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Israel Today

The Latest on Israel’s Government from Jewish Federations of North America

On July 24, 2023, the “Reasonableness” Bill that will reduce the Israeli Supreme Court’s power to strike down some government decisions passed its third reading in the Knesset, and is now law. See the full text of the new law here, and read Jewish Federations’ statement on the passing of the law here.

The new law passed with 64 voted in favor and 0 against, as opposition MKs boycotted the final vote on the bill in protest. The law stipulates that courts can no longer use a “reasonableness” standard to strike down decisions made by the cabinet or government ministers, including appointments. See further background on the new law here and see here to read arguments on why many feel it will diminish the checks and balances of the Israeli system of government.

Watch here a Jewish Federations webinar on the passing of the new law, held July 25, 2023.

Our Role and Responsibility as a Jewish Community

Many of us have been watching, reading about, and discussing the latest updates from Israel with great concern. Concern for the country we love and for the Israelis who we consider friends and family of our Greater MetroWest community. We’re continually asking ourselves what the role and responsibility of a community Jewish Federation is. Especially at this moment in time.

Our Federation’s role locally is clear: we need to create a space for community convening, discussion, and education. To that end, we’ve invited clergy, educators, and local Jewish leaders to share their thoughts on Israel, relationship with Diaspora Jewry, and the current state on Israeli politics.

We encourage respectful dialogue across our community and hope you will take the time to dive deeper by reading the following thought and opinion pieces.

Articles and Other Resources*

A tale of two Israels
The Times of Israel by Michael Oren (July 25, 2023)

Chaos erupts as protesters block roads, clash with police after judicial law passes
The Times of Israel by Naomi Lanzkron, Carrie Keller-Lynn, and Jeremy Sharon (July 25, 2023)

What’s Next for Israel’s Judicial Overhaul?
The New York Times by Isabel Kershner and 

Netanyahu to US media: Judicial overhaul is moving ahead without ‘override clause’
The Times of Israel (June 29, 2023)

The Times of Israel Daily Briefing
A 15-minute update on what’s happening in Israel and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday

Coalition moves to restart overhaul, sets plan to limit High Court’s judicial review
The Times of Israel by Carrie Keller-Lynn (June 19, 2023)

The Struggle for Israeli Democracy and the Role of American Jewry
Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ Facebook Live webinar (May 16, 2023)

An Open Letter to Israel’s Friends in North America
The Times of Israel by Matti Friedman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Daniel Gordis (February 2, 2023)

‘Please help us’: Anti-overhaul activists set the tone at US Jews’ Tel Aviv gathering
The Times of Israel by Ben Sales (April 24, 2023)

Herzog Launches Initiative to Reconnect Diaspora
Bharat Times (April 23, 2023)

Celebrating Israel in Israel
Blog by Federation CEO Dov Ben-Shimon (April 21, 2023)

A Conversation About the Current Situation in Israel
Facebook Live event with Dov Ben-Shimon, Michal Zur, Tamar Reshef, and Amit Stern (March 30, 2023)

American Jews, You Have to Choose Sides on Israel
The New York Times by Thomas L. Friedman (March 7, 2023)

Israel Is Courting Disaster
The New York Times by Michael Bloomberg (March 5, 2023)

Is it okay to criticize Israel?
The Times of Israel by Alan Silverstein (March 1, 2023)

In highly irregular move, major US Jewish group decries proposed judicial overhaul
The Time of Israel by Judah Ari Gross (February 21, 2023)

What is in the judicial reform bills being voted for on Monday? -explainer
The Jerusalem Post by Michael Starr (February 20, 2023)

Lapid seeks 60-day overhaul pause for talks; protesters call Knesset rally next week
Times of Israel by Carrie Keller-Lynn (January 15, 2023)

No to Levin’s revolution, yes to changes in the legal system
Jpost op-ed by Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern, President of the Jewish People Policy Institute (January 13, 2023)

The Case for a ‘Constitutional Truce’ in Israel
Wall Street Journal op-ed by Yohanan Plesner (January 10, 2023)

Is Israel Really Threatened by Ben-Gvir’s Temple Mount Gambit?
by Jonathan S. Tobin, Jewish News Syndicate (January 4, 2022)

Governing Coalition Parties and Areas of Concern
Jewish Federations’ document (December 30, 2022)

The Jewish Path Back to Israeli Democracy
by Yossi Klein Halevi, The Times of Israel (December 30, 2022)

Responding to Israel’s New Reality
Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain on how Liberal Zionists can reorient themselves to protect Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state (December 14, 2022)

Prof. Suzie Navot Explains the Override Clause
Video explanation by Prof. Suzie Navot, Vice President of the Israel Democracy Institute (December 8, 2022)

A constitutional coup will backfire
Op-ed by Shuki Friedman, Vice President of the Jewish People Policy Institute (December 5, 2022)

The Override Clause Explainer
Article by Dr. Amir Fuchs, Senior Researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute (November 11, 2022)

“The Israel We Knew” is not gone…
Daniel Gordis’ response to Thomas Friedman (November 4, 2022)

How Do Israeli Elections Work?
A video explaining the basics from Jewish Federations of North America (October 23, 2022)

How Do Israeli Elections Work?
In-depth document from Jewish Federations of North America (August 2019)

* The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.