THE ISRAELI SOCIAL MOVEMENT—
Help us make history!
Tel Aviv, July 24, 2011. Our first night on Rothschild Boulevard to protest the high cost of housing and demand our place in this country, the homeland that we love. As we pitch our third tent, a journalist predicts we “won’t last the night.”
Soon there were hundreds gathering on the Boulevard. One night becomes many—and the momentum quickly spreads as 120 tent cities are erected throughout the country.
Before the summer is over, we witness the largest demonstrations in Israeli history, with hundreds of thousands of participants – equivalent to nearly 19 million Americans on a per capita basis. The initial slogan of the protest—“fighting for our home”—soon evolves into an all-encompassing demand for social justice. We are tired of dramatic increases in the cost of living, diminishing social programs, and legislative initiatives designed to exacerbate divisions among Israelis.
The massive social protest movement that brought hundreds of thousands of Israelis to the streets last summer continues to inspire a new level of grassroots activism. A variety of projects have sprouted, ranging from consumer boycotts to a volunteer corps of “watchdogs” who attend Knesset committee meetings and post the proceedings on the web. Civic engagement and the demand for accountability from elected officials have soared.
Israelis have begun to speak a new language of communal social responsibility.After years of growing alienation from the workings of democracy and increased pessimism about shaping their lives and communities, Israelis from across the spectrum—Jew and Arab, Ashkenazi and Mizrachi, secular and observant—discovered that together they could change their world.
The Israeli Social Movement hopes to harness that energy for the long term—to reinvigorate Israeli democracy, reengage citizens in government, improve the average citizen’s standard of living, and foster social solidarity among the diverse (and often adversarial) sectors of Israel.
The leadership of the Israeli Social Movement is young, non-partisan, and inclusive. We are not a political party, but something much bigger.
In the months to come, we will:
After years of despair and disaffection, we are proud to breathe new life into the promise of Israel’s Declaration of Independence to foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants… based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex…
Please join us in the Israeli Social Movement. Together we will make our dream a reality.