Consensus for Change

Most of us agree that we need Jewish unity. We understand how critical our internal strength is in the current war and in our future ability to maintain a secure and strong Israel. We understand how internal strife and divisiveness weakens us from within, with lethal consequences that are no longer theoretical, and are better classified as existential.

But what does that mean, is this a plan or a dream? If this is a plan, is it feasible, and how do we get there, or at least keep what we have?

My assumption is that unity is an un-natural state, something that needs serious effort to achieve, usually combined with external threats, to achieve. Clearly the former would be better, that we wake up and work towards a functional unity, rather than rely on the dark threats around us to force unity upon us.

What is Jewish Unity: Unity is not about uniformity, but should include different people working together towards a shared purpose or goal. Unity is not about developing or forcing homogeneity in or on a society, but rather joining diverse people together respectfully, like parts of a machine, to collaborate in creating a cohesive and impactful whole. In our context, Jewish unity is celebrating our differences and using them to form a beautiful and powerful society, utilizing the gift of diversity to build a model that inspires ourselves and others.

What is Jewish Consensus: Reaching a general agreement on something. It’s not necessarily about everyone being completely happy, but rather a sense that most people are on board with a decision or opinion. What does most mean, and what about the minority?

Threats on Jewish Unity: What and who threaten Jewish unity? Generally, the radical margins on the political right and left, and the religious left and right, leveraging the ease of social media and ignoring the burden of nuance. And also, a government that is wildly unpopular and distrusted, and desperate for survival by almost all means, has an interest in maintaining the status quo and sowing the seeds of disunity.

Moreover, consensus is needed with the non-Jews in Israel and outside, those of common mind and narrative that agree to Israel’s presence and are partners in its future. If we have such a support for the idea, this is to be cultivated and acted upon. If it doesn’t exist, quite frankly, there has been a massive failure of the medina over 7 decades. In any case, this needs to be tested and dealt with.

In order to make the Unity word meaningful, we need a feasible and sensible program, a working plan accompanied by some tough decisions with a dosage of national and individual courage. Paying lip service is simply not enough – the stakes are too high to hope for unity and talk about it only.

It’s not about right vs left, or religious vs secular, it’s about citizens for better government, great citizens deserving better leaders, a return to democracy where the will of the people is respectively implemented for competent and trusted leaders.

I am suggesting a political revolution in Israel, joining forces of all the Zionists, whether religious or not, right or left, Jewish or not. We need the majority of Zionists to protest non violently for new elections as immediately as feasible, placing a unity/war government representing all the centrist Zionist sectors to manage the war and economy until a new government is swiftly voted in and inaugurated. With a clear deadline on the current government’s current innings, we can postpone the critical worldview differences in creating the day after for Israeli and Palestinian societies, and leave that for the day after the elections. The elections are where the war of narratives and visions will be presented to the people for their free and democratic vote.

Back to Jewish consensus, consensus on who ought to govern the country may not be feasible currently, but can we at least agree that the current government have been an unmitigated failure at foreign and domestic policy, have terribly let the people down, and continues to do so every new day!

About the Author
Yaron Damelin was born and raised in South Africa, and following high school and travel, he went to the University of Cape town where he completed my Bachelor of Arts in history and philosophy. Following his first degree, he studies for year in Yeshiva, before getting married and making Aliyah immediately after his “sheva brachot”. After making Aliyah, he obtained his MBA through Boston University on its campus in Beersheva and following that conscripted into the IDF where he served as a combat medic. His wife and he have six kids and two grandchildren and live in Ra’anana. In Israel, he initially worked in marketing and business development in various startups in Israel's Silicon Wadi. In 2000, with the early Internet boom, he moved into the Intellectual Property (IP) field, where he has been deeply engaged since, and where he has specialized in IP Portfolio Development and Management, and Strategic Business Consulting. He is founder and CEO of FocusIP Ltd., an IP Management Consultancy. More recently, following a passion and dream, he has pivoted to specialize in Strategic Technology for Green/Climate-Tech ventures and companies. He has a podcast called “Green Focus”, and is driven to help Green-Tech clients leverage their IP to Green the World.
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