Activism for a just Israel

by Maskil on 23 Dec 2009

In my previous post, I talked about the (relatively) new organisation, Hiddush (Freedom Of Religion for Israel) and ways in which you can support it (both morally and in more tangible forms).

Nikki responded, and pointed out that Hiddush had just kicked off its first campaign, aimed at Israel’s Civil Union bill.  While the concept of civil unions should be welcomed in principle, this particular bill has been butchered to such an extent that it will benefit almost none of the estimated 350,000 Israelis it should be aimed at.  (In a comment on the JTA Website some months back, I opined that the bill will do little except create a new class of Mamzerim, officially forbidden to inter-marry with others in Israel.)

Although there are always questions regarding just how effective “armchair activism” (usually involving online petitions and letter-writing) such as this is, it is surely certainly better than inaction and silence.  In a democracy, where the voter is “polled” only once every 4 or 5 years, they are an essential tool in bringing issues to the attention of lawmakers and other arms of state.

The first such campaign that I’m aware of was the initiative to call for the State of Israel to officially recognize Rabbi Miri Gold.

These two campaigns have now been joined by the New Israel Fund’s campaign to “Say No to the Back of the Bus”, and another from Hiddush intended to “Tell Netanyahu you support religious freedom for Israel”.

If you live in a country (such as the US) where freedom of (or even from) religion, religious pluralism, and other democratic rights are taken somewhat for granted, you can help your Israeli brethren/cousins gain those same rights by adding your name to these petitions.

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