Concerns Rise Among UK Jewish Groups Over Future of Israeli Democracy


Over 1,150 supporters, including Jewish public figures and 13 groups representing over 50,000 community members, have joined the “Choose Democracy” campaign. The cross-communal

campaign protests against “extremist elements within Israel’s new government,” with the goal of supporting Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people and a democratic state. Supporters of the campaign include the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students, Liberal Judaism, Masorti Judaism, Movement for Reform Judaism, and veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge.

The campaign expresses concerns over the government’s planned judicial reforms, which have sparked tens of thousands of protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, dividing the country and raising fears for democracy in Israel. Israeli President Isaac Herzog has warned that ignoring complaints from either side of the debate would be “a grave mistake.”

The campaign is also concerned about the coalition’s proposed changes to the Law of Return and plans to weaken LGBT+ rights. Despite anxiety in the British-Jewish community that public disagreements over Israel may give comfort to enemies, the Choose Democracy campaign aims to raise a loud and credible voice in support of those fighting for Israel’s future as a democracy.

Joseph Cohen, executive director of UK-based NGO The Israel Advocacy Movement, opposes the campaign, arguing that it disrespects the democratic decision of millions of Israelis who voted for the current government in free and fair elections. Cohen encourages British Jews who are unhappy with the direction Israel is heading to make aliyah and help create the change they want to see. Photo by Tiia Monto, Wikimedia commons. 

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