Out Loud

Standing Together’s first National Assembly

19 December 2017
By: Alon-Lee Green

I’m delighted to update you on an exciting event our movement: Standing Together’s first National Assembly!

The assembly was held Friday, December 11, in Jaffa, and drew many Jewish and Arab members of Standing Together from across the country, as well as dozens of guests who joined.

Preparations for this assembly have been taking place for months. Following two years of establishing activity, we understood that the time has come for Standing Together to take the next step in becoming a democratic movement. Our first festive National Assembly marked this long awaited moment. Now following the assembly, we can proudly conclude that it was a success:

Over 200 Jews and Arabs from across the country attended the assembly. The active participation, energy, joy, sense of partnership and hope, were the strongest indicators that Standing Together is at an important and significant moment in its history, and that here on out, our path forward is clearer and more secure.

This was not a mere historic moment, but rather part of a larger process: as we did not simply gather to hear the movement’s story, the causes it furthers, and our shared path, but we also jointly decided what its path will be moving forward. We democratically elected its leadership, and collectively decided on its path for the coming year. Throughout the process of building Standing Together as a democratic member-owned movement, one chapter has closed as a new chapter begins.

Before the assembly, members of the movement submitted draft resolutions that were discussed by various groups during the assembly and improved in accordance with members’ suggestions. The revised resolutions were then put to vote by the National Assembly plenum. This open democratic debate is an important part of turning the movement into a base for lively discussions and collective thinking. We were thrilled to vote and enact the movement’s first proposals.

Another highlight from the assembly involved elections for the National Coordination Team and the movement’s leadership, for which 20 members were elected. In the coming weeks they will be joined by representatives from each of Standing Together’s nine local chapters throughout the country, and together they will form the movement’s elected leadership for the coming year.

And what are we planning to do next? To continue. With all our strength and momentum. The day after the assembly, we were already present at demonstrations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa, standing together against government corruption and its enabling systems. This week, in response to the escalation and out of concern for another round of violence, we will stand together in Wadi Ara and the Tunnels Checkpoint in Jerusalem, to demand full equality between Jews and Arabs, and Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The events over the past few days have only reinforced what we already believe in – that to change reality, we must build strength and a movement to enable it – to connect people and bridge causes, demanding what we deserve, and creating alternatives. Therefore, we will continue to establish a presence throughout the country, becoming a source for those who seek change and believe that we can live in a better world and society. We will continue to create what is so necessary for our current reality in Israel: a broad-based, popular, Jewish-Arab movement with socialist values – throughout the country – in both central and peripheral areas. A movement involved in both existing initiatives and new causes, offering people tools to serve them in changing what bothers them about our current realities here, and to create a better society.