On February 26, we hosted political journalist and author Akiva Eldar for an online election campaign briefing entitled “The Race for Knesset – the Struggle for Israel’s Soul.” The briefing took place just days after Binyamin Netanyahu’s shocking endorsement of the overtly racist Jewish Power party and his brokering of a far-right electoral alliance that would bring the disciples of terrorist Meir Kahane into his next cabinet. The briefing was moderated by photojournalist and actor, Gili Getz.
Eldar noted ruefully that the difference between the Kahanists and Netanyahu’s current government isn’t particularly vast in terms of their plan for the Occupied Territories. Kahanists, he said, would load Palestinians on buses and expel them. The government is making Palestinian lives miserable so that they’ll leave on their own. Eldar also predicted that AIPAC’s statement criticizing the Jewish Power party, in which it notably avoided any mention of Netanyahu’s central role, would prove to be nothing but lip service, a text it issued under momentary duress.
Reinvigorating Israel’s Left
On March 12, we hosted the progressive Israeli organizer, activist, and strategist Bar Gissin at our New York City offices for a live report on “Reinvigorating Israel’s Left.” The event was co-sponsored by T’ruah, J Street, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the New Israel Fund.
Gissin laid out her bottom-up approach for rebuilding the Left, starting by growing support and constituencies on the local level around winnable progressive issues such as education, affordable housing, and transparency. She also discussed The Movement for Public Journalism (MPJ), a group that some have compared to ProPublica in the US. MPJ, an Israeli NGO which Bar directs, seeks to create quality journalism that serves only the public, and involves the public as a vital source in news reporting..