My speech from the Rally in Washington Square Park, NYC in defense of democracy in Israel. (March 25th, 2023)
Twelve weeks ago, a new government – its 37th – was sworn in in Israel. It is, without mincing words, the most abysmal, most dangerous government in Israeli history. At its helm is a man who is on trial for corruption; below him are a minister of justice who has openly declared a war on the legal system; a minister of finance who has openly declared that he does not care about the economy or data provided by professional economists; an interior defense minister who has been indicted for assault and racketeering; a minister of Information who spews only curses and disinformation; a media minister who is working to defund and shut down free media and promote a Fox News like TV channel whose latest item is that the CIA is behind the protests in Israel. This government, in its three months, has proposed 141 new laws that if passed will change Israel’s character forever. Not just will it obliterate the power of the judiciary but it will limit voting rights, shrink the welfare state, strengthen the power of rabbinical courts, which now oversee “only” family law. It will give the police more freedom to interrogate and arrest citizens, give lengthy sentences to those who supposedly desecrate the flag, and enable more separation of genders in the public sphere. Under one proposed law, helping a minor who has left a religious community will be punishable with up to six months of prison. In this topsy-turvy world, everything is up for grabs: democracy, labor unions and civil rights, all occupied lands, even those that have been returned already.
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