Jake Green, [email protected]
WASHINGTON — Following the Knesset’s vote to overturn the reasonableness standard for judicial review of government appointments and decisions, the first step of the current Israeli government’s judicial overhaul plans, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement:
“We are devastated at the rollback of democratic protections in Israel. National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has spoken out against these plans since they were first announced, and we are dismayed to see them in action — especially because of their expected impact on the rights of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, Arabs, and other minorities.
“This vote goes against the will of the majority of Israeli citizens, who for nearly six months have taken to the streets to protest these plans. We remain in solidarity with all of the Israeli protestors, including tens of thousands who marched from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for four days this past week in a desperate bid for the government to abandon its judicial overhaul plans.
“To be clear: the reasonableness standard in Israel is not an abstract legal principle, but a crucial tool that protects real people from unreasonable harm. The reasonableness standard has established bomb shelters to protect children at schools in Gaza border communities, mikvahs (ritual baths) to be available for religious women in a northern municipality, and electricity supply as a basic right of Israeli citizens — a decision that has continued to impact thousands of Israelis struggling with poverty — and so much more.
“It is painfully fitting that this major step of the judicial overhaul happened just days before Tisha B’Av, Judaism’s day of communal mourning. Just as we come together to grieve the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, so, too, must we grieve the loss of the sacred structures of democracy — and fight to fulfill the words at the end of Lamentations: ‘we must turn around and renew our days.’
“NCJW supports President Herzog’s call for a consensus-based approach to this crucial moment for democracy in Israel. We oppose the judicial overhaul package and remain steadfast in our fight for a Jewish and democratic State of Israel that lives up to its founding Zionist ideals.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is the oldest Jewish feminist civil rights organization working for equity and justice for women, children, and families in the United States and Israel. Through the efforts of our 210,000 grassroots advocates and 50 local sections, NCJW combines education, direct service, and advocacy to affect lasting social change at the local, state, and national levels. We approach our work through the intersections of gender, economic, and racial justice to center those most impacted in a uniquely Jewish way. Learn more at NCJW.org, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.