U.S. Jews sign petition backing Israel’s social justice movement


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Nearly 4,000 American Jews have signed a petition from the New Israel Fund in support of Israel’s social justice movement.

The petition was published Sept. 2 in the International Herald Tribune in advance of the movement’s major demonstration on Sept. 3, which brought out 400,000 Israelis in what some say was the largest protest in Israel’s history.

"We, friends of Israel from across the globe, are inspired by the Israeli public’s demand for social justice," read the petition, addressed directly to Israelis. "We share your values. We long for the day that Israel will be a place where every Israeli can live with respect and dignity. Your protests demonstrate the depth of Israel’s potential to be a beacon for social justice and democracy throughout its region. We know that the values of social justice, of equality and of democracy are inextricably linked. Thank you for standing up and speaking out for a better Israel."

The organization announced last month that it was financially supporting the movement.

Meanwhile, a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks on Aug. 30 quoted former New Israel Fund’s associate director in Israel as saying that it would not be a tragedy if Israel disappeared as a Jewish state.

The cable sent from the U.S. Embassy in February 2010 said that Hedva Radovanitz told the embassy’s political officer "that she believed that in 100 years Israel would be majority Arab and that the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic."

The organization said in a statement that the quotes attributed to Radovanitz do not reflect the position of the organization, which is a negotiated solution of two states for two people.

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