We Won the Battle...
But the war for democratic values in Israel will go on.
Yesterday, the leadership of the Kadima party decided not to support a proposed Committee of Parliamentary Inquiry into the New Israel Fund and the human rights organizations it supports. The proposed inquiry, initiated by a Kadima MK, was in response to a vicious campaign launched against NIF two weeks ago by a new right-wing group, attempting to blame Israel’s human rights community for the Goldstone report on Gaza. The immediate threat of a Knesset inquiry has abated for now.
Because of the outcry of thousands of people of conscience like you, and hundreds of Israeli and American Jewish leaders, journalists, academics and activists across the political spectrum, extremists in the Knesset will not at this time hold NIF and democratic values hostage to a frightening ideological agenda. But those in Israel and elsewhere who equate the work of human rights groups, the monitoring, reporting and self-examination so critical to the functioning of a democracy, with treason will not stop their efforts to shut us up and shut us down.
So we, too, cannot stop fighting.
The New Israel Fund has never invested resources in “building its brand” or PR for the sake of PR. Every dollar we raise that is not spent on basic operations goes towards building a better Israel, in direct or indirect investments in grassroots social change. But the days of being the strong, silent type are over.
In the coming days and weeks, we will work with you, our friends and supporters, and with the organizations we support in Israel to take a positive stand on behalf of human rights and social justice. In Israel and in the U.S., in Canada and the UK, we will take every step to emphasize the vision of Israel founders, the Jewish and universal values that must underlie a democratic state, and the real reasons that Israel can refer to itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East.”
Please, continue and increase your support. Be ready to contact the Prime Minister and Ambassador Oren. Involve your friends and families, your temples, youth groups and other progressive organizations. If ever there was a time to take a stand for the Israel we can be proud of, that time is now.
Your help last week made a huge difference. Stand by to speak out again.
Chief Executive Officer