Dear Friend,

Earlier this week a bill to repeal the “reasonableness clause” passed its first reading in the Knesset – a development seen by many as eroding the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.  

As with the wider opposition to the extremists in Israel’s government, this is not a battle between Left and Right or between Religious and Secular. Indeed, the “Reasonableness doctrine” forced a previous government to fortify classrooms in 24 Gaza border towns and a municipality to provide a Mikveh to meet the needs of their religious residents. 

You can read more about the reasonableness clause here 

Even harsh critics of the reasonableness clause are troubled by this bill. Prof. Yoav Dotan, when speaking at the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, warned against the version that passed. See more here. 

With the current Knesset session ending on 30th July, please see below some useful sources for following developments.  

In recent weeks, the Tel Aviv police chief has left their role amid claims they were being pressured to use tougher measures against protesters. There have been distressing scenes including protestors injured from water canons and vigilantes attempting to run people over. 

Increased hostility and violence towards those demonstrating to defend democracy is not happening in a vacuum. Members of the coalition have indulged conspiracies and PM Netanyahu shared unfounded and misleading stories attacking the protestors.  

This is a difficult and disheartening time for those of us supporting Israelis striving for justice and equality.  

New Israel Fund’s grantees and partners are fighting every day to counter or mitigate the Israeli coalition’s extremist plans: protecting civil society organisations; mobilising parents, teachers, and local councils to promote tolerance in education; and investing in the leaders, policies, and movements working for a more equal, just, and shared future for all in Israel.  

You can read more about our emergency response and longer-term work here 

We are not naïve about the direction the situation is heading and we anticipate many more difficult days ahead.  

As long as there are millions of Israelis determined to save democracy and inspiring leaders and organisations empowering minorities; defending Israelis’ and Palestinians’ human rights; and advancing partnership between Arabs and Jews, we will be by their side.  

We cannot do this without your continued and generous support.  

We are moved and grateful to all our supporters for sticking with us in standing for a just, safe, and equal Israel.  

Thank you.

Warm wishes,  

David Davidi-BrownChief Executive, The New Israel Fund UK



Useful sources for following developments in the fight for democracy in Israel  


Haaretz and the BBC’s Israel coverage 


Journalists and protest organisations and leaders:  

Anshel Pfeffer
Orly Barlev in English 
Noga Tarnopolsky 

Josh Drill
Shir Nosatzki   

Standing Together (Omdim Beyachad – Naqef Ma’an)
Bonot Alternativa
Defend Israeli Democracy




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January 2024