The fact of the matter is that with every year, the democratic space in Israel is narrowing and the voices causing its erosion are getting louder. When we call it out, these same voices respond that we are "crying wolf." This dismissive reaction should only embolden us and all supporters of Israel as a democratic state to continue our work in pushing back, in putting a mirror to the faces of those who refuse to see, and in uncovering the wolves in sheep's clothing working against the will of the people.
In today's Israel each and every one of the components that guarantee democracy is under attack, and unfortunately, it is precisely the government leadership and the Knesset, entrusted with maintaining and strengthening democracy, that are in fact working hard at just the opposite. What's more, they employ characteristics of populist regimes: intimidation and incitement; disregard for political correctness; a new and aggressive political culture, and the adoption of "fake news." One initiative or change in and of itself may not be threatening, but the combination and totality of these tactics endangers the very existence of democracy in Israel.
Click here to review the many anti-democratic initiatives that were proposed or promoted in the present Knesset, along with ACRI's related positions.
While the situation is worrying, we do believe there is hope for change by the hand of the general public and mobilization of the democratic camp as a whole to combat these developments. Just this week we witnessed the tangible and positive influence of civil society when widespread protest led to the taking down of racist campaign posters for local elections.
Together, there is hope that we will succeed in reversing this overwhelming anti-democratic trend and put the wolves to rest. Confirm your commitment to human rights; give to ACRI.
Debbie Gild-Hayo, Adv
Director of Policy Advocacy
Association for Civil Rights in Israel