With election season ramping up, Israelis are hoping to hear bold visions for the future they want to build. Instead, they’re bracing themselves for campaigns that stoke racism, incite violence, and threaten democratic values. Activists and advocates, in addition to minority groups like Palestinian citizens, have become targets and scapegoats for increasingly authoritarian campaign tactics. We have already begun to see attempts by political candidates to sow fear, divide Israelis, and score political points – with strategies and rhetoric that are all too familiar to progressives in the United States.
This year, the New Israel Fund and other Israeli activists, organizations, and movements that support democracy and equality are responding with a coordinated campaign to fight back. The Citizens’ Election Headquarters is a first-of-its-kind effort to monitor for the tactics of division and fear, and to help advocates respond with one voice.
NIF is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any particular political party. Political campaigns reflect the atmosphere of the moment in Israel, and that atmosphere can be influenced by the work of civil society groups.
The Citizens’ HQ will:
- Drive a narrative that promotes democratic values into the election season;
- Defend minority groups, individuals, and organizations that come under attack through a coordinated public response and expert communications, legal, and technical support;
- Provide updates and insights through NIF’s What to Watch in the Israeli Elections biweekly update — you can sign up here.
- Monitor and expose fake news, bots, hate speech, and propaganda from candidates and campaigns through means such as this video:
Photo via Flickr