No Business as Usual

The new Israeli government has been sworn in. We asked you to join the hundreds who have already signed the petition that says:
From now on, as politicians with extreme views assume leadership positions in a new government, there cannot be business as usual. Please add your voice to this call TODAY.

As supporters of Israel, we, the undersigned, cannot stay silent as the extremists elected in November 2022 work to undermine Israel’s founding values. 

Nearly 75 years ago, the Israeli Declaration of Independence established Israel as a Jewish and democratic state for all its inhabitants, regardless of religion, race, or sex, guaranteeing freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture. These values have made Israel a beacon of democracy and have stood at the center of the Israeli-Diaspora relationship.

We stand united in saying that, as politicians with extreme views assume leadership positions in a new government, there cannot be business as usual.

Historically, we have taken great pride in our close connections with Israeli elected leaders. We have welcomed them in our offices, met with them in Israel, and lauded their work in building and securing the Jewish state and Jewish future.

As Americans, we must oppose politicians and parties that reject Jews who don’t pray the way they do, that would undermine women’s equality in the public and religious realms, and that seek to drive Israel’s vibrant, diverse LGBTQ communities back into the darkness of the closet.

As staunch supporters of LGBTQ equality in Israel, we share the acute pain and worry we’ve been hearing from our Israeli partners and friends. 

We remind the pro-Israel community that there is no obligation to meet with individuals who hold and promote extreme views. While we recognize that these leaders and the new government must be judged on actions and not just words, we also recognize that we must keep speaking out so their words don’t become actions. We ask all those holding such meetings not to approach them as business as usual. Rather, such encounters must be used to raise our profound concerns about full religious pluralism and equality for all, including the LGBTQ community.

We love Israel – as much today as we did yesterday – and it is from this place of love that we assert that it cannot be business as usual when we interact with certain of its leaders. By raising our concerns firmly and fully, we will reinforce our commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

In the face of rising hatred against the Jewish and LGBT communities at home and abroad, it is on us to promote our shared values – a baseline of social civility, opposition to extremism, protection of gender equality, promotion of anti-racism, and equal treatment of all LGBTQ people as fellow human beings created in the divine image.