Knesset: neutrality, consent and lobbies.

9.08.23“Dor Moriah” expertsheld a working meeting with MP Tatiana Mazarskaya in the Knesset.

A little backstory

As a non-governmental organization, Dor Moriah constantly monitors the public opinion of Israelis. Attitudes of Israeli residents towards acute social and socio-political problems. The data also shows the level of division in Israeli society.

As part of the Hai Format project, we conducted three sociological surveys on the following questions:

1. How Israelis perceive the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

2. Attitudes towards judicial reform.

3. Is it possible for Israel to become a Middle Eastern Switzerland while remaining neutral?

Each study becomes the subject of a roundtable discussion. And on July 28 in Tel Aviv, the results of the third study on the issue of Israel’s neutrality were discussed. Roundtable “Humanitarian aid, neutrality, peacemaking: the role of bloggers in ensuring social peace in Israel“. The session brought together bloggers from all over Israel.

Finding answers to an important question was also a topic of discussion. How can we abandon hate speech and reduce the level of hype and hashtagging on the Israeli internet?

Meeting with bloggers and experts on July 28, 2023 in Tel Aviv.

The results showed that peacemaking and neutrality are important political ideas for Israelis.

55% of those surveyed believe that Israel is fully or partially prepared to adopt the pursuit of peace as part of its foreign policy.

54% believe that the state of Israel should remain neutral in international conflicts in order to maintain its relations with other countries and pursue an independent policy.

42% of those polled believe that Israel refuses to supply weapons to countries in military conflict in order to maintain neutrality.

78% of Israelis collectively believe that Israel should be a neutral country with regard to military conflicts taking place in other countries and can be neutral depending on the conflict.

All in all, public agreement and support for the idea of Israel’s neutrality! This brought together experts and bloggers and led to the creation of the Neutrality and Consent Discussion Platform.

Hype, heath, and couch activists

Thanks to social networks, everyone can become an active participant in socio-political discussions. That said, from the comfort of your own home. On the other hand, 48% of Israelis believe that demonstrations can put effective pressure on the authorities. We have clarified the main sources of information for Israelis. Listening to and watching the news (36%), reading the Internet (20%), and reading articles on the topic (14%). The formation of public opinion in networks and street protests, are two important and interrelated tools of influence. Influencing policy decisions at both the city and state levels.

But many arguments on the networks descend into heath, hype and consolidating hatred. Supporters and opponents of a political force are actively included in the discussion process.

But often not for the purpose of discussing the problem and coming up with different solutions. A lot of people bunch up into fan clubs and start acting like soccer hooligans on social media. Such approaches to debate, combined with street protests, radicalize the situation. The language of hype and heckling does not lead to a solution, and civic engagement, then, destroys society.

The Knesset and social harmony

Abandoning information hype in favor of constructive discussion! This idea needs to be brought to the corridors of power. Platform participants decided to support the idea of registering with the Knesset. “The Lobby for Neutrality and Consent in Israel.” Therefore, on August 9, 2023, we met with MP Tatiana Mazarskaya in the Knesset.

Our choice to meet with Tatiana was a conscious one. She has an active interest in issues related to public opinion research and voter outreach. Informs Israeli citizens about the essence of the political and social problems facing Israeli society.

And the most important thing that determined the choice! This is Tatiana Mazarskaya ‘s manner of preserving the culture of speech in the Knesset, even while voicing harsh criticism. The rejection of extremism, provocations and manifestations of violence, including verbal violence.

Knesset Member Tatiana Mazarskaya.

Tatiana Mazarskaya has already participated in the Dor Moriah expert meeting on April 30, 2023 in Tel Aviv. At that time the results of the study – “Opinion of Israelis regarding the Russian-Ukrainian conflict” – were discussed. And various aspects of the interaction between citizens and politicians were discussed. This includes the issue of registering a public lobby in the Knesset.

The lobby for neutrality and consent in Israel?!

At the August 9 meeting, we discussed concrete steps to build engagement. Interactions of the Neutrality and Consent Discussion Platform with Knesset Members.

Tatyana Mazarskaya and I proceed from the understanding of the importance, constructive dialog and opposition to hate speech. And we looked at different options for public and political response, to the division and radicalization of Israeli society.

It was an emotional and very constructive conversation during which we planned how to combine our efforts. The informational potential of the Discussion Platform, the research capabilities of Dor Moriah, and the political influence of the Knesset. Combine these opportunities in order to strengthen the solidarization of Israeli society. Increase its ability to counter the hype and hate speech in Israel’s information space.

Heated discussions