Yom Shabbat, 1 Heshvan 5775
Saturday, 25 October 2014
Israel should “value dissent” and actively promote the “equality of minorities” say Liberal Jews

Liberal Judaism has submitted an uncompromising response to the Israeli Government’s consultation on the future relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.  In its submission to the consultation process, Liberal Judaism argues that:

“Israel’s founders recognised the value of the dissenting voice, challenging accepted ‘wisdoms’ and conventional practice, as a spur to innovation and development.To seek to limit dissent, therefore, to those that choose to make their homes in the land of Israel, is to miss an opportunity to strengthen the State.”

The paper says that the Israel which Liberal Jews support must “play a positive role in the world, sharing the prophetic vision and reflecting Liberal Jewish values.

“Our Israel is open to all, promotes equality, acts morally and ethically, and is committed to social action,” it adds, arguing that this is the clear intention of Israel’s founders as embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

The paper explicitly supports a two-state solution and a Palestinian state, also proposing a “permissive approach to Jewish and non-Jewish immigration” and  suggesting that the Israeli Government encourage inward investment in Israel’s non-Jewish communities by the Diaspora, as “a practical counterweight to the inequality which has been the accidental result of Diaspora investment in Israel’s Jewish community.”

The paper, which is likely to prove controversial in some circles, is part of a much broader consultation exercise being led by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on behalf of the Israel Government to gauge Diaspora opinion, so as to inform the drawing up of a formal constitutional framework that commits Israel to operating as a Jewish and democratic state.

UK’s views will be consolidated by the JLC following an invitation-only cross-community meeting on Sunday 9th February at which Liberal Judaism will be represented by chair, Lucian J. Hudson,  with board member, Gillian Merron in attendance.

To read the report in full, please click here.