An activism group called Olim for Democracy launched a digital campaign and petition urging Likud MK Dan Illouz, himself an immigrant from Canada and the representative of new immigrants in the Likud, to oppose the judicial reform package “that goes against the Zionist vision of a Jewish and democratic Israel that has inspired tens of thousands to make Aliyah,” according to the group.According to its Twitter handle, Olim for Democracy is a group of Israeli immigrants who are “concerned for the future of our democracy and by the judicial overhaul led by Netanyahu׳s far-right government.” The social media campaign is titled “Don’t Do It, Dan Illouz.”The group tweeted that “Olot and Olim like you demand to live in a Jewish and democratic Israel.” They said that “you claim to be our voice in the Knesset. Now is the time to stand up for the Zionist vision that has inspired thousands just like us to make Israel our home.”
Olim for Democracy's stance
Olim for Democracy said that they are composed of “Orthodox, secular, Reform, Conservative and Haredi Jews. Among us you will find the full spectrum of Israeli political opinions, from Right to Left and everything in between.”They added that “like us, you grew up as part of a minority. For us, it is inconceivable that the State of Israel, where Jews are the majority, could so gravely put at risk the basic rights of women and minority groups.“Like many of us, you made aliyah from liberal democracy and moved to a country that shared those values. That will no longer be the case once these ‘reforms’ are passed. The legislation currently being advanced will force Jews facing antisemitism in their countries to choose between living in a society where they suffer hate crimes or moving to a country with restricted freedoms and a compromised justice system. It will extinguish the dream of Jews all over the world that they, too, can choose to live as free people in their own land.”Olim for Democracy said in a press release that “the proposed ‘judicial overhaul’ is detrimental to the democratic values at the core of the Zionist vision from its very inception. By supporting this legislation, MK Dan Illouz, an immigrant himself, is not only expressly violating his promise to represent Olim’s interests in Likud and the Knesset, but decimating and risking the Zionist vision that has inspired thousands of Jews over the decades to choose to make Israel their home. Olot and Olim won’t forget who turns their back on Israel’s founding principles at this critical moment in the country’s history.”A week ago, over 1,600 group members petitioned the Israeli government to halt the judicial overhaul legislation. In a letter copied to President Isaac Herzog, the members of this group, including immigrants from the US, the UK, several European countries, South Africa, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, and South America – called on the government to stop the legislation and on the Jewish Agency to take a clear stand.
Illuz responded to the campaign calling him to vote against the judicial reforms, saying in a statement to The Jerusalem Post that "I appreciate every person who makes aliyah to Israel out of Zionism and am happy to see olim involved in Israeli politics. Unfortunately, this group distorted reality." According to Illuz, "they represent a very small number of people who presume to speak on behalf of all olim. The truth is that olim are a diverse group with a variety of political opinions.
"Many support the reform and I am glad to represent them. Some oppose it and I respect their opinion," he said. He added that "the reform will be good for Israeli democracy and will only strengthen it. In fact, olim know this because they are familiar with the practices prevalent throughout the democratic world, which the reform will bring us closer to. I am happy to engage in conversation with those who oppose it at any time."