For people who care about Israel

IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP!

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FACT:  No other country faces the enormous internal and external challenges and existential threats like Israel does.

VITAL NEED:  More than any other country we need sensible, effective, competent and trustworthy GOVERNMENT. THIS, ISRAEL MOST DEFINITELY DOES NOT HAVE.

VITAL NEED: Also in order to ensure Israel’s future, our SOCIETY must be imbued with a spirit of honesty, integrity and solidarity, and a strong sense of national identity and purpose. While this country does have many such sterling people, these qualities are in need of much special attention and development.

SOBERING FACT:  Without the above conditions, Israel’s very existence is at stake! Which means that every person who cares for Israel should do whatever he or she can to ensure these conditions are rectified.

OBSERVATION:  Regarding the permanently shaky state of our level of governance, we cannot expect our politicians and leaders to make any real effort to repair its many shortcomings. Many attempts have been made in the past to change the election system and other parliamentary procedures, only to be stymied by those politicians, worried that any substantial changes could jeopardize their political careers.

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The public is fed up with  the politicians and the government.

WHICH MEANS THAT …  only we, the ordinary citizens can BEGIN THE INITIATIVE that can lead to the necessary changes in governance. This should be done by waging a massive, ongoing campaign of protest demonstrations and using every other means of applying pressure on our politicians and leaders. We are talking about intense pressure that will indicate unequivocally to all who are involved in politics and governance that the public is totally fed up with the shameful situation and that we will do whatever is possible to forge the changes needed to bring about decent government.

IN ORDER TO ENSURE ANY FUTURE FOR ISRAELwe have to take very seriously, the promotion of values, norms and attitudes of society. Not only for the sake of the quality of our society but also in order to ensure the quality of our governments, which are made up from members of our society. The cardinal values are honesty and integrity.

BECAUSE  with every undertaking, no matter the scope or framework, if done in a spirit of honesty, truthfulness and integrity, the chances of a good outcome are greatly increased. That’s because every bit of information will be accurately conveyed and every consideration will be based solely on all the relevant data at hand, This is the only way to make sensible decisions.

On the other hand, if there is any untruthfulness, all considerations will likely be based on inaccuracies, deception, misunderstanding and delusion. A sure recipe for failure and disaster.

Because truthfulness is such a vital issue, it is important to understand that its opposite – falsehood, comes in a number of different forms. Apart from blatant lies, there are many ways that most people engage in falsehood from time to time, often without even realizing they are not telling the truth. Gross exaggeration and half-truths are the most common forms of untruthfulness. Also common is the intentional omission of relevant facts and inversion of facts.

But honesty is not only a matter of what we say but also how we relate to what we hear, see and read. For example, there’s a common tendency to automatically reject or ignore anything that doesn’t conform to our point of view or disposition – any idea, suggestion, claim or even information, no matter how plausible, probable or proven. In this way people often block out what might be the truth about something. That’s intellectual dishonesty.

Also very common is witting gullibility. That’s when people automatically accept something, not as the result of considering its validity or plausibility, but because it fits in with their personal preferences and loyalties; it’s what they want to believe, irrespective of whether it’s right or wrong. And that too, is a form of intellectual dishonesty.

We should understand that with any issue that has a political bearing, most people respond, not completely according to the facts or logic, but according to political sentiments and all too often they either automatically accept or automatically reject out of hand what is said, without considering the validity or plausibility of what is said. In this way we might not be thinking clearly or honestly. It’s very important to remember this.

SO LET’S DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO
SAVE ISRAEL … TOGETHER!

We do not want to sound alarmist, but for Israel to have any future, the present muddled state of government must be drastically remedied. Also much work is needed to develop honesty, integrity and other values more fully in our general society. These are the spheres that every person who cares about Israel must become involved in  – (a) bringing about decent governance and (b) promoting personal values.

PROMOTING HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND OTHER VALUES.  Every person who realizes the importance of these values, should be saying to himself or herself. “It all begins with me! I must, to the best of my ability, at all times, live according to the principles of truthfulness, integrity and common decency.”  And do so as unpretentiously as possible. In this way we can have a positive influence wherever we are – with our family, at work, socially and in random encounters with others. Many people do indeed lead their lives in this manner and there is no doubt that they have a good influence. Also, these values must be promoted in the schools, workplaces and on television and radio. We must earnestly persuade those with influence to help make this happen, emphasizing that truthfulness, integrity and common decency should be one of the pillars of Israel’s very existence.

PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT. The second sphere of activity is putting pressure on the political establishment, in order to bring about sensible, effective and trustworthy governance. This can only be done by massive and unrelenting pressure by every means possible. The unruly debate, cynical political machinations and hypocrisy in our Knesset must not be tolerated by the public anymore. Also, an election system must be introduced that will enable the formation of cohesive governments and the election of the best possible candidates as Knesset members and an end to unwieldy, dysfunctional coalitions stumbling from one crisis to another. Indeed, such an election system has already been debated in previous governments but always cynically stymied by unscrupulous politicians due to concern for their own political fortunes.

CRUCIAL INSIGHTS IN ORDER TO SUCCEED


The politicians

What very few people realize is that most Knesset members, before entering politics, had very successful and impressive careers in many different fields. Many – possibly most – had entered politics with the express purpose of working for the benefit of society and the country. Clearly highly competent, caring people!

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Rowdy behavior a common occurrence in the Knesset.

But in the Knesset, their willingness to do good and their proven abilities, are severely curbed because of the power struggles, manipulative moves and expedient alliances, that tend to overshadow principles and good intentions. Also in our Knesset and government, possibly because of temperament and norms that include unruly discourse, there’s frequently a confrontational ambiance, with members rudely interrupting each other amid shouting, personal insults and crude accusations, often making it very difficult to conduct calm, level-headed, constructive discussions and achieve sensible decision-making.

 

What complicates matters even more is the way governments are formed and how Knesset members are elected. Israel’s proportional electoral system always leads to large coalition governments comprising many different parties with a wide range of conflicting policies. Thus the interminable squabbling among government ministers, lack of cooperation and coalition crises every few weeks. Clearly it’s not possible to govern properly under such circumstances.

As part of the pressure on the political establishment, we need to remind Knesset members that they were once basically decent, intelligent and caring people, but they have been caught up in the murky maelstrom of politics. They must be encouraged to fulfill the promise most of them showed when they first entered politics, to work for the good of the country and discard all the negative tendencies acquired as politicians.

Israeli society

Observing the unruly Knesset sessions, the constant bickering even among ministers, the frequent government crises, and the many cases of corruption, one wonders if all this might be a mirror of our society? After all, most of the Knesset members grew up in Israel and thus adopted the norms, values and behavior patterns of general society.

But before we berate ourselves, we should understand that the norms of any society are formed largely through past events and developments and the Jewish people have experienced many dramatic and harrowing events in its long history. In the last hundred years alone, there have been highly traumatic events and revolutionary developments. Apart from the Holocaust, there have been massive waves of immigration from numerous geographical and cultural backgrounds, which created great turmoil and inter-group tensions. There were also years of severe economic hardship, prompting people to find ways – not always entirely lawful or moral – to supplement their meager incomes. All this had a bearing on the norms and attitudes that emerged.

But it must be said that the developments in this country in the last 100 years can only be described as utterly amazing and possibly miraculous. In spite of the harrowing conditions of the early pioneers, and the desperate political, diplomatic struggles and the life-and-death military struggles, in addition to the extremely heterogeneous make-up of society, Israel has nevertheless become a well-established, fairly well-organized modern state, achieving great success in many fields of endeavor and also a level of social intergration that has no equal in the annals of history.

Also quite amazing are the many significant changes in norms of society in the last few generations. Most people don’t know or have forgotten the general lack of manners and common decency that one encountered on a daily basis in the early years of statehood, brought about largely due to the human maelstrom and the dizzying pace of setting up a state. Over the years, the rudeness and gross inconsiderateness have diminished considerably. And today, by and large, Israeli society is much nicer than before, although one hears of more violence, corruption and blatant disloyalty to the state than in the early years. And there is still much self-centeredness, lack of consideration and lack of integrity that must be addressed.

 

DEALING WITH THE FIRST HURDLE – PUBLIC INACTIVITY

While most Israelis know what the situation is here, and despite the disappointment, indignation and fears for the future, few people are willing to do anything practical to try and help improve things. Many don’t believe that public pressure can be effective in changing the state of our politics and governance, pointing to massive demonstrations in the past that failed to bring about any significant changes, achieving only empty promises from the politicians.

But skeptics forget that there have been cases of public pressure that succeeded in achieving their goals. After the Yom Kippur War, for example, the massive public demonstrations brought about the fall of the government that had blundered so badly. There were other cases, albeit controversial, where public pressure brought about results, such as the release of over a 1,000 prisoners jailed for terrorist activities in exchange of one lone soldier from Hamas captivity.

There is a formula for success by public pressure. It entails intensity and scope, plus media coverage combined with perseverence. With regard to intensity and scope, there should be two main kinds of protest demonstrations. (a) daily small demonstrations at traffic junctions all over the country and outside the homes and offices of  the leaders and politicians themselves; (b) massive protest demonstrations every few weeks, with hundreds or thousands of demonstrators outside the Knesset and Government buildings and the main public squares in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Regarding media coverage, this will probably be automatically forthcoming. And thirdly, what has always clinched the outcome, has been perseverance without letting up until all the demands are fully met by the political establishment.

All this activity will require considerable public cooperation. Tens of thousands of people will need to be involved. Can this be expected from the Israeli public, not particularly known for participation in the protest demonstrations?

Actually, we’re talking about a tiny percentage of the population. If we deduct all those who would not be able to participate, either due to age, physical ability or total disinterest because of sectarian sentiments, we are left with about half the population of about eight and a half million people. That’s about four million people who could participate. If only one person in a hundred – 1% of the population – is sufficiently moved to participate in ensuring Israel’s future – possibly its very survival – then we have about 40,000 participants. In other words, there should be no problem attracting the tens of thousands of activists. It’s mainly a case of motivation.

AROUSING MOTIVATION

There are many things that should arouse our motivation to work for change. Firstly, shouldn’t all the constant political fiascoes and governmental failures that portend very ill for Israel’s very future, arouse motivation among every person who cares about Israel, to help in whatever way he or she can. This has nothing to do with one’s political leanings and everything to do with the vital need for sensible governance and Israel’s ability to survive the many stern challenges it faces.

Furthermore, Israel is not just any ordinary country. Israel is also an ideal that symbolizes all that is good and noble in the human spirit; it is the answer to a two-millennia Jewish prayer. Have we forgotten all this? And have we forgotten the persecution against our people in other countries over the centuries, and the heavy price in blood and mangled bodies sacrificed in order to gain statehood and to defend it all these years? Judging by what’s been happening here, it does seem that we have forgotten all this.

After all, if we did indeed remember who we are as a nation and the grave travails of the past and that this is indeed Israel, would anyone here allow himself to slander or hit anyone else? Would anyone cheat or steal? Would we have enabled the poverty and distress that prevails among large segments of our population or the enormous gap in income between the highest paid salaried workers and the middle class, not to mention the lowest-paid?

And if the politicians really remembered who we are and that this is indeed Israel wouldn’t they understand the immense significance of being elected to represent the nation in the Knesset; and would they have allowed themselves to engage in all the political games, the cynicism and hypocrisy, and wouldn’t they have been totally dedicated to work solely in order to ensure wise, effective, fair and dependable governance? And there are numerous examples of how good it could be in the State of Israel and with a much higher degree of personal and national security if everyone remembered – but really remembered – that this indeed Israel.

WE SHALL SUCCEED BECAUSE WE MUST!

In order to achieve all our aims, we will use every available course of action, including printed, public and social media. There will be lectures throughout the country, promotional material in print and on the internet. We will lobby in the Knesset and there will be constant demonstrations, as described earlier. We need to reach a point as soon as possible when the main subject on the public and national agenda will be the path to a more wholesome, better-functioning, more secure Israel. This is our only option if we want Israel to have any future. We owe it to ourselves, our children and the future generations.

 

At this moment, we are beginning as a core group, formulating principles, working methods and strategy. Out of this a new wave – call it “spirit” if you wish – will spread throughout the land. All this will take time, but we cannot wait a single moment to do whatever we can on an individual and collective basis. We invite everyone who cares about Israel to contact us. Together we can redeem our precious land.

Please contact us now: Rafi Dobrin,
PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT ISRAEL.  אנשים שאכפת להם מהארץ 

Phone 02-6422347, 054-4334051. email:  rafi421209@gmail.com


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