An Australian-Israeli’s perspective

What Israel is experiencing these difficult days is truly painful and heartbreaking to see. 

Those protesting against the judicial reform in their tens of thousands every week and marching in the heat are overwhelmingly patriots. They love this country. They fought for this nation. They feel immense pain.

Those who seek reform are no less patriotic, and they believe in the justness of their cause.

Of course, there are some extremists on either side who seek to exploit the situation, to hold the country to ransom, and undermine the very core values and structures of our treasured democracy.

Few reasonable people will disagree that Israel urgently needs judicial reform. The two overriding questions are the nature and extent of reform and the manner in which it is implemented.

I have actually never thought that Iran presented an existential threat to Israel (albeit not from lack of effort on its part). Our military knows very well how to deal with those who seek to do us harm and I continue to place absolute faith in them.

It is the internal division and the incendiary rhetoric that is unprecedented and threatening to rip us apart.

Our people have a history unlike any other, with no shortage of tragedies that have befallen us, both due to outside foes and our very own doing and disunity. 

We need to accept that our brothers and sisters with whom we disagree, even passionately so, have legitimate views. We need to reach out to one another, not scream at each other from competing rallies.

The rhetoric on both sides needs to be toned down immediately.

Our leaders need to listen to their people with empathy and fair hearing. They need to put aside their egos, sit down and negotiate a compromise until there is a resolution.

There is still time to do the right thing.

Until that happens, we cannot commence the process of healing that we truly need, and the gaping wound that is ripping at our nation will only tear us further apart.

I made aliyah exactly 11 years ago out of a deep Zionist yearning. Throughout that time, there has been no shortage of challenges and tribulations, including multiple wars. But I have never regretted a day.

Now more than ever, I am still profoundly inspired by Israel’s story and will always continue unwaveringly to fight for the Jewish nation – both against foreign enemies and for what I believe within.

Arsen Ostrovsky is a human rights attorney and CEO of the International Legal Forum. He previously worked at AIJAC in Sydney and now lives in Israel. © Israel Hayom (, reprinted by permission, all rights reserved.