Paving the Path Forward: An Evening with Avi Dabush | Melbourne

Paving the Path Forward: An Evening with Avi Dabush | Melbourne

Wed 10 Apr 2024 at 7pm - 8:30pm

Memo Music Hall
88 Acland St
St Kilda VIC 3183

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Avi Dabush was in his home in Kibbutz Nirim on October 7th when Hamas terrorists attacked his home. Since then, he has continued his work, tirelessly fighting for peace, justice and equality for all in Israel-Palestine. 

An inspirational activist and leader, Avi is the Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights and has worked for a variety of civil society organisations, including NIF Israel’s action-arm, Shatil. 

NIF is thrilled to host Avi, to help us make sense of the path forward, following on from the horrors of October 7th, and the subsequent violence in Gaza and the West Bank.

Join us to learn from Avi, and help make sense of this moment, in order to understand how we can work towards a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.

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"On that black Shabbat, I was in my home in Nirim when terrorists infiltrated the kibbutz and started entering homes. While they set fires, killed, kidnapped, looted, and vandalised, we hid in our mamad (mobile bomb shelter). The only weapon we had against the terrorists gathered under our window for eight long hours, attempting to break into our house, was my sweaty hand on the mamad door. The horror lasted for eight hours without any help from the army. An additional four hours in the mamad with no soldiers coming to our aid, and then 18 hours during which we were besieged in the kibbutz amidst the fighting until the long-awaited evacuation. From that moment on, we’ve been bombarded by bad news about our friends, about our children’s fellow students, their teachers, and acquaintances, and about entire families who were wiped out.”

“Call me naive, call me primitive. In my view, anyone who still thinks the same as they did on Saturday, October 7, at 6:29 A.M. is either a fool or a liar. We’ve fallen into a deep, dark pit, and the only chance of finding a way out is through precise, measured and practical action.”

Read more of Avi's words in Haaretz


About Avi Dabush

Avi Dabush is an activist and community organiser who is a leading voice on a variety of social and political issues in Israel. Raised in a national religious home in the Southern town of Ashkelon, Avi’s journey of activism and leadership has been bold and far reaching. He began by leading a vast coalition of NGOs and municipal bodies in a 13 year struggle which successfully prevented the construction of a damaging power plant in his hometown. 

Avi lives in Israel’s south and was in his home on the morning of October 7th, which he wrote about for leading Israeli newspaper, Haaretz late last year. Avi is the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), an Israeli organisation that aims to articulate a vision of justice rooted in Jewish tradition, in the spirit of the Rabbinical teaching that all persons are created in God’s image and act in order to prevent violations of human rights taking place within Israel and in the occupied territories.

Through various roles, Avi has organised, overseen and led many coalitions and grassroots campaigns on a broad spectrum of issues. From the struggle against poverty to fighting for workers rights and corporate social responsibility; from campaigns to protect beaches to demands for responsible urban planning, Avi and his teams have been at the forefront of grassroots social action over the last decade.

Avi was one of the founders of the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev, which brings the voice of residents of the South calling for a political agreement between Israel and Gaza. In 2018, Avi entered politics and ran for Knesset for the first time in the Meretz party. He reached number 8 on the Meretz list and was a leading voice in the party on issues of Mizrahi identity and social justice.

In Sderot, Avi founded a “Social Action Beit Midrash” and was his community’s Gabbai for six years. Avi is a fellow at the Beit Midrash For Israeli Rabbis of the Hartman Institute and the HaMidrasha at Oranim. He is a proud husband and father of two, and a passionate advocate of veganism.