I recently returned from Israel where I had the privilege of spending time in several different tent protest cities that sprouted this summer throughout the country response to rapidly increasing prices for housing and other basic consumer goods and a growing sense that Israel is in dire need of a change in national priorities.
For years, we progressives both in Israel and in the United States have wondered what has happened to the Israel envisioned in its own declaration of independence: a country “based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.” Finally in the Summer of 2011, Israelis of all ages, political stripes and beliefs rose up as one to proclaim that they were taking their country back from the fat cats who have been enriching themselves while the average Israeli citizen struggles to make ends meet.
Several weeks ago, Judy Gelman, Chair of Ameinu’s Executive Committee, met with leaders of the protest movement in the Tel Aviv tent city on Rothschild Boulevard. They asked Judy for Ameinu’s help – your help – to ensure that the momentum for social justice that started this summer will continue as the movement enters into a new phase. The government hopes that with fewer demonstrations the urgency to bring substantial change will die down. The protest leaders need your contribution so they can keep up the pressure on the government. They need funds to hold educational programming for students and other activists so the movement stays engaged and current on the issues. They also need our help to fund targeted protest demonstrations as circumstances dictate.
On September 3, I stood in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina with 300,000 Israelis and listened to Daphne Leef, whose unsuccessful search for an affordable apartment was the spark for this protest movement. Chills ran down my back when Daphne said, “we are not here just to survive, we are here in order to live. We are not here just because we have nowhere else. We are here because we want to be here. We choose to be here, we choose to be in a good place, in a just society, we want to live in society as a society – not as a collection of lonely individuals who each sit in front of one box, the TV, and once every four years put a slip in another box – the polling box.“
Please click here to contribute to making Daphne’s vision a reality.
Best wishes for a Shannah Tovah U’Metukah.
Vice President, AmeinuP.S. The protest movement has no major funders supporting their effort. They need contributions from people like you and me to keep up the pressure on the government. Please give what you can today and designate your gift for the Ameinu Social Justice Fund.
*This campaign has been completed