upon human rights (e.g., the 'ticking bomb' scenario), the duty to respect the rights of enemy citizens, the status of the Arab minority within Israel, the status of women in Israel, trafficking in persons and freedom of religion and cultural relativity problems. Reading material to the course will include Israeli Supreme Court Decisions, UN and NGO reports, academic book segments and articles and some comparative law sources.
Dr. Yuval Shany
Dr Yuval Shany is the Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in International Law at the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also serves currently as the academic director of the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University. Dr. Shany has degrees in law from the Hebrew University (LL.B, 1995), New York University (LL.M., 1997) and the University of London (Ph.D., 2001) and he has published a number of books and articles on international courts and tribunals, as well as on other international law issues such as international human rights and humanitarian law. Dr. Shany has taught in a number of law schools in Israel, and has been in recent years a research fellow in Harvard and Amsterdam University and a visiting profession in Georgetown Law Center.
2. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The course will be taught by Dr. Hillel Cohen, Research Fellow, Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies
The course will deal with the history and the current developments of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict. It covers the period from the emergence of the two competing national movements in the Holy Land - Zionism and the Arab national movement - till the present. We will study the fundamentals of both Zionist and Palestinian national ideologies; and we will become acquainted with both the Palestinian and Zionist narratives of the conflict, taking into consideration different views and approaches within each society. The course will be arranged chronologically, starting with the very beginning of the Zionist-Arab encounter in Palestine in the 1880s; then the Mandate period and the 1948 war (with the refugee problem as one of the focal points); the re-emergence of the Palestinian national movement in the 1950s-1960s (the establishment of Fateh and the PLO); the 1967 war and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israel; the question of the settlements in the Territories and the debate in Israel in this regard; the first Intifada (1987 onwards), the Oslo Process and its failure (Israeli and Palestinian perspectives); the Palestinian authority and its relations with Israel; the second Intifada and its results, the Palestinian elections of 2006 and the rise of Hamas to power – and current Israeli and Palestinian approaches towards the conflict.
Dr. Hillel Cohen
Dr Hillel Cohen teaches Palestinian history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a Research Fellow of the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the same university, and of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. Dr. Cohen has published books and articles in Arabic, Hebrew and English on Israeli-Palestinian relations from political, anthropological and historical perspectives. His books include: Good Arabs: The Israeli Arabs and the Israeli Security Services (Jerusalem, 2006); Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism 1917-1948 (forthcoming 2007, Berkeley: University of California Press); and The Present Absentees: Palestinian Refugees in Israel (Jerusalem and Beirut). Dr. Cohen's current research deals with the Palestinian “peace camp” and Israeli-Palestinian joint activities.
3. Internship with Israeli and Palestinian Human Rights Organizations
The internship will be directed by Dr. Daphna Golan, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Director, Human Rights Fellows Program, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The internship at Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations will allow the GSIS students to experience the inner workings of human rights organizations and to obtain a unique view of central human rights issues in Israel and Palestine. Through our experience with the Minerva Center's Human Rights Fellowship Program, we have created partnerships with a wide range of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, which have been hosting and educating our students as interns for the last nine years. While the long-term objective of the Human Rights Fellows Program is to encourage young Israeli and Palestinian scholars to explore the field of human rights and to consider it as a possible career path, our program has simultaneously served to enhance the capacity of the host organizations to successfully integrate student volunteers into their activities.
The organizations below have agreed to host GSIS-Minerva program students for the summer of 2007. When we meet with the students, in the first week of July, we will provide them with an overview of the work and achievements of human rights organizations in Israel and Palestine, as well as information on each of the specific organizations participating in the program. We will help each student find a suitable organization (we suggest that two or three students intern together at an organization), and provide supervision throughout the summer.
Each of the organizations listed below, with one exception, is situated in Jerusalem, allowing the students to continue living together in the Hebrew University dorms throughout the program. The exception is Adalah, which is located in the Galilee. Students who choose to intern at Adalah will be provided with suitable living arrangements nearby.
During the internship the students will meet each Thursday (at the close of the work-week), together with Minerva's internship program supervisor, in order to share their experiences and discuss dilemmas they have encountered in their internship. The meeting will be held in Jerusalem, in the evening (allowing the interns at Adalah to participate) – and at least once during the program we will hold the meeting in the north, so that the students interning in Jerusalem have the opportunity to visit the Galilee.
List of organizations:
• The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (www.1202.org.il ) is the umbrella organization of the ten Rape Crisis Centers currently operating throughout Israel. The Association and the Rape Crisis Centers are the only organizations in Israel dedicated solely to combating sexual assault. Besides coordinating operations between the Centers, the Association initiates legislation, promotes media events, lobbies Knesset members and supports new projects to improve equality between the sexes in Israel and to reduce physical and sexual violence.
• Rabbis for Human Rights (www.rhr.israel.net) was founded in 1988, in response to serious abuses of human rights by the Israeli military authorities in the suppression of the Intifada. The organization aims at educating both the religious and the non-religious sectors of the Israeli public that human rights abuses are not compatible with the age-old Jewish tradition of humaneness and moral responsibility or the Biblical concern for “The stranger in your midst", even in the face of the danger to public order and safety. Two of their main projects are: Ensuring Economic Justice in Israel, and protecting Palestinian rights in the Occupied Territories.
• The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (www.icahd.org) is a non-violent, direct-action group originally established to oppose and resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. As their activists gained direct knowledge of the brutalities of the Occupation, they expanded their resistance activities to other areas - land expropriation, settlement expansion, by-pass road construction, policies of "closure" and "separation," wholesale uprooting of fruit and olive trees and more.
• B'Tselem – the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (www.btselem.org) was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.
• Machsom Watch – Women for Human Rights (www.machsomwatch.org) was founded in January 2001 in response to repeated reports in the press about human rights abuses of Palestinians crossing army and border police checkpoints.
The goals of the group are threefold: to monitor the behavior of soldiers and police at checkpoints; to ensure that the human and civil rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are protected; and to record and report the results of the observations to the widest possible audience, from the decision-making level to that of the general public. The internship will include a daily visit to a roadblock in the Jerusalem area.
• Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (www.joh.org.il) is a grassroots, activist organization of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered people, and allies. Since 1997, the Open House has worked to make Jerusalem a place where all people are free to seek self-fulfillment. This challenge is especially formidable in Jerusalem, a city of traditional values and deeply rooted religious commitments.
• Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (www.adalah.org) is an independent human rights organization, registered in Israel. It is a non-profit, non-governmental, and non-partisan legal center. Established in November 1996, it serves Arab citizens of Israel, numbering over one million people or close to 20% of the population. Adalah ("Justice" in Arabic) works to protect human rights in general, and the rights of the Arab minority in particular. Adalah's main goals are to achieve equal individual and collective rights for the Arab minority in Israel in different fields including land rights; civil and political rights; cultural, social and economic rights; religious rights; women's rights; and prisoners' rights. Adalah’s main strategy is appeals to the Israeli Supreme Court in its capacity as High Court of Justice, and thus the internship will be mainly suitable for law students. The organization is in the Galilee. Accommodation solutions will be provided.
• Jerusalem Center for Women (www.j-c-w.org) is a Palestinian non-governmental women’s center, established in March 1994 and located in East Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Center for Women was founded simultaneously with the Israeli women's center Bat Shalom located in West Jerusalem. JCW and Bat Shalom carry out joint Palestinian-Israeli programs through a coordinating body known as the Jerusalem Link. JCW is committed to advancing joint peace initiatives despite changing political realities.
Dr. Daphna Golan
Dr Daphna Golan is the founding Director of the Minerva Center's Human Rights Fellowship Program, and teaches human rights in Israeli society at the Faculty of Law. She established the Hebrew University's Fellowship Program for Gender Equality and the Prevention of Violence against Women, and recently established and directs the Student-Academy Partnership for Social Change. Dr. Golan's books include: Next Year in Jerusalem (New York: The New Press, 2005), about human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories; and Inequality and Education (Tel Aviv: Babel Press, 2004, in Hebrew).