*** Note: this vision statement is of the Green Movement, which combined with Meimad to form the political party: Green Movement-Meimad. It was written before the Green Movement became a political party and before it merged with Meimad. Since unifying the parties, the platform has become considerably broader, especially on issues of education, social-democracy, religious pluralism and co-existence. Readers are recommended to visit the official party site here. What follows is an explanation why the Green Movement was established in the summer of 2008.
A need for change
The Israeli public is thirsty for a new political reality, one appropriate to the 21st century. The established ideologies that lay at the foundation of Israel’s founding, and even more so the partisan arena that has shaped our political system over the years are no longer suited to the challenges of today: They have lost their power, their relevance, and their appeal. Israeli politics suffers from chronic illnesses: the absence of long-term thought and planning; the breakdown of solidarity and tolerance; polarization; aggressive power plays; sectarianism; and corruption. The Israeli political crisis is indeed the crisis of Israeli democracy.
Too many Israelis have abandoned faith in their capacity to influence their lives, along with the belief that anything will change for the better. The challenge of the day is to create a new political reality, one that can grapple with the tasks ahead using differing outlooks in light of a differing set of priorities, and with a renewed ideological spirit: A politics of hope.
The Green Movement is a social-environmental movement that brings together activists, organizers, city council members, and academics, thinkers, and scientists who share awareness that the social-environmental agenda must be central to Israel’s political discourse. A green party – with roots, authenticity, and a broad perspective – must become an integral part of Israel’s political map.
During the past decade, Israel’s environmental movement has gained momentum, tallied many successes, and become one of the strongest and most sophisticated elements in Israel’s civic life. The time has come to move to the next level.
Israel today finds itself in environmental crisis, yet the alarming ecological impacts are only a symptom of a much broader malaise: It attests to distorted priorities, narrow interests at the expense of the common good, non-transparent and undemocratic decisions, unjust allocation of resources, deep social schisms, and a crisis in values. While the Green Movement agenda begins with the environmental crisis, it doesn’t stop there: The Green Movement will confront environmental problems, and at the same time address the roots of the other key pathologies that eat at the foundation of Israeli society today.