The Battle for Israel’s Identity

By on March 28, 2023

By Dean Bagdadi, Federation’s Community Shaliach (Israeli emissary) to Pozez JCC of Northern VA 

Where is Israel heading? That is the question many ask these days. And it’s getting harder and harder to answer. The reality is Israel has always been unexpected, and now even more so. Last night, we saw a major escalation when Israel’s minister of security was fired for objecting the proposed judicial reform, resulting in a national strike by major organizations, private companies, and city councils. Even the airport was shut down.  

It’s hard to see Israel being torn apart. What is clearer now is that this is no longer solely about the judicial reform; this is a battle for Israel’s future. A battle that is violent and brutal, but necessary; a battle to define what Israel needs the most – a structure and a constitution. A document that is rigid, but crucial. One that will finally define the nature of Israel as a Jewish Democratic state.  

And with the future so dim, I wanted to talk about hope, and that’s because every crisis is an opportunity. And this is, by all means, a crisis. Global Jewry has decided to take a stand and speak up in public. Every day, more Jewish organizations are speaking their mind and helping shape Israel’s future. This is an opportunity to revisit the relationship between Israel and global Jewry, led by the American Jewish community, to be an honest, critical, relevant, and hopeful relationship.  

Now, more than ever, global Jewry is willing to speak, and Israelis are willing to listen. And with that I say – do it. Speak your mind, help shape Israel in the image you believe it can be. Together, we can make sure it will continue to be the home of the Jewish people. 

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