On 15 February 2023, Zulat Executive Director Einat Ovadia was invited to a special parley in the Knesset initiated by MK Efrat Rayten (Labor Party) and MK Orna Barbivay (Yesh Atid): The Declaration of Independence as a Unifying Vision – Is It? Participants discussed various aspects of the Declaration of Independence in light of the regime revolution unrestrainedly advanced by the current coalition. Following are Zulat Executive Director’s remarks:
“For more than a decade, our organizations have felt under attack for statements that in our view are legitimate and uphold equality and human rights. Dark clouds are gathering over our heads. Extreme right-wing forces currently in power have put a knife to our throat and told us: ‘This is the reform, this is the basis, and you must give up your principles in order to avert a civil war.’
“They are here to destroy the principles laid down by past generations 75 years ago. We all have basic rights unrelated to gender, origin, or sexual orientation. Those who see here a mere disagreement about equality are simply emasculating the idea. To say that the principles of the Declaration of Independence are irrelevant is to create a vacuum. We do not have a human rights charter or a constitution, and the Declaration of Independence essentially is a legal document from which legal interpretations are extracted for how our lives should look. We still do not have a Basic Law: Equality. Equality is the first principle envisioned in the Declaration of Independence but is not reflected in legislation.
“They are here to change world orders and to violate basic rights. Israel’s Palestinian citizens have enjoyed no equality for over 75 years. Laws passed by the Knesset are not reviewed for possible harm to equality, but only for being economic or not. They are not reviewed for, say, gender equality, which is why car safety standards are based on the average height of a man.
“Those currently in power have built their political might for over 15 years and are now implementing their most extreme and delusional ideas about the elimination of the separation of powers and the destruction of basic principles concerning the protection of human rights by means of a politically-motivated reform. They lash out at anyone who says that rights are needed for LGBTQ, women, and Palestinians, and that refugees should not be imprisoned and deprived of their freedom of movement before their situation is reviewed.”
Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):