The members of our association have exchanged content over many weeks. The following basic concept could therefore be unanimously adopted at the general meeting in January 2019:
The ValuesInitiative is a Jewish voice in civil society in Germany. As a non-profit association, we work non-partisan and are committed to strengthening the values of the liberal-democratic society from Jewish perspectives. We do this by promoting value-based political, social and media discourse, civic Jewish involvement in Germany and German-Israeli relations. To achieve our goals, we also cooperate with other political or social actors, institutions and organizations.
The following basic concept forms the basis of our work:
We represent positions that strengthen our constitution with its included values of liberty and democracy. We want to protect a social culture of liberty and democracy in Germany which has developed from these shared values.
The fulfilment of personal needs and the pursuit of individual goals must not act against the social culture of liberty and democracy.
Social participation does not depend on religion, passport, colour of skin, gender or sexual orientation but on the acceptance of the values of our constitution.
We wish Germany to be a part of an energetic and safe European Union.
It is the duty of the state to further, achieve and protect the social culture of liberty and democracy. This includes the duty to teach it and to make it perceptible as well as to ensure outer, inner and social safety for its citizens.
For the good of our society the whole national capacity to act has to be used: This includes preventive activities like education, cultural encouragement and integration as well as sanctions required by law. The consistent use of the law is an absolutely necessary requirement for the credibility of the constitutional state.
Judaism with its diverse traditions has been part of the local history and presence for over 1500 years. Although we still feel the rupture caused by the Shoah, our members identify with their German home. We appreciate the different denominations within Judaism. Together we are part of the social culture of liberty and democracy. The state has to ensure the survival and thriving of Jewish life. That includes Jewish circumcision and kosher slaughtering, because these are constituent components of the Jewish religion. Its basic conditions and circumstances are sufficiently regulated.
The majority of Jewish Germans has a close connection to Israel and sees the country as a safe haven not least because of historical and current experiences. For this reason, we expect German Foreign Near- and Middle East policy to show solidarity for Israel in word and action. The security of Israel as a Jewish state must be guaranteed and actively supported. The aim is the peaceful coexistence within Israel as well as with its neighbours.
Those countries, governmental and non-governmental organisations that see Israel as an enemy-image, must not be partners of Germany. This includes anti-Israeli boycott movements and their supporters.
The special relationship between Germany and the Jewish state is substantially based on the European history of suffering during the Shoah. Today though, this relationship is shaped by the mutuality of values of both democracies as well as their similar social, economic and security political structures and challenges. Also the part Israel plays as a democratic and geostrategic anchor of stability in the Middle East is an important interest of Germany and Europe.
Any division of society must be counteracted. We strongly condemn the spreading of hate against dissidents, minorities or other human groups. Right-wing, left-wing and religious radicals and extremists are using hiding places within our open society and erode social peace. These groups oppose our social culture of liberty and democracy and endanger our civilized living together.
Within our defensible democracy we approve monitoring and observation of such political forces in accordance with law. Criminal tendencies have to be counteracted with all sanctions available to our constitutional state.
We reject those Muslim associations and organisations that want to give religion a political dimension or stand for religious beliefs that are not compatible with the social culture of liberty and democracy.
All religious speeches must be given or be available in German.
The state has to create strict criteria for cooperation and promotion in order to prevent strengthening forces that are not compatible with our liberal-democratic constitution.
Those organisations, associations and mosques that are not fully committed to democracy and indivisible human rights have to be banned, closed and prosecuted if necessary.
Anti-Semitism partly falls under the concept of “group-focused enmity” but there are other aspects beyond this (see “Grundsatzerklärung Antisemitismus”). These particularities must be considered.
Double standard “Israel criticism”, “anti-Zionism” and calls for boycott against Israel and anything Israeli are well-known anti-Semitism in another disguise. No place should be allowed for anti-Semitism as well as historical misrepresentations, conspiracy theories, and anti-Judaism. For these reasons we call for prevention by education, the proscription of anti-Semitic incidents and statements and their consistent prosecution with all sanctions available to our state of law.