Our Heritage – The Charter for Democracy
The NGO “Our Heritage – The Charter for Democracy” was set up several years ago by a group of Israelis, both new immigrants from the former USSR and “old-timers” concerned with the current state of Israeli politics and public life, and more specifically with the situation of the Russian-speaking community in Israel. Even though the community has grown and consolidated, it did not secure an active and adequate role in the political and public life of the country. In addition, a distinguishing feature of this community is the predominance of right-wing attitudes towards almost all topics of political and social life in Israel. This was exhibited both through the voting patterns in the Knesset elections of the last decade and through responses to the social protest campaigns of recent years.
“Our Heritage – The Charter for Democracy“ works on the borderline between the new immigrant community and the wider Israeli public and strives to promote the full-scale integration of Russian-speakers into Israeli civil life.
A central aspect of the activities is the further education of young journalists and bloggers, with the goal to create a progressive and critical journalistic voice promoting liberal, democratic and pluralistic values as counterweight to the predominant news coverage in the Russian language media in Israel, which is often characterized by racist or otherwise prejudiced and intolerant attitudes as well as by uncritical and one-sided perceptions. The media platform ReLevantInfo, which is affiliated with the organization and promotes a democratic agenda, inter-community tolerance and pluralism within the Russian speaking community, provide participants an initial platform to publish their materials.
The organization stands for democracy, human dignity, tolerance and multiculturalism. It strives for a strong civil society in Israel possessing all necessary means and resources including human resources, which embraces all Israeli residents and acts for the sake of the country. Such a society can exist and develop only under certain conditions:
- Rule of law must prevail in all fields of public and political life. In the event of conflict between two or more branches of power, the ruling of the judiciary institutions should be indisputable. The judiciary institutions must fully recognize and respect all the groups and sectors of the society.
- Complete equality of all residents without any differences of religion, race or gender. Such equality should become apparent in the fields of law, and human and civil rights.
- Strong, effective and recognized mechanisms for struggling against social and cultural prejudices and phenomena like racism and discrimination.
- Full freedom for civil society accompanied with understanding that the whole sphere of social activity should serve common goals and benefit the greater society and the state and not private or sectorial interests.
It is impossible to separate between the Russian-speaking community and the Israeli society as a whole. What is good for Russian-speakers is good for all of the country, and vice versa. But at the same time it is necessary to recognize the uniqueness of the Russian-speaking community as part of embracing Israeli society, both for the sake of accepting others and for multiculturalism itself.en.morashtenu.org.il/