Tuesday, December 5th | 22 Kislev 5784

The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2023


Natan Sharansky


The symbol of the movement among Soviet Jews to make aliyah to Israel during the darkest days of communist rule, former Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky remains one of the authoritative voices in the Jewish world. During 2023, Sharansky was active in pushing for open Israeli support of Ukraine as it confronted invading Russian forces, as well as criticizing the Israeli government's judicial reforms while encouraging protesters not to conclude that Israeli democracy was in jeopardy. On Ukraine, Sharansky called for an international tribunal to try the Russian regime for "genocide." Expressing his conviction that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be "defeated," Sharansky told a meeting at the Ukrainian Embassy in Tel Aviv that it was "very important that there be an international court regarding crimes against humanity by the leadership of Russia." Closer to home, Sharansky has urged the clashing sides in the judicial overhaul debate to reach a consensus. "We will not stop being a democracy," he said of the proposed changes, but "we will have to fight much harder in order to restore the balance between the [Supreme] Court and the Knesset." (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)


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