Challenges for 2024

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The New Year began with rocket fire from Gaza and a Supreme Court precedent-setting ruling striking down the law that had repealed the reasonableness standard. This is a reminder that 2024 is a continuation of 2023 by other means. The year 2023 is still with us, with its scars, fatalities, hostages, and the challenges it set. It is hard to even remember what life here looked like before the October 7 massacre, when an entire nation rose as one man to fight a regime revolution cooked up by a corrupt leader and the gang of Kahanists surrounding him. The Supreme Court’s ruling proves that the state’s institutions refuse to surrender and fade away.

Our challenge as a society is to learn to look beyond the immediate horizon and to formulate a new civil order, which is a prerequisite for the advancement of equality and human rights in a civilized democracy and for starting our recovery. However, such a civil order cannot come into being if Netanyahu and his government, who have left us in ruins, go home.

We identified a huge lack of tools, knowledge, and expertise among Israel’s senior political players. This is a dangerous void, partly because it has been filled by such organizations as Kohelet Forum. That’s why we offer tools and expertise to politicians and policymakers through two types of activity: influencing decisionmakers by putting at their disposal well-argued policy papers and structured legislative initiatives and influencing the public discourse with the help of a professional task force comprising former cabinet ministers and Knesset members, as well as a half-a-million-strong mailing list to whom we send our products.

The year 2023 began with efforts to promote a regime revolution, hurt the free media, and curtail the powers of the Supreme Court, and ended with the greatest calamity in Israel’s history and war on two fronts. The fighting in Gaza has so far claimed the lives of some 500 Israeli soldiers and more than 21,000 Gazans, including innocent people in dire need of humanitarian aid. These are astounding numbers, a new staggering record of blood in a conflict familiar with bloodshed. This is not the time to bow our heads and crawl into our shells. 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 have come a long way, made quite a few achievements, but one thing is certain: we’ll still have plenty of mountains to move in 2024 as well.


Zehava Galon


Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.