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Cheshbon Nefesh for the Middle East

13 September 2012 By Daniel Sokatch

Daniel Sokatch

We have been telling you for some time about the upsurge in hatred and incitement in Israel – against Palestinians, “leftists,” African refugees. Just yesterday there was another price tag attack on a mosque near Hebron, and last week we saw the desecration of a monastery near Jerusalem. As part of NIF’s expanded commitment to combatting this phenomenon, we asked you to contact Israel’s Attorney General to uphold the law against extremist incitement and violence. And thousands of you have already done so.

These attacks in Israel do not represent the sentiments of the vast majority of Israelis. And we at NIF are not only condemning the racist language and the violent behavior of some on the fringe of Israeli society, we are working with the leaders of Israel’s civil society to help Israel to a place where extremism is never condoned.

We continue to work for an Israel at peace with itself. As we celebrate the New Year, we hope and dream for a time when Israel can exist at peace with its neighbors, free of existential threat, and when all peoples of the Middle East can achieve the freedom to build open and tolerant societies. Today, as we grieve over the deaths of our American diplomats in Libya, we redouble our devotion to this vision.

With the High Holidays around the corner, we begin our cheshbon nefesh, the accounting for our souls, our behavior, and our communal responsibility to our best values. For us at the New Israel Fund, accounting and introspection are necessary but not sufficient expressions of our values. We will continue to act, to work, and to fight for the values that underlie our vision of a humanist and tolerant Jewish homeland, respectful of all religious traditions.

We simply cannot do otherwise.

Shana tova to you and your loved ones, and to our extended NIF family worldwide.

Daniel Sokatch



About the Author

Daniel Sokatch

Daniel Sokatch

Daniel Sokatch is the Chief Executive Officer at the New Israel Fund. Read more about Daniel Sokatch...