Israeli public opinion is not nearly as anti-democratic as is often depicted. Israeli leadership, however, is another story. In this latest piece, a contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights, IDI's Professor Tamar Hermann explains Israel's challenging dichotomy between democratic ideological commitments and practical defense concerns.
IDI's Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Amir Fuchs call on lawmakers to oppose a bill that would give more prominence to traditional Jewish law (Mishpat Ivri) in the Israeli legal system than it currently has. Read the full article on the Haaretz website (premium)
The High Holy Days are a time of reflection and personal growth. But since the founding of the State of Israel, personal repentance is no longer enough. IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern stresses the need to transform Jewish traditions from the personal sphere to the public and calls for collective, national repentance.
IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer remembers Israeli Supreme Court Deputy President Mishael Cheshin, a luminary of the Israeli judicial system and warrior against governmental corruption, who regularly spent time at IDI and whose clear voice on legal issues will be sorely missed.
Our latest Peace Index: The Jewish public is divided on the results of last year's Operation Protective Edge. Some 50% define the result as "moderately good" or "very good," 47% as "not good at all" or "not so good." About three-quarters of Israeli Arabs (73.5%) view the operation's results as not good.
Dr. Shuki Friedman explores the reasons behind the rabbinate's decline, arguing that the "trend towards privatization of religious services heralds not only the death of the rabbinate – it creates a de-facto separation between religion and the state."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current government is far less polarized and more right-wing than any of the last three governments of Israel. For this reason, it was expected that its first 100 days would yield results.
IDI President Yohanan Plesner writes that while democracy may be considered a fragile regime that has difficulties coping with extremism, there are still powerful means in the democratic toolbox that can and must be utilized to deal with the threats of homegrown terrorism and hatred of the "other", which can undermine Israel's character as a democratic state.
Professor Yedidia Stern argues that the question of how we should relate to the Temple Mount is more complex than any other issue on Israel's public agenda. Discussing this question poses a serious challenge, which must be approached with the utmost sensitivity.
In an interview with Voice of Israel radio, IDI President Yohanan Plesner explains why electoral reforms are necessary to increase government stability and to empower governments to implement their agendas.
In a poetic piece written for Yom Kippur, IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern asserts that prayer should echo the existential human experience and reflect dialogue with alternative cultures. His timeless message: We need each other and share the same human condition.
In advance of the 2015 Knesset elections, IDI compiled a booklet of recommendations on how to reduce tension between religion and state in Israel for Israeli policy-makers, based on its extensive research over the years.