From the Rabbi - Dual Crises in Israel & West Bank

Now in the 8th week, the protest movement against the Netanyahu government’s drastic “reform” of the courts has spread to cities and towns across Israel, with protesters across the full spectrum of Israeli society, from the ultra-left secularists to ultra-right religious nationalists and everyone in between.  It’s moving to read of this passionate defense of democracy, while remembering that millions of Palestinians living under direct or indirect Israeli control do not have the equal rights we expect in a democratic society.  

Demonstrations proliferate across the country and clashes with police become violent

Raising Fists Against Netanyahu's 'Proposed Dictatorship,' Israelis Protest Judicial Coup in Record Numbers - Israel News

Our Union of Reform Judaism leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaking to 160,000 demonstrators; I suggest you read the English translation and then hear Rabbi Jacobs deliver the speech in Hebrew on the video:

Today’s “Day of Disruption” Protests:
After Violent Tel Aviv Clashes, Protesters Gather Outside Netanyahu's Jerusalem Home - Israel News -

For Protesting Israelis, Democracy Doesn't Stretch to East Jerusalem - Opinion -

Statement from the Jewish Community Relations Council of the San Francisco Bay Area:

Insightful conversation with Palestinian activist Sally Abed of Standing Together and Iranian Israeli activist Orly Noy of B'Tselem and the newly formed Mizrahi Civic Collective:

Ongoing violence in the West Bank:
Deadly Terror Attack, Israeli Settlers' Violent Riot Push West Bank to Boiling Point - Israel News -
'Not our way': President condemns settlers' 'cruel and violent rampage' in Huwara | The Times of Israel

Extremely disturbing material - Government ministers call for burning of a Palestinian village of 7,000 residents and settlers pray the evening service as cars and homes torched by settlers burn in the West Bank town of Huwara on February 26, 2023.

URJ Leaders Respond to West Bank Violence

In Netanyahu’s Israel, from fiery riots to boardroom bedlam, chaos reigns
Scorch marks, burnt rubber: Settler violence leaves Huwara a ghost town - Israel News - The Jerusalem Post

This article gives us a picture of the tragic lack of coordination between various Israeli security forces - “In Israel, the various forces were playing the blame game, with some sources in the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) seeming to blame the IDF or saying anything that is happening is their responsibility. Some IDF sources in turn seemed to lay the blame on the police’s West Bank division.”  

The impact on academia:
A Chilling Attack on Israel’s National Library – and on Truth Itself - Haaretz Today - “..the most important library of the People of the Book is in grave danger. The threat is coming from no other than the Israeli government, which on Friday promoted a controversial bill to compromise the library’s independence by giving the education minister, a politician from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, the power to appoint its board of directors.”

The impact on the economy:
Israeli unicorns to build hub outside Israel as legal reform looms - The Jerusalem Post

Again, thanks to those of you who have let me know that you appreciated these updates and links.  

B’shalom, Rabbi Naomi