Reut's Broad Tent and Red Lines Approach
The Reut Institute created the concepts of ‘broad tent’ and ‘red lines’ as a part of its strategic response to the assault on Israel's legitimacy, particularly as carried out by the BDS Movement. These are metaphors that outline an approach to enhancing capabilities within the Jewish world of developing diverse, ad-hoc partnerships across the different theatres in which the delegitimization assault play out.
The ‘broad tent’ concept refers to the need to promote a united front, across the political spectrum, against the assault on Israel. The ‘red-lines’ concept refers to voluntarily boundaries that delineate the range of constructive discourse about Israel.
In recent years, Israel has been subjected to assault on the very legitimacy of its existence. This assault is driven by a global network of a relatively small number of loosely coordinated organizations – usually either radical leftist elements or dogmatists Islamists (hereinafter "delegitimizers").
The delegitimizers reject Israel's right to exist and the Jewish people's right to national self-determination, and thus, reject the paradigm of two states for two people, which secure the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
According to Reut’s analysis, the delegitimizers are very few in number and are considered peripheral almost wherever they operate. One of the secrets of their success has been their willingness to overlook ideological differences and to collaborate tactically with groups and individuals critical of Israeli policies, and even self-identified Zionists and Israelis. We frame their approach as ‘open tent.’
Meanwhile, the tendency of the Israeli Government and Jewish organizations to classify harsh critics of Israeli policy as delegitimizers often results in alienating critics who engage in legitimate discourse on Israel. This ‘closed-tent’ approach has sometimes pushed critics into the arms of the delegitimizers.
The combined effect of the delegitimizers' ‘open-tent’ approach and Israel's supporters’ ‘closed tent’ approach has led to the latter being outnumbered, with the center field seized by Israel's adversaries. Reut believes that this trend was the central cause for Israel being overwhelmed in 2006-2009 by a global, systemic campaign against its legitimacy. In recent years, the assault on Israel's right to exist has driven a wedge between many Jews and their communities, turning Israel from a unifying issue into a divisive one.