Decision at 50 Demanding a Referendum on the Future of Israel
After 50 years of Israeli control of the Palestinian Territories,
the time has come to decide:
a bi-national state or two states, annexation or a negotiated agreement,
50 more years of military rule or a diplomatic resolution.
request referendum
Decision at 50: Demanding a Referendum for the Future of Israel

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June 2017 will mark 50 years since the Six Day War and the beginning of Israeli military rule in the West Bank. 50 years during which Israel has ruled over the Palestinian Territories and has made no decision about their fate. 50 years during which Israeli society has been torn and conflicted over the question most essential to our future. We cannot accept another 50 years like these.

Throughout the coming year, we will be collecting signatures from Israelis and demanding that the Knesset hold a referendum on the future of Israel's presence in the Palestinian Territories.

We will be everywhere: online and in every town. We will spread from the north to the south, and turn 2017 into the year of decision: on the future of the Territories, on the future of Israel.


Who we are

We are Israelis who have joined together to demand that during 2017, the fiftieth year of Israeli rule over the Palestinian people, the critical decision which will determine the future of Israel be taken- one state or two states

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Over the last fifty years Israeli governments have avoided making this decision and we, the citizens, have been dragged along, suffering the bitter consequences of indecision. We demand empowerment and the opportunity to make this critical decision through a referendum. This is why we - activists, public figures, artists, academics, former military personnel and educators – founded the Deciding at 50 initiative.

We believe that the time for a decision has come. Thus, we will use all means available for a public movement to create pressure upon the Knesset to enact legislation which will enable a referendum to take place in 2017. A referendum could constitute a turning point in Israeli history, leading to permanent borders, security, international acceptance, and internal solidarity


Questions and answers

Israel is at a crossroads. Fifty years of occupation have created rifts within Israeli society and tension between Israel and its allies. Our leadership’s indecisiveness is leading us to the point of no return. Fifty years is a symbolic date and should be used to muster public opinion to call for a referendum now in order to end the situation of non-decision and non- action.
Formulation of the question will be part of the public discussion during the campaign for the referendum, but before that the demand for a referendum must be adopted by the Knesset. We invite you to join our demand to hold a referendum in order to put pressure on Israeli decision-makers. We will then work jointly to formulate the question that will determine whether Israel’s vision includes one state between the river and the sea or a two state solution.
The Knesset is indeed the sovereign body in Israeli democracy. The public accords to it the power to make decisions, big and small, which determine the lives of all citizens and the future of the state. However, no Israeli government, and no Knesset, has had the courage to make the monumental decision regarding the Occupied Territories. A referendum will allow the public to declare its view on this most critical matter, and becomes the vehicle which forces government action
There has never been an issue in the history of Israel which so dramatically affects all aspects of life in the way that the Israeli rule over the Territories has for the past 50 years. This issue is essential for the future of Israel in terms of security, economics, Israel's position in the world, and morality
Israeli control over the Territories is tearing our society apart and is affecting every aspect of Israeli politics.The referendum we are calling for is first and foremost a decision on the future of Israel, and its results do not oblige the Palestinians by any means. We would welcome a Palestinian call for a referendum as well, but our focus is on the vision of the State of Israel and on how we would like to see Israel in the next 50 years.
A law was passed in the Knesset in 2014 which necessitates a referendum if a future agreement includes the return of territories annexed by Israel to a foreign government. This means that a referendum follows a diplomatic process, formulation of an agreement, and affirmation by government and Knesset. The law is intended to block the return of territories by making the agreement contingent upon the authorization of the people, following its legal passage by the government and Knesset
No survey can present a representative picture of Israeli public opinion in its entirety. Just as elections to the Knesset are not determined by a survey or public opinion polls, nor can a survey suffice when determining the central issue vis-a-vis the future of the state
Every Israeli citizen over the age of 18 on the day of the referendum will be entitled to participate in it
In the last two years alone, referenda took place in Ireland, Holland, Slovenia, Greece and the United Kingdom. In some countries, such as Switzerland, citizens can oblige the government to conduct a referendum after collecting a certain number of signatures. Israel is one of three democratic countries in which a referendum has never been held.