For six long months, the Israeli government has been working to suppress human rights and democracy in Israel.
• Annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories:Transfer Israeli governmental powers into the West Bank, effectively expanding sovereignty beyond the Green Line.
• Exclusion and Silencing of Women: Women are being pushed aside from key positions, shutting them out of crucial decision-making processes.
• Neglecting Arab Society: Murders and crime are running rampant, yet those in power turn a blind eye, leaving Arab communities vulnerable and neglected.
• Media Suppression: Independent media is under attack as the government manipulates information to fit their narrative, silencing dissenting voices.
• Introducing the Death Penalty to the Israeli Legal System: Changing the law to add the death penalty and drafting legislation so that it will exclusively target Palestinians.
• Forming Private Militias: Establishing a National Guard comprised of armed volunteers who will be entrusted with far-reaching powers to exercise force against and restrict freedoms of civilians.
• Abandoning the Vulnerable: Cutting funding to people with disabilities, people who live in poverty and other disadvantaged groups.
This reckless government shows no concern for the severe risks posed to our security, health, economy, and international relations. They're blindly pushing their anti-democratic agenda, demonstrating a shocking lack of responsibility.
This is not the time to back down. It's a moment to reflect on the threats to democracy and gear up for the fight ahead:
Israel's democracy has been deteriorating for the past several decades, but the path this government is taking is a clear assault on democracy. Over half a century of military occupation has already eroded the very essence of democracy by denying millions their right basic rights. And in the past decade, previous governments have laid the groundwork, undermining democratic structures with laws like the Associations Law and the Nation-State Law.
Now, the stakes are higher than ever. This government is hell-bent on undermining judicial independence and dismantling our institutions, with a clear vision and a plan to leave Israel as a democracy in name only. Abolishing the Reasonableness Clause is just another move towards fulfilling their dangerous vision.
But they are not the only ones with a clear plan! The fight for democracy requires a concrete strategy which we have worked hard to develop -- we have already sent initial legal correspondences to the Attorney General before submitting a legal petition against the Reasonableness Clause, and we will push relentlessly to protect and strengthen our democratic institutions.
The Israeli public is experiencing an unprecedented awakening. For 29 consecutive weeks, an astounding number of Israelis (one in every five people) have actively engaged in a multitude of demonstrations across the entire country. Such an accomplishment is unparalleled in Israel's history and stands as a unique feat worldwide. This tremendous show of support serves as the driving force that will propel our ongoing struggle forward.
Our greatest strength is the ability to deal with setbacks head on. We will expose the government's propaganda machine. We will reject their attempts to divide us, to incite hatred against Arab society, independent media, and civil society organizations.
History teaches us that the liberal camp has triumphed against all odds – abolishing slavery, securing women's suffrage, fighting homophobia. We're more prepared, more aware, and stronger than ever to crush this dangerous populist wave.
The democratic crisis is our greatest opportunity in decades to build a truly democratic and egalitarian Israel. We will face reality with unwavering courage and continue the fight!
Association for Civil Rights in Israel