Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev decided to form a state commission of inquiry to investigate the police’s reported use of NSO spyware to hack the phones of decision makers, public figures and journalists. Dr. Dana Blander, a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, explains the differences between Israel's various types of commissions of inquiry.
Yohanan Plesner and Prof. Tamar Hermann discuss the 2021 Israeli Democracy Index presented to President Isaac Herzog earlier this month. Published annually since 2003, the Democracy Index provides an in-depth assessment of Israeli democracy based on a comprehensive survey of public opinion. The Index’s analysis of survey findings creates a database for informed decision-making among policymakers seeking to strengthen Israeli democracy.
Israel’s rules governing privacy and related laws have experienced a dramatic past few weeks. These developments started with an Israeli Supreme Court ruling in favor of relaxed rules governing cellphone search warrants and ended with an expose revealing that Israeli police have been using NSO Group spyware allegedly without warrants or explicit statutory authorization.
Recent media reports alleging that the police are using controversial surveillance software to spy on Israeli citizens has troubling implications and the current Protection of Privacy Law is not equipped to cope with today’s reality. Israel badly needs new legislation that is up to the challenges of the information age.
54% of Israeli say that the pandemic has caused them to change their daily routine, and 45% said that they have made significant changes such as switching jobs or halting their studies. As 2021 drew to a close, more than a quarter of those participating in the survey said they are considering or intending to leave their current workplace in the foreseeable future.
A small majority agree that the Supreme Court should have the power to overturn laws passed by the Knesset when democratic principles are contradicted, while a high rate of the Israeli public, primarily from the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox, believe that the selection of judges in Israel is based on political considerations.