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A Resolution on the Struggle Against Possible Harm to the Israeli Judicial System

‏יום ראשון ‏26 ‏מאי ‏2019

Iyar 18 5779-Thursday May 23rd 2019

A  Resolution on the Public Campaign to Prevent Possible Damage to the Judicial System of Israel- Executive Board IMPJ

“Zion shall be redeemed through justice and her penitent through righteousness.” (Isaiah 1; 27)

For many years, the Israel Reform Movement 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 realizing the Zionist ideal.

The Israeli Reform 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 Reform 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 organizations.

 

…and you shall be freed of your obligation from the Lord and from Israel.”  (Numbers, 32; 22)

The legal system is not free of elements that need improvement or change (like any other governmental authority). However, 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.

A time to rend and a time to sew.”  (Ecclesiastes, 3; 7)

As such, the leadership of the Israel Reform Movement resolves to join the public protest against such legislative measures that would harm the strength and independence of Israel’s legal and justice system. We stand firmly opposed to such legislative measures that do not comply with the strictest standards of integrity in our governmental system.

The IMPJ’s involvement in the protest measures will be carried out in accordance with the following guiding principles:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->A.      <!--[endif]-->The IMPJ will not join a public protest identified exclusively with a particular political party. However, the Movement will not refrain from participation in a protest and/or advocacy activities in which political parties participate alongside organizations and civil society movements. The IMPJ will present its positions and engage in respectful dialogue with representatives of all political parties, both from the coalition and the opposition.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->B.      <!--[endif]-->The focus of the Israel Reform 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.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->C.      <!--[endif]-->The IMPJ will strive for broad cooperation within the framework of these protests with organizations and civil society movements within and outside the pluralistic arena of Jewish renewal, and will take part in events and activities that reflect the basic values of the State of Israel in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->D.      <!--[endif]-->The IMPJ will focus on activities that reflect the added value and the unique benefit of Reform 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. This will be implemented utilizing the Israel Religious Action Center’s professional experience and capacity will in close cooperation with our communities and congregations throughout Israel, and in dialogue with our overseas partners.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->E.       <!--[endif]-->The Movement's activities in this matter will be carried out according to allocations made in the 2019 budget for public policy activity. The Movement's staff will mobilize dedicated resources for this activity in a way that will not detract from resources for the other spheres of activity of the Movement. Additional budgets will not be allocated for this activity, without a specific decision by the Executive Board of the IMPJ.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->F.       <!--[endif]-->The activity of the Movement will be of a character and style that takes account of the existence of a variety of political views among members of the Movement and its supporters, as well as the legitimacy of a dynamic public and political debate on the topic of the influence and balances between the various branches of the government.