The way to get beyond slogans and shallow political propaganda is by challenging ourselves to create a new paradigm of politics that will seriously confront the reality of what Israel has become. The new political prototype must be one that presents a new vision of what we believe the State of Israel needs to become.
We must fight for equality for all in Israel. A multi-ethnic, Jewish-Arab, Left party needs to be identified with the struggles for social justice, equality, worker’s rights, women’s rights, the LGBTQ communities’ rights, and haredim who live in poverty, providing a voice and a home for all people facing discrimination.
At the same time and as part of the same struggle, we must refocus attention on the inadmissibility and the injustice of a military occupation denying millions of non-citizens political, human, economic and social rights. These are all part of the same calling card that we need to create and present, not through hollow words, or through the falsity of finding a few names to place on a political party list as tokens of what they are supposed to represent.
We need a genuine Jewish-Arab political party. The easiest way to create such a party is for Meretz and Hadash to merge, and from my point of view, I would like to see Ayman Odeh lead the party. But if those two parties do not merge then we need to create something new which is joint Jewish-Arab.
That joint party would advocate support for the ongoing regional peace process but would emphasize renewing genuine negotiations with the Palestinians. This party would work for legislating the Basic Law for Equality for all Israelis. It would advocate for a free-market economy based on social democratic values that provide social safety nets and include intensive investments in closing all of the social-economic gaps in the country and taking responsibilities for too many of the social services that have been wrongfully privatized over the past years.