Standing Together was founded by a group of activists who were seeking an alternative to the idle and powerless political Left-wing of the country. In the midst of a lack of political activism, separate causes continued to prevail in their fights and struggles against the injustice in the country - fighting for gender equality, for human rights, for an end to the Occupation, and so on. We continued to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people for our causes, however, we came to understand that every time we needed to rally Israeli society for a new cause we had to rebuild our coalitions and regain energy.
We came together in the winter of 2015 to find a solution to the challenge we collectively continued to face - how can we build a cohesive Left force in Israel? How can we build power and maintain our strength in a divided society?
The answer was founded in Standing Together - a grassroots people’s movement focused on the intersectionality of struggles. We called for collective action, knowing that a divided society would accomplish nothing. Our platform is based on equality and participation from every sector: Jews and Arabs, people who lived in urban centers and in the periphery, religious and secular, and diverse communities with distinct struggles. Our movement is built upon hope - where there is a struggle, and where there are people passionate about change, there is hope for an alternative future.
We believe that there is nothing that a committed and hopeful group of people cannot achieve. We will continue to expand and constitute ourselves as an unstoppable left force in Israel - a force focused on examining our societies faults and challenges and determined to create and act upon solutions.
We aim to grow and expand our influence so that we can become the true political home for the left in Israel - a home that people can come to not only when they’re in need of a coalition, but a home for people to imagine a hopeful future and not feel alone. There is power in being a part of a community that works to build and imagine something beautiful, and we understand that it can be hard to look beyond reality and try to see something different. But, when we dare to believe that we are in this struggle together, we can begin to move the needle towards a better and more equal future.
Are you an NGO? Or a political party?
We are neither! At Standing Together, we see two left camps in Israeli society - left-wing political parties and professional NGOs. Standing Together was founded to fill in the void between these two bases. While there remains a political left in Israel, in the form of several political parties, they have lost the ability to mobilize and organize the public behind their causes. And while professional NGOs are doing important work, they are simply just that - professional. With no intention of mobilizing the public, the regular layperson cannot truly join an NGO and be active in their efforts. Israeli society needed a political sphere where they could be active in their frustration - and they found that sphere in Standing Together, a grassroots political movement, rooted in inclusivity, pluralism, and activism.
What is the deal with the purple?
We wanted our movement to be recognizable - at demonstrations, at efforts, in the world of the “left” in Israel. Worldwide, purple is known as the color of new left-wing parties and movements, and we wanted to fall in line with the movements across the world that have inspired us. Purple is an unmarked color in Israeli politics, referencing a new and hopeful movement that can diverge from the last wave of left politics. Last, but definitely not least, purple is the color of the Feminist movement. Every movement that seeks to create justice and create a more equal society must be connected to the biggest struggle of our time - the struggle for full equality for Women.
Where might I have seen Standing Together before?
If you’ve been at or witnessed a demonstration in the past three years, you’ve seen us. Whether we were in the crowd mobilizing the people, organizing the demonstration, or partnering with a coalition, we have been responsible for the biggest mobilizations and demonstrations that this country has seen in the last few years.
What does creating a future of “Peace, Equality, and Social Justice” look like?
We believe that every struggle that we face in Israeli society is connected - you cannot separate the struggle for peace, from the struggle for equality, from the struggle for social justice. If you are active in the fight for one of these rights in Israeli society, you are intrinsically connected to the fight for another one. Every person living in Israel, whether they be Arab or Jewish, male or female, living in the periphery or in a city center, is impacted by the government's refusal to afford us of these basic factors for happiness and security.
The intersectionality of these struggles is undeniable - and when we fight for one, we fight for all. If we believe that we deserve to live in a society where peace exists, then we deserve a movement that presents a cohesive alternative to the right-wing in Israel which denies us this reality. That movement is us.
What are Circles?
As a grassroots movement, our activism thrives on the action and leadership of members of our society. Standing Together mobilizes the public through the development of “Circles,” local chapters throughout the country that organize local campaigns as well as participate in our national actions. Circles meet regularly to plan actions, discuss and assess their work, recruit new members, etc. Each meeting generally has dozens of members in attendance. We currently have nine circles, which includes more than 1,500 activists, five of them are local chapters (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and the North, Negev and the South, the Sharon and Taybeh region), and four are student circles (Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, Ben Gurion University, and Haifa University). Each of our circles have monthly meetings, which all are welcome to attend. To get more information about your local circle, attend a training, or if you are interested in starting a new circle, do not hesitate to contact us at: email@example.com
Who can be active with Standing Together?
If you have an interest in changing Israeli reality, you can be a part of Standing Together. We believe that the vast majority of people living in Israel have a vested interest in taking part in the change that they want to see, and they each person has a struggle that they want to confront. At Standing Together we believe that if we were to unite all of these struggles, we could come together to change society at large. If you live in Israel, we invite you to become a member of Standing Together and take part in our Circles activities. If you’re abroad, we welcome you to join our efforts by signing up for our monthly newsletter, staying up to date on our English Facebook page, and supporting our actions. If you would like to know more, please contact us from our homepage!
The National Coordinating Team manages the movement's activity in between national assemblies. It consists of 60 representatives who are elected at the national assembly, as well as from representatives elected in the various circles. The team discusses and decides on the budget, and democratically decides on political and organizational issues, in accordance with the rules and ideas determined at the national assembly.
Within the National Coordinating Team we have our core Secretariat, which consists of 21 people who are also elected at the national assembly. They ensure the movement continues to function on a week-to-week basis. Our Secretariat is listed below: