Darkness never dispels light
Public scaremongering is only a cynical abuse of latent fears among readers and viewers for the outlets’ profits. Don’t believe it.
Democracy and equality in Israel are only in danger if Israelis are predominantly immoral, docile, and defenseless. We are not.
The new Israeli government is the most unstable we’ve ever seen. Good luck trying to topple it before it implodes and disintegrates.
If you’ve never been an activist, this is your chance to fight for what you believe in. Two caveats: do it peacefully and with a happy, hopeful heart.
Most activism should reject privileges and deprivation for all groups.
These are the cabinet plans to focus on, also when they go demissionary:
- Ending a ban on MKs who incite racism
There is no reason to believe Netanyahu, the Knesset, and the High Court are powerless here. But we need to object to stop them from being lazy. And to speak out effectively, we must speak with hope and trust that justice and democracy will prevail.
- Death penalty for terrorists
This is stupid popularism. We fight it not by talking about clemency with genocidal (anti-Semitic) mass murderers. We take our Zionist pride and say: only primitive countries still have the death penalty. Science is clear that it doesn’t deter, and that’s why our Sages already abolished it 2,000 years ago. No one comes close to what Eichmann did (whom we executed without regret); we refuse to equate anything to the Holocaust.
- West Bank annexation
We must insist that priority will be given to removing the dictators, tyrants, and anti-Semites who weigh down on the Muslim population in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, and Lebanon. That would solve a lot more problems than putting up new road signs in the West Bank would do.
- Funding for religious study
We must do better. We must also object to Netanyahu who initiated and continues to shrink child support. Money to yeshivot and kollels and their scholars should be distributed just as to universities and students; the latter also need much more money. Ex-soldiers who choose to learn in either must get free learning and money to pay for their livelihood.
- Reining in the judiciary as a priority
We must give loud public support for the High Court to kill any “override clause,” to show that they do so in accordance with the People’s wishes.
- Potential anti-LGBT discrimination
Demonstrations carried by a broad consensus in almost all layers of the Israeli public will prevent any reduction in the proud advance that Israel here has in the region. More money and attention must be paid to helping Muslim and ultra-Orthodox-Jewish enclave deal with the Queers among them. We must redouble our efforts to establish civil marriage in Israel.
- New Shin Bet division to focus on Arab crime
We must insist that the focus will be on the right of Muslims living in Muslim or mixed cities to live in security. We must reject calling this fighting ‘Arab crime.’ Those suited in this population should get better excess to higher education and higher-paying jobs and to education about Jewish history and the importance to reject any Antisemitism.
- Plans to build more Jewish cities
Empty lands in the North, East, and South must be cultivated to settle more Jews. But, at the same time, the same must happen for the Bedouin!
Unacknowledged Jewish and Bedouin settlements must be acknowledged immediately. If there is a real problem for doing so, other than a fear of precedent, genuine negotiations should be started where the settlers can move to, but as close as possible to where they would want to be.
- More Jews need access to Jewish learning
This must happen the classical way, pleasantly and peacefully, without coercion. Ask the city of Eilat how they did this 30 years ago.
Special attention should be given to psychological trauma from 2,000 years of persecution: how to deal with despair, fear, stress, etc.
- State funding for gender-segregated events
Public gatherings must have a non-binding gender-segregated option, including at demonstrations and at the Kotel.
- Compulsory military service for all
We must insist that youths who don’t serve in the IDF (including Muslims) do national service in their communities. If they are students at university or yeshiva, they can do so part-time spread out over more years.
- Conversions and the Law of Return
Instead of obsessing about ‘partly-Jewish’ Israelis, much more effort must be made to help those who want to move closer to an Orthodox conversion. Any acknowledged panel of three Rabbinic Judges must be able to convert those who so choose. Established converts should be heard on how to do this solidly but expeditiously.
- Fighting poverty
The way capitalism lets the average Israeli struggle financially is really unbecoming for a State that was started by Socialists. We must insist that the exploitation by the banks is muzzled. Renters must get protection so they can’t be evicted, nor need to buy a house anymore, and pay crazy mortgages. A stop must be put to institutions charging interest through a rabbinic loophole. The absurd food prices a couple of hegemonic families charge must be broken. The Ashkenazi elites must be disempowered.
- Arab Israelis
- Benjamin Netanyahu
- Conversion to Judaism
- Democracy in Israel
- Golan Heights
- Gun Violence
- Israel: Jewish and Democratic
- Jewish-Muslim Relations
- Race Relations
- religious-secular divide
- West Bank
- Western Wall