On Monday, Israel’s governing coalition passed a law that would allow the government and its agencies to take steps that would otherwise be deemed by the Supreme Court as unreasonable and therefore illegal. The law would prohibit the Court from challenging executive branch measures on the grounds of reasonability.
The so-called “Reasonability Law,” is not only repugnant on its merits, but is also alarming because it is the first in a series of laws planned by the government, which are designed to eliminate checks on its power and pave the path for policies that would transform the very character of the State of Israel. Among these policies is a plan, anchored in coalition agreements signed by Netanyahu’s Likud Party, to officially annex the West Bank to Israel. The ongoing process of annexation is catastrophic for Israelis and Palestinians.
We welcome the expressions of deep concern coming from US elected officials – in the White House, on Capitol Hill and throughout the nation – as well as similar reactions by US Jewish organizations, including ones that seldom publicly criticize the government of Israel. We urge the Biden administration, Congress, other elected officials and opinion leaders, as well as fellow US Jewish organizations, to help protect Israel from the irresponsible actions of its current government. Not doing so would make a mockery of America’s commitment to the shared values that we cherish as the foundation for the US-Israel “special relationship.”
We salute, applaud, and stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who have taken to the streets in protest. At the same time, we recognize that the persistent instability in Israel‘s political life is rooted in the ongoing occupation. Without a society-wide movement to address that, Israel’s democracy remains deeply flawed.
Americans for Peace Now
Habonim Dror North America
Jewish Labor Committee
National Council of Jewish Women
New Israel Fund
New York Jewish Agenda
Partners for Progressive Israel
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights