By: Gabriel Degen

A Personal Opinion, “Made in Hanoar Hatzioni”—While Deciding Who Will Have the Power to Decide

“It is important to emphasize that despite the movement’s nonpartisan nature, we still
choose to adopt political positions in accordance with our vision and the values that sustain

(Darkenu, About the Israeli Society).

Whenever the climax of any democratic system, the national elections, approaches, the chaver of Hanoar Hatzioni begins to question which of all the political platforms fits the values and ideals of the tnua best. Unlike the vast majority of the tnuot of a dogmatic and partisan nature, Hanoar Hatzioni would NEVER offer all of the concrete and exposed answers in a party-affiliated ideological manifest. On the contrary, Hanoar Hatzioni will urge you to take our ideological sefer, Darkenu, study and internalize it, and then it will require you to raise high some of the most intrinsic rights that a human being has: thinking, expressing an opinion, questioning and freely manifesting.

But we cannot abuse the concept of freedom since there is a subtle difference between liberty and debauchery. Our sefer, Darkenu, offers us a broad path which gives place to the diversity of opinion and thought, as long as we do not stray from the humanist, Jewish, Zionist, pluralist and liberal essence of our movement.

In this article, I will try to provide my personal interpretation of the Darkenu, embodied in concrete answers to the most important dilemmas of the Israeli society with the launch of the coming electoral campaign.

“Based on the fundamental idea of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, and
considering the values stated in The Declaration of Independence, the state will have two
primary and joint foundations: Jewish and democratic.”

Two thoughts come to my mind. The first one is simple and concrete: in a new reality where some sectors of the Israeli society attempt to impose the Nation-State Law (Hok HaLeom) as the new Magna Carta of Medinat Israel, to them we say NO, and thereby reinforce the message of the Declaration of Independence, which guided us in these first seventy years, and raise our right to a National Home of Jewish and democratic nature that respects its minorities in all aspects of life.

My second thought is not simple but very concrete: in order to ensure the existence of the two fundamental foundations of the State of Israel previously mentioned in the quote from the Darkenu (Israel as a Jewish and democratic state), we are getting close to the two-state solution through agreements, exchange of territories and painful concessions.
Yes, chaverim, I urge the return to the negotiation table without ever abandoning our fight against the terrorism that continues to dream of destroying our national right, without any success.

“We do not perceive Judaism as a series of commandments (Mitzvot) – dos and don’ts. Nor are we among those who advocate the existence of a single Jewish answer. For us, Judaism
is represented by the variety of national and moral values, beliefs, opinions, conceptions and rules which nourish those who define themselves as Jews and allow the continuity of
our people”

Darkenu, About our Judaic Contents

Hanoar Hatzioni stands against all monopolies, including the monopoly of orthodoxy. Every Jew must have the right to marry under a Chuppah in Israel regardless of his/her religious stream, and this marriage must be acknowledged as legitimate in Medinat Israel.
Hanoar Hatzioni says YES to Jewish identity, YES to tradition, YES to Torat Israel, but always in an environment where all values, beliefs and opinions are respected, and where no one has the right to impose or judge the Shabbat table of any of the country’s citizens.
All the Jews of the world must find a stone in the Kotel with which they can identify while praying since no stream can take over the holiest place for our people.

“Given the heterogeneity of Israeli society, we are convinced that the economic system of
the country should be social-liberal”

Darkenu, About the Israeli Society.

It cannot get any clearer. We say NO to the Neoliberalism of the latest governments. We say YES to a social-liberal system where the state assumes its social responsibility in health, education and benefits to all its citizens without any distinction while promoting, in parallel, all the initiatives and dreams that made us a world power in many areas of the
global economy. We must invest in social matters with the aim of reducing the gap between rich and poor, between the country’s center and its periphery.

In conclusion, always with the Darkenu in my hands, as Mazkal of this great tnua, I dare to call on our future leaders and urge them to choose a new route in favor of the union of our people and of justice and equality for all citizens—a route in which all citizens, without any distinction, have the right to be parents, have the same rights and duties before the law, have the freedom to live safely and calmly, have the freedom to marry under any chuppah, without any exclusion, have the freedom and autonomy to educate their children with the values they believe are just—a route in which the Declaration of Independence serves as a compass.

And we, chaverim, pashut meod (very simply), let us continue educating, continue growing, continue to lead the way to thousands of chanichim across the world. Let us continue working for a strong State of Israel, which preserves equality of rights to all its citizens and constantly seeks the path of achieving the so-longed-for peace.
Let us continue believing in our people, in Zionism, in the Darkenu and in this beautiful tnua which keeps growing and educating the next generations to look towards Zion, without any doubt or condition.

Chazak Ve’ematz!

P.S.: At some point during your reading of this article, you had the hope that a chaver of Hanoar Hatzioni will impose on you what political party to vote for? I am sorry. Political positions, thought, opinion and discussion—YES; political partisanship—NO. This is the great essence that made me fall in love with our tnua.

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