Don’t give up on Israel’s democracy - opinion

Pluralistic Jews around the world: We must not let a corrupt and extreme political leadership tear us apart.

THE WRITER addresses a recent rally near the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Danielle Leumi)
THE WRITER addresses a recent rally near the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: Danielle Leumi)

As a proud Jew and ardent Zionist, I cannot help but be struck by the remarkable beauty and complexity of the land I call home. Despite our country’s many challenges, this is our only home.

As the Nation of Israel continues to grapple with the political and social upheaval of recent months, one thing has become clear: the future of our democracy is at stake.

We need solidarity

With forces of extremism seeking to undermine the pluralist values that have long defined our Nation, it is now more critical than ever for pluralistic Jews around the world to stand in solidarity with the people of Israel.

The progressive Jewish community in the Diaspora is under attack from forces seeking to divide and conquer. Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir, and Smotrich are actively working to weaken the spirit of pluralism and inclusiveness. It is their goal to push our pluralist Jewish brothers and sisters away from Israel.

I write to you now with a heavy heart but also with a steadfast commitment to the ideals that have sustained us for so long. Our vision of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be abandoned, and your support is imperative and genuinely urgent.

 MILITARY RESERVISTS, on a three-day walk to Jerusalem, hold flags as they block the main highway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv yesterday in protest against the government’s proposed judicial reforms.  (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN) MILITARY RESERVISTS, on a three-day walk to Jerusalem, hold flags as they block the main highway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv yesterday in protest against the government’s proposed judicial reforms. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Zionism is more than just a political ideology – it is a universal set of values that transcends borders and unites us all. However, despite this, we are now facing a formidable threat from within, The so-called “national camp” is a misnomer, for their actions are anything but patriotic. They are leading us down a dangerous path that threatens to destroy the very essence of our beloved nation.

I CALL on you, my brothers and sisters, to stand with us in the face of this great challenge. Just as you have stood with us in the face of external enemies time and time again, we now need your support as we battle against the forces that threaten to destroy us from within. Only together can we protect the ideals of justice and democracy for future generations and ensure that the Land of Israel remains a shining beacon of hope and optimism for years and generations to come.

Despair is not an option

The Jewish people have a long and storied history of resilience and determination. Despite two millennia of exile and countless challenges, we have never given up. Despair is not a viable option, and optimism is a powerful political force, even in the darkest of times.

You may believe that there is no hope for change, but consider this: in the last election, the “Bloc of Change” received most of the popular votes, though not enough to win the election. However, this represents the will and resolve of half the country.

Our connection to the Land of Israel is rooted in hard work and determination, not just blind emotion. The younger generation is taking a stand and speaking out, as evidenced by the massive protests that have taken place across the country in recent months. Tens of thousands of Israelis from Tel Aviv to Beersheba are coming together. I walked 100 kilometers leading the youth march for democracy across Israel and as one of the leaders of the protest, I am in the field every day.

Last Saturday, I gave a speech in Netanya and rallied thousands of individuals to join me. With phones held high, we sang together Banu choshech legaresh (We came to expel the darkness) with unwavering fervor. This is a testament to the transformative power of coming together and shining a light of hope.

As the US celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day just a few weeks ago, I am reminded of his powerful words: “We cannot walk alone.” Now more than ever, we need your support and solidarity in our fight for Israel’s democracy. We must not let a corrupt and extreme political leadership tear us apart. Those of us on the front lines of this battle need your support to ensure that our unity is not destroyed.

The writer is the founder of Our Israel Movement.