Tel Aviv pro-democracy rally remarks from NCJW CEO Sheila Katz

Israelis have been protesting against their government’s proposed judicial overhaul plans week after week for nearly four months. National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz addressed the crowd of over a hundred thousand on Saturday night, April 22, as the first U.S. Jewish leader invited to address the massive crowd in English.

Find more detail about the protest and Sheila’s participation via ABC News and Haaretz. We’ve shared the full video and transcript of her remarks below.

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Shalom, Kaplan! I’m honored to address you tonight as the first person you’ve invited to give a speech in English, allowing me to send a clear message to American Jews:

This is our fight, too!

If you love Israel, if you call yourself a Zionist: Get off the couch and into the streets. Speak up. Democracy is the heart of a nation. We cannot let Israel’s democracy be dismantled on our watch! 

In America, our Supreme Court took away the national right to abortion. We said it was coming, and people called us alarmists. Like you, we were told to compromise, but there can be no compromise on fundamental rights!

This is not about so-called judicial reform, it’s about democracy.

In order for your sacred Courts to protect your rights and the rights of ALL people, they must remain independent from politics.

There are hundreds of thousands of you out here tonight. But know there are millions more standing with you in America and around the world. We see you out here every week fighting for this country we love. Every week our hearts are with you. Every week you fill us with pride. Every week you inspire us. 

YOU, the people of Israel, are our or la’goyim — a light unto the nations, showing the world what it means to fight for freedom. We are in this together. And with one voice we say:



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