After three contentious election campaigns Israel's new government has been sworn in. IDI's experts weigh-in with their recommendations on the most important issues on the agenda. Prof. Amichai Cohen writes about the matters that should be at the top of the agenda to improve Israel's security and resilience.
The Government’s To Do List
Regulate the powers for undertaking military operations. The definition of the issues on which the security cabinet can make decisions, must be expanded to include not only declarations of war, but also any significant military operations. The functioning of the security cabinet should be anchored in legislation.
Amend the Basic Law: The Government, regarding declaration of a state of emergency, so that such a declaration states the nature of emergency (a specific security threat, earthquake, epidemic, etc.) and the rationale for the declaration. This will prevent the government from wielding powers granted to it in a state of emergency in ways that are unconnected to a specific state of emergency.
Amend the Basic Law: The Government, regarding emergency regulations, so that they will not apply to the activities of the Knesset or of the courts, which should have the authority to set regulations on their activities during a state of emergency. Emergency regulations on the activities of the media should require Knesset approval.
Legislate regulations on the deployment of the IDF in the management of civilian crises: These regulations should tighten the required oversight of Knesset committees over the deployment of the IDF in such contexts; define the areas of activity in which the IDF can engage; and clarify that the IDF can take over “management” of an event only if it has been declared as a “civilian emergency event” under the terms of the Police Act.