Meet Jessica Burnstein: a Canadian working for an Israeli NGO that defends freedom of movement for Palestinians in Gaza


Jessica Burnstein headshot (002)

Jessica Burnstein, Director of International Relations, Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement. The Israeli NGO uses legal assistance and public advocacy to protect the right to freedom of movement for Palestinians, including those trying to travel into and out of Gaza. Read more….

Canadian born Jessica Burnstein has a big challenge on her hands. As Director of International Relations for Tel Aviv-based Gisha, she is part of a team devoted to defending Palestinian rights. Her main responsibilities lie in linking Gisha to the international community – raising funds, doing advocacy vis-a-vis international interlocutors and maintaining links with international NGOs”.

Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law. It is operated by a professional staff and guided by a board that includes legal academics and practitioners, women and men, Arabs and Jews, who have helped shape Israeli human rights law through their advocacy and writings.

See a short interview with Jessica here:


In the 13 years since its founding, Gisha has assisted thousands of Palestinians facing the brutality of the Israeli imposed blockade (Gisha calls it “closure”) of Gaza.  See here a list of Gisha’s achievements in its first ten years. Gisha-achievements-2005-2015.

Gisha gets financial support from many international organizations and from several European governments through their aid agencies. The Government of Canada is not a donor. Any CTIP readers who wish to donate to Gisha can do so using this link.


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  1. Hooray for Gisha and Ms Burnstein working for human rights and a fair peaceful solution of Israel and Palestine by focussing on freedom of movement in and out of blockaded or closed Gaza.

    Hers is but one of many Israeli orgs working on thsi issue from a human and civil righs perspective. Unfortunately they face many restrictions inposed by the Israeli govt, a hit and increasingly miss Israeli court system that now has the Jewish state law to further restrict equal rights in Israel and an increasingly hostile Israeli Lijud right wing majority virtually oblivious to the Palestinian conondrum.

    It was an honour to meet with these organization on a CTIP trip to Israel Palestine in 2014 and even to demonstrate with Israeli peaceniks at the weekly demonstration against house demolitions led by an outstanding leader who has recently been focussing in the Israeli security industry and what it has learned from 50 years of occupying millions of Palestinians.

    Uncritical Pro Israeli groups would do well to meet with Israeli orgs like Gisha to get a more balanced view on the Isr Pal conflict and how a solution could be reached probably a 2 state one with West and East Jerusalem their respective capitals

  2. Thanks for this session with Jessica and informing us of the excellent and important work Gisha is doing in Israel. Jessica makes me proud to be of Jewish background and Gisha is an important organization in helping us support Palestinians and Gazans while still recognizing Israel’s right to exist and thrive (although opposing practices which diminish the lives and the future of the Palestinian people). Bravo to Jessica and her Gisha associates for doing such important work.

  3. Thank you for introducing Gisha and Jessica Burnstein.May her presence bring the Canadian government to re-consider its policy on Palestine, and more specifically Gaza.

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