Judicial Reform in Israel

Columbia Jewish Federation is deeply concerned with the discord and polarization in Israeli society in relation to the judicial reform process. We are likewise disappointed the leaders of the coalition government moved ahead with a major element of the reforms. The failure to seek consensus and the serious disagreement across Israeli society that has resulted are cause for considerable concern, especially given the efforts of President Herzog and many others to arrive at a compromise. We believe it is not too late to resolve this crisis peacefully. We have faith that Israel’s democracy is strong, and that Israeli society will come together to close the divide.

We are committed to those seeking a way to overcome this discord, emphasizing that we must, as a global Jewish community and as a people, do all we can to build a shared destiny, unity that respects diversity, and fundamental human rights. We respect and support the right and obligation to debate, to peaceful protest, to the expression of differing views in the context of guaranteeing the State of Israel will remain a Jewish and democratic state.

Our everlasting love for and commitment to the Jewish State and the people of Israel transcend any policy or government action. It is clear the work of building our Jewish State continues, and Columbia Jewish Federation renews and affirms its commitment to this work. We will continue our wholehearted support of the organizations and individuals helping to unite Israelis and to build and safeguard the institutions of civil society. This work alone will allow the diverse populations of Israel and global Jewry to live together in peace and harmony and to resolve differences respectfully and peacefully.

As Jews, we can take pride in the fact that opposition to and protest of the judicial reforms in Israel has not only been extraordinarily peaceful, but that it has been an example to the world as how to express opposition in a democratic context. We urge Israelis across the political spectrum to strive for Kiruv Levavot, drawing our hearts closer through discourse and with respect. We urge the coalition leaders to suspend any further unilateral changes to the judicial reforms and urge all parties in the Knesset to seek compromise through a return to negotiations under the auspices of President Herzog.

Columbia Jewish Federation commits to providing those who reside in our Jewish community the information, resources, and opportunities to more fully understand and appreciate events in Israel as they emerge and evolve.