So, what do we do now?
Since the elections, and especially in the wake of the new government’s proposed changes to Israel’s judiciary system, I’ve received many calls asking: so, what do we do now?
The New Israel Fund is by no means omnipotent. However, my hope stems from the work we do together.
We work with strong organisations, inspiring social movements, and excellent frameworks, and thanks to the cooperation of all our forces, I believe that we can save Israel, and in so doing, save our collective home.
We have adapted our strategy to the changing reality, and I want to share with you some of our recent activities.
- A significant increase in our “emergency response fund” (a fund that is designed to be fast, flexible, and experimental). In the current, uncertain reality we must ring fence resources for the unknown as well as for the threats and opportunities that are looming on our horizon.
- Networking and coordination of our partner organizations and activists who operate in the field. Shatil and our other partners play an important part in the constant organization and analysis of the arena. It is important that the various forces (including those who do not agree with each other on every issue) know how to coordinate their activities, talk to each other and see the big picture.
- Protection of a free and safe civil space for all: At the same time as it attempts to harm the legal system and the media, the new Israeli government has set itself the goal of reducing the space for civil action. Citizens’ freedom of expression and freedom of protest is in real danger. Situations such as an Arab doctor getting fired just because he is Arab, or people being arrested because of a post on Facebook is not a far-fetched prospect. We must be there for these people. As we have been warned, practices that happen beyond the green line have eventually penetrated Israel and we recognize real dangers to our freedoms as citizens.
- Strengthening and building the forces that constitute the political and ideological alternative to the right-wing populist view that characterizes this government. At the same time as we tackle the state of emergency, we must continue to look to the future and build our power. That’s why we are increasing our support for research institutes, campaigns and actions in the field and online.
- Working with our key partners like The Association For Civil Rights to protect the gatekeepers and the justice system. We are working to create an effective mechanism that clearly clarifies the character of the struggle, in part by comparing it with other countries in the world where democracies have shrunk or disintegrated. Poland and Hungary are clear examples that help us in understanding where Israel is going and the price we are going to pay.
- Integrating and promoting the voice of Arab society in the contemporary political discourse. We see the struggle for the image of the state as a pan-Israeli struggle. In light of the potential deterioration in the status of Arab society, we are helping to amplify voices calling for cooperation and solidarity.
- Maintaining, working and promoting the liberal space in Israel. In many ways the values and actions of the current government along with Justice Levin’s revolution to weaken the judiciary are meant to pull us back in time. They endanger the great liberal achievements of Israeli society in the areas of freedom of speech, individual freedoms, human rights and equality before the law, as well as progress in the status of the LGBTQ+ community and gender equality. The status and legitimacy of Arab society are threatened with new threats by the statements and actions of the government. We work together with our partners to unite the struggles of the parts of society that will be harmed. The struggle for justice is a common struggle of the whole camp.
These are the critical matters that are currently on our agenda.
This fight is going to be long, stubborn, and persistent, but we can face it together.
Thank you for all your support,