From Dario Teitelbaum, Secretary General, The World Union of Meretz:
The heat of July and August has passed and these were definitely heated months all around. There were many occurrences in Israel that to this day are very hard to leave behind. The murder of a teenage girl, Shira Banky, in the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, the house burning of the Dawabsha family and individual casualties of Muslim terrorists in different locations. Through all of these the Zionist left tried to remain sane and emerged as a brave force in the mainstream public, one that does not incite but acts out of good will and the love of man.
Trains filled with refugees in Europe, ports where refugees that fled from the horrors done in the name of Islam are denied asylum. Whether it’s a result of ISIS, Assad, Hamas or other collapsing regimes, it reminds us of pictures of Jewish refugees and puts the lessons of history under a test.
Besides this, the World Union of Meretz is working hard to preserve our power in the Zionist Congress, to be a central force in our joint faction with the Reform [movement] and the World Labor Zionist Movement and make an impact in the National Institutions through hard meaningful work.
. . . Rany Trainin, vice chair of JAFI and member of the WZO Execuitve; Dror Morag, Meretz’s Secretary General and member of the WZO Executive, and myself are currently dealing with the coalition negotiations [in the World Zionist Congress]:
1. The joint faction [with Labor and Reform]: negotiating the ideological lines of the faction, joint goals we have to push forward and positions that the faction will demand in the final negotiations.
2. Contact with all responsible parties around the Zionist spectrum in the congress, including organizations such as Maccabi, WIZO etc.
I hope that through the negotiations we can push forward the main goals we set for ourselves:
1. Changing the status of the Settlement Division.
2. Transparency in the WZO institutions.
3. Recognition of cultural-secular Judaism as a Jewish stream that receives budgets from the WZO (such as the reforms, conservative etc.)
4. Changes in Jewish National Fund.
5. Commitment of the Zionist movement to a peaceful solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
6. Changing the approach regarding Hasbara and combating antisemitism.
In order to reach this achievement a high level of collaboration and communication is required to finish the job in countries where a decision has yet to be reached, to prepare a delegation from each country, to make an effort to raise money locally in order to ease on youngsters to join us in the congress etc.
I believe we are standing in front of an opportunity to increase our influence in the congress and in the Jewish-Zionist world. It’s up to us, all of us!
I wish you all a good, blessed, peaceful year.
From MK Zehava Galon, Meretz Party Chairperson:
As the New Year approaches I wish you and your families a good year of health, happiness and peace.We begin our year with the Zionist Congress, a place where you have an important opportunity to express your voice, an opportunity to be Meretz’s partners in the formation of Israel as a strong democracy that shows respect and solidarity with oppressed people regardless of religion, believes, sex or sexual orientation.
Zehava Galon, photo by Moti Milrod
I and my friends and partners in the Meretz faction will do all it takes to make Israel a just, fair and a better place to live in. An Israel that you, your families and communities can be proud of; An Israel that is the fulfillment of Zionism as we believe in, not occupation but peace and cooperation, progressive Zionism that is not against the world, rather a part of it.
I wish you all a meaningful year, full of accomplishments and continuing endeavors that we here in Israel are proud of and empowered by. I believe that through the joint effort of both Israelis and all of you, our partners abroad, we can create a strong united left wing front and truly make a difference.
From Dror Morag, Meretz Party Secretary General and Member of the WZO Executive:
. . . [W]e stood at the forefront of the fight for transparency in the Jewish National Fund and cleaning the Augean stables of the Settlement Division.
Rabbi Bandel, a long-time Meretz party activist
I am certain that this year and in its beginning in the Zionist Congress, we will pass several resolutions regarding the Settlement Division and JNF (which we worked on recently) so we can continue to take pride in our Zionist work. A humanistic and liberal Zionism. An equal and corrective Zionism. We represent the majority of the Jewish world and so we shall see ourselves and act accordingly. We will not allow others to dictate and frame the Zionist idea that at its core can be identified with our world view. . . .
Hazak Veematz and Shana Tova Ve’Metuka
Other greetings in this newsletter are from Rabbi Ehud Bandel, a veteran Meretz party activist and a delegate to the 37th World Zionist Congress, and Rany Trainin, Deputy Chair of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel.