Sapir Slutzker-Amran, the 26-year-old manager of the NIFC-funded public hotline department, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), feels angry when she hears people calling her an “extremist.”
“There is nothing ‘extreme’ about believing that disadvantaged populations cannot worry just about their own rights but must also struggle together, or at least must not put each other down,” she says. “There’s a divide and rule approach at work, and we [social change activists] must be smarter than that. I expect my colleagues and political partners to be smarter than that.”
She grew up in Oranit, a West Bank settlement, and when she was 16 she came out of the closet. “It was the first time I experienced how it felt to be part of a minority. But my political activism did not begin until the social justice protests in 2011.”
Slutzker-Amran today lives in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood. During her involvement in the 2011 protests, she saw things in her neighborhood that surprised her, “This was the first time that I witnessed police violence and saw how they relate to the Mizrahi population in Tel Aviv and to the residents of the south of the city generally.”
After joining ACRI in 2015, Slutzker-Amran established the DocoRights project, which deals with the protection of freedom of speech and the right to protest. Prior to joining ACRI, she worked for NIF grantees Achoti and the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow. Sapir is a social and political activist and a blogger on the site Local Call.
She says, “When people congratulate me on the work I am doing but are too scared to voice their own opinions, we have a problem. I want people to be out there demonstrating their support. I believe that the majority of Israeli citizens that want to live quietly, in peace and with dignity.”
“I hope one day the country will be led by brave women and men with a sense of equality in their hearts. It will happen sooner than we think.”
Photo credit: Danit Gottfried