The Year of Democracy
The Hebrew year of 5783 (HaTashpag) felt like the opening of A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
In Israel, the year begun with a hectic, chaotic election cycle, concluding with the most religious, nationalist, anti-liberal government in Israel's history. They declared war on Israel's seperation of powers, civil liberties and the U.S.-Israel relations. In the U.S., despite his affiliates taking a hit in the midterms, former president Trump got back on his feet and ensured his double-digit lead in the Republican primary. His campaign, focusing on seeking revenge on those who, according to the 45th president, stole the election from him.
But there's a silver lining: an inspiring, unprecedented protest movement rose across the board, not only protecting Israeli democracy but also proactively calling for the establishment of our national identity. We questioned how we codify values such as libery and equality, what the right balance between "Jewish" and "Democratic" should be, and how we make amends for past mistakes (and there sure were).
We didn't break, not in face of rain or heatwaves and not in face of police brutality, violent riots and death threats. We didn't flinched, not in the face of appeasement "frameworks" and not in the face of incitement, including from the governmening coalition.
And we will keep on fighting: for a better, freer, and more just Israel and the U.S., and for a U.S.-Israel relationship that is stronger, more resilient, adjusted to our shared challenged, and grounded in our shared values.
In the Israeli-Democratic Alliance, we continued our fight. We presented our work at the Israeli Knesset Emergancy Conference, meeting with leaders from Israel and the United States, including the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Jerusalem, The Honorable Tom Nides
We educated hundreds of Israelis across all sectors of society about the unique, crucial and potentially-fragile relationship between Israel and liberal America. We provided knowledge and understanding of liberal America to students in four academic institutions (Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University, Reichman University, and Shalem College); pre-military schools (Ruach Nachon, Kol Ami, Gallil Elion, Yesodot), high-schoolers, security establishment officials, and public diplomacy activists across Israel.
And in the coming weeks, Rotem Oreg, founder of the Israeli-Democratic Alliance, will lead the first speaking tour in the United States, traveling to nine cities all across America, sharing our liberal vision for Israel and making the case for liberal Zionism.
As democracy, liberalism and human rights are under attack in both Israel and the United States, the mission of the Israeli-Democratic Alliance is more important than ever, and we need your help:
Share this email with at least FIVE friends, family members, collegues or anyone who is a potential ally.
Organize a speaking event, either in person or via zoom.
On behalf of the Israeli-Democratic Alliance's team, board, and allies, we wish you and your loved ones a Happy, Healthy, Sweet, and democratic new year!
Rotem A. Oreg
Founder & Director