Regarding your Editorial, “Israel’s Paradigm Shift On The Diaspora” (Feb. 21), one obvious way to involve the diaspora leaps to mind. Israel could establish an online registry of Jews abroad who could then vote online, in non-binding referendums, on subjects about which the Knesset or the prime minister thought the world Jewish community should be consulted.
Such a possibility of voting together, as a people, on issues of major importance, would involve the diaspora community in Israeli and Jewish affairs in an intimate way, a way in which they have never before been involved. It would also speak volumes to the world that Israel is, indeed, a state of the Jewish people. Questions such as whether conversion should be supervised only by the Chief Rabbinate, or whether women should be allowed to pray at the Kotel and under what circumstances, or, even, whether Israel should accept a proposed peace proposal, could be posed online, and Jews around the world could vote online.
Any such referendum would not be binding, but merely advisory, because Jews who are not paying taxes and serving the state would not be entitled to binding votes. But it would provide a voice and sense of participation in the Jewish people everywhere, and it would provide to the Israeli government advice on the will of its broadest constituency.
Such a voting platform could be a model for fresh participatory democracy in the world. It could be created relatively inexpensively, it could show off Israel’s first-class software development industry and it could draw Jews throughout the world closer to the ideal of Am Echad (One People).
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