In late 2009, a series of crimes were committed by individuals who hailed from different sectors of Israeli society—Russian, ultra-Orthodox, the settlers, and the Israeli upper class. These crimes were attributed to the actualization of traits stereotypically associated with the "tribe" of each perpetrator. In an op-ed in <em>Yedioth Aharonoth</em>, Prof. Yedidia Z. tern warns against public displays of tolerance that create a cultural "city of refuge" that condones such behavior, and calls on the leaders of each "tribe" to assume responsibility and take action to eradicate the negative behavior associated with their camp.
Researcher Michael Philippov exposes stereotypical views of Russian immigrants and suggests that criminality is a product of Israeli society's obtuseness and indifference. He encourages Israel to consider Aliyah absorption seriously and to focus on fundamental problems such as the lack of development of the peripheral regions and insufficient investment in education.
In an article in the Hebrew journal Eretz Acheret, IDI Vice President Yedidia Stern discusses the tension between two civilizations - western-liberal and traditional-Jewish - in Israel, and asserts that the agents of influence in Israeli society prefer to present these two values as mutually exclusive alternatives that are set up for a culture war. To read the full article published in Eretz Acheret, click here.
This op-ed by IDI Prof. Yuval Shany argues that despite the Goldstone Report’s shortcomings, it strengthens the demand to investigate claims raised against the IDF through an extra-military entity. As he sees it, the main question to address is whether the army's internal investigation of "Operation Cast Lead" meets the requirements of international law.
In this article from The Jerusalem Post, Dan Izenberg considers the impact of the Goldstone report as "political and not legal." The article points to mistakes Israel had made after Operation Cast Lead, and suggests that the current laws of war should be changed, as they do not address the new reality involving civilians in warfare.
A measure introduced by US Senator Benjamin Cardin, which would create a status called "qualified newspaper cooperation," has spurred debate in the discussion about the future of print media. In this article from <em>The Seventh Eye</em>, Hanoch Marmari explains the dangers of US legislative efforts to define "newspapers."
In her article Adi Mintz argues that while for some the Disengagement in 2005 represented a pinnacle of democracy, she experienced it as a deterioration of democracy. At the center of her argument is what she considers to be Ariel Sharon's referendum-dismissive nature, as she suggests that what took place during the Disengagement was not a "truly democratic struggle for public opinion."
Dr. Arye Carmon, co-founder and president of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), discusses how the lack of a constitution is an internal existential threat to Israel. Dr. Carmon's approach is inclusive and integrative, including such remedies as one-ballot elections and a Constitution by Consensus.
It is a well known fact that the general public in Israel is dissatisfied with the government. It is a lesser known fact that in spite of this low approval rating, the Israeli public clearly prefers to receive social and financial services—such as education and healthcare—from the State, and not from philanthropists, private businesses or civil society organizations.
The question of the "Arab vote" arises in Israel prior to every general election. In this article originally published in IDI's Hebrew journal Parliament, Karin Tamar Schafferman explains why Arab Israeli citizens often choose not to vote and how this phenomenon might play out in the 2009 Israeli elections.
The question of the "Arab vote" arises in Israel prior to every general election. Following "Operation Cast Lead," Israel's large-scale military operation in Gaza which preceded the 2009 elections, the question shifted from "how will Arab citizens vote" to "will Arab citizens vote at all?" In this article originally published in Hebrew in IDI's online journal <em>Parliament</em>, Ms. Karin Tamar Schafferman explains why Arab Israeli citizens choose not to vote and how this phenomenon might play out in the 2009 Israeli elections.
IDI Researcher Dr. Dana Blander examines the statutory and customary roles of the Speaker of the Knesset and considers whether this is a symbolic job or one that has real influence on the operations of the Knesset. In addition, she compares the powers and functions of the Knesset Speaker with the corresponding roles in Great Britain and Australia.
Mr. Shmulik Nili explains how Avigdor Lieberman is gradually being identified as an important national, political alternative. According to Nili, Lieberman has blurred his position on the traditional Right-Left political spectrum by acknowledging the legitimacy of a Palestinian state, addressing the flaws in Israel's political configuration and more.
On December 17–19, 2008, IDI hosted an international workshop entitled Anti-Politics: Citizens, Politics and the Political Profession. Mr. John Lloyd, who participated in the workshop, shared this article with the IDI website in honor of the occasion. A shorter version of this article was published in Prospect Magazine, Issue 155, February 2009.
According to Israel's Basic Law, following general elections the president appoints a Knesset Member to form the new government. In the wake of the 2009 Israeli general election, Benjamin Netanyahu was chosen – even though he did not lead the largest party. Dr. Dana Blander proposes the establishment of a clear set of rules which would automatically give the leader of the largest party the power to form the incoming government, obviating ambiguity surrounding the selection process of the Prime Minister.
Mr. Nir Atmor of IDI's Political Reform program writes about the role of online campaigns in the 2009 Israeli general elections. The weeks preceding the elections revealed significant attempts by political parties to utilize the Internet as a primary campaigning instrument. Atmor applauds the politicians' "wisdom in adapting to a new technological reality", with the Internet at its core.