A letter from our Executive Director

Dear Friends,

It is no secret that the results of the elections last week in Israel have filled us all with concern for the future we can expect for Israel under a government that will lean on racist components. These racist components openly express their objection to any kind of shared society and peace in Israel. They are fundamentally opposed to the principle of equality that is supposed to define Israeli democracy.

With the strengthening of the extreme right and its taking hold of the government, we can expect to see more and more entities seeking to take our society and the state backwards on all matters regarding the vision for a shared and egalitarian society, for defending minority rights, for protecting the legal system, and for strengthening democracy.

Nevertheless, and with all of the disappointment and concern, we can still influence the future of Israel. The political system is not the end-all. Civil society work and education have a tremendous impact on the direction that Israeli society will take. It is important to remember that about half of the population, Jews and Arabs, still support moderate governance and democracy for Israel, and tolerance aiming for the full inclusion of all citizens of the state.

Givat Haviva has faced more than a few similar challenges in the past, confronting governments who sought to gain from divisiveness, hate and racism in Israel. But, we have always continued to seek the light and spread it, even in the darkest times. This is how it will be now, too. We are continuing to promote our educational programs and encounters, expanding spheres of public dialogue, and programs for promoting equality for Arab society, programming derived from the vision for shared society in Israel which continues and will continue to be our guiding light. We will continue calling upon government institutions to intensify their involvement and their investment in the struggle against discrimination and racism, and we will work together with other organizations and forces fighting to fix Israeli society.

The extensive experience and the sophisticated capabilities that have been developed at Givat Haviva over 73 years, together with your steady support enable us to overcome the obstacles of the present time and to continue to plow our way to building a just society, advocating for peace and equality. Despair is not a privilege we can afford. We have no other land, and no other society. If we want to live in a just and democratic society, we will live in it together.