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Op-ed

The Security Check Appeal: Another Extension of the Judgment

Eli Bahar, former legal adviser to the General Security Service, analyzes the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to postpone ruling on a petition requesting the elimination of ethnic security checks in Israeli airports.

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Op-ed

Half-Measures in the War on Terror: An Israeli Perspective

In an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Prof. Yuval Shany discuss the need for measures, laws, and institutions designed to combat the war on terror in order to strike a balance between concern for national security and the need to safeguard democratic values such as human rights and the rule of law.

On an Appropriate Evacuation and Inappropriate Petitions for Postponement
Op-ed

On an Appropriate Evacuation and Inappropriate Petitions for Postponement

Attorney Amir Fuchs responds to Research Fellow Yair Sheleg's article "Appropriate and Inappropriate Evacuation," and takes exception to some of the arguments that it raised regarding the evacuation of settlements in Judea and Samaria on the basis of property rights.

Of Whistleblowers and Leakers
Op-ed

Of Whistleblowers and Leakers

On May 30th, 2012 Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced his intention to indict <em>Haaretz</em> journalist Uri Blau on charges of aggravated espionage for his role in the Anat Kamm affair. IDI Senior Researcher Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of the Institute's Media Reform Project, responds to this decision.

The Tal Law: Judicial Responsibility at its Best
Op-ed

The Tal Law: Judicial Responsibility at its Best

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer presents a contrasting view to Prof. Yedidia Stern's assertion that the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling on the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service in Israel is "<a href="http://en.idi.org.il/analysis/articles/judicial-activism-at-its-height">Judicial Activism at its Height</a>." 

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Op-ed

Israel's Political Parties: Strengthen the Party, not the Cult of Personality

Prof. Gideon Rahat, Director of Research of IDI's Political Reform project, recommends several changes that can help strengthen Israel's political parties and restore them to reasonable performance.

The Finest or Worst Hour of Israeli Politics?
Op-ed

The Finest or Worst Hour of Israeli Politics?

The nocturnal formation of a new coalition, just as legislation to dissolve the Knesset was about to be passed, left many wondering if this was Israeli politics at its best or at its worst. Dr. Dana Blander explores both sides of this episode, which is likely to redefine what is forbidden, permitted, and worthwhile in Israeli politics.

Appropriate and Inappropriate Evacuation
Op-ed

Appropriate and Inappropriate Evacuation

IDI Senior Researcher Yair Sheleg shares his thoughts on the differences between the evacuation of Yamit and the Sinai Peninsula in the past, and the upcoming evacuations of Migron and the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El.

The Electoral System: Strengthen the Foundations before Fixing the Roof
Op-ed

The Electoral System: Strengthen the Foundations before Fixing the Roof

Dr. Ofer Kenig of IDI's Political Reform project discusses the need for electoral reform in Israel, recommending the adoption of a regional-proportional system in particular.

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IDI Experts: New Coalition Presents Historic Opportunities but also Dangers

IDI experts respond to the coalition deal that brought Kadima into the government just as the call for new elections was being finalized.

Basic Law: Legislation – A Lethal Blow to the Supreme Court
Op-ed

Basic Law: Legislation – A Lethal Blow to the Supreme Court

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Adv. Amir Fuchs analyze the proposed legislation that would allow the Knesset to reinstate laws that have been struck down by the Israeli High Court and warn of a threat to judicial review and civil liberties.

Israel Independence Day – For What Kind of State?
Op-ed

Israel Independence Day – For What Kind of State?

What kind of state are we celebrating when we commemorate Israel Independence Day? Prof. Yedidia Stern discusses the tension between the "Jewish" and "democratic" aspects of Israeli's identity and explores the attacks of the concept "Jewish state" by three fundamentalist camps: religious, ultra-nationalist, and liberal.

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Op-ed

The Allure of Miracles

In a Passover article in The Jerusalem Post, Prof. Yedidia Stern discusses the tension between relying on miracles and assuming responsibility and asserts that miracles, no matter how significant they may be, are not a life plan for individuals or for the Jewish people.

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Op-ed

The Netanyahu Government: In Praise of Stability?

The second Netanyahu government, which recently marked three years in office, is Israel's most stable government in 25 years. But is stability a good thing? IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig shares his thoughts on this matter.

Individual and Communal Responsibility for the Poor in the Jewish and Democratic State

Individual and Communal Responsibility for the Poor in the Jewish and Democratic State

Why didn't the religious community in Israel participate in the socio-economic protest of the summer of 2011? IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Shahar Lifshitz reflects on this question and discusses the need to develop a pluralistic language that includes both particularistic Jewish values and universal democratic values.

Mass Transport on Shabbat and the Conflict between Religion and State
Article

Mass Transport on Shabbat and the Conflict between Religion and State

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern sets the  controversy over mass transportation on Shabbat and holidays in Israel in a broader context, and distinguished between the need for an Israeli-Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) rather than a religious Shabbat.

Justice vs. Law: King Solomon and Ivan the Terrible
Op-ed

Justice vs. Law: King Solomon and Ivan the Terrible

The death of John Demjanjuk of natural causes at a ripe old age left many Israelis feeling that an opportunity for justice was missed. Did the Israeli legal system fail when it acquitted Demjanjuk of crimes against humanity? IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern distinguishes between justice and law, and expresses pride that the Israeli Supreme Court ruled as it did. 

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Op-ed

The Primary System in Israel: A Balance Sheet

The frequent criticism of the Israeli primary system by politicians, the media, and academics often creates the impression that the system should be retired and replaced by a new one. In the article below, which was written prior to the Kadima primaries in March 2012, IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig surveys the arguments against primaries, analyzes the validity of the criticisms, and explores ways of addressing the weak points of the system.

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Article

State Involvement in Equitable Distribution: A Comparison of the Jewish and Arab Sectors in Israel

An article on the role of the State in the redistribution of economic resources during the first decade of the 21st century, which was written as part of IDI’s Arab-Jewish Relations project.

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Op-ed

A Preemptive Strike on Iran: Who has the Authority to Decide?

As the world considers the threat of a nuclear Iran, Israeli public discourse has focused primarily on whether or not Israel should launch a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. But who has the authority to decide whether a military operation should be conducted? In this article, IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and researcher Eyal Tsur explore the strengths and weaknesses of the current division of responsibility regarding this matter, and recommend ways of improving the system.

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Op-ed

Menachem Begin on Democracy and Constitutional Values

Although some in Israel hold nationalism and liberalism to be mutually exclusive, former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was both a proud nationalist and an unwavering guardian of liberal principles. As the Jewish world commemorates the 20th anniversary of Begin's death, IDI is pleased to present "Menachem Begin on Democracy and Constitutional Values," a booklet by IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs, which was originally published in Hebrew on the eve of Yom Kippur, 2011.

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Op-ed

The Facts, and Nothing But the Facts

In an article in The Jerusalem Post, IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon discusses the desired role for commissions of inquiry in Israel. 

If They Give, They Will Receive

If They Give, They Will Receive

In this response to the Supreme Court ruling on the Tal Law, IDI Senior Researcher Yair Sheleg asserts that the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service is an unparalleled <em>Hillul Hashem</em>—a desecration of the Name of God, and shares his views of a possible solution.

The Tal Law: Judicial Activism at its Height
Op-ed

The Tal Law: Judicial Activism at its Height

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Tal Law, after 30 years of avoiding the issue of the exemption of ultra-Orthodox Jews from military service, is an expression of judicial activism that illustrates the transformation that the Israeli Supreme Court has undergone in the last generation. In this op-ed, originally published in Hebrew in <em>Makor Rishon</em>, IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern asserts that the Court went too far in this ruling and that its activism is hard to justify.

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Article

Measuring Israeli Democracy (2011): Epistemological, Methodological, and Ethical Dilemmas

This paper, which was prepared for presentation at a conference of the WZB Social Science Research Center in Berlin by IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Tamar Hermann, shares the dilemmas faced by the Guttman Center research team in preparing the annual Israeli Democracy Index in general and in preparing 2011 Israeli Democracy Index in particular. 

Is Administrative Detention the Right Tool for Fighting Terrorism?
Op-ed

Is Administrative Detention the Right Tool for Fighting Terrorism?

On February 21, 2012, just before the High Court of Justice was to hear his petition, Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan agreed to end his life threatening hunger strike after Israeli authorities agreed to release him in April, at the end of four months of administrative detention. Attorney Elad Gil explores basic questions about the use of administrative detention in Israel and highlights lessons learned from the Adnan affair.

Make the Ultra-Orthodox Serve
Op-ed

Make the Ultra-Orthodox Serve

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern sets the  controversy over mass transportation on Shabbat and holidays in Israel in a broader context, and distinguished between the need for an Israeli-Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) rather than a religious Shabbat.

In the Aftermath of the Tal Law
Op-ed

In the Aftermath of the Tal Law

Will the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling that the Tal Law is unconstitutional really guarantee that the burden of Israel's defense will be shared equally by the country's citizens? IDI's Prof. Yedidia Stern warns that this ruling may actually hinder the integration of the Haredi community into Israeli society rather than promoting it.

Yair Lapid in a Splinter Party Arena
Op-ed

Yair Lapid in a Splinter Party Arena

Israeli journalist Yair Lapid's announced intention to enter politics sparked both excitement and speculation as to whether he planned to start his own party or to join one of the existing parties. While IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon applauds the entrance of talented, committed people into politics, he stresses the need for them to join one of the large, existing parties in order to stabilize the political system. 

IDI Responds to the Bar Association Bill
Article

IDI Responds to the Bar Association Bill

On January 3, 2012, IDI published an advertisement on the front page of Haaretz calling on Prime Minister Netanyahu to reconsider the "Bar Association Bill."