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Urge Other Jewish Organizations to Speak Out

Ask other Jewish groups to raise their voice in support of tolerance and political pluralism in Israel. Below is sample text of a letter to use when contacting these groups. Use this text or write a letter of your own.

Dear XXXX,

This week is the 16th anniversary of the murder of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, at the hands of a Jewish terrorist.  At the time of that horrific tragedy, all of us who love and support Israel believed that it could never happen again. Now, 16 years later, I urge you to speak out against the escalation of attacks in Israel against free speech and democracy, which together are creating an environment very similar to the one that lead to Rabin's murder.

Over the weekend a terrorist called in a bomb threat to Peace Now's Jerusalem office and left "Price Tag" graffiti at the site.  On Monday night, terrorists sprayed-painted death threats on Hagit Ofran's Jerusalem home, writing:  "Hagit Ofran, Rabin awaits you" and "Hagit Ofran, z'l." 

Such attacks didn't just come out of nowhere.   Recent months have seen repeated attacks by Jewish terrorists against peace activists, Palestinians and the IDF and police.  And last month, Jewish terrorists burned a mosque inside Israel.  

All of this comes in the context of non-stop attacks from inside the Knesset, largely supported by Israel's government, against Israeli civil society organizations like Peace Now and Btselem - organizations that, by speaking truth to power, are part and parcel of any healthy democracy.

This is not about right or left.  It is about right or wrong.  

I urge you, as the leader of an American Jewish organization, to reject and denounce the use of threats or violence, in the United States or in Israel, in an effort to intimidate any Jewish organization or silence any Jewish voice.   Neither democracy nor the rule of law - nor the Jewish values that we all hold dear - can be reconciled with such actions.   No Jew should have cause to fear, especially from a fellow Jew, for speaking or following his or her conscience.   I urge you to likewise reject legislative initiatives designed to undermine the functioning of Israeli civil society.  A hallmark of any healthy democracy, including in Israel, is the right of people and organizations to freely criticize their government and its policies.  Israeli democracy, of which we have all long been proud, must not be sacrificed in a misguided effort to stifle dissent.