World Zionist Congress by the Forward

World Zionist Congress elections: Hatikvah

The Forward invited the 15 parties contending for the World Zionist Congress elections, which end March 11, to write an article about why readers should support them. Eight responded by our deadline (we’ll happily publish the others; contact kunza@forward.com). The parties are presented in alphabetical order.

The American delegates to the Congress help allocate nearly $5 billion to Jewish organizations and programs in Israel and around the world. Read more about the election process here.

Below is an op-ed provided by Hatikvah

Hatikvah

The American delegation to the World Zionist Congress has well represented the traditional alphabet soup of Jewish organizations. Unfortunately, that means it has not represented the vast majority of American Jews. But that time has passed.

The HATIKVAH: Progressive Israel Slate is made up of eleven national Jewish organizations and an incredible list of rabbis, social and environmental activists, academics, artists and others leaders who have come together to be the voice for the American Jewish majority. Our slate was the first, although we were happy to have others follow our lead, to declare that regardless of the WZO policy stating that 30% of candidates must be female, our would be at least 50% women. In addition, ours is the first and only slate to have dedicated seats for Jews of Color, a part of our community that for far too long has been ignored by our institutions. On the HATIKVAH slate you will find labor union presidents, LGBTQ champions, our nation’s most prominent #MeToo lawyer, youth movement leaders and Israeli army veterans.

Who we are is important, but so is what we stand for. We are inspired by Israel’s Declaration of Independence –which proclaimed the State “will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace as taught by the Prophets; and will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed, or sex; and will guarantee full freedom of conscience worship, education and culture.” Our commitment is to democracy and the rule of law, believing that all citizens of the State of Israel must be treated equally, and their civil and human rights protected. We oppose the policies of discrimination, fear, and tribalism.

We fiercely oppose the current policy of occupation and annexation. It is unjust and, left unabated, will end Israel’s democracy. The Jerusalem Program calls for a Jewish and Democratic state of Israel. Unlike some of the other slates running in the World Zionist Congress election, we are committed to both of those foundational elements, and as such, believe that a two-state solution is essential for securing Israel’s future.

There are those on right in our community who believe that they, and they alone, are empowered to define what it means to be “pro-Israel”. And while I deeply disagree with their conclusions, I do not believe that they are, as they so often like to accuse others of being, “anti-Israel”. They are entitled to their opinions, wrong as they may be.

But as I stand with my fellow HATIKVAH slate members, among them 24 Israeli citizens, 13 rabbis, countless Jewish communal professionals and lay leaders, I am proud to say that we are pro-Israel, we are progressive and we are no longer willing to cede the playing field to those whose narrow right-wing views have not brought Israel safety and security, nor do they represent our Jewish values. We have come together to run in this election in order to be the megaphone for the millions of America Jews who share those values and to bring their voices to Jerusalem.

Hadar Susskind

View the slates

American4israel

Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)

Hatikvah

Israel Shelanu

Kol Yisrael

MERCAZ

Orthodox Israel Coalition

Zionist Organization of America

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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World Zionist Congress elections: Hatikvah

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