A three-fold task
Taking as its vantage point the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung conception of itself as a discussion forum for critical thought and political alternatives as well as a research center for progressive social development in the sense of democratic Socialism, the Israel office of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung pursues three lines of work that correspond to our task as liaison office of the foundation: cooperation in partnership with progressive local actors, who fight for a society based on solidarity and for international solidarity and peace; linking local forces and struggles to their counterparts in Germany, Europe and the rest of the world in the sense of a solidarity-based internationalism; and finally we aim at offering a forum for information, analysis and debate in order to present progressive Israeli voices abroad and vice versa.
Cooperation in Partnership with Progressive Local Actors
Society and politics in Israel are currently shaped by three factors that reinforce each other: the long lasting occupation of the Palestinian territories in conjunction with the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, which violates international law and entails for the Palestinians living there a systematic deprivation of rights; neo-liberal economic and social policies that lead to an erosion of the welfare-state and the deepening of social disparities; as well as a gradual process of de-democratization that calls democratic values into question, undermines civil rights and thus intensifies inherent contradictions, in particular between the Jewish majority population and the Arab-Palestinian minority. As a result a right-wing nationalist discourse led by the settler movement as the strongest lobby in the country has become hegemonic, while the progressive forces are on the defensive that seems to be hopeless.
Our work therefore focuses on cooperation in partnership with Israeli initiatives, civil society and grassroots organizations, union-affiliated, academic and cultural institutions that strive for the political inclusion of all social, ethnic and national groups, for socio-economic relations based on solidarity as well as for a just solution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and a better understanding of Israel’s immediate neighbors, and develop alternatives to racist, sexist and militarist structures.
At the same time we are also fully aware of the ambivalent consequences of our interventions. thus we do not import projects but promote local structures and initiatives. In the spirit of this cooperative approach we leave for example the initiative with regard to the use of our office space to our local partners: It is available to a broad range of leftwing, progressive players, and hundreds of people participate every month in events held there, ranging from public events organized by leftwing grassroots organizations to internal activist meetings of progressive NGOs, to consultations for self-organizing refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, and from workshops for Russian Bloggers to book launches and film screenings.
Linking Local Forces and Struggles to their Counterparts in Germany, Europe and the Rest of the World in the Sense of an Internationalism Based on Solidarity
As part of a network that perceives itself as internationalist, we aim at opening up spaces for dialogue and cooperation that are based on mutual respect and trust. We perceive the exchange pertaining to progressive policies and strategies as a chance to learn from each other and to shape a future based on solidarity. For that reason the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung ascribes particular importance to linking local actors to like-minded actors in Germany, Europe and the rest of the world.
In this context, special emphasis is placed on German–Israeli relations, over which the Holocaust casts its dark shadow, and which are thus of an inherently special and complex nature. The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung firmly opposes any manifestation of anti-Semitism and is committed to the legacy of Rosa Luxemburg, a Jewish woman, who was a target of constant anti-Semitic attacks during her entire life. The Israel office of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung strongly supports the encounter and dialogue between Israeli and German experts, academics, activists and politicians, as well as members of the interested general public.
A Forum for Information, Analyses and Debate
War, violence, unjust social and economic conditions do not appear out of the blue, but are caused by relations of exploitation and power. Yet, a better world is possible. This however presupposes a public grappling to comprehend these structural conditions. Actively fostering a critical public debate is therefore a central task of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
The Israel office of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung is – on the one hand – seeking to present diverse voices of progressive Israelis, by means of a website especially set up for that purpose as well as through events and meetings. A non-Israeli public thus obtains an opportunity to encounter views from within on local conditions and struggles in Israel and to get to know local progressive voices.
On the other hand, we support local forums and actors – media, institutions and organizations – in their endeavor to make voices from abroad available to local publics, voices that speak about a life in human dignity, universally recognized civil and human rights, social responsibility, and institutionalized common goods available to all, in the sense of a transnational counter public.
The Israel office of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung is located in the very center of Tel Aviv. Political activists and progressive organizations who identify with the vision of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung are welcome to use our office space to hold meetings and gatherings, free of charge.
Our meeting room sits up to 16 people around a conference table and is equipped with a multimedia computer, projector, sound system and a whiteboard.
Our central public area, which is not as private but offers more space, is also equipped with a multimedia system and can host up to 80 people.
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