Beth Tzedec stands in support with the Global Masorti/Conservative Movement's response to the Israeli government's changes to the Constitution. The Global Masorti/Conservative representatives in the Zionist movement are appalled by Netanyahu's capitulation to extremists and the passage of anti-democratic legislation.
Read the full statement below or click here to download it.
Global Masorti/Conservative Representatives in the Zionist Movement appalled by Netanyahu's capitulation to extremists and the passage of anti-democratic legislation
As the representatives of more than 2 million Masorti/Conservative Jews around the world within the Zionist Movement, we are proud of Zionism's 126 year tradition of democracy. Since its founding by Theodore Herzl in 1897, the Zionist Movement and subsequently the National Institutions and the State of Israel have all been governed in accordance with democratic values.
It is this longstanding commitment to democratic principles which leads us to be deeply appalled, saddened and frightened by the passage of anti-democratic legislation that limits the Israeli judiciary's ability to serve as an effective check on the Government of Israel's power. Legislation that undercuts the fragile balance of powers that is at the core of Israel's democracy undermines the spirit and the foundational principles of Zionism, the Zionist Movement, and the State of Israel as espoused in its Declaration of Independence. The reckless decision to move forward with such legislation in a one-sided manner is tearing apart the very fabric of Israeli society as well as damaging the sacred bond between Israel and Jewish communities around the world that is rooted not only in shared history, but also in shared values. While we are not surprised, we are dismayed that at such a pivotal moment, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Government of Israel ignored the warnings of economic, security, and legal experts and instead capitulated to a small handful of extremists and rejected any chance at compromise.
We are inspired by and applaud the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who have taken to the streets for nearly thirty weeks and call for their right to protest to be respected and for their concerns to be listened to. We believe significant changes to Israel's judiciary and the balance of powers should be made only through broad consensus.
Ahead of Tisha B'Av - when we commemorate the destruction of the two Temples due to disunity and sinat chinam (senseless hatred) - it is incumbent on Israel's leaders to promote and seek unity, and to ensure Israel's future as a prosperous and secure Jewish and democratic state. The passage of the repeal of the reasonableness clause stands in contravention to both of these objectives. We call on Masorti/Conservative Jews and other Jewish organizations around the world to join us in standing up for Israel's unity, security, prosperity, and democracy at this pivotal moment.