This week, US billionaire Arthur Dantchik announced that he would no longer support the Kohelet Policy Forum, an extremist Israeli think tank behind the controversial judicial overhaul plan. This is an important victory for two reasons.

Since May 2021, JVP-Philly (the Philadelphia chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace) has been organizing to pressure Dantchik – a major funder of both the far right in Israel and the United States – to disinvest from the Kohelet Policy Forum. The forum has worked to advance the ethno-nationalist agenda of the Israeli settler movement, including promoting the expansion of illegal, Jewish-only settlements designed to drive Palestinians from their homes and supporting the judicial review plan spearheaded by the [most] far-right two-wing government in Israeli history. Dantchik’s decision to withdraw funds from Kohelet shows that our organizing bears fruit.

It is no coincidence that this victory comes amid a marked shift in public opinion around Israel. Last month, Israel’s Knesset approved the first part of a judicial overhaul plan that would undermine the power of Israel’s Supreme Court and give Israel’s extremist government even more room to strengthen its apartheid regime. The international outcry that followed presented a key opportunity to increase the Palestinian liberation movement.

One thing is clear: the cracks are showing. Israel’s far-right government is prompting leading democratic lawmakers to question why the United States should continue to provide wholehearted and ever-increasing support to the Israeli military. Calls to control or reevaluate US military funding to Israel, once considered a radical position, are gaining ground.

Our current task is to bring more people into the Palestine liberation movement. If we can welcome first-time critics of Israel, we can help them see beyond the current Israeli government and understand that, at its core, Israel is a racist state and that the only way to achieve democracy is to end the apartheid regime and the brutal military occupation of the Palestinians.

Israel’s extremist government has prompted US lawmakers to question why the US should continue to send $3.8 billion in military funding to Israel every year. Now more than ever, your elected officials need to know that you oppose using US tax dollars to finance the military detention of Palestinian children, the demolition of Palestinian homes, or the annexation of Palestinian land.

Jewish Voice for Peace, United States