1. The Government of Israel welcomes the opportunity to present its fourteenth periodic report to the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in accordance with the requirements of article 9, paragraph 1(b), of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (hereinafter, the “Convention” or “CERD”). This report describes the developments that have taken place since the submission of Israel’s thirteenth report on 1 September 2005 (CERD/C/471/Add.2), taking into account the concluding comments adopted by the CERD Committee on June 14, 2007 (CERD/C/ISR/CO/13). In accordance with the reporting guidelines, this report builds upon Israel’s previous reports. Accordingly, information and explanations that have been included in previous reports from the Government of Israel are not repeated in this Report, except where necessary.
2. In accordance with recommendation No. 41 to the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination of June 14, 2007, (CERD/C/ISR/CO/1), all Israeli Government Ministries and institutions relevant to this Report were requested to supply data and information concerning their areas of operation. Israeli non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) were also invited to submit comments prior to the compilation of this Report, both through direct application and a general invitation to submit remarks posted on the Ministry of Justice’s web site. Their contributions were given substantial consideration.
3. This Report was compiled by the Human Rights and Foreign Relations Department at the Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other governmental agencies.
4. Racial discrimination is prohibited in Israel. The State of Israel condemns all forms of racial discrimination, and its Government has maintained a consistent policy prohibiting such discrimination. The Israeli Government has taken comprehensive measures to uphold the provisions of CERD since its ratification of this important instrument.
5. Since the submission of Israel’s thirteenth periodic report to the Committee in 2005, many significant legislative, judicial and administrative developments relevant to the Convention have occurred. This Report provides a comprehensive account of these developments.
6. A short summary of several of the most significant policy and legislative developments that have occurred in Israel since Israel’s last Report to the Committee is provided below. Please note that while it will naturally take time for some of the more recent developments to translate into concrete results, in many areas substantial new measures that give effect to the provisions of the Convention have already come into effect.
7. In accordance with recommendation No. 39 to the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination of June 14, 2007, (CERD/C/ISR/CO/1), we would like to note that Israel routinely considers its position with regard to Article 14 of the Convention, but that based on the experience of other states and on the current work of the Committee, it does not consider it appropriate to accept this optional procedure at this time. Under Israel’s domestic legal system, any alleged victim of violations has full access to seek effective redress and judicial review in Israeli courts, as well as in many other venues, as detailed in Israel’s Core Document.