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 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.
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>."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.