From Our CEO: Bridge the Divide

I write this as we wait for confirmation of the shape of Israel’s next government and whether it is able to garner sufficient votes as it comes to the Knesset (in all probability) next week. I did a 20 minute recorded interview with NIF’s policy expert in Israel, Hovav Yanai today which you can watch here. In it Hovav updates on the probable make-up of Israel’s potential post-Netanyahu government and unpacks what it might mean for a host of issues at the heart of NIF’s work.

At this time, much of NIF’s work is focused on shared society and combatting the racism and violence we have tragically witnessed. As I wrote to you last week, our work is focusing on three primary strategies 1) Supporting long-term work to advance shared society; 2) Launching a NIS 1 million Voices of Hope—to support new shared society initiatives; and 3) Responding swiftly to emerging needs. There are examples of this work in the stories in this newsletter.

Despite the destruction, fear and devastation of the last few weeks we are seeing many seeds of optimism that give a glimpse of what a successful shared future in Israel for all its citizens could look like. Whether it has been the incredible response of thousands of Israel’s to the call to join vigils under the banner ‘Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies’, to the creativity and commitment of the civil society groups as they help the communities they serve begin the difficult journey of recovery and rebuilding trust, to leading Israeli companies speaking up for co-existence.

We are under no illusions as to the many challenges in our way but the optimism I mention is underpinned by insights and lessons drawn from previous times of tension and mistrust. To mention three:

  1. Most importantly, Israeli civil society is in a far stronger position than ever before to not only respond to the crisis but to shape the efforts to rebuild back stronger. NIF is incredibly proud of our investment and work that has helped make this true.
  2. There is a widely shared understanding that our work needs to focus on the long term. Whilst tempting to focus on the immediate it risks applying a sticking plaster to deep wounds.
  3. You are with us! The incredible response to our current campaign – with over £140,000 donated – shows how our community here in the UK cares and understands both the necessity and the complexity of what we are trying to achieve.

 

Thank you,

Adam Ognall, CEO