New organization aims to get Anglos politically active

Calls for English speakers to join parties.

By
August 8, 2019 14:53
2 minute read.
dov lipman

rabbi dov lipman. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

English-speaking immigrants to Israel tend to be invested in Israeli politics but have not found a way to have significant impact inside any party in an organized manner, the founders of the new organization Our Time is Now said Thursday.

The organization intends to try to change that reality immediately, by encouraging the estimated 300,000 native English speaking voters to become more politically active wherever they are on the political map so parties will start addressing the needs of English speakers in a more serious manner.

“We don’t have to sit quietly while others make decisions that so impact our lives,” said former MK Dov Lipman, Our Time is Now’s founder and director. “Our voice, if we unite and become party members as a group, can be incredibly powerful.”

Our Time is Now will encourage English speakers to join the parties that hold primaries among its members or activists, which include Likud, New Right, Labor and Meretz, and the organization is looking into working with Bayit Yehudi and Zehut, which have had primaries in the past. Leading ministers, Knesset members and candidates in the parties have welcomed the initiative and come on board the effort.

“If we Anglos become members of these parties en masse, in whatever party we choose to join – and this initiative is non-partisan, we don’t care what party you join, only that you become more politically involved – we can have a say within those three parties on who should be the leader, who would be the candidates running for Knesset and who will sit on the central committees,” Lipman said.

Lipman said that for example, a mass Anglo membership drive in Likud can impact the party’s central committee election in a year and a half and even enable the election of members from the Anglo community to the central committee, which has significant power over what happens in the party.

If the effort is successful English speakers could then have influence over the leadership races in the parties. Volunteers across the country will respond to those who express interest at ILourtimeisnow@gmail.com.

“Once we have a significant group within these parties, then its leaders and Knesset members will have no choice but to hear and address issues of concern from our population,” Lipman said. “It’s a matter of math: representation equals strength. If we become members as an organized bloc, each person according to their ideology, we can have remarkable influence.” If we become members as an organized bloc, each person according to their ideology, we can have remarkable influence."


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