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Israel's New Conversion Laws Give Power to the People
Op-ed

Israel's New Conversion Laws Give Power to the People

The Supreme Court’s decision to recognize conversions performed by private Orthodox rabbinical courts in Israel is nothing less than a historic drama. The immediate significance is the loss of the Chief Rabbinate’s Orthodox monopoly over conversions, but it’s also a milestone in the privatization of religious services on the road to the Chief Rabbinate’s loss of relevance. Originally published by Haaretz.

‘Spotlight’ Won the Oscar, But Can Investigative Journalism Survive In Today’s Media Environment?
Op-ed

‘Spotlight’ Won the Oscar, But Can Investigative Journalism Survive In Today’s Media Environment?

The Oscar award-winning “Spotlight” captures the mix of frustration, joy, drudgery and thrill that goes into every great investigative story, reminding viewers of the power of investigative journalism to reveal the abuse of power in the public and private sectors. Could the Pulitzer-prize winning work of the Boston Globe be replicated today?

Jewish, Democratic and Equal
Op-ed

Jewish, Democratic and Equal

There is a necessary condition that must be fulfilled for the existence of our nation-state to be justified: there must be an unconditional guarantee of civic equality for our national minorities. In this area, there is still much to be done.

Standing Up for Democracy
Op-ed

Standing Up for Democracy

One of the most fundamental principles of democratic government is the delicate system of checks and balances that prevents the arbitrary exercise of power by the majority. Israel, the sole democracy in a dangerous and unstable neighborhood, has long been an exemplar of these checks and balances. We cannot allow Israel's democratic foundations to gradually erode. Israel’s survival and prosperity hinge, in the final analysis, on its democratic vitality.

The Winning Strategy
Article

The Winning Strategy

Victory in today’s open-ended asymmetric wars is not obtained just on the military front, but must also take into account international legitimization, media perceptions and national resilience, say Ami Ayalon and Eli Bahar of IDI’s Center for National Security and Democracy.

The Road to Better Governance
Op-ed

The Road to Better Governance

The start-up nation owes it success to the democratic system of government established by its founders. Israel’s liberal democracy not only unleashes the creative talents of individual Israelis, it fosters a business environment favorable for the establishment of companies with disruptive potential on a global scale. However, Israel’s continued success should not be taken for granted. Indeed, there are a number of signs that Israeli governance may be weakening.

The Moral Imperative
Op-ed

The Moral Imperative

In an op-ed first published by The Jerusalem Report, Prof. Yedidia Stern says this intifada of knives has left Israel in a twilight zone. It is not a time of war, in which the army is permitted to use arms more freely. But nor is it a time of peace in which any use of arms is seen as most irregular. Sharp differences of opinion between the public and the army could lead to a crisis in public confidence in the military high command. There is a crying need for responsible leadership.

Hebron Shooting Demands IDF Investigation
Op-ed

Hebron Shooting Demands IDF Investigation

IDI's Prof. Amichai Cohen explains why Israel had to launch a swift and effective investigation into the actions of the solider that shot a neutralized terrorist in Hebron. This article originally appeared on the Times of Israel

Time for Home Demolitions to be Tested by the Supreme Court
Op-ed

Time for Home Demolitions to be Tested by the Supreme Court

Are home demolitions legal? And are they effective? Both IDF commanders and Israeli Supreme Court judges have raised doubts on the matter. In an op-ed published by The Jerusalem Post, IDI's Tal Mimran says the time has come to reevaluate Israeli policy.

Turning Research into Action
Article

Turning Research into Action

IDI experts analyze challenges to Israel’s democratic values and institutions and work with decision-makers to implement concrete
proposals to strengthen Israeli democracy.

Responsibility to Protect – a Right of Self-Defense for All States against Atrocities
Op-ed

Responsibility to Protect – a Right of Self-Defense for All States against Atrocities

This essay makes a case for the international community’s right of self-defense against atrocities, through its members, and to refer briefly to the challenge of implementing such a right. 

Proposals to Transfer the Arab Neighborhoods of Eastern Jerusalem
Op-ed

Proposals to Transfer the Arab Neighborhoods of Eastern Jerusalem

Dr. Adv. Shmuel Berkovitz provides demographic, economic and security reasons why the recent surge of voices (including Zionist Union leader MK Isaac Herzog) calling for the de-annexation of most of the Arab neighborhoods and villages on the outskirts of Jerusalem are misguided.

Israel is Wrong to Uproot Arab-Bedouin Citizens to Make Room for Jews
Op-ed

Israel is Wrong to Uproot Arab-Bedouin Citizens to Make Room for Jews

Few stories illustrate the unfeeling and aggressive attitude of the Israeli government toward the Arab-Bedouin population of the Negev as well as the case of Atir-Umm al-Hiran. In this op-ed, which was first published by JTA, Eli Bahar and Thabet Abu Ras of the Abraham Fund discuss Israel's obligations toward its minority citizens.

Israel’s Unraveling at the Western Wall
Op-ed

Israel’s Unraveling at the Western Wall

Yair Sheleg, head of IDI's Religion and State program, argues that there are multiple forms of Jewish identity and that religious coercion should not be used to oppose a reality that history created.

Judicial Appointment Highlights Dramatic Changes Among Israeli Haredim
Op-ed

Judicial Appointment Highlights Dramatic Changes Among Israeli Haredim

Earlier this month, change snuck in through the back door of Israel's court system when Israel’s first ultra-Orthodox judge was appointed. This article was first published by the Jewish Press.

Hovering on Shifting Ground
Op-ed

Hovering on Shifting Ground

The Peace Index has shown us that when it comes to the political situation, the majority of the Israeli Jewish population is in a conceptual fog. On the one hand, the Israeli center and center-left has become growingly frustrated and disillusioned with the option of peace as it was perceived in the early ‘90s. On the other hand, the center and center-right have come to acknowledge that there must be a solution and that this solution could mean some type of splitting of the land, most probably a two-state solution. This article was first published by the Jerusalem Post.

The Mikveh Bill: When My Purity Means Your Impurity
Op-ed

The Mikveh Bill: When My Purity Means Your Impurity

IDI Vice President Yedidia Stern says, "There is no way to justify this ultra-Orthodox sectarianism, as it prevents others from having the freedom to exercise their religion at public facilities. Allowing ritual baths to be monopolized by the Rabbinate would cause grave harm without any commensurate benefit."

This article was first published by Times of Israel.

Legislative Solutions in Israel and America: Comparing Apples to Oranges
Op-ed

Legislative Solutions in Israel and America: Comparing Apples to Oranges

The Knesset is currently considering a proposed amendment, sponsored by the Prime Minister, to Basic Law: The Knesset. It would allow a special majority of 90 Knesset members to suspend an MK for an unlimited period of time. In effect, this would be tantamount to an expulsion, with the suspended parliamentarian replaced by the next person on his or hers party’s candidates list. This article was first published by JNS.org.

Women in Israeli Politics
Op-ed

Women in Israeli Politics

The number of women in Knesset has increased dramatically to five times what it was 25 years ago. The share of women in the Israeli Knesset is now almost 27%, making it higher than in the U.S. Senate (20%) or the House of Representatives (19.4%). 

The Road to Hi-Tech Runs through Taibeh
Op-ed

The Road to Hi-Tech Runs through Taibeh

The integration of talented Arab employees into Israel’s hi-tech sector could relieve the human-resources shortage for employers. Encouraging Arabs to enter the hi-tech industry could improve their economic situation significantly, which would reduce inequality and contribute to a reduction of social tensions in the Arab community.

Women in Israeli Politics

Women in Israeli Politics

The number of women in Knesset has increased dramatically to five times what it was 25 years ago. The share of women in the Israeli Knesset is now almost 27%, making it higher than in the U.S. Senate (20%) or the House of Representatives (19.4%).

Press Freedom, Democracy Under Fire
Op-ed

Press Freedom, Democracy Under Fire

While in Israel there is no formal constitution, freedom of expression is inherent in our Basic Laws. Yet a recent episode between the Israeli government and the foreign press placed Israel in a problematic light and was neither democratic nor right.

What Just Happened? The 2016 U.S. Elections
Op-ed

What Just Happened? The 2016 U.S. Elections

On Monday, February 1, 2016, the long and complex process in which the two major American parties choose their candidates for president began in Iowa. One of those two candidates will be the 45th President of the United States. What exactly are the presidential primaries? What makes them so long and complicated? What is their timetable and who, for now, are the main candidates? 

Bret Stephens: 'The Next US President May Not Be Pro-Israel'
Article

Bret Stephens: 'The Next US President May Not Be Pro-Israel'

“Bernie Sanders worries me. Hillary Clinton worries me. Donald Trump worries me, and frankly Ted Cruz kind of worries me too,” says Stephens.

Are Israeli soldiers at risk of prosecution abroad?
Op-ed

Are Israeli soldiers at risk of prosecution abroad?

Prof. Amichai Cohen argues that there is only one good way to prevent prosecution of Israeli soldiers abroad: Israeli authorities must conduct effective, independent, and genuine investigations in cases where there are suspicions of war crimes or other violations. This article was first published by Times of Israel.

Blinded by Technology?
Op-ed

Blinded by Technology?

How long will we continue to recite the mantra that “technology cannot be stopped?” To what extent will we take a stand and cease to permit bad social engineering? This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.

Campaign Financing in Israel
Article

Campaign Financing in Israel

A discussion of the principal issues pertaining to campaign financing in Israel, written before the Knesset elections of 2015. 

Terror triage – Who comes first?
Op-ed

Terror triage – Who comes first?

In the aftermath of the Tel-Aviv terror attack, it is becoming increasingly clear that the current round of terror will not end soon. When there are casualties of attacks, not only do security issues arise, but so do medical issues – and these can be equally as complicated. This article originally appeared in Crescent City Jewish News. 

With Approval Of Mandelblit: Time to Consider Shortcomings of Outgoing Weinstein
Op-ed

With Approval Of Mandelblit: Time to Consider Shortcomings of Outgoing Weinstein

As Israel gets ready to transition to its new Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, now is a good time to ask ourselves: Was Yehuda Weinstein a good Attorney General? An opinion piece by Guy Lurie, which originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post. 

Torture Laws Must Apply To Arab And Jew Alike
Op-ed

Torture Laws Must Apply To Arab And Jew Alike

Dr. Mordechai Kremnitzer argues that it is time for Israel to examine the Shin Bet security service's regulations, based on the assumption that they apply to all residents of Israel. One law must apply to all suspected perpetrators of terrorist acts — Jews and Arabs alike.