News and Events

Love And Fear For Eretz Yisrael

Friday's rally in support of the residents of Abu Ghosh and Ein Nakuba (Photo courtesy IRAC)

Friday’s rally in support of the residents of Abu Ghosh and Ein Nakuba (Photo courtesy IRAC)

The Jewish world, particularly the Progressive/Reform Jewish world has expressed deep concern over the direction of the new far right Coalition being formed to govern Israel after the recent election.

It is agreed that the election result delivered a decisive victory for the largest political party in Israel and therefore the possibility of some political stability after years of failed governments. But the very deep and probably well-found fear is that the fabric of Israeli society and its democracy are at risk, as are Jewish/Arab and international relations.

Of course, it should be conceded that the population living in a free and democratic society preserves the right to choose their government and we should all respect this choice. However, we, as Jews with a vested interest in Eretz Israel also preserve the right to offer criticism of the way Israel is being governed if we believe the rights of the Jewish people are being trampled on, or the Right of Return to Israel is being unfairly denied.

We take this view because for most of us Israel remains an important part of who we are.

Views expressed in Israel and the Diaspora about these issues are mounting. A report received today from IRAC described an act of terror which took place last Friday by Jewish extremists aimed at Arabs. “This time they burned 5 cars in two Arab villages of Abu Ghosh and Ein Naqquba”. Graffitied slogans read “Am Yisrael Chai and Deportation for Arabs”.

IRAC took action to make it clear that “Racism is not our Judaism” organising a demonstration for those wishing to “show solidarity and support for the citizens” of these model Arab villages.

“We wanted to show our fierce opposition to racism and incitement expressed by members of the incoming government coalition”. Apparently within hours a WhatsApp group of nearly 900 Israelis formed to keep people informed about the demonstration and future campaigns.

The demonstration was joined by the head of the Racism Crisis Centre which works together with the IRAC legal team monitoring and reporting on racist incitement, especially by Israeli leaders and politicians.

The view was expressed that the fact so many Israelis were prepared to join IRAC in publicly expressing their opposition to what many believe is Government Coalition inspired racism, does demonstrate that there is a glimmer of hope and that as Channukah approaches that light will prevail over darkness in Eretz Yisrael.

ARZA President, Helen Shardey

Helen Shardey OAM
ARZA Australia President
UPJ Vice President

2022-12-02T13:26:48+11:00November 30th, 2022|News|

Notice of AGM 2022

Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (VIC), the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Reform Zionist Association (ARZA) will be held on Wednesday 7 December 2022 7:00pm (AEDT).

Also online via Zoom.

Links

Zoom link for the meeting

Notice, nomination & proxy forms

Minutes from the 2021 AGM

Statement of Income and Expenditure 2021-22

Treasurer’s Report – 2022

Auditor’s Report – 2022

2022-12-05T16:10:39+11:00November 15th, 2022|Events|

Israel’s Future With The Far Right

Israel's President Isaac Herzog in a meeting with United Arab List party representatives in Jerusalem, on Friday. Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog in a meeting with United Arab List party representatives in Jerusalem, on Friday. Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon

Regardless of the very deep concern being expressed by Diaspora and Progressive Jews, today, Sunday will see the President of Israel formally invite Benjamin Netanyahu to form Israel’s next government.

The process leading to this invitation has been completed by President Herzog. Leaders of all political parties were asked who they would support to be the next Israeli Prime Minister. 64 of the 120 lawmakers elected to the Knesset gave Netanyahu their support and only 28 recommended the former Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

What then remains is for the Prime Minister elect to complete negotiations with Likud’s coalition partners regarding ministerial positions, which will be announced by the Knesset Speaker, who will then swear in the new cabinet.

While this sounds straight forward, it is understood that the talks between the parties are not going completely smoothly. There apparently is disagreement between the parties as to the allocation of portfolios such as finance, defence, and public security.

The question is, will Netanyahu succumb to the extremists and install those who are feared and loathed? Will he lead a radical revolutionary government which would give the Knesset the power to override the court system?

Or is the new PM capable of running a conservative rightist government that preserves Israel’s democratic institutions and the rights of Israelis, whether Jewish or Arab, Progressive, or Orthodox?

The answers to these questions may take days or weeks. Either way, Isael’s future could be very different to the Israel we know and love today. Regardless however, Eretz Israel will always be precious to the Jewish people wherever they live.

ARZA President, Helen Shardey

Helen Shardey OAM
ARZA Australia President
UPJ Vice President

2022-11-15T12:51:23+11:00November 15th, 2022|News|
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