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Who are Israel's Haredim?
Article

Who are Israel's Haredim?

New statistics shed light on a population that was once hidden behind "walls of holiness." Today, those walls are beginning to break.

What these Conservative Supreme Court Justices Won’t Do
Op-ed

What these Conservative Supreme Court Justices Won’t Do

The four new Judicial Appointments Committee selections to the Supreme Court last month have led to the usual partisan responses, breaking down along the lines of “winners” and “losers.” Despondent claims of an “anti-constitutional revolution” are being made simultaneously with celebratory assertions of “making history.” The facts, however, are quite different.

The Shabbat Wars: A Guide for the Perplexed on the 'Status Quo' … and a Possible Solution
Article

The Shabbat Wars: A Guide for the Perplexed on the 'Status Quo' … and a Possible Solution

A summary of the legal situation in Israel regarding Shabbat observance.

Privatizing Religion
Article

Privatizing Religion

Yair Ettinger discerns between different streams of Religious-Zionist Jews in Israeli society, and analyzes how these schisms play out in the socio-political arena. This piece was originally published by Brookings.

 

Religion, State, and the Jewish Identity Crisis in Israel
Article

Religion, State, and the Jewish Identity Crisis in Israel

Yedidia Stern examines the tension between religion and state in Israel by exploring several key areas of dispute in Jewish Israeli society and politics. This paper was first published by Brookings.

A Bitter Failure of Israel’s Democracy
Op-ed

A Bitter Failure of Israel’s Democracy

While there is no way to know whether the military picture of the recent Gaza war would have been different had members of the security cabinet been kept abreast of the tunnel threat, there can be no doubt that what occurred was a failure of Israel’s democracy.

Innovation was the Epic Fail of 2016
Op-ed

Innovation was the Epic Fail of 2016

In Israel, we talk a lot about innovation. But what does the term really mean?

Pardon Requests in Cases Brought Before Israeli Military Courts: How Do They Work?
Article

Pardon Requests in Cases Brought Before Israeli Military Courts: How Do They Work?

Even before the conclusion of the Elor Azaria trial, there were calls for the 'Hebron Shooter' to be pardoned. Under such circumstances, what does a pardon entail and how can an IDF soldier who had been sentenced in a military court of law be granted one?

Happy Birthday, Knesset!
Article

Happy Birthday, Knesset!

As the Knesset, Israel’s legislature, marks its birthday, IDI takes the opportunity to consider two aspects about it: its members’ social composition and its relative size.

The Future of Israel’s Political Parties is on Facebook
Op-ed

The Future of Israel’s Political Parties is on Facebook

Harnessing the power of readily available technological tools to promote political engagement and revitalize intra-party democratic practices is essential for strengthening party institutions and restoring the public’s faith in government.

Israel’s Collision Course with the International Community
Op-ed

Israel’s Collision Course with the International Community

The primary significance of Resolution 2334 is that it strengthens other initiatives whose purpose is to punish Israel, its leaders and businesses for their involvement in the settlement enterprise. 

Religious Zionism’s Budding Romance with Capitalism
Op-ed

Religious Zionism’s Budding Romance with Capitalism

Religious Zionism is based on a nationalistic, even hawkish, position on foreign affairs. Such an ethos, especially in the Middle East, thus demands a great willingness to sacrifice. However, this desire to serve the greater good can only be maintained over time if a sense of solidarity and mutual responsibility unites the members of Israeli society.

Gotta Have Faith: The Knesset's Top Priority for 2017
Op-ed

Gotta Have Faith: The Knesset's Top Priority for 2017

The Knesset’s top priority for 2017 should be to restore the Israeli public’s belief in its political institutions.

A History Lesson
Op-ed

A History Lesson

Experience and history repeatedly teach us that what was once widely accepted as an irrefutable truth can be revealed to be a total falsehood.

Prime Minister Netanyahu's Frightening Facebook Post
Op-ed

Prime Minister Netanyahu's Frightening Facebook Post

Instead of accepting the Arab local authorities’ proposal for a dialogue and the preparation of a comprehensive joint strategic plan for permitting construction in the Arab locales, the government is continuing to destroy Arab homes in Israel ... and there is no solution on the horizon.

Is Israeli Society Frail Or Flourishing?
Op-ed

Is Israeli Society Frail Or Flourishing?

Is Israeli democracy weak, fragile and on the brink of collapse, or is it robust, stable and resilient? 

Could the Settlement Regulation Bill lead to an international legal battle for Israel?
Article

Could the Settlement Regulation Bill lead to an international legal battle for Israel?

Recent events surrounding the evacuation of the Israeli settlement of Amona have ignited a long-simmering debate within Israeli society regarding the construction of a small portion of settlements on privately-owned Palestinian land in Judea and Samaria.

Israel’s Most Effective Political Lobby: Right-wing Nationalists on Social Media
Op-ed

Israel’s Most Effective Political Lobby: Right-wing Nationalists on Social Media

Elor Azaria’s case shows how online pressure by extremist voices can swiftly go viral in the Israeli mainstream, forcing politicians to choose: Play catch up or resist, but at great personal cost.

Azaria and the ‘Helmand Incident’
Op-ed

Azaria and the ‘Helmand Incident’

As the IDF's military court handed down its verdict in the case of Elor Azaria, the soldier accused by the military prosecutor of shooting and killing a terrorist who no longer constituted a clear and present danger, it is an appropriate moment to recall the recent experience of another soldier in another army.

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Op-ed

After the Elor Azaria Trial:

Israel's senior political leaders are playing with fire when they publicly justify violating the rules of war and ethical conduct. Troublingly, a majority of the Israeli Jewish public agrees.

Has an IDF Soldier Ever Been Convicted of Manslaughter?
Article

Has an IDF Soldier Ever Been Convicted of Manslaughter?

In the last decade, no member of the IDF has been convicted of an offense as serious as that with which Azaria is charged.

Is Israeli Society Falling Apart?
Op-ed

Is Israeli Society Falling Apart?

The 2016 Israeli Democracy Index, which was published last week by the Israel Democracy Institute, reveals that our Israeli society is generally strong, optimistic, united and confident.

Policy Statement: The 'Facebook Bill' (Hebrew)
Policy Statement

Policy Statement: The 'Facebook Bill' (Hebrew)

Ahead of a recent discussion by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on the “Facebook Bill,” IDI’s Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler wrote a policy statement in which she called the bill non-applicable to the modern day. She said the bill is likely to cause disproportionate censorship through what will be dysfunctional legal proceedings.

Replace ‘Who is a Jew?’ with ‘Who is a Jew for What?’
Op-ed

Replace ‘Who is a Jew?’ with ‘Who is a Jew for What?’

In a time of fluid identity, Jews understand the need to be pragmatic in defining Jewishness.

More Action, Less Words: Mixed Marriages and the Future of Jewish Identity
Op-ed

More Action, Less Words: Mixed Marriages and the Future of Jewish Identity

In an era of hyper individualism, few choose to live as Jews simply in order to belong to the tribe.

New Record! Netanyahu Now Longest Continuously Serving Israeli Prime Minister

New Record! Netanyahu Now Longest Continuously Serving Israeli Prime Minister

As of November 22, 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu will have occupied the Prime Minister’s Office for 2,793 days in a row, thereby surpassing David Ben-Gurion for the longest continuous tenure as premier in Israeli history. 

Rabbinical vs. Personal Converts to Judaism: What’s the Difference?
Op-ed

Rabbinical vs. Personal Converts to Judaism: What’s the Difference?

These two types of converts display different profiles and patterns of Jewish engagement, and both differ from the 5.1 million individuals who were born Jewish.

New Jew?
Op-ed

New Jew?

Judaism is no longer intimately and inexorably linked to religious observance.