In February, I reached out to Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chair Simcha Rothman and asked them to desist from the aggressive tactics they were using to lead the legal reform.
I shared with them the bitter truth that anyone who is forced to break up their home knows firsthand: there are no winners in a family dispute. What may seem like a victory now will inevitably be seen as a loss in the future, and therefore they should do everything they can to avoid it.
If a divorced man manages to legally avoid paying fair child support, his children will make sure that he will end up paying more in the future.
If a divorced woman manages to alienate her children from their father, the score will still be settled in the future. That's how it is in families: either everyone wins or everyone loses.
It didn't really help. Levin and Rothman continued down the same path, and it was only due to the persistent protest against them that they were stopped. Along the way, they lost a lot of supporters from among the public who voted for them and were interested in reform. Surveys show that even those who supported them realized that there are certain things that should not be done in a family. Period.
This lesson is also relevant to the protesters. Their current victory shouldn't blind them. There are steps that should not be taken, such as protests with BDS slogans against official representatives of Israel abroad.
They should learn from the painful experience of anyone who has been through a divorce. There is a point where you are so filled with pain that you share your bitterness with many others on the other side. It's natural, but it's a mistake.
Those who are only exposed to the negative side of your partner will make it difficult for you to reconcile with them even when the current dispute over the form of divorce subsides. They will continue to hate them like the devil and also ridicule you as someone who surrendered to them.
The family will suffer. Friends will disappear, joint events will be scrapped, and the family that has become split - the children and you - will suffer.
The same goes for protests abroad. The enemies of Zionism do not need any help in tarnishing our image, and our few friends may distance themselves when they hear accusations from someone who presents themselves as an Israeli patriot.
Any pursuit of an Israeli representative abroad with a sign in English and calling Israel a fascist regime will not be forgotten, even when this difficult period is behind us (and it will be).
Anyone who describes the current Israeli government as the evil ayatollah regime in Iran, no bleach will help them remove this stain in the future. A stain that serves anyone who does not want to see a Zionist regime at all. We must not give this a hand, even if it seemingly promotes a short-term goal.
Those of you who don’t feel the divorce allegory (and I hope most readers don't) are simply invited to look at what happened to civil society organizations whose goal was to fight the injustices of the occupation, and whose actions were shifted from Israeli society to beyond the sea.
In one moment, they lost whatever little support was here and became ostracized. I speak from personal experience as someone who was an activist for nearly 20 years on the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel; I couldn't continue the moment it turned outwards. This also happened to me and many others with Breaking the Silence and other organizations.
I don't think I represent only myself when I write that I felt anyone who is willing to collaborate with the common enemy doesn't really want to be part of it. Otherwise, they wouldn't take the path that only distances from the essential repair of the common home, since the internal repairing force is weak and external forces do not really want to fix the common home but rather destroy it (for the sake of building a new structure on its ruins).
Some minds recoil from the idea that Jewish society was always seen as a family. The message "We are all brothers" drives them crazy. The way they conduct themselves is the opposite and teaches just how great is the pain for those who feel their family has betrayed them.
They must understand the magnitude of the mistake they will make if they continue to act in a way that reinforces the pain of betrayal felt by family members. Those who see the recklessness in which they continue to remove more and more defense barriers that were built for many years by the Zionist movement around the common home - our family's home.