31 May 2019
The Executive Board of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) – Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism‘s sister movement in Israel – has resolved to join public protests against legislative measures that would harm the strength and independence of Israel’s legal and justice system stating that: “We stand firmly opposed to such legislative measures that do not comply with the strictest standards of integrity in our governmental system”.
This action from IMPJ follows concerns that the future government will move to obstruct the authority of the Supreme Court and other governmental bodies.
The resolution notes that “for many years, the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) has been active in the public, communal and educational spheres with two central goals: to strengthen the democratic values of the State of Israel and to promote individual rights, including religious pluralism and social justice. More than once, and especially in recent years, the Movement has stood at the forefront of the effort to block initiatives that have sought to promote the opposite of these values. This effort arises from our Jewish value system and our firm belief that a strong resilient democracy is key to realising the Zionist ideal.
“The Israeli Progressive Movement views the possibility that the future government will move to obstruct the authority of the Supreme Court and other governmental bodies with deep concern. This concern stems from the general and fundamental commitment of our Movement to the democratic character of the State of Israel, as well as the fact that the Supreme Court and other branches of the legal system often assist in the struggle for equality, and prevention of discrimination against Progressive Judaism, our communities and congregations, and our members.
“The strong public and civil outcry taking place recently against these moves, attests to the fact that this concern regarding the necessity to safeguard the democratic character of the state of Israel, resonates with many Israeli citizens, and organisations”.
The Executive Board note that “the discussion regarding the authority and status of the Supreme Court must be undertaken with great care, in order to achieve broad consensus in both the public and political arenas, and must ensure the ability of the Supreme Court to both protect individual rights, and prevent abuse of government power. Unfortunately, the processes taking place at present in the coalition negotiations do not meet these conditions. Moreover, these moves are explicitly shaped with elements that could potentially erode the integrity of one of the most important government systems in the State of Israel”.
The IMPJ have set a number of guiding principles for any involvement in protests, including avoiding protests identified exclusively with a particular political party and recognising the variety of political views among members of the Movement and its supporters.
The focus of the Israel Progressive Movement’s activities will be the protection of the values of Israeli democracy, the independence of the judicial system (with an emphasis on the Supreme Court), and the prevention of the infringement of individual rights in Israel. The IMPJ will focus on activities that reflect the added value and the unique benefit of Progressive Judaism: first and foremost, the expressing of a pluralistic Jewish voice, the building of cooperation in the arena of Jewish renewal and social change, and the integration of Diaspora Jewry in an effort to ensure the democratic strength of Israel.
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