By Rhoda Smolow & Naomi Adler
Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, 300,000 strong, has been a supporter of the land of Israel and its people for 111 years. For over a century, Hadassah has been at the forefront of building Israel's healthcare and youth aliyah infrastructure, fostering health and well-being throughout the country. We have been closely following the current debate over judicial reform, personally meeting with leaders from all sides of this issue over the last several months to gain a deep understanding of each perspective. As a result of what we have learned from these conversations and current events, we are choosing to speak out at this time.
We are gravely concerned about the rising tensions in Israel today. At Hadassah, we believe that Zionism can only flourish in a strong democratic Israel that includes checks and balances, and where individuals and groups take the necessary time to both talk and listen to one another. The destruction of the Second Temple is a reminder that we must not let our differences divide us, but rather unite us in respectful conversation. We believe President Isaac Herzog has proposed a reasonable framework to help pave a constructive way forward, and we strongly encourage all parties to immediately embrace it and work toward reforms based on consensus, compromise and mutual understanding.
Hadassah urges the leaders of Israel to live up to her vision described by the prophets to be a "light unto the nations," and to fulfill what is in her Declaration of Independence to "... ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex."
Now more than ever we must fervently pray for our beloved Israel and its people, and pledge to continue our commitment to ensuring the strength of her democracy for eternity.