Keren Hayesod world board of trustees Steven Lowy and world chairman Sam Grundwerg issued a letter to their supporters and emissaries around the world about the current political situation in Israel - a day after it was published that they have received complaints from a local European branch.
"This statement addresses the deep concerns from Keren Hayesod campaigns around the world regarding the current disturbing events taking place in Israel," the letter said.
"These are very challenging days for Israel and the worldwide Jewish community. The scenes of hundreds of thousands of Israelis regularly taking to the streets and sounding their voices on the proposed judicial reforms are deeply concerning and yet, inspiring as it demonstrates Israel is a thriving democracy.
"The proposed reforms are being passionately debated in Israel and throughout the Jewish world as we all try to understand the complex history behind and potential impact of these reforms if passed by the Knesset. Jewish values, Democracy, and the Rule of Law are at the essence of Israel's existence and should never be compromised – a view that the leadership of Keren Hayesod strongly believes in."
They emphasized that "sadly, the tone and rhetoric of the public debate is deteriorating daily. This threatens to tear apart the fabric that unites the people of Israel and the Jewish communities worldwide."
The two added that they are "deeply concerned about the adverse effects on the unity and solidarity of Israeli society and among the Jewish people around the globe."
Supporting the efforts, initiatives of President Herzog
Keren Hayesod also mentioned that they support the efforts and initiatives of the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, "in attempting to bring the parties together and promote a respectful dialogue that leads to a solution that does not compromise the values of Democracy and the Rule of Law."
As published on Tuesday, leaders of Keren Hayesod in Switzerland sent a critical letter to the heads of the parent organization in Jerusalem on Sunday, expressing their concern about the current political situation in Israel, as well as the public discourse, according to Walla.
A senior official in Keren Hayessod told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the statement was not a reaction to the letter that was received from Zürich, but was planned days before.
Keren Hayesod is one of the Jewish Agency’s main fundraising arms that sources from around the world, except for the US. Keren Hayesod Switzerland demanded that the organization’s leaders speak out against the moves that the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government is promoting, hinting that they are “threatening the continuation of fundraising and donations to Israel,” according to Walla.
Their support for Israel is “unconditional,” the Swiss Jewish leaders said in their letter on Sunday, adding that as long as “the basic principles of humanity are respected and as long as Israel continues to be committed to the principles of a liberal and democratic system.”
Grundwerg and Lowey concluded in their statement that "throughout its history, Israel has known crises and disagreements. Keren Hayesod has always strived to remain above politics, serving as an example of an organization that supports what binds us together and not what separates us," they said of the 103-year-old organization.
"Israel is still a young country fighting to exist in a hostile region. It is our only Jewish state and in vital need of the work and support of Keren Hayesod. We will continue to advocate for the values of our beloved organization. With hopes and prayers for the unity and safety of our people," they concluded.