Director of International Communications
Phone: +972 58-555-1043
New survey of Israeli workers reveals changes in levels of satisfaction post COVID pandemic: Most workers in Israel are satisfied with their work-life balance, despite the fact that half of them work more than their official number of hours; around a third report difficulty with functioning in family life
The Israel Democracy Institute congratulates President Isaac Herzog on his extraordinary efforts. While the President’s plan contains some problematic elements, if it were to be adopted in its entirety as a package, we would support it because it safeguards our democracy and bolsters key elements of our constitutional foundations.
The seventh annual report on ultra-Orthodox society in Israel found that in 2021 78% of ultra-Orthodox women and 51% of the men participate in the workforce; preliminary reports show a slight improvement in the first three quarters of 2022 - 80% and 53% respectively. In addition 44% of the ultra-Orthodox in Israel live in poverty
Ahead of the annual 2022 National Security and Democracy IDI published a special survey to examine the views of Jewish Israeli on a series of issues relating to their relationship with the IDF and the country’s security challenges. The survey found that while there is wide support for opening the ranks to women in combat units and a large plurality would prefer that their children serve in the IDF’s technological units.
The conference focused on questions pertaining to the Ben Gurion-inspired concept of Mamlakhtiyut (“Statism”) and how its values can be fostered and made relevant to the current realities in Israel today. The conference, organized by IDI and ADL was part of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Israel Week for Social Solidarity and coincided with the publication of IDI’s Mamlakhtiyut in the Twenty-First Century.
IDI and the Yigal Allon Center held a special election conference for over 1,200 students from pre-army gap year programs. The conference provided an opportunity for leaders from across the political spectrum to address the issues young Israelis say are most important to them including the high cost of living and matters of religion and state.
The study, by Dr. Dana Blander, finds that Israel is the only country where sitting members of parliament serve as members of the body that administers and oversees the elections, without any threshold conditions. The members of Knesset and the other members that are party representatives sitting on the Central Election Committee have the authority to make consequential decisions regarding to the election they themselves are usually competing in - including disqualifying lists and the candidates running against them in the election.
A new study by IDI experts Prof. Yotam Margalit, Gabriel Gordon and Zak Hirsch finds that the Israeli Economy is transitioning towards occupations in which the main tasks require high analytical abilities and to a lesser extent interpersonal abilities. Occupations which mainly require routine-physical abilities are diminishing rapidly
Rabbi Yonatan Reiss, of the Belz community, on their agreement to teach a core curriculum at the opening of the conference: “The change in mindset began when I went to the Ministry of Education and said that for us Haredi public schools are not an option. It is a question of independence. The Ministry of Education agreed and said, 'OK you will be exempt, you will reach the same milestones and we will move forward.'”
The Israel Democracy Institute announced today the establishment of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for Shared Society and the creation of a prestigious new Distinguished Fellowship for former policymakers. Former President Reuven Rivlin will serve as the inaugural Joan and Irwin Jacobs Distinguished Fellow at IDI.
The Israel Democracy Institute's Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research published a special survey on the stances of Israelis on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and issues related to the conflict. The survey included both native-born Israelis and immigrants from the former Soviet Union – and found that 60% of Israelis back the government’s policy on the conflict and a large minority (44%) support absorbing refugees regardless of nationality
The Israeli Voice Index for February 2022 found that almost half of Israelis (48%) support the current policy of western countries to impose harsh sanctions on Russia but not to engage directly with military force. 37% of those surveyed believe that a military intervention is the preferred course of action.
Ronald J. Daniels, the President of Johns Hopkins University, is the new Chair of the Israel Democracy Institute’s International Advisory Council (IAC). He succeeds Prof. Gerhard Casper, President Emeritus of Stanford University, who chaired the IAC since its founding chair, the late U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, stepped down in 2014.
Finance Minister Liberman’s employment incentives for members of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community are a "mix of ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks’ and could encourage members of the Haredi community to join the labor market - however elements of the plan could also expand the existing trend of part-time employment.
Growing willingness to report sexual abuse in ultra-Orthodox society: The last two decades have seen a dramatic rise in the number of cases of sexual abuse or violence against children treated by social service agencies in ultra-Orthodox local authorities, where today- the rate of abuse is higher than in other local authorities
The second day of the conference focused on public trust in the military and the challenges peripheral communities face in the IDF. Among those presenting were Minister Matan Kahane, Minister Penina Tamano-Shata, former Justice Hanan Meltzer and Major General Eliezer Toledano, the IDF's Commander of the Southern Command.
While Israelis award the IDF good grades for its operational capabilities and ethical conduct in combat, less than a third of the public think the IDF is managing its budget well and in a fiscally-responsible manner. 47% of Jewish Israelis now think that the IDF should abandon its 'people's army' model and transition to a professional standing military.
IDI's annual conference on National Security and Democracy opened with a focus on the question of whether the current IDF model of service is sustainable, what other models should be considered and included a session on public attitudes towards the IDF. The conference is held in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
Congratulations to the Bennett government on approving the outline for lowering the age of the students exempted from service in the IDF to 21. This is a vital and necessary step that the Israel Democracy Institute has recommended in recent years. A kind of necessary evil that will lead in the short term to the entry of about 5,000 ultra-Orthodox into the labor market and thousands more in the coming years.
Avigdor Liberman, Minister of Finance, opened the first day of the 2021 Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society, saying: “We are after more than three years of political crisis without a budget, reforms or legislation. The economy ran on a kind of autopilot. We will now pursue a responsible policy, without deep cuts.
Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg, Minister of Energy Karin Elharar, Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli and Minister of Economy Orna Barbibai in a joint declaration at IDI's Conference: "We will cooperate on Israel's climate policy, to lead to an 85% reduction in Israel's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050."
The 2020 Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel found that over the last five years there has been a 38% increase in the number of ultra-Orthodox students in technological training tracks. The most in-demand subjects in academia are education and teaching, social sciences, and computer science.
The new report finds that employment rates for ultra-Orthodox women continue to rise, while those for ultra-Orthodox men remain stagnant; household income for ultra-Orthodox families is 58% lower than other Jewish Israeli households; and over the last five years - a 33% increase in the number of yeshiva and kollel students in Israel
As part of the IDI Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society, a session was held on December 16, 2020 with the participation of Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Director General of the Ministry of Health Prof. Chezy Levy, and a number of experts in the field of health who are responsible for preparing the health system for emergencies and crises.
As part of the Israel Democracy Institute’s Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society, a panel took place with the participation of Minister of Education Yoav Galant and a number of education experts, focusing on preparing the education system for the post-COVID reality. Eli Hurvitz, executive director of the Trump Foundation, served as chair of the panel.
As part of the Israel Democracy Institute’s Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society, a panel was held (Dec. 14th) on the implications of the global crisis on Israel, including the labor market and the question of the budget, US–Europe–Israel relations in the Biden era, changes in times of crisis and routine, and preparedness for future challenges.
The second day of the Israel Democracy Institute's Center for National Security and Democracy annual conference, held in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Israel office), concluded today (Wednesday). The online conference focused on public trust in the IDF, the militarization of a civilian crisis, the IDF model of service and gender equality in the military.
IDI's annual conference on National Security and Democracy, held in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Israel office), convened top officers and academic experts to discuss the changing relations between the IDF and Israeli society and draw lessons for the future from the military’s unprecedented involvement in the civilian COVID-19 crisis.
Twenty-five years after the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Israel Democracy Institute, together with the Department of Zionist Enterprises in the World Zionist Organization, hosted a special conference focused on the unique relationship between Zionism and democracy in Israel and how the country is coping with threats to the values articulated in Declaration of Independence.
In response to the Ease of Doing Business 2020 index that was published this morning, Daphna Aviram-Nitzan, director of the Center for Governance and Economics at the Israel Democracy Institute, who leads the regulation reduction project at the Institute, commented on Israel moving up 14 slots to the 35th place after 5 points improvement last year.
After Netanyahu returns mandate to the President: Most Israelis support a system based on 2 large parties and a Netanyahu-Gantz rotation for the position of prime minister. 53.5% of Israelis think Netanyahu should resign immediately, while almost half (47%) of right-wing voters believe that Netanyahu should resign if indicted.
The Israel Democracy Institute, the Kohelet Forum, Israel 2050, The National Union of Israeli Students, and the Israel Leadership Forum have joined together to call for the implementation of a "primaries on Election Day" system in Israel. This approach is often referred to among academics as the "semi-open ballot"
The majority of the public (53%) sees Israel’s situation in a positive light and is proud to be Israeli (88% of Jews and 51% of Arabs);
For the first time the #1 tension in Israeli society is the tension between Right and Left; Israel ranks high on international indicators of political participation
- “The decision is questionable. If the government is really interested in avoiding desecration of the Sabbath, and in ensuring a day of rest, it should focus its energy on stopping the illegal work currently being performed on the Sabbath, which according to reports by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, is rarely done.
The Israel Democracy Institute issued a letter to the Prime Minister regarding the Nation State Billl, asserting that if the value of equality is not anchored in the legislation alongside the other enumerated national characteristics of the state, the law may eventually erode Israel's democratic character
Following the approval of the “Cabinet Law,” allowing the government to delegate its authority to declare war to the National Security Cabinet, IDI Senior Professor Prof. Amichai Cohen, and expert on national security law, contends that the bill addresses a critical issue but has been passed too hastily
A special survey conducted by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the
Israel Democracy Institute finds: The majority of the Israeli public fears that implementation of the Override Clause by the Knesset will give unlimited power to politicians and lead to an increase in political corruption
After months of preparation, we are proud to inaugurate, along with the Tel-Aviv-Yafo Municipality, the Democracy Pavilion, celebrating 70 years of Israel’s independence. A unique multi-media experience, in full 360-degree technology, showcasing the values embedded in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the historic highlights of 70 years of independence.
A special update from the Peace Index by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute shows that that two-thirds of the Jews in Israel eat kosher for Passover outside the home and prepare the their house for the holiday - but 58% oppose the ban on cafes and restaurants from serving chametz (bread).
61% of the Jewish and Arab public believes that it is very likely that moving the American embassy to Jerusalem for Israel’s 70th Independence Day, will ignite an outbreak of violence. Nevertheless, 69% of the Jewish public think that even in light of the expectation of violence, Israel should not ask the Americans to postpone the move
"The facts revealed yesterday by the police are deeply troubling. Faced with this reality, all those who consider themselves leaders in our community, must come forth and make their position clear, rejecting such conduct forthrightly, lest moral decay spreads through our civil service and public’s trust in the government plummets.”
In light of President Trump's Declaration on Jerusalem: a large majority of the Jewish public think President Trump’s public declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was in Israel's best interest; a clear majority (over 60%) of the Israeli public agrees that Jerusalem is already divided into two cities: the eastern city and the western city
Widespread dissatisfaction with Israel's leadership and institutions; Most Israelis believe Knesset has legislated undemocratic laws and oppose taking powers of judicial review away from Supreme Court; Israelis distrust the media and rely more on traditional media than social media; Israelis are optimistic in their assessment of the overall situation of the country and its future; Israeli citizens rank high in OECD scale on political involvement
The monthly Peace Index of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, published today, found that Israelis think that the forces that unite Israeli Jews and American Jews are stronger than the forces that separate them; a significant portion of the public believe that the Prime Minister failed to deal with the Iranian threat; and a significant majority of the public think that the Recommendations Law should not be approved
With the featured participation of: Bank of Israel Governor, Education Minister, Economy Minister, Director-General of the Finance Ministry, Director-General of the Prime Minister Office, Chairman of the Histadrut Labor Federation, Director-General of Bank Leumi, Director General of Microsoft Israel and other VIPs
Ahead of the expected debate on the amendment to the public broadcasting law that is expected to take place on Sunday, IDI scholars resent a policy statement to legislators calling on them to stop this “unprofessional and shameful” legislative process and to enable the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation to go on air.
In preparation for the Knesset vote on Tuesday on the fate of the Israel Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), leaders at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) are calling on ministers to vote against the memorandum so as not to participate “in this campaign of revenge and inappropriate personal legislation.”
In addition to questions about building in or annexing parts of Judea and Samaria, the Peace Index looked at aspects of the investigations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including trust in the police and in the attorney-general. In light of what has been revealed about conversations between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes, the Peace Index looked at the public’s attitude toward Israeli media.
“The Kotel compromise presents a proper balance between the will and desire of Orthodox individuals - who are the majority of those praying at the Western Wall -- to continue praying in the main plaza as they always have, and the will and desire of other Jewish groups that want to pray in the vicinity of the Kotel according to their faith."
Ahead of today’s vote on a bill that would enable religious courts to conduct arbitration with the agreement of both parties, similar to the arbitration that takes place in other frameworks, a policy statement was sent to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation by Israel Democracy Institute’s Dr. Benny Porat.
IDI was quoted in nearly 500 articles connected to the Elor Azaria verdict, including interviews with Yohanan Plesner, Yedidia Stern, Mota Kremnitzer, Amichai Cohen, Tamar Hermann and Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler. We reached a potential 403 million individuals, through coverage in 28 countries and 42 states, plus Washington, D.C.
The Regulation Law, if passed by Israel's government will effectively nullify all previous rulings on the issue, substantially weakening Israel's Supreme Court; the government's decision would be in blatant contradiction of international law as well as Israel's commitments; will provide a boost for BDS activists around the world and confirm international community's belief that Israel is annexing the territories.
With the contentious Regulations Bill scheduled to be discussed at a special Knesset committee, the Israel Democracy Institute's 'Forum of Former Ministers' harshly criticized the proposal, stating that it "retroactively overturns a Supreme Court rulings, enables the stealing of land from its owners, violates Israeli law and accepted international legal norms and customs, and is an affront to the very concept of justice."
The Israel Democracy Institute’s Dr. Amir Fuchs came out against the statement by Minister Naftali Bennett that Elor Azaria should be immediately pardoned, even if convicted by the military court. Azaria shot a terrorist who came at soldiers with a knife, after the terrorist was disarmed. Fuchs said that Bennett’s proposal is unadvisable.
"The Knesset does not have the judicial expertise, knowledge or necessary tools to determine facts. This bill proposes a fully-blown judicial process, including granting MKs the ability to punish other MKs for criminal acts," according to a statement by Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Amir Fuchs.
An Israel Democracy Institute survey of 76 top Israeli businesspeople (C-suite) revealed that only 59 percent believe the Israeli business press is truly independent. The survey, shared during the final session of IDI's Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society also showed that a minority (38%) believe that the business press influences the Israeli economy.
IDI President Yohanan Plesner responds to a report composed today by an inter-ministerial team led by Defense Ministry Director-General Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Dan Harel suggesting that the government examine the possibility of offering discount prices on homes for members of the Haredi public who serve in the security forces.
Yesterday, IDI held a roundtable discussion on how to appoint senior-level civil service professionals, under the direction of Eli Groner, director-general of the Prime Minister's office. At the forum, Groner discussed a dialogue that will take place Sunday in the Cabinet on the subject of establishing hiring search committees.
Yesterday, a team of Israeli leaders met with President Reuven Rivlin at his residence to form a new caucus focused on restoring the public's faith in Israel's Parliament. The caucus, led by MK Elazar Stern, will work together with the Israel Democracy Institute to improve the Knesset's image.
"The Knesset is one of the most important institutions in our democracy. Improving its ability to function and its image in the eyes of the public is of extreme national importance," said IDI President Yohanan Plesner.
The majority of Israeli Jews (52.8%) say Israel applies the law equally toward Jews and Palestinians living in the West Bank, contrary to a statement made last month by U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro. However, 50.1% of respondents thought Israel would be justified in unequal application of the law toward Jews and Palestinians in the territories.
The index, polled between Dec. 29 and 30, 2015 – before the Jan. 1 Tel Aviv terror attack and before the indictments against the Jewish suspects were handed down – focuses on the Israeli public’s positions on aspects of the efforts to prevent terror attacks and on issues in the background of these incidents, such as the current level of support for the two-states-for-two-peoples solution, the relative bond to the land among Jews and Palestinians, and the balance between Israel’s Jewish and democratic components.
Ahead of Monday's deliberations and expected vote on the final draft of the World Zionist Organization settlement division bill in the House Committee of the Knesset, a representative of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) sent a sharply worded policy statement to the committee asking that it make fundamental changes to the bill. In the policy statement, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz-Altshuler, the head of IDI's Open Government project, said the bill is a dramatic failure in its lack of willingness to subject the WZO division to certain administrative laws.
Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Amir Fuchs of the Israel Democracy Institute continue to oppose an amendment to the Non-profit Organization Law (Duty of Disclosure for those Supported by Foreign State Entities) on grounds that it reduces freedom of association and expression, and is directed at restricting the activities of human rights organizations.
Following the advancement of an amendment to a Basic Law on the issue of removing the authority of the Supreme Court to intervene in decisions of the Central Elections Committee to cancel candidates or lists from participating in elections, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) sent out a sharply worded policy paper opposing this proposal.
Regarding today's vote on the state budget: The Israel Democracy Institute calls for cancelling the law by which governments fall apart (vote of no confidence) if state budgets are not passed. The current system negatively impacts the ability of members of Knesset to make sound decisions on behalf of the country, leads to corruption and members acting for personal and party gain.
The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) spoke out strongly against the graffiti painted on the Supreme Court building, discovered Nov. 4, and said it is a direct result of the slander that has been recently put out there against the court system by Israeli public activists. IDI stressed that it is the job of the Prime Minister and the parties to defend the rule of law.
A sharply worded policy statement by Israel Democracy Institute experts was sent last week to members of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation against the proposed amendment to the party funding law that allow a committee to halt funding to parties that call for placing a boycott on the state of Israel or any area of Israel, including the West Bank.
Upon the release of the findings of the international investigation of Operation Protective Edge: IDI warns that the intervention by international bodies in the investigation of the events of the Operation in Gaza undermines the basis of the international demand to establish investigative mechanisms and weakens the Israeli legal system.