JSpaceCanada Chair Joe Roberts issued the following statement in response to the Knesset’s vote to pass the controversial and antidemocratic “Judicial Reform” bill:

“This is a dark day. I cannot begin to explain how gutted and worried I am, as I’m sure you all are.

This piece of legislation, the first component of the so-called Judicial Reform legislation, is aimed at limiting the power of the Israeli judiciary to protect the rights of marginalized and minority communities in Israel.

For 75 years, the judiciary has been among the only checks and balances to the power of the government and has time and time again upheld the key democratic principles that comprise the values shared between Israelis and Canadian Jews. The progress that Israel has made towards protecting LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, the rights of Palestinians, migrant workers, and the rights of secular, Reform, and Conservative Jews have all been the result of judicial decisions. Today’s events are a direct blow to the rights of all vulnerable peoples in Israel.

In a survey from earlier this year, we found that nearly 75% of Canadian Jews oppose this legislation. JSpaceCanada stands firmly in solidarity with Israeli protestors who have risen to the occasion and gathered in hundreds of thousands outside the Knesset in an attempt to protect Israeli democracy.

Like our mishpacha (family) protesting against this antidemocratic gutting of the Zionist dream of a Jewish and democratic state, we won’t stop fighting, because there is no other choice. Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s Minister of National Security who has previously been convicted of supporting the terrorist group Kach, called today’s events “only the beginning.”

He’s right about one thing - we will not stop fighting for a democratic Israel. Love to you all.”