The majority of Israelis think that the Supreme Court should retain its ability to strike down legislation that contravenes the country’s Basic Laws – and only 16% said that the Judicial Selection Committee that appoints justices should be politicized by increasing the number of elected officials serving on it.
Ahead of the annual 2022 National Security and Democracy IDI published a special survey to examine the views of Jewish Israeli on a series of issues relating to their relationship with the IDF and the country’s security challenges. The survey found that while there is wide support for opening the ranks to women in combat units and a large plurality would prefer that their children serve in the IDF’s technological units.
In this edited transcript of her conversation with BICOM Director Richard Pater, Vice-President of Research at the Israel Democracy Institute Professor Suzie Navot argues that judicial reforms proposed by the right-wing bloc – to Knesset override of the Supreme Court, executive immunity, and the appointment of judges – threaten Israeli democracy and the already fragile separation of powers.
The conference focused on questions pertaining to the Ben Gurion-inspired concept of Mamlakhtiyut (“Statism”) and how its values can be fostered and made relevant to the current realities in Israel today. The conference, organized by IDI and ADL was part of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Israel Week for Social Solidarity and coincided with the publication of IDI’s Mamlakhtiyut in the Twenty-First Century.
After five elections and several years of instability, Benjamin Netanyahu will soon be Israel’s prime ministership once again, backed by the most conservative coalition in the state’s history, with two far-right parties in his cabinet. What are the implications be for Israel’s judicial system, conflict with the Palestinians, international standing and relationship with the United States?
Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, and Jacob Kornbluh, the Forward’s senior political correspondent, in conversation with Editor-in-Chief Jodi Rudoren to parse the election results and share behind-the-scenes insights about what the next government portends.
Fourteen days after the election, the 25th Knesset will be sworn in. This is the fifth Knesset inauguration in less than 3½ years—testimony to the political crisis which Israel is undergoing. How many new MKs are there? Will the stagnation in female representation continue? How many MKs have a background in local government?
The elections for the 25th Knesset assembly produced a clear result. Israel’s citizens have had their say, and the political system is now entering the next stage of the cycle: forming a new government. Over the coming days, President Herzog will consult with the representatives of the factions elected to the Knesset, and will decide whom to entrust with the task of forming a government. This will begin the process that will culminate in the swearing-in of Israel’s 37th government. What are the rules that govern this process, and what can we learn from past experience in Israel and in other countries?
Despite a clear majority of seats in the Knesset for Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition, the number of votes cast in the 2022 elections in Israel was almost equal between the factions. How is this possible?
Israel's electoral process is one of proportional representation and includes a 3.25% threshold. Find out what role this played in determining election results and how it differs from the American electoral college system.
The debate in Israel over the proper interrelationship among the three branches of government has become heated in recent years. IDI holds that any discussion of separation of powers should focus on functional boundaries among the branches, and on their mutual capacities for oversight. The following paper presents a series of proposals for addressing these issues and strengthening the separation of powers.
From a comparative perspective, the electoral threshold in Israel (3.25%) seems perfectly reasonable. In the vast majority of democracies, this figure ranges from 2% to 5%. Every percent plus or minus comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. When the threshold is higher, there is a greater danger that votes will go to waste. This is what just happened in Israel, where the lists that came up short of the threshold now find themselves out of the Knesset. But this is not predestined: whether parties clear the threshold or not, depends on their use of their political intelligence.
After five elections in less than four years – Israel is on its way to political stability. Although the number of voters since 2021 didn’t change dramatically – almost 9% of the votes were wasted below the electoral threshold – how does this affect the makeup of the new Knesset? In addition the 2022 elections resulted in a clear victory for former Prime Minister Netanyahu, even though voters were split on whether they wanted him back in office. Prof. Kenig explains.
What it is the significance of “vote-sharing agreements,” how is it decided which of the parties that signed a vote-sharing agreement gains an additional seat, and what happens if one of the parties does not pass the electoral threshold? The answers to all these questions are provided in this overview.