On the Political Unrest in Israel

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Ever since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu introduced his judicial reforms which work to grant greater power to the Knesset (legislature/ governing political body), giving Netanyahu the space to push his overwhelmingly right wing agenda through, Israelis and non-Israelis alike have joined together in strong protest. The reason is that this step by Netanyahu  takes away from the voice of the people – the essence of democracy. This week, Netanyahu delayed moving forward his bill due to the protests happening throughout the state. As a movement, we have come together in the face of injustice for the people of Israel through the Reform Jewish values that we hold dear.

NFTY and the rest of the Reform Jewish Youth Movement, the URJ, and our affiliate organizations have agreed that the best way to confront Netanyahu’s blatant power grab is through the peaceful and powerful protest that we are seeing across the globe. Just last weekend, 16 cities from across the United States and Canada had their own protests, along with those in Europe, Asia, and within Israel’s borders. As a movement, we must continue making our voices heard to bring about change and justice for what is morally right – whether or not we identify as Zionists. Members of the URJ North American Board had the privilege of hearing from MK (member of Knesset) Gilad Kariv, Orly Erez-Likhovski of the Israeli Religious Action Center, and Rabbi Josh Weinberg of ARZA concerning the immense urgency that this time has brought to us and our power within it. You can view the recording of their discussion alongside Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ President.


So, what can we do? We have the power, we have the voices, and we have the action. Here’s a concrete list of what you can do in your community to bring about justice in the land of Israel:

  1. Call your regional Israeli consulate
  2. Contact a representative
    1. 16 Jewish representatives have signed this letter to leaders of the Israeli government. However, eleven Jewish representatives have failed to do so. Write to them to express your hopes of a showing of bipartisan support of justice. 
  3. Educate your community
    1. We still have loads of in-person spring events happening in the coming weeks! We also have leaders who are incredibly passionate about Israel and its politics, and continuing to educate our communities is crucial in ensuring that this passion continues l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation. 
  4. Attend a local protest
    1. Demonstrations continue to be organized across the world. Making our voices heard literally and figuratively is crucial in ensuring justice for the people of Israel.
  5. Reach out for more information
    1. This issue is incredibly unsettling. As the Reform Jewish Movement, we are also the Reform Jewish Community. Please reach out to anyone at any time if you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help. You can begin by reaching out to myself or any of our NFTY leadership at nftyrcvp@urj.org or another contact you trust and w will swiftly and happily direct you in whatever direction necessary. 


We have a long road ahead of us in achieving justice and peace in the land of Israel and our voices are the best mode of getting down that road. Make your voices heard, keep the spirits high, and stay NFTY strong. 


Simon Warner
NFTY Religious and Cultural Vice President 5782-5783

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