This is the first plenary session that we have made it for (Amos Oz spoke last night before we got into DC).
[I’m here @ JStreet with three great Hillel Students]
Avishay Braverman (MK; Labor)
Zehava Galon (MK; Meretz–Chairwoman)
Raleb Majadele (MK; Labor)
Amram Mitzna (Former Mayor of Haifa, Former MK)
Moderator: Arad Nir (Israeli News Personality)
- “We must get out of Gaza and the West Bank NOW, or we will be left with one state west of Jordan river with an Arab majority.”
- “We are the most unequal economy in the western world…except perhaps for you [USA]!”
- Trickle-down economics
- “Netenyahu learned this theory of economics from your right-wing Republican party, and it never has served anyone in any country except for the rich who sell it to the rest of us!
- The Ultra Orthodox
- Unless the ultra-orthodox begin to work and begin to participate in the army and in society, they will eat us alive. It is time for their exemption to end now!
- (he’s now ragging on Ronald Reagan. Pretty funny for an Israeli…”you should know, R.R. was a greater Kenseyan than anyone else…he increased the budget more than the Obama”
- Israeli Political System
- “our political system is defunct and must be changed now”
- “we need once again to create a serving-elite in Israel, instead of a selfish-elite”
- The Social Protests Last Year
- This is going to change Israel. We must learn from them
- “My Economic Teacher is Rabbi Hillel”
- If I am not for myself, who will be?
- If I am only for myself, who am I?
- If not now, then when?
- “I believe the time has come for a major change…and it must include the social movement in Israel, it must include our political parties, and it must include JStreet and Americans who will work for real change and who will support Israel in a way that will bring important and necessary change”
- An Arab Israeli MK for Labor
- Speaking in Hebrew, with translation
- “I believe that the only way to end the conflict between my people and my country is for there to be two states.”
- “The Arab League has come a long way since the ‘three nos’ of 1968.
- in 2008 they offered to normalize relations with Israel (22 countries) in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
- “The current coalition of PM Netanyahu cannot have real negotiations”
- “Netenyahu and Lieberman are blocking every chance to move forward. Only a different government, based on a different coalition that is committed to peace, can restart the process and move forward”
- “We must win the battle against those who are hopeless and those who seek war”
- “Who would have believed that the 100-ear-war between England and France would turn into the bilateral reality that there is today”
- “Who could imagine that Germany would today be Israel’s staunchest ally”
- “Who would have believed that Jews lived in dignity under Islamic rule in Spain for 500 years”
- This golden era can bee seen in the work of the RamBaM.
- Racism in Israel
- racism is growing against arabs…but also against Ethiopian Jews
- Social disparity is growing
- 25% of Israelis live in poverty.
- 35% of children
- 53% of Arabs
- Note: this guy was really impressive.
Zehava Galon on the Threat Israeli Democracy Faces
- “This assembly is proof that we are desperately in need of a liberal, humanistic, progressive movement in the United States and in Israel”
- “Today I want to talk about the anti-democratic campaign currently taking place in Israel”
- “Today the struggle in Israel is between those who are struggling for a democratic society, and those who are willing to sacrifice the ideas of human rights, justice, and democracy on the altar of a messianic delusion”
- “Let us call it like it is: it is the occupation that:
- undermines Israeli democracy
- isolates Israel internationally
- has undermined the social safety net for all but the settlers. We have undermined the welfare state for the people who need it in exchange for a welfare state for the settlers”
- “This government has trampled on the basic rules of the democratic game, and has moved to persecuting the opposition and undermining the democratic process as a whole.”
- What now?
- “I believe that democracy and equal rights cannot co-exist with the occupation of another people”
- I am hopeful that the anti-democratic bent of the current government will stimulate the democratic antibodies of Israel, which will jump into the fight and destroy those forces which
- “You must not allow the anti-democratic far right in both the United States and Israel to win. They want blind loyalty without criticism, but a true friend must tell the truth: continuing the occupation endangers the Israeli state and destroys our moral character.”
- To JStreet
- “We need your help! We need your voice! Now is the time to act!
Amram Mitzna — On the current security situation
- The Supreme Court of Israel
- The Guard-wall of Israeli democracy
- we must pray for them to continue their work
- On JStreet
- “I wish that JStreet was invented many years ago. We have been waiting for you for a long time. You must be out there showing that there is not only one way to be pro-Israel.”
- “I don’t believe that there is any other pro-Israeli organization that has succeeded in attracting as many youth as JStreet, and I salute you, JStreet”
- The bottom line of my speach
- “The continuation of the occupation is extremely risky for the state of Israel. I am speaking from a security point of view. The vital interest, from a defense point of view, from a military point of view, is that we end the occupation. This is not just about right and wrong–this is strictly about our military needs. We must end the occupation to protect the State of Israel.”
- “In the long-term, Israel will not be able to protect itself without a two-state solution. Those who are talking about one-state for two peoples are talking about an another Arab country. If you believe in Israel, you must support two-states for two-peoples.”