Yanshoof

Who are we?

Vision

We believe that Israel should be a source of good and blessing to the world. Selling arms to the most brutal regimes in the world turns Israel into a source of suffering and destruction in the world, and makes all Israeli citizens partners in these crimes.
Instead, let’s become partners in repairing this wrong.

Goals

| A Moral Red Line

Every request to export Israeli weapons requires the approval of the Defense Exports Control Agency (DECA), the Defense Ministry’s unit for oversight on weapons exports, to ensure that the transaction does not negatively affect Israel’s security and diplomatic interests. Prior to this stage, there must be an evaluation of the potential client in order to ensure that it is not likely that Israeli weapons will be used to violate human rights. Failing this test must mean that a license is not issued, even if there may be economic, security or diplomatic interests that advocate for the sale to take place.

| Effective Oversight

The moral criteria for receiving an export license should be established and applied by an independent committee that includes representatives from outside the military and the government, such as academics and experts in human rights.

| Transparency

Whenever there is a question regarding Israeli weapons in the hands of brutal regimes, the claim is that revealing any information will negatively effect Israel’s security and diplomatic interests. Israel must allow for a level of transparency similar to other democratic nations, who report on their weapons exports, and particularly, on embargoes that they establish, in a transparent manner.

The first step to achieving our goals is an emendation of Israel’s export law, to create a moral red line that must be met before receiving an export license, and to create a transparent, effective mechanism to ensure compliance.

How Will We Accomplish This?

Lectures

Ignorance enables apathy. Taking responsibility will come with a greater understanding of the gravity of this problem. We’re happy to come teach in every educational setting- pre-army programs, university campuses, youth movements, communities, synagogues- anywhere.

Petition

Add your voice to a petition calling on the government to pass a law that will end Israeli weapons exports to murderous regimes.

The Moral Majority Challenge

We are sure that there are at least one million people who do not want to be partners to the crimes committed by countries all over the world with Israeli weapons. Are you willing to spend 1 shekel a month in order to become a partner in fixing this problem?

Organizational Commitment

We invite every organization to express its support for a proper, moral law to end this atrocity. Change will come when more and more individuals and more and more organizations speak out.

Articles about our Activities

Get to know our staff and supporters

| Governing Board

“The struggle against the sale of Israeli weapons to murderous regimes is a struggle for the soul of the State of Israel. We need to ask ourselves the question that I and my friends have shouted at many protests: Do we want to be a source of light to the nations, or a source of arms to murderers?

Alon Zilbershein, chairman of the Yanshoof’s governing board, works for an Israeli high tech company.

“We cannot make peace with a state of affairs in which the state of Israel, and all of its citizens, are complicit in and support the most terrible atrocities the world over. This represents the deepest desecration of the vision and purpose of the state of Israel”.

“I believe that the purpose of this organization is a critical element in the fight for Israel’s soul.”

“I believe that the purpose of this organization is a critical element in the fight for Israel’s soul.”

Elisabeth Mayman, Yanshoof governing board member, is a management consultant, mediator and coach, and the founder of EB Consulting.

“There are only a handful of cases in which the moral truth is so clear and striking. How come we, who suffered from hatred and persecutions for so many years, give generous millitary assistance to terror regimes? It cannot be that our weapons, that were developed in order to defend our people in our land, will be used against innocents.” 

Idan Hirshfeld, Yanshoof governing board member, teachs Jewish Thought.

| Supporters

We express our deep appreciation to our supporters and partners: the Aviv Foundation, the Davidi and Natalie Jonas Foundation, the Steinmetz-Herskovits Foundation, the Kowadlo family, the Barnabas Foundation, and many individual, private donors.

For donations in Israeli shekels, click here

To make a tax deductible donation in the United States, click here.

| Public Advisory Board

People speak of a “Halachic State”? Well- this is what it means to be a halachic state! The economic concern cannot be turned into a security concern. Fundamental moral red lines must be set.

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel is the former Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, the president of Yeshivat Hesder Ramat Gan and many other organizations, the recipient of the Israeli Prize for Torah literature, and considered one of the most senior rabbis of the Religious Zionist community in Israel.

“Weapons murder! . They deserve to be used only for genuine self-defense. Cynical capitalist justification of unlimited arms trading is criminal, ungodly, and inhuman.”

Prof. Israel Charny is a Psychologist and Historian, and one of the most senior researchers in the field of genocide, the founder of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, founder and executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust & Genocide, the editor of the “Encyclopedia of Genocide”, and the author of many books on the topic.

Ethical Policy is the foundation of our existence, as a nation meant to be a blessing to the world. Even in the world of global necessity and hypocrisy- there are limits, and providing weapons and technologies to the worst kinds of regimes is a violation of those limits, that we must demand an end to.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Orot Shaul in Tel Aviv, and head of Ethics in the Tzohar rabbinic organization.

Israel’s impact on the world must be a moral one, of blessed contribution, of light to the nations, and not of darkness, God forbid. This is the responsibility and the destiny that we carried throughout generations of suffering and oppression, this is the dream of returning to Zion for which we built our national home- that we can build a society by the light of the basic values of Judaism-the sanctity of life and human dignity.

Rabba Tamar Elad-Applebaum is the founder of the Zion community in Jerusalem, and co-director of the Shalom Hartman Institute and Midreshet Oranim’s Rabbanut Israelit program.

“As someone who has volunteered for many years in organizations dedicated to Tikkun Olam in third world countries, I have felt ashamed to discover the footprints of Israeli arms companies in the darkest, most reprehensible places from a moral perspective. As someone who grew up on the thought of A.D. Gordon, I believe in the light of our national soul, and I believe that the light is great.”

Prof. Yuval Elbashan is a writer, community lawyer, and the dean of the multicultural campuses of the Ono Academic College

“I am committed to this cause as one who is committed to the efforts to invest practical content into the idea of Israel as a “Jewish-Democratic” state.”

Tehilla Friedman is a former Knesset member, a social entrepreneur, a director in the non-profit world, a writer, speaker, jurist, Jerusalemite and mother of 5. 

“The state of Israel, as a Jewish state, is meant to be guided by the light of the founding values of the Jewish people, to ensure its moral and cultural character. The cause that Yanshoof has taken upon itself to advance is one of the foundation stones of our identity as a nation with a moral message of the sanctity of human life and the respect for human dignity. I wholeheartedly support the vision of Yanshoof and its activities.”

Prof. Benny Ish Shalom is the founder and president of Beit Morasha in Jerusalem, chairman of the Joint Institute for Jewish Studies for those seeking to convert, and a Professor of Jewish thought.

“How can we understand the fact that a state that is rightfully proud of the morality of its army, that provides astounding aid to countries throughout the world that suffer national disasters- that same country allows- and, shamefully, at times even encourages- this kind of cooperation with brutal regimes whose hands are full of blood?”

Rabbi Yehuda Gilad, is the Rabbi of Kibbutz Lavi, Rosh Yeshiva of the Maaleh Gilboa Yeshiva, a former member of Knesset, and a member of the board of “Beit Hillel”

“Shun evil and do good” (Psalms 34:15). Most of my time is dedicated to the second part of this verse. When it comes to “doing good” in the world, Israel has much to be proud of, as a country and as a society. But it is no less critical that we also be guided by the first part of the verse, shunning evil by ending our military support of regimes that spread evil in the world.

Dyonna Ginsburg is the CEO of Olam, an umbrella organization of 65 Jewish and Israeli non-profits engaged in humanitarian work in the developing world.

We returned to our land for the sake of the Jewish people’s revival, but also, out of a faith that the Jewish tradition would help us build a society that would serve as a model that the world would emulate. In many ways we have accomplished this. But our weapons export policy fails us. Yanshoof leads the way to correct this. Together, we have a chance to fix ourselves, and become a model to the nations once again.

Dr. Daniel Gordis is the vice President of the Shalem College, a senior Koret fellow, and head of the college’s humanities program.

“Making profit is not, and should not be, the ultimate goal of business activity. A proper, just company must consider ethical questions at every level of its functioning, because businesses have fundamental, deep influence on shaping the public sphere. Ethics and business are not two separate realms: all of us, including corporations, have a responsibility for the character of the society in which we live. The time has come to take this responsibility seriously.”

Dr. Ronit Kedar is a senior lecturer on law, and a co-founder of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility at the College of Law and Business. She lectures and writes on topics related to corporate responsibility and the philosophy of law.

This is a moral issue of the highest priority, that touches on the very essence of our existence. This is a red line, in which we become complicit in crimes against humanity committed with our weapons. It is a moral stain on us all.

Rabbi Michael Melchior is a community rabbi in Jerusalem, as well as the Chief Rabbi of Norway, and the head of the rabbinical court of the Jewish communities of Scandinavia. He is a former minister and Knesset member, and the founder of the Meimad movement. Rabbi Melchior is a leader of international renown, a thinker and activist for social justice, educational reform, and interreligious coexistence and peace..

 

“ The integrity of public service and public servants needs also to be measured by the refusal to sell weapons to regimes that rely on the violation of human rights, morality and basic ethical values that we, as a Jewish and democratic state, are committed to.”

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov (Mendy) Or served as commander of the COGAT, and was responsible for government oversight in the State Comptroller’s office, serving as the vice CEO of the office. He is also a member of the governing board of the Movement for Integrity (HaTnuah LeTohar HaMiddot). 

Money, and particularly the money from the weapons industry, has a scent, and this scent is at times particularly offensive. Even if we have not reached the end of days, there is no reason that the lust for profit on the part of Israeli corporations should define Israel’s export policy, while we ignore the suffering to innocents that it causes. This is especially true at a time that social expectations of business corporations are changing in light of their growing political and economic power.

Dr. Ofer Sitbon is a senior lecturer at the College of Law and Business, and he heads its Clinic for Corporate Responsibility. He is co-founder of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility, and a senior fellow and head of Economics at the Shaharit Institute. He co-edited the book “Market, Law and Politics:On Corporate Social Responsibility” (2017).

“As individuals and as a nation, we have, at the very least, the moral obligation not to support regimes that violate human rights, certainly not by selling weapons or advanced technologies for spying and control.”

Dr. Efrat Ram Tiktin is a lecturer of Political Philosophy, bioethics and practical ethics in the Philosophy department at Bar Ilan University. 

Our Partners in the Cause

The following organizations made the decision to become partners to repair this problem, and affirm Yanshoof’s Organizational Commitment.

Want to see your Organization on this list?

Public figures explain the importance of this cause

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“ People are lacking who will consider the moral, ethical factor, and who do not come from the side of the defense industry. Currently, the discussion is not a balanced one, it is for the most part made up of people with a background in defense. I am not sure what weight is given, if any at all, to moral and ethical considerations.”

Ruth Yaron, Brig. General (res.), previously spokesperson for the IDF.

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“Regarding the complicity in this sin as citizens of Israel, I want to say- we do not want the state of Israel to aid more genocidal campaigns with weapons exports to countries involved in civil wars. We must wake up, and demand that the government pass a law that will forbid this blood trade.”

Prof. Rachel Elior, head of the department of Jewish Philosophy, Hebrew University.

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“Our being a ‘light to the nations’, which exists in the technological realm and the medical realm, but also exist in the moral realm, and this story of arming murderous regimes is a moral stain.”

Moshe Feiglin, chairman of Zehut.

Come be Partners in Repair

It’s not easy to say this, but we, all of us, are complicit in the evil that is committed by governments all over the world who are aided with Israeli arms. It happens against our will, without our knowledge, but nevertheless- as citizens of a democratic country in which these sales are official government policy- we have a part in this. But there is something you can do! You can transform from someone who is complicit in these crimes to someone who is a partner in repairing this problem. How?

We ask you to begin with a small investment- just one shekel per month.

Why? Because we’ll succeed in fixing this problem only when all of us who are implied in it are willing to take responsibility for it. 

And if we all do that, even one shekel will be enough to make a difference. 

Want to help even more? Amazing. 

We need to get to one million partners- and we need your help to do that. 

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Thank you for Joining the Cause

Help ensure that Israel is a source of light and life. Help end Israeli support of oppressive regimes. Here’s how. 

Want to contribute in any other way? Let us know!

Thank you for Joining the Cause

Please leave us contact details and we will be in touch to organize a lecture

The Moral Majority Challenge

The challenge will be ready for launch soon! Interested in hearing about it as soon as we launch? Leave us your information and we’ll be in touch with you.

Thank You for Joining the Cause

Organizational Commitment

Organizational Commitment: A Call for Transparent, Ethical Oversight of Defense Exports

 We, the undersigned organizations, call on Israel to enact robust, transparent legislation to establish moral red lines on weapons exports, to end the Israel’s government’s approval of weapons export to governments engaged in the gross violation of human rights.

Background

The state of Israel, founded on the vision of freedom, justice and peace found in the Hebrew prophets, finds itself today as one of the top ten weapons exporters in the world. Although government oversight on this industry exists, there is no legal limit set on weapons sales to countries engaged in gross human rights violations, in contrast to the United States and the European Union, where such laws do exist. Additionally, in Israel, as opposed to other democracies, there is no transparency regarding the identity of the clients of the weapons industry. Despite this lack of transparency, we know for a fact that Israeli weapons are sold to many countries that systematically violate human rights, including countries that have committed ethnic cleansing and genocide. 

Fundamental Principles

Therefore, we see an urgent need for an amendment to the security export law that creates a moral red line as a first condition for receiving an export license, as well as an effective and transparent mechanism for enforcing the law.

 A. A moral red line

 Every request to export Israeli weapons needs to receive the approval of DECA, the Defence Exports Control Agency, Defence Ministry’s unit for oversight on weapons exports, in order to ensure that the transaction does not negatively affect Israel’s security and diplomatic interests. Prior to this stage, there must be an evaluation of the potential client in order to ensure that it is not likely that Israeli weapons will be used to violate human rights. Failing this test must mean that a license is not issued, even if there may be economic, security or diplomatic interests that advocate for the sale to take place.

 B. Effective Oversight

The moral criteria for receiving an export license should be established and applied by an independent committee that includes representatives from outside the military and the government, such as academics and experts in human rights.

 C. Transparency

Whenever there is a question regarding Israeli weapons in the hands of brutal regimes, the claim is that revealing any information will negatively effect Israel’s security and diplomatic interests. Israel must allow for a level of transparency similar to other democratic nations, who report on their weapons exports, and particularly, on embargoes that they establish, in a transparent manner.

תודה שבחרת להצטרף למאבק

אמנת הארגונים

קריאה לפיקוח שקוף ומוסרי על יצוא ביטחוני

אנו, הארגונים והחברות החתומים מטה, קוראים למדינת ישראל להעביר חקיקה אפקטיבית ושקופה שקובעת קו אדום מוסרי ליצוא בטחוני, כדי שישראל תפסיק לאשר מכירת נשק למשטרים המבצעים הפרות חמורות של זכויות אדם.

הקדמה:
מדינת ישראל, שחרתה על דגלה את יסודות החירות, הצדק והשלום, היא כיום אחת מעשר יצואניות הנשק הגדולות בעולם. על אף שקיים בישראל מנגנון של פיקוח ממשלתי על תעשייה זו, אין הגבלה המעוגנת בחוק האוסרת יצוא נשק למדינות בהן מתבצעות הפרות חמורות של זכויות אדם. זאת, לעומת המדיניות הנהוגה בארה”ב ובאירופה. נוסף על כך, בישראל לא קיימת שקיפות בנוגע ליעדי היצוא הביטחוני שלה, בניגוד מובהק לנהוג בכל שאר המדינות הדמוקרטיות. חרף העדר השקיפות, ידוע לנו מדיווחים רבים, שנשק ישראלי אכן נמכר למדינות רבות שבהן מתבצעות הפרות חמורות של זכויות אדם, ובכללן אף רצח עם. 

עקרונות יסוד:

לכן, אנו רואים צורך קריטי בתיקון חוק הפיקוח שיקבע גבול מוסרי כתנאי סף לקבלת היתר אישור יצוא, ומנגנון פיקוח יעיל ושקוף לאכיפת החוק כצעד ראשון להשגת מטרתנו.

גבול מוסרי כתנאי סף
נכון לעכשיו, כל בקשה לייצוא נשק עוברת בדיקה של אפ”י (אגף הפיקוח על היצוא הביטחוני במשרד הביטחון) כדי לראות שהעסקה לא פוגעת באינטרסים ביטחוניים ודיפלומטיים של מדינת ישראל. אנו דורשים לעגן בחוק שלב מקדים לבדיקה – ועדה הבוחנת את היעד הסופי של היצוא מההיבט המוסרי. אם יתברר שיעד הייצוא אינו עומד בעקרונות טוהר הנשק שייקבעו – לא יאושר ייצוא בטחוני, גם במקרים בהם יש אינטרסים דיפלומטיים או ביטחוניים לקיום העסקה.

פיקוח יעיל
הועדה שתקבע את הקריטריונים המוסריים לאישור יצוא בטחוני חייבת לכלול נציגים של גופים לא ממשלתיים, מומחים בזכויות אדם, אנשי אקדמיה ורוח.

שקיפות אמיתית
עד עכשיו, בכל פעם שנשאלת שאלה לגבי יצוא נשק ישראלי, עולה הטענה שלפיה חשיפת המידע תפגע בקשרים הדיפלומטיים של מדינת ישראל. אנו דורשים שקיפות כמו שקיימת במדינות מערביות אחרות. כל המדינות הדמוקרטיות מדווחות באופן שקוף על היצוא הביטחוני שלהן, וכך ראוי שיהיה גם בישראל- לפחות עם דיווח של רשימת המדינות שישראל אוסרת אליהן יצוא.