The Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Zionist Federation of Australia, the representative roof bodies of the Australian Jewish community, have issued this joint statement in light of the announcement that the Israeli government will pause the proposed legislative overhaul of Israel’s judicial system.
We welcome the announcement and also the announcement by Israeli opposition leaders that they will engage in negotiations with the government.
Our consistent and strongly-held position is that substantial reforms such as these should be undertaken carefully, with as much negotiation and consensus-building as possible.
We have watched with concern as Israeli society has been riven on this issue. We have been in awe of the hundreds of thousands of Israelis from across the political divide and from many sectors who have come together to protest week after week. We have watched them protest peacefully, with a deep love of country. We believe the same love for Israel is shared by those who support the judicial overhaul.
We urge all parties and sectors of Israeli society to come together now, out of their shared love of country, to find mutual compromises, to build consensus and to enact reforms that the overwhelming majority of Israelis will support both now and into the future to sustain the reality of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state that respects the rule of law.
Israeli society and its political system have been severely challenged over these past few months, and have demonstrated their strength and resilience. Now is the time for each side to acknowledge the genuine concerns of the other, and to seek a way forward in a spirit of compromise.