As American Jewish organizations deeply concerned about the future of Israel’s democracy, we are disturbed and saddened by the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to uphold the Israeli government’s order to deport Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director.
Human Rights Watch plays an integral role in documenting and opposing human rights abuses wherever they take place around the world. Allowing human rights organizations like HRW to engage in this work is crucial for any democratic society. The Supreme Court’s decision helps fuel the Israeli right’s widening campaign of incitement and suppression against those who research and oppose the injustices of the occupation. It sets an unacceptable precedent for all groups and activists engaged in this essential work — whether Israeli citizens or non-citizens, Jewish or non-Jewish. As 23 Israeli civil society organizations wrote, the decision to allow for the deportation of Omar Shakir “severely harmed us all.”Continue reading
Last week, HDNA took a leading role in Remember the Murder, Stand up for Democracy, a coalition of Jewish and Zionist groups in New York City that came together to commemorate the anniversary of the murder of Yitzchak Rabin. The event welcomed participants from across the political spectrum for a rare and important chance for dialogue, a way to commemorate and resist the incitement that led to Rabin’s death. Below is the text of a speech read at the event by HDNA’s own Sadie Fowler (WS 68), which she read at the close of the event.
Last year I was in Israel on a gap year program with Habonim Dror called Workshop. I spent the year living out my values of socialism and Shivyon Erech HaAdam, or equality of human value, with my kvutza (group). While I was volunteering at a youth movement center, I got to participate in Asepha Isarelite, together with other youth movement members.
Asepha Israelite was an amazing experience for me. When I first got there, I was immediately overwhelmed because there were so many people. All of the youth movements in Israel had chanichim there. The sixteen of us from Workshop got separated into different circles. Each circle aimed to have people from each movement there. Every circle was tasked with debating a topic about Israeli society and coming to a common decision among them.
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