There is a growing tendency worldwide to question the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. Moreover, many Israelis and Jews experience dissonance as they try and reconcile Zionism, Human Rights, Liberalism and defining events in Israeli history. This ideological ambivalence affects their support for these ideals and their attitudes towards the policies and strategies that promote them. In addition Political structures within Israel hinder the effective policy-making derived from a coherent vision for the country.
The Metzilah Center was founded in order to deal effectively and explicitly with these challenges. It addresses the core issues facing Israel and Jewish life from a Jewish, Zionist, and Liberal-Humanist perspective. It combines ideological discussions about the meaning and present relevance of Zionism with the provision of in-depth analysis and policy recommendations, and it disseminates these messages through publications, promoting public discourse and education. Metzilah’s high quality and authoritative research on key issues, and the resulting policy recommendations, provide a base for action to Israeli policymakers and other influential members of the public.
The early stages of the Zionist movement were characterized by profound and comprehensive discussions. While the State of Israel and its society are still facing complex challenges, the contemporary public discourse has lost depth and tends to be characterized by the use of slogans and stereotypes. The Metzilah Center offers a unique voice which is missing in the current discourse; a balanced and non-partisan voice, which acknowledges the challenges and attempts to offer a comprehensive articulated response, both from a Jewish particular perspective and from a universal outlook.