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Naomi Chazan


by Rhonda Spivak, Nov 3, 2011

On Saturday October 31, a four hour event of the New Israel Fund that took place in Toronto was broadcast at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue.
NIF President Professor Naomi Chazan, a political scientist, headlined this four-hour event that focused on inequality and the state of democracy in Israel. Over 400 people attended in Toronto and venues in Montreal, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria participated remotely.
In particular Chazan analysis the recent waves of social protests , that were funded by New Israel Fund , including the one on September 1 in Israel where 400,000 Israelis participated. She talks about how public discourse in Israel has changed, and how today, she believes no politician will last "ten minutes" without addressing social issues. She says that the protests have revived the power of citizens, the notion of accountability, and have led to more solidarity than usual. The mood has changed. Chazan is not sure how long the social protests will continue, and says ultimately they are meaningful only if they change policies to bring about greater re-distributive powers. 
She discusses the connection between democracy and social equality. 
For those of you who want to hear the speech by former Israeli Member of Knesset (from Meretz) Naomi Chazan speak (for approx 50 minutes, with questions) you can do so by clicking here:

Readers can also go onto the website of the New Israel Fund to hear other speakers at the event here .

Other speakers include

 Professor Derek Penslar of the University of Toronto gave a historical background to the unique issues of land policy in Israel that have implications for who can own land as well as on housing prices.
•    The Israeli Jewish and Arab co-directors of the Israeli NGO Sikkuy focused in systemic inequalities between Jewish and Arab Israeli Citizens.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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