Haqel (The Field): Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights

Our Founding Principles

Haqel (The Field): Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights was established in October 2016 as a human rights NGO. Haqel: meaning “field” in Arabic and Aramaic is the root of both “agriculture” and “farmer” in Hebrew. Haqel brings together members of two peoples and three religions working in one field. The field is a symbol of renewal, a source of income and a connection to the land.


  • Brings together the secular humanistic and religious commitment to human dignity and the holiness of human life.
  • Combines people of faith and action knowledgeable in both religious traditions and realities on the ground.
  • Is obligated to safeguard the human rights of every human being by virtue of his/her humanity.
  • Understands human rights as defined by international law, faith traditions and morality as understood in humanistic thought.
  • Believes that as Muslims, Jews, Christians and secular humanists, human rights principles light our path in our efforts to live together in our small field.
  • Advocates gender equality not only amongst our staff, board and membership, but as a principled issue in our key projects.

What makes Haqel unique?

  • The Board and membership is comprised of a wide variety of religious leaders from all three monotheistic faiths, leading academics, veteran human rights activists with long standing connections to communities we serve and young activists who are leading social media and action campaigns to promote and increase awareness of the deleterious effects of the ongoing occupation.  
  • The three founding staff members are highly experienced in human rights activism, international human rights and humanitarian law, land law in the Occupied Territories, advocacy and resource development.
  • Our staff has decades of grassroots connections with the beneficiaries we serve combined with a great deal of experience working with professional contacts amongst duty bearers, opinion makers and diplomats.
  • We work in close cooperation with a wide spectrum of CSOs including Israeli NGOs and Palestinian Human Rights organizations, while participating in several key coalitions dealing with human rights issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories.    

Haqel will:

  • Work practically to prevent human rights violations, increase awareness and commitment to our human obligation to observe and defend human rights in order to create a society that honors the holiness of all human beings.
  • Work with one foot in the grassroots and the other amongst decision makers, utilizing legal, educational and activist tools to implement our vision for Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims.
  • Use principles of international human rights and humanitarian law to enhance the status of women and the disenfranchised in the State of Israel and the Occupied Territories.  

Our main projects:

  • Legal representation of land owners to prevent the takeover of and encroachment upon privately owned Palestinian lands in the South Hebron Hills, Bethlehem region and Northern West Bank. Haqel lawyers will work to reduce the threat of ongoing administrative home demolitions and in cooperation with our field staff will ensure safe access of farmers to their agricultural lands all year round.  
  • Advocacy and field work to assist the residents of the “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev, create awareness of their plight and reduce the threat of displacement from their lands and homes.
  • A third project will be developed, funding permitting, dealing with human rights violations of all Israelis, both Jewish and Arab.  

Founding Staff:

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, formerly President and Senior Rabbi at Rabbis for Human Rights.

Adv. Quamar Mishriqi-Asad, formerly head of the legal department of Rabbis for Human Rights.

Adena Ben-Reuven, formerly Development Director of Rabbis for Human Rights.

Our Actions

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