What do Racism and Shared Society Have to do With Yom Yerushalayim? - New Israel Fund Australia

What do Racism and Shared Society Have to do With Yom Yerushalayim?

Thu 21 May 2020 at 7:30pm - 8:30pm


Contact Sharon Berger ( 0438 262 120) for more information.

As Israel enters its 53rd year of control over the West Bank and East Jerusalem we speak with Tag Meir founder Gadi Gvaryahu and field manager Ruth Klein about the contentious day of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day).

In normal times Tag Meir organises dozens of volunteers to hand out flowers in Jerusalem’s Old City in response to the often violent and racist celebrations of flag waving Jewish nationalists.

With Covid these demonstrations are likely to be much smaller than usual, but Tag Meir is still doing important work to build bridges between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Even under lockdown, Israeli society faces many divisions, and Tag Meir is at the forefront of breaking these down in order to create a truly shared society in Israel.

Please note: This Zoom meeting will be live streamed to Facebook, so it is likely your video feed – including any questions you ask or comments you make – will be publicly viewable.

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Basing its actions on the traditional Jewish values of loving one’s neighbours and justice for all, Tag Meir combats racism in Israeli society. They are one of Israel’s leading anti-racism voices.

A strong cohort of volunteers hold hundreds of demonstrations, meetings, vigils and activities every year. This includes condolence visits to victims of terror and violence to both Israeli and Palestinian families, repainting over racist graffiti and offering material support to defaced religious places.

Founded in 2011, they meet with politicians and decision makers to work to end incitement and inflammatory rhetoric and often comment in the national media on racially motivated violence.

Dr. Gadi Gvaryahu grew up in a politically moderate, Orthodox Jewish household and has spent his career in developing products for farm animals based on their physiological and behavioral needs. For years, he felt sad and frightened by the trend towards extremism in Israel’s Orthodox communities. An inflammatory book purporting to elucidate Jewish law’s relation to killing non-Jews published and endorsed by influential rabbis in 2009 was the straw that broke the camel’s back. After establishing the NGO "The 12th of Cheshvan" Gadi launched Tag Meir (Light Tag). He is the chairman and founder.

Ruth Klein is Tag Meir’s field manager. She grew up in a religious Zionist home, studied Political Science and Communications at Bar Ilan University, including a semester in New York University as a part of an Israeli-Palestinian leadership program. Ruth, a peace activist, joined Tag-Meir in 2018.