Bianca Ambrosio of the World Union of Meretz has just sent us the resolutions passed at the most recent session of the Zionist General Council in Jerusalem, Nov. 4-6, 2013, the body which meets between the quadrennial sessions of the World Zionist Congress. Partners for Progressive Israel is the United States affiliate of the World Union of Meretz, an umbrella group for left-Zionist organizations around the world. Arieh Lebowitz attended as our representative.
Resolutions of the Zionist General Council
The following were probably the most interesting of the resolutions passed, featuring a special focus on youth. We quote the bottom-line “be it resolved” statements, leaving out the many “whereas” clauses:
Call by the Young Generation for Recognition of and Support for all Major Streams of Judaism
The World Zionist Organization in cooperation with the Unity of the Jewish People Committee of the Jewish Agency calls upon the Government of Israel to move immediately to provide full recognition and equitable support for all the major streams of Jewish practice.
Call by the Young Generation to Adopt the Sharansky Kotel Proposal
The Zionist General Council calls upon the Government of Israel to adopt the Sharansky proposal, including:
1. The Western Wall site will be expanded and within it a large third egalitarian prayer section will be erected which has access to the Western Wall and which forms a third section for pluralistic prayer within the Western Wall complex and stands beside the existing sections for men and women;
2. There will be a common entrance to the three prayer sections;
3. The egalitarian section will be open to the public 24 hours a day, every day of the week, free
of charge; and
4. The Western Wall site will be managed jointly by representatives from all streams of Judaism.
Call by the Young Generation to Adopt a Program to Fight Racism
The Zionist General Council calls upon the Government of Israel to adopt a program to fight racism that includes the following:
1. An assertive and uncompromising campaign against the phenomenon of racist violence which will lead to the prosecution of those guilty of such acts;
2. Prosecution for contravention of the law of public figures who incite racism in an ongoing and consistent manner;
3. Ongoing educational activities in the framework of the educational system on the topics of co-existence and tolerance, racism and its implications, including meetings between Israeli children and youth from all sectors of society in Israel; and
4. Implementation of government coalition agreements calling for the establishment of an inter- ministerial committee to fight racism.
Call by the Young Generation for Freedom of Choice in Marriage and Divorce
The Zionist General Council calls upon the Government of Israel to work to pass legislation which allows freedom of marriage and which recognizes religious marriage of all the streams, as well as civil marriage and divorce, as is the case in all other democracies.