SALEH ABU RIASH

SALEH ABU RIASH

Saleh, 40 years old, is a Palestinian advocate who specializes in human rights. He is also active in Ramle’s local political party “Progress and Equality” and in various other social change initiatives. Among the legal cases he focused on was a petition that demanded to cancel the mandatory clause of a military service as a condition to apply for a job in the Israeli airport, followed with a request to fine the company for discriminating Arabs who apply. Additionally, Saleh was active for equal representation of Palestinians and women in the municipal committees in Lod: while Palestinians comprise 30% of the population of the city they are completely unrepresented, as do women.

Saleh recalled that:

Sadaka-Reut was one of the most important experiences I went through in my life. I started being involved in 1984 when I was 17 years old, and the movement had just been established. I had no background as to the meaning of Arab-Jewish partnership or even youth movements, because we didn’t have similar frameworks in Ramle. In those days we had to face an extreme racist attack led by Rabbi Kahana and his movement, and these were difficult times. We didn’t know how to deal with this attack or how to resist it. 

He added that Sadaka-Reut contributed to his identity formation and to his political thinking; it strengthened his feeling of belonging to the Arab-Palestinian collective and at the same time offered the space he needed to be critical, and implanted him with the belief of the importance of change.”

In Sadaka-Reut we built Jewish- Arab groups that worked together to strengthen the partnership, through workshops and protests. The meaning of partnership was thereby formed for me, as joint work and coordination based on equality, justice and respect.