In 9 days, on September 3, one million Israelis are expected to go out into the streets to stand for the values that we believe in — social justice, equality, and democracy.
Here’s our chance to give this movement a push: NIF is collecting signatures from supporters of Israel worldwide. We’ll publish it in a large circulation newspaper 1 day before the scheduled demonstration.
One million is a huge number. It’s more than 1 in 8 Israelis. A month ago it would have seemed impossible. But we’ve seen wave after wave of Israelis coming into the streets. 20,000. Then, 150,000. Then, 300,000. The sense of excitement, of empowerment, is palpable. Even the terrible events in the south of Israel have not deterred the movement.
Israelis from all walks of life — secular, Orthodox, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Arab, immigrant, residents of Tel Aviv and the periphery — have already come together as never before. None of us can say where this will end.
This is not just about numbers. It’s about re-awakening the values that Israel was founded on — the values that you and I share. It’s about shifting priorities. It’s about quality of life for average Israelis, and about a nation that invests in its future. It’s about social justice. It’s about democratic participation.
It’s about making Israel the moral, just society we all want it to be.
Our NIF colleagues in Israel, and dozens of the groups we support, are working night and day to help the protesters. We’re providing emergency grants, organizing assistance, legal advice, workshops on peaceful protest.
Some people worry that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will get in the way. The events of the last week have been a sobering reminder of the bloody toll paid for the unresolved conflict.
Peace is vital. At the same time, Israel can’t afford to put off the question of justice at home indefinitely. Residents of Sderot, Ashkelon and Be’er Sheba face housing shortages and economic injustice every day, whether or not bombs are falling. That’s a key message of the movement. And it’s something we all know is true.
Be a part of a movement that is changing and inspiring Israel.
Daniel Sokatch CEO, New Israel Fund