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.
The Arab parties of Balad and Raam-Taal were banned last week from participating in the upcoming elections for the Knesset in February. This ruling by the Central Elections Committee is a clear indication of the dire state of Israeli politics and the ongoing deterioration of Israel's democratic character.
On December 27th, 2008, just weeks before the scheduled general elections, the IDF launched a large scale military operation in the Gaza Strip. Should elections be postponed because of war or should they be held as scheduled? IDI researcher Dr. Dana Blander discusses this question from an historical-legal perspective, drawing on Israeli historical precedents and the experiences of other democracies.
Israeli law calls for general elections every four years. However, recent Israeli governments have not survived a full term in office. In light of the 2009 elections, IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig, Knowledge Manager for the Israel Democracy Institute's website, explores the implications of frequent elections on the stability of Israeli democracy government.
Who is addressing the problematic relationship between local and national government in Israel? Is anyone designing a a comprehensive reform program to solve some of the issues that are the result of a malfunctioning system of local governance? How, if at all, does the national media deal with this issue?