Like many in the Jewish Community across North America, the United Jewish Federation of Utah has been closely following the increasingly acrimonious debate and events in Israel over the proposal of new laws that would make fundamental changes in the relationship between the Knesset and the Supreme Court. We welcome the announced delay in Judicial Reform efforts and empathize with the pain being felt by many of our Israeli brothers and sisters at this time. We are proud that Israel is a vibrant democracy where citizens freely express the right to demonstrate and make their voices heard.
Further, we are deeply concerned with the turmoil and its impact on Israeli society. The current approach undertaken in the Israeli parliament and by the ruling coalition can change the relationship between the legislative branch and the judiciary. This deepening rift in Israeli society will cause harm to Israel’s security, economy, and civil institutions. We recognize that both sides in this divide seek what is good for the country and hope that any decisions reached by the people of Israel secure and promote healthy checks and balances between branches of government. Finding the right path on such issues is critical for a stable democracy that serves the needs of all its citizens.
We hope that the deep emotions felt on both sides of this divide can be refocused on finding a compromise that will support a process for all voices to be heard and a broad base for any proposed changes to be established. It is in our interest as Jewish Americans that the State of Israel and its citizens remain a beacon of democracy and stability in the Middle East.
Alex Shapiro, Executive Director