Our basic concept: the basis of our work

Photography by Ananda Rieber / www.Ananda-Rieber.de

The members of our association have exchanged views on the attitude, with which we should approach our issues 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 and the values of liberty and democracy. We want to protect the social culture of liberty and democracy in Germany which has developed from these practiced values.

The fulfilment of personal needs and the pursuit of individual goals must not counteract the social culture of liberty and democracy.

Social participation is not determined by religion, passport, colour of skin, gender or sexual orientation but by 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, promote implement and protect the social culture of liberty and democracy. This includes the duty to convey and to make it perceptible as well as to ensure external, internal and social security for its citizens.

For the good of our society the whole national capacity to act has to be utilised: This includes preventive activities like education, cultural promotion and integration as well as sanctions required by law. The consequent 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. This also includes Jewish circumcision and kosher ritual slaughtering, because these are constituting components of the Jewish religion.  Their basic conditions and circumstances are sufficiently regulated.

The majority of Jewish Germans also has a close connection to Israel and sees the country as a “safe haven” not least because of historical and current experiences. Therefore we expect German Foreign Near- and Middle East policy to show clear solidarity with Israel in word and action. The security of Israel as a Jewish state must be guaranteed and actively promoted. The aim is peaceful coexistence within Israel as well as with its neighbours.

Those countries, governmental and non-governmental organisations that see Israel as a concept of the enemy, must not be partners of Germany. This also 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. Further Israels part 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 free spaces within our open society and eroding social peace. These groups oppose our social culture of liberty and democracy and are danger to our civilized life in society.

Within the framework of our defensible democracy we approve monitoring and observation of such political forces in accordance with the law. Criminal tendencies have to be counteracted with all sanctions available to our constitutional state.

We reject those Muslim associations and organisations, which want to give religion a political dimension or stand for religious beliefs that do not comply with the social culture of liberty and democracy.

As a matter of principle, all religious speeches should be held or be made available in German.

The state has to create strict criteria for cooperation and promotion in order to prevent to be strengthening forces, which are not compatible with our liberal-democratic constitution.

Those organisations, associations and mosques, which are not fully committed to democracy and indivisible human rights have to be banned, closed and prosecuted if necessary.

Antisemitism partly falls under the concept of “group-focused enmity” but includes other aspects beyond (see “Grundsatzerklärung Antisemitismus”). These particularities must be considered.

“Criticism of Israel” characterized by double standards, “anti-Zionism” and calls for boycott against Israel and anything Israeli is well-known antisemitism in different clothes. No room should be provided for antisemitism as well as historical misrepresentations, conspiracy theories, and anti-Judaism. We therefore call for prevention by education, the ostracism of antisemitic incidents and statements and their consistent prosecution with all sanctions available to our state of law.