From the Rabbi - Israel Governance Crisis

I usually refrain from sending out disturbing material before Shabbat, but there is nothing usual about the events taking place in Israel.  Here is a summary in stirring words from Eran Etzion, former deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council, and Ambassador Daniel Shek, former  served as Israel’s ambassador to France and spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry:

“Israel is undergoing a rapid, aggressive attempt at regime change. A seemingly legitimate, elected coalition is determined to use its slim, almost accidental majority to reframe Israel’s democratic foundations into an illiberal and hollowed-out state…This is a transformative point in the history of the Israeli nation and the Jewish people. At this moment, our entire nation-state is on the verge of a homemade catastrophe…Well over 100,000 people have taken to the streets in recent weeks for regular protests against the government’s so-called “judicial reform” and other parts of the right-wing agenda. Supreme Court President Esther Hayut has warned that “if the people who made up this plan have their way, Israel's 75th year will be remembered as the year in which its democracy suffered a fatal blow.” From economists and tech companies to jurists and security leaders, so many corners of our society are more alarmed than ever before – and we are mobilizing…This is the moment for the U.S. government, American Jews and all pro-Israel Americans – for all who have deep concerns about our government’s policies and Israel’s future as a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people – to speak out.”
Full article here: American Jews Cannot Stay ‘Neutral’ in the Face of Israel’s Catastrophe - Israel News -

Israelis protest before first judicial reform vote

Involvement of Reform Rabbis convening in Israel:
Reform rabbis assailed as they try to bring Torah scrolls to women at Western Wall | The Times of Israel

Majority of Israelis Opposed to Netanyahu Government's Judicial Overhaul, Poll Shows - Israel News -

Israel's Opposition Parties Must All Resign in Protest at Netanyahu’s Judicial Coup - Israel News - - Alon Pinkas - Wikipedia

The goals of the Israeli far-right who have been empowered in the new Nethanyahu coalition:
Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right Knesset Member’s Plan to Turn Israel Into a Theocracy

Economic impacts of the crisis:
Political chaos over judicial reform drives down Israeli shekel - Rabbi Bob and I have joined hundreds of rabbis in signing this letter.

Reform Jewish Leaders Respond to Israel’s Proposed Judicial Reforms

Connections between the judicial crisis and ongoing strife between Israelis and Palestinians: - New Israel Fund op-ed

“A disaster for democracy looms in Israel” by Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens

American Jews Cannot Stay ‘Neutral’ in the Face of Israel’s Catastrophe - Israel News -

Israel's Crisis Must Be Our Call to Action - please consider signing the letter to President Biden

Coming up next week:
Protestors to hold 'day of struggle' against judicial reform Wednesday - Israel Politics - The Jerusalem Post

Todah rabah to those of you who have contacted me with words of appreciation for these updates.  I’ll endeavor to keep them coming.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Naomi