The new year began with rocket fire from Gaza and two precedent-setting Supreme Court rulings overturning the abolishment of the reasonableness standard and postponing the application of the Impeachment Law to the next Knesset.
It is a reminder that 2024 is a continuation of 2023 by other means. 2023, with its scars, its dead, its hostages, and its challenges, is still with us. It’s hard to even remember what our life before the October 7th massacre looked like, when an entire nation rose to its feet to fight the regime revolution plotted by a corrupt leader and his throng of Kahanist lackeys. The Supreme Court rulings prove that our state institutions refuse to wither, disappear, or surrender.
Our challenge as a society will be to learn to look beyond the immediate horizon and set a new civil agenda – an essential condition for the promotion of equality and human rights in a civilized democracy – in order to start breathing again. However, such a civil agenda cannot be set unless Netanyahu and his government, who have left our country in ruins, go home.
Years ago we identified a huge void of tools, knowledge, and expertise among Israel’s senior political players, a dangerous vacuum that was filled by such organizations as Kohelet Forum. That is why we produce tools and offer expertise to politicians and policy-makers through two types of activity: one tries to influence decisionmakers and present them with well-argued policy papers and sound legislative initiatives, while the other tries to impact the public discourse with the help of a professional task force made up of former government ministers and Knesset members and a half-a-million strong mailing list to whom we forward our materials.
The year 2023 began with an effort to promote a regime revolution, harm the free media, and reduce the power of the Supreme Court, and ended with the greatest calamity in Israeli history and warfare on two battlefronts. The fighting in Gaza has so far claimed the lives of some 500 Israeli soldiers and over 21,000 Gazans, including noncombatants and people in need of humanitarian aid.
The numbers are mind-boggling, new records of blood in a conflict that has already seen a lot of it. This is not the time to curl into ourselves and bow our heads. On the contrary, if we have learned anything, that is that a strong civil society is built of committed citizens who can move mountains. We’ve come a long way, we have scored quite a few successes, and we surely have quite a few mountains to move in 2024.
President of Zulat