As part of Israeli democracy month, in commemoration of the life and assassination of Yitzhak Rabin z”l, two nights ago, the Israeli Assembly was this week held in Tel Aviv. Produced by a coalition of organizations led by Dror Israel and attended by hundreds of Israel youth and adults of diverse backgrounds, this year‘s assembly took place directly after a complicated and tense elections period. The event features discussion circles of youth and adults of diverse sectors and political beliefs talking about how to preserve and strengthen Israeli democracy. This year, the Remember the Murder and Fight for Democracy coalition decided to center the discussion around the high cost of living and its impact on Israeli society, as well as the polarized and violent discourse that threatens Israeli democracy.
The event was concluded with a moving ceremony about the life and legacy of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin z”l and the lessons that Israeli society still struggles to learn in the wake of his murder.
Two youth movements participants – Eli from secular HaNoar HaOved and Shlomit from religious Bnei Akiva – summed up the meaning of the event:
“The assembly’s theme this year is the limits of democratic discourse, and the high cost of living. We think that these are topics that touch everyone, and through them we can reach agreements and talk about them together. Coming to the assembly means coming to meet people and not necessarily agree, but mostly manage to live together because we love Israel.”
This year’s 7th annual Israeli Assembly was put on by a diverse coalition of youth movements including Dror Israel’s HaNoar HaOved, Bnei Akiva, the Scouts, HaShomer HaTzair, and Beitar, and organizations including the Rabin Center and the JNF. Seven years ago, the coalition decided to re-imagine the annual Rabin memorial rally by bringing in a more diverse coalition from throughout the Israeli political spectrum and engaging in respectful and constructive political debate based on a shared commitment to a Jewish and democratic Israel.