Yaron Horovitz

What can North American Jews do to save Israel?

Many American Jews have supported Israel since its establishment and before. Over the years the support has taken different forms and shapes. Israel’s needs which naturally changed over time dictated the appropriate type of support. Israel’s greatest need at this time, beyond any doubt, is to save its democracy.

American Jews took over the years an important role in ensuring Israel’s security, its economic and social wellbeing, its international standing, religious diversity and more. Israel’s democracy is a precondition for all of these. One concerned with any of these aspects, may it be Israel’s military security, financial standing or religious practices, must at these days act to ensure the basis for all and each of these. Much has been written and said about the threat over the democratic structure, by the attempts to subordinate the judiciary to the government, in various ways. An overwhelming majority of experts in all various fields and aspects have expressed their concerns and explained the connection between the demise of democracy and the harm to Israel’s security, economy, society, and even environment.

Many concerned diaspora Jews have expressed their views and have made them public. Statements have been issued, delegations to Israel have come and speeches were made. The unfortunate situation is that the current government does not seem to listen to the popular voice of Israelis, or to professionals in all relevant disciplines. The government hasn’t been listening much to diaspora Jews in recent years, and there is no sign it is about to change. However, US Jews have their own government, and it may listen to them. The US administration has significant leverage and influence on the Israeli government. This is the time, before it is too late, to ask the US government to save Israel from itself. This is even the time to let go of the long time policy of the US administration, backed by the Jewish community, that defense aid, and international support are not linked to Israeli government policies. Even these extreme means are justified.

For decades, many liberal North American Jews struggled with the difficulty of loving and supporting Israel on the one hand, and their critical views over Israel’s government policies with respect to the Palestinians, religious freedom and other policies. Many drew the line, balancing these two, when it came to the security of the State of Israel and to its international standing. Unfortunately, this line must be crossed today. Israel is on the verge of losing its democracy, it may be a matter of days. All internal mechanisms seem to have failed and we must turn to the US to make use to the ultimate weapon of withholding military and financial aid and denying international backing unless the so-called judicial reform is stalled. If you truly care for Israel, you must ask this from the US government – today!

About the Author
Yaron Horovitz is a lawyer and mediator. After more than 20 years as partner at the Tel Aviv law firm Naschitz, Brandes Amir, in recent years Yaron practices as a mediator in commercial disputes.
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