Center for Democratic Values and Institutions

The Center for Democratic Values and Institutions is dedicated to fortifying the democratic values and institutions of the State of Israel, based on the humanistic foundations of Judaism and the liberal foundations of Zionism. The Center seeks to strengthen the commitment of Israeli policymakers, opinion shapers and decision makers to the fundamental tenets of Israeli democracy, including freedom, equality, civil rights, separation of powers, transparency and the rule of law.

The center works to inform decision makers and the general public about the dangers of populist legislative initiatives, develop sound alternatives, shape policy on education for democracy, ensure a free and independent press, promote a more inclusive society and articulate a common vision for all Israeli citizens.

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    Prof. Suzie Navot

    Vice President, Research

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    Suzie Navot is a full professor of constitutional and parliamentary law and, prior to her appointment, was a member of the faculty of the Striks School of Law at the College of Management Academic Studies. She earned a bachelor's degree in law from Tel Aviv University, an M.A in public policy from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tel Aviv University and holds a doctorate in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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    Adv. Anat Thon Ashkenazy


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    Anat Thon-Ashkenazy is an attorney and social activist. In her most recent position as executive director of Itach-Maaki– Women Lawyers for Social Justice- she promoted programs working towards gender equality on the national and municipal levels, with an emphasis on the needs of women from disenfranchised populations.

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    Prof. Yuval Shany

    Senior Fellow at the Democratic Values and Institutions Program

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    Among other things, he has researched questions of right to equality, security detention, interrogation techniques, on-line surveillance and content moderation, military investigations, proportionality in the application of force, jurisdiction of international criminal tribunals and counterterrorism.

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    Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer

    Senior Fellow, Democratic Values and Institutions Program and Public Corruption Program

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    Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer is a Senior Fellow at IDI and he previously served as the Institute's Vice President of Research.

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    Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler

    Head, Democracy in the Information Age Program; Senior Fellow

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    Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler is a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and head of the institute’s Media Reform Program and Democracy in the Information Age Program.

    She holds a doctorate in law (LLD) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and completed her post-doctoral studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 

    She is a board member of the Israel National Press Council, a board member of the Israeli Digital Rights Movement, a board member of the Center for Ethics in Jerusalem and a member of the Supreme Council of Archives of the State of Israel.

    In recent years, Dr. Shwartz Altshuler has composed the journalistic code of ethics for Israel’s public broadcasting corporation (“Kan”) and for the Globes business newspaper; drafted a bill for a new privacy law in Israel; and appeared regularly in the Israeli and international media on issues relating to media, technology, democracy, and human rights. She has also published a number of books, articles, policy studies, and expert opinions on these subjects.

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    Dr. Tammy Hoffman

    Head, Education Policy Program; Research Fellow

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    Lecturer and the Kibbutzim College of Education; Head of the Regev Education Program for Outstanding Students, and member of the steering committee of the Lautman Forum for Education Policy.

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    Adv. Edna Harel - Fisher

    Head, Public Corruption Program

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    Edna Harel-Fisher leads policy research at the institute on the topic of funding for culture, ‘Mamlachtiyut’, and freedom of speech.

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    Dr. Amir Fuchs

    Senior Researcher, Democratic Values and Institutions Program

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    Dr. Amir Fuchs holds a doctorate from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a lecturer in the Politics and Communication Department at the School of Government and Social Sciences at Hadassah Academic College.

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    Dr. Nadav Dagan

    Senior Researcher, Democratic Values and Institutions Program

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    Dr. Dagan Holds a PhD from Bar-Ilan University, LLM with specialism in Public Law and Human Rights Law from University College London (UCL), and LLB from the University of Haifa.

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    Dr. Guy Lurie

    Research Fellow, Democratic Values and Institutions Program

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    Dr. Guy Lurie is an attorney and holds a PhD in History from Georgetown University (2013). He a former coordinator of the Shamgar Commission for the Formulation of Rules of Ethics for Members of the Government, and served as a post-doctoral fellow on the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa.

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    Dr. Ahmad Badran

    Researcher, Arab Society in Israel Program

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    Areas of expertise: Sociology of education, inequality, social stratification, mobility, social class, ethnicity, educational choice, and youth. Badran holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Haifa (January 2021). The title of his doctoral research is "Stratification Consequences of Educational Choices: Elementary School Choice by Arab Parents in Israel" (under the guidance of Prof. Meir Yaish).

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    Natan Milikowsky

    Researcher, Public Corruption Program

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    Dr. Rachel Aridor-Hershkovitz

    Researcher, Democracy in the Information Age Program

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    Dr. Adv. Rachel Aridor Hershkovitz is a researcher in the Israel Democracy Institute’s Media Reform program and a research fellow at the Haifa Center for Law and Technology at the University of Haifa.

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    Dr. Arik Rudnitzky

    Researcher, Arab Society in Israel Program

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    Dr. Rudnitzky has been researching Arab Israeli issues for almost two decades. His fields of expertise cover political, national and social developments in Israel's Arab society; Jewish-Arab relations; and government policies on Arabs in Israel.

    Rudnitzky holds PhD degree from the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar-Ilan University, as well as MA (magna cum laude) and BA degrees in Middle Eastern History from the Faculty of Humanities and an MBA degree from the Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University.

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    Dr. Muhammed Khalaily

    Researcher, Arab Society in Israel Program

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    Holds a PhD from the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa on the subject: "The role and survival of primordial structures in modern politics: A Neo-Institutional Analysis of Clan Continuity in Arab Politics in Israel."

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    Dr. Moran Kandelshtein-Haina

    Researcher, Democratic Values and Institutions Program

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    Researcher and lecturer in the fields of public law. Dr. Kandelshtein-Haina holds a doctorate from the Faculty of Law at the Bar-Ilan University and is a lecturer in the school of Law at the Netanya Academic College. The doctoral thesis she wrote dealt with the constitutional status of the prime minister in parliamentary systems. Areas of expertise: institutional constitutional law, administrative law, the Executive.

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    Hamudi AbuReesh

    Research Assistant, Arab Society in Israel Program

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    Hamudi Abureesh is a research assistant in the Arab Society Program in the Democratic Institutions and Values center at The Israel Democracy Institute.

    He is also a Master’s student in the Department of Islam and Middle East at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    Currently, he is writing a thesis dissertation supervised by Prof. Liat Kozma (Hebrew University) and Prof. Gadi Algazi (Tel-Aviv University). He focuses on Palestinian students at the Hebrew University between the years 1948-1967 from a social history perspective.

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    Adv. Lital Piller

    Research Assistant at the Arab Society in Israel Program

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    Lital Piller is a second-year research master’s student at Tel Aviv University. Her research focuses on the representation of the Arab-Palestinian minority in the land administration institutions in Israel. 

    She holds a bachelor’s degree in law and a bachelor’s in government (both with distinction) from Reichman University. Until 2017, she worked as a lawyer in the Administrative Law Department at the Spigelman Koren Zamir & Co. law firm. There, she provided legal advice in the field of administrative law, including local government, tenders, contracts, and litigation in administrative, commercial and civil matters. She was involved in drafting tenders and contracts for clients in the public sector, providing legal opinions, accompanying, and participating in tender committees, and representing clients in legal proceedings in various courts, including administrative courts.

    In addition, she works as a teaching assistant and research assistant in the field of constitutional law, intellectual property, and international law.

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    Adv. Daphne Benvenisty

    Research Assistant, Democratic Values and Institutions Program

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    Daphne is a research assistant at the Center for Democratic Values and Institutions. She holds an LL.B and an LL.M, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has clerked at the Supreme Court in the chambers of Justice Neal Hendel.

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    Meital Baron

    Research Assistant, Education Policy Program

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    Maisam Salem

    Research Assistant at the Arab Society in Israel Program

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    Adv. Sapir Paz

    Research Assistant, Democratic Values and Institutions Program

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    Advocate Paz completed her L.L.B (magna cum laude) at the Hebrew University in 2020. She completed her legal internship in the State Attorney's office at the High Court of Justice Department and was licensed as a lawyer in Israel in 2021.
    In 2022, she worked as a law clerk to Judge Eyal Avrahami, the President of the Regional Labor Court in Jerusalem, and later as law clerk to Judge Varda Virt-Livne, the President of the National Labor Court of Israel.
    Sapir is also a Masters student in the Critical Cultural Studies program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The discussion in the Supreme Court yesterday was not about whether a law exempting yeshiva students harms the principle of equality. It was about a much more basic question: is the State of Israel acting in accordance with the principle of the rule of law—that is, can yeshiva students be exempted from enlisting in the IDF, when there is no law allowing for this.

Women in senior government positions are leaving their roles, the number of victims of domestic violence is rising, and the prevailing spirit from the government does not bode well. Now more than ever, there must be a call for immediate and fundamental change in placing women's rights at the top of the national agenda.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) issued new temporary orders against Israel this week. Justice Barak’s dissenting opinion would seem to offer an important lesson for the future. Professional, focused, and well-founded legal criticism—as opposed to the very different means that are currently being widely discussed and pursued—is likely the best way to deal with the ICJ.

The increase in the number of complaints of police violence submitted to the DIPI over the last year raises serious questions, especially in light of the timing in which the current Government and Minister of National Security took office. This research surveys the trends in complaints of police violence. 

We have entered an era of "digital antisemitism." It is driven, first and foremost, by the insufficient enforcement of moderation policies on social media platforms

Judicial overhaul initiatives, along with other anti-democratic measures, have continued to be promoted by the government and the coalition in the Knesset. This document outlines the various actions taken in government that weaken the Israeli judiciary and democracy at large.

What has produced the rise in the President’s confidence rating? One explanation is the public’s yearning for nonpartisanship in a time of crisis. 

Israel's Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Meron disaster released a report that criticizes shortcomings in the culture of accountability in Israel. The Committee distinguished between personal responsibility and ministerial responsibility and offered important recommendations, including for police operations during mass events.

Three years after the terrible tragedy that occurred during the prayers at Mt. Meron, in which 45 were killed and 150 injured, regarded as the biggest civil disaster in Israeli history, the Commision of Inquiry is publishing its findings today. Dr. Dana Blander, a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, explains the differences between Israel's various types of commissions of inquiry.

Between 1996 and 2015, there was a real improvement in women's representation in the Knesset. Since 2015, however, it seems this upward trend has stalled and female legislative representation is faltering, especially compared to other democracies.

Arab-Israeli public officials are being increasingly targeted by criminals, hoping to get their way through threats, extortion and force ahead of Tuesday's local elections. Running for office shouldn't cost people their lives.

Twenty years into the social media revolution, of which Facebook is the poster child, we need to reassess and renew our fundamental democratic principles.

Foreign Israel critics use advancements in AI, including ChatGPT, to misrepresent their actions through Hebrew translations; addressing this requires international laws to make AI developers accountable.

How are elections in ultra-Orthodox municipalities different from those in non-orthodox local authorities? Are they comparable to the Arab community? A survey an analysis of the political structure of Haredi local authorities. 

From a historical perspective, the proportion of female heads of local authorities in Israel has been extremely low—essentially negligible throughout most decades. How does women’s representation in local authorities during the first two decades of the 21st century compare?

Minister of the Economy Barkat's decision to remove Adv. Michal Cohen from her role as Director of the Competition Authority compounds a two-pronged problem. On the one hand, the diminishing number of women in Ministry leadership roles, and on the other, increased political interference in professional authorities, risking their independence and professional standards. 

Since the Knesset passed Amendment 44 to regulate the possibility of impeaching MK's in 2016, no request has been made, making the case of MK Ofer Cassif unprecedented. An MK can be expelled if the Knesset finds that his or her actions constituted incitement to racism or support of an armed struggle against Israel. 

In a few weeks elections will be held in local authorities across Israel. While they were originally scheduled for October 31st, 2023, they were postponed due to the outbreak of war. Elections during wartime raise a slew of challenges that are exceptional to the circumstances. Find out everything you need to know about wartime local elections in Israel.

While the ICJ decision briefly mentions the immediate context of the lawsuit, namely the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, Judge Barak directs them to the full picture that they did not address. He writes about the events of October 7 as Israelis know them to be true.

Two judgments issued by the Supreme Court in the first week of 2024 deal a decisive blow to the Netanyahu government’s efforts to radically rebalance the branches of government.

The ICJ is hearing allegations that Israel has violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. What is the ICJ? How is the government responding? What are the implications for the war against Hamas and Israel’s international standing?
All the answers in a special IDI explainer.

While we entered this war more divided than ever – and with large numbers even saying that they believed civil war to be a possibility – Israelis today are united in their determination to win.

This decision refocused our attention not only on the specific law it struck down but also on the unfinished business of completing our country’s constitutional framework

The Supreme Court's ruling to strike down the amendment made to the Basic Law: The Judiciary and reinstate the Standard of Reasonableness is a landmark decision on an issue that has been exceptionally divisive within Israeli society. Will this lead to a constitutional crisis? 8 Key points from IDI's experts examining the court's decision.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Court has authority to perform judicial review on Basic Laws, and that an intervention was necessary in the case of the amendment to the Basic Law: The Judiciary revoking the Standard of Reasonableness. What are the implications?

The coalition has voted to amend Basic Law: The Judiciary and repeal the Standard of Reasonableness used to review government decisions that are deemed to be extremely unreasonable. On September 12th, the Supreme Court will hear petitions against the constitutionality of this move.

The horrific October 7 massacre undoubtedly surpasses the savagery of any other wave of terrorism Israel has ever seen. In the face of barbarity, we are called to challenge prevailing conventions, to abandon simplistic arguments, and to move toward more complex ideas that may light the path for some of us.

Even in these dark times, Israelis must hold on to the imagination, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial spirit to face the global challenges that lie ahead.

Attempts by the Prime Minister to influence the Chief Censor may indicate a concerning erosion of the Military Censor’s independence and professionalism. Clearly, state secrets must be protected, especially during war, but there are better ways for this to be accomplished, more suited to a democratic state.

Israeli leaders are calling for the end of disinformation in the war while shaking hands with the man behind so much of it - Elon Musk. The current war has turned X into a human behavior experiment, and we are the lab rats. 

The Nation-State Law includes a clause that declares the state's obligation to care for all Jewish people and all Israeli citizens whenever they are in jeopardy due to either their Jewish identity or Israeli citizenship. This does not impose a legal obligation, but it does reflect this special value which must not be lost during this war. 

Israel's non-Jewish minorities—particularly those who are fighting and dying for the State of Israel—are worthy of appreciation and recognition, not separately, but as equals. The solution is to amend the Nation State Law, not to pass a new, separate basic law as is currently under consideration.

Appeals to the HCJ to intervene in decisions relating to the release of prisoners are fairly common, but the Court has repeatedly rejected these appeals, noting that on issues of national defense and diplomacy, the bounds for judicial oversight are particularly narrow. 

Now, when it is clear that Hamas’s murderous attack was unprecedented in its extreme violence, including sexual violence, the relevant international bodies—such as the UN Security Council, UN Women, and the International Red Cross—must respond to these incidents.

From network hacking to disinformation, Israel is unprepared for combat in today's fourth dimension of warfare.

The state has a moral and ethical duty of the highest order to act as quickly as possible to free and return all the hostages and the missing. But what is the legal mechanism that should be applied when agreeing deals to secure their release which also involve freeing Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons?

The ongoing war highlights the transformation of technology giants, once American-based corporations, into international entities. Within the Western aid package to Israel, it is imperative to enforce global accountability upon these companies

On November 5, 2023, Minister of Justice Yariv Levin notified the High Court of Justice that he will convene the Judicial Selection Committee within 15 days. Selecting judges is not possible in such a short time frame, so we will have to wait and see whether this decision leads to the completion of judge appointments to the vacant positions.

International law does not forbid the evacuation of residents to the southern Gaza Strip; on the contrary, it would appear to demand of Israel that it warns residents and encourages them to leave.

It is no surprise that the civil service has suffered a severe blow as the current hostilities continue. In light of recent actions aimed at undermining the public sector, immediate action must be taken to address this situation in order to restore social resilience.

The hurt felt by the broad section of the Israeli public that is moderately traditional may have serious consequences for the struggle against the government’s judicial overhaul.

On the question of Unreasonableness, it appears that the dispute is not only between the Knesset and the Supreme Court, but also among the justices themselves. There are many possibilities, but only one ruling, which will be handed down no later than mid-January 2024.


Yohanan Plesner, president of IDI and Prof. Yuval Shany, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Democratic Values and Institutions met with reporters to discuss the historic Supreme Court hearing on the repeal of the reasonableness doctrine.

The Judicial Selection Committee has not met for more than a year, and during this period, various positions held by judges have been vacated.

Marking the beginning of the new school year, a special survey was conducted asking the public whether they agree that it is the teacher's role to education for democracy. Almost three-quarters of the respondents agree that it is. 

IDI expert Dr. Guy Lurie met with KAN's Mark Weiss to discuss Supreme Court Justice Yosef Elron's announcement that he would seek election as the next Supreme Court president, a decision that flies in the face of the "seniority method" that has been used to select the court's president to date. 

The Kan public broadcaster has joined forces with Israel’s 2 main commercial TV channels, 12 and 13, to campaign against the bill being promoted by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi to overhaul the country’s media market. 

In the first part of this two-part episode, Jack Omer-Jackman speaks to renowned Israeli legal scholar and IDI expert Professor Yuval Shany to discuss the Supreme Court’s upcoming deliberations on the legislation annulling reasonability; the significance of basic laws; the impact of reservists’ protests on Israel’s military preparedness and the role of a citizen army in a democracy.

In the second part of this two-part episode, Jack Omer-Jackman speaks to renowned Israeli legal scholar and IDI expert Professor Yuval Shany to discuss the Supreme Court’s upcoming deliberations on the legislation annulling reasonability; the significance of basic laws; the impact of reservists’ protests on Israel’s military preparedness and the role of a citizen army in a democracy.

Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi has proposed reforms to Israel's broadcast system. The components of the reforms, alongside the context in which they are being proposed, make clear that their objective is a politicization and government control of regulatory bodies.

Israel’s political system remains in turmoil as the Supreme Court prepares to hear appeals concerning the refusal of the Justice Minister to convene the Judicial Selection Committee and the constitutionality of the unreasonableness amendment at the beginning of September.

In an effort to create uniformity, populists are ready to destroy the state.

All too often the Knesset amends Israel's Basic Laws - how does this compare with other parliamentary democracies?

Comparing Israel's Supreme Court to America's Supreme Court. 64 Israeli legislators, a slim majority of the Knesset, voted on Monday, July 24, to amend one of Israel's Basic Laws, and in so doing, they took away the Israeli Supreme Court's ability to strike down decisions that it finds "unreasonable in the extreme.

The broadcast system in Israel certainly needs to be reformed in various ways, but Communications Minister Karhi's proposals all include a political twist that transform reform into ruination.

Less than 24 hours after the Knesset passed the “Reasonableness Law” the attorney general filed her professional opinion to the Supreme Court on an entirely different matter: the “Incapacitation Law.” What do the two amendments share in common?

When Israeli liberals depend solely on the Supreme Court for checks and balances, they are taking a big risk. It is essential to add veto points as human rights in Israel should not depend on the Supreme Court alone - decentralization of government is key. 

Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, joins Haaretz Weekly host Allison Kaplan Sommer to discuss what comes next, after the Knesset passed the first law in its planned judicial overhaul. 

The coalition launched the first stage in its judicial overhaul. The process by which the amendment to the Basic Law: The Judiciary was passed, releasing the government and its ministers from the duty to act with reasonableness, is the best possible evidence for what we can now expect.

On Monday, the Knesset voted 64-0 to amend the Basic Law governing Israel’s judiciary and strip the Supreme Court of its power to block government decisions on the basis of the standard of “extreme unreasonableness.”  The decision has potentially fateful consequences because of its immediate implications,

The first phase of Israel's judicial overhaul is now law. Huge numbers of people are in the streets, reservists are resigning, the stock market is tanking, and Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes assembled an all-star panel to talk about it, including IDI's Prof. Amichai Cohen and Prof. Yuval Shany. 


With the Knesset set to hold its final vote on curtailing the “reasonableness standard,” what happens next? What are the implications of removing this type of oversight on governmental decisions, and is there still a possibility for compromise ahead of the vote?

The protest against the government legislation is clearly covered by the protections granted by international law to the right to assembly. The position of the Attorney General of Israel strikes an appropriate balance between exercising the right to demonstrate and protecting competing rights and interests. 

The law is clear. The Minister is obligated to convene the committee when judicial vacancies appear. By evading this responsibility, he is failing in his duty.

Tel Aviv-based journalist and Israel Policy Forum Policy Advisor Neri Zilber hosts Prof. Suzie Navot, the vice president for research at the Israel Democracy Institute, to analyze the renewed push by the Netanyahu government to overhaul Israel's judicial system.

The Authority for the Advancement of Women's Status and agencies like it are being gutted along with protections for women

In Israel, the equivalent of 70 million Americans have gone out to protest the Netanyahu government's attempt to break the country's constitutional order. Populist politics is at war with the mainstream public opinion that it claims to represent.

Dr. Guy Lurie, IDI expert discusses the court's use of the Standard of (Extreme) Unreasonableness and current status of the judicial overhaul.

AI technology is being used by the police in Israel without sufficient public and professional debate. This goes to the heart of issues of human and civil rights.

Should the foundations of the crime of incitement to racism be reconsidered? Absolutely-yes. But it should not be selective and favor a particular sector in society.

While nationalism and liberalism appear to contradict, under certain conditions, nationalistic loyalty strengthens the commitment to liberal and democratic values. 

The Knesset voted for its representatives on the judicial selection committee. This is the first time it was not able to elect two representatives, leading to a second round of votes in the next 30 days. 

Dr. Jesse Ferris with New York Times' Bret Stephens and Prof. Avi Bell discuss the complexities of the judicial overhaul and its significance on the future of Israel on Sapir Conversations podcast. 

For local government to be able to truly represent all residents and understand the diversity of their different needs, it is important that there be appropriate representation of men and women alike

Education can exist without democracy - however democracy cannot exist without education for democracy

Dr. Guy Lurie in an in-depth interview with The Jewish Time podcast's Jeff Silberblatt on the attempted judicial overhaul and its implications on Israel's future.

When there are no restraints on what the government can do, the road will be open to “adjustments” (tricks) and “reforms” (schemes and conspiracies) in the electoral process.


In new research, IDI experts Shlomit Ravitsky Tur-Paz and Gabi Gordon find that conscripting even a small percentage of eligible Haredi men would save the Israeli economy billions of shekels annually. They found that drafting even 20% of Haredi men would significantly reduce the number of days necessary for reserve duty and save 2.5 billion shekels in budgetary expenses by 2050. Full conscription of the ultra-Orthodox men would eliminate the need for reserve duty by 2045 and save the Israeli economy between 8-10 billion shekels.

In the system of democracy currently in place in Israel, Knesset members represent the public. This is indisputable. However, the ties between the public and its representatives are very weak.

The Declaration of Independence expresses a deep commitment to freedom, justice and peace in the spirit of the vision of the Biblical prophets, those semi-tragic figures who rebuked the people and their leaders for their behavior. Or in other words, the gatekeepers.

Transforming legal advisors into political appointees will thwart the dual purpose of their role- helping the ministry implement its policy, while maintaining the rule of law.

The proposed government resolution fails to explain why a National Guard is needed, how to ensure that it does not target minority groups unjustifiably, and what the division of labor will be with the police. It is also liable to result in the increased militarization of law enforcement in Israel, which could lead to disproportionate infringement of human rights.

How can Netanyahu — a U.S.-educated and respected world leader who was cautious in his approach to building previous coalitions, and was once respectful of Israeli democratic institutions — support such a dangerous plan? Was the “writing on the wall” earlier on in his lengthy tenure?

Slowing the overhaul is a sham. It’s still a hostile takeover of the Supreme Court and its ability to restrain the coalition


The Jewish Federations of Cleveland was joined by Dr. Amir Fuchs, senior researcher the Israel Democracy Institute at the Center for Democratic Values and Institutions to discuss how Israel is undergoing many changes in its government. 

Moderated by Judge Dan A. Polster.

The battle against the judicial overhaul is not being waged only to safeguard democracy, it is also a fight to preserve Zionism itself.

The current battle in Israel is not between left and right. It is being waged between those who embrace democracy and those who want to make one last use of democracy to institute majority rule. 

Reducing the possibility of invalidating legislation and the rest of the initiatives will further undermine the protection of the rights of the Arab minority in Israel, whose trust in the judicial system has steadily decreased in recent years - but is still high in relation to trust in other institutions.

If the teachers in the state system do not address current events and introduce their pupils to diverse worldviews, Israeli schools will continue to exist as a bubble.

When is the Attorney General empowered to declare that the Prime Minister is incapable of fulfilling his duties? When does temporary incapacity become permanent? What has the Court ruled in the past about a declaration of incapacity concerning Benjamin Netanyahu?

A professional opinion by the Israel Democracy Institute presented in advance of the session of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality on February 20, 2023

The proposed bill contravenes the basic values of the State of Israel, flouts international treaties Israel has signed and will limit its moral superiority over terrorists. The bill will expose Israel to harsh international condemnation, and it will hamper, rather than alleviate efforts in the war against terror.

In recent years, there have been attempts to enact the “override clause” in Israel, a legal provision that would enable the Knesset to override the Supreme Court’s rulings in cases in which it strikes down legislation. This week the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is discussing a draft of such a law.

Downgrading the independence of government legal advisers is not among the highest-profile proposals to reform the Israeli legal system being advanced by Israel’s new right-wing government, but weakening the status of government legal advisers is actually an important and troubling part of the government’s package of proposed reforms.

The proposed legislation evicerates the only check on executive and legislative power in Israel.

Rabbinical courts, where appointments are based on political loyalty, offer a cautionary model of a judicial nightmare

Increased corruption and damage to Israel's economy - four simple figures with important lessons for Israel’s judicial overhaul

The second article in this series describes in depth how the Supreme Court used its authority, why it encountered a backlash, and what current proposals to limit the power of the Court to exercise judicial review over Knesset legislation look like.

Political discontent with the power relationship between the judiciary and the political branches has been percolating since the 1990s, often in connection with criminal proceedings against senior politicians. Prof. Amichai Cohen and Dr. Yuval Shany provide context for the ongoing debate concerning recent legal developments in Israel, so that outside observers can follow them more closely.

5 other ideas for upgrading Israel's judicial system – without destroying democracy, doing away with the mechanisms for oversight of the government or harming our basic rights.

The recently published opinion by the Attorney General, Adv. Gali Baharav-Miara, makes clear that the proposal "reform" makes no attempt to enhance the balance among the branches of government: It is quite simply a demand for unlimited government power.

Turning ministry legal advisors into political appointees will deprive them of their ability to protect the rule of law and will reduce public trust in the ministries.

What provisions does Israeli law provide for the possibility of declaring the Prime Minister "Incapacitated". IDI expert explains

If the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is failing on cybersecurity, what hope is there for the rest of Israel's digital infrastructure?

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is a powerful force behind legislation in Israel – therefore it isn’t surprising that Ben-Gvir is vying for the position of Vice-Chairman.

The bill to amend the Police Ordinance has been compared to practices in other countries - however it ignores the fact that other countries have in place procedures that guarantee the operational independence of the police when it implements the policies laid down to guide its actions

The blow would be hardest for organizations whose role is to defend vulnerable groups, including; those living below the poverty line, the elderly, women, and people with disabilities.

Arab politics in Israel consists of two interconnected levels: One relates to the configuration of the parties ahead of the elections; the other – to Arab voting behavior on Election Day. Election results in Arab society depend on the interaction between these two levels.

This review analyzes voting patterns among Arab citizens in the elections for the 25th Knesset, held on November 1, 2022. The graphs and tables are based on an analysis of the final results, as published by the Central Elections Committee.

Moving units from one ministry to the next, to satisfy political needs, has a negative impact on the Ministries' ability to provide the necessary service at a high level.

If Netanyahu's new government implements its plans, human rights may soon depend on majorities. Israel's delicate political structure makes this possible.

Despite controversy, changes to the Judicial Selection Committee, must be made with broad consensus - and not by slimmest of majorities.

Considering current political tensions and tendencies regarding the education system, we asked the Israeli general public questions that can reflect public opinion concerning some possible predispositions that stake holders should take into consideration. Especially regarding the role of teachers in a politically divided reality, the role of the education system in promoting education for democracy and a reflection about the inherent divisions in the system and the challenges they pose to society as a whole.


President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin speaking at the Fix It Don't Destroy It Judicial Reform Conference at the Israel Democracy Institute, December 2022.

Why it is a bad idea to allow the coalition the deciding voice in the appointment of Supreme Court justices? Is it true that in Israel, judges appoint themselves? The complete guide to the impending constitutional reform.

Israel still has no constitution, and the separation of powers seems fragile. What challenges will Israel’s democracy face in the next government?


Why is the override clause at the heart of the forthcoming coalition's agenda and how does this relate to civil rights in Israel? Prof. Suzie Navot, Vice President of the Israel Democracy Institute explains the role of the Supreme Court in Israel's democratic system in just over two minutes.

The optimistic hope that the majority will not take advantage of its power to perpetuate its rule is akin to leaving the cream to be guarded by 61 cats. The temptation is just too strong.

The new coalition's shortage of women and its proposed High Court override clause are a danger to the struggle for gender equality in Israel.

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.

Turning court rulings into a “recommendation” that the Knesset could override, is likely to exacerbate tensions that already exists between the Supreme Court and the Knesset.

Dr. Arik Rudnitzky breaks down the Arab vote to the 25th Knesset elections – it seems that Ra’am's gamble paid off and they emerged the big winner.

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.

The proposal to abolish the Judicial Selections Committee would lead to politicization of the judiciary, undermine judges’ independence, and shift the careful balance reached through it between the branches of government.

Will the Arab public’s belief in Knesset elections in general, and in the Arab political lists in particular, will be strengthened. The Arab voter may overcome unjust policies by the government, but not internal crises. Dr. Rudnitzky reviews the main political and ideological streams in Arab society in Israel, ahead of the November 2022 elections

Israel's Security Cabinet is set to vote on a maritime agreement with Lebanon, but with the elections coming up, can an outgoing government sign such a deal and does it have to be ratified by the Knesset or by referendum?

Diplomatic briefing with IDI President Yohanan Plesner and Researcher Dr. Arik Rudnitzky on Israel’s fifth national elections in less than four years. The briefing focused on the electoral crisis, the state of Israeli democracy as well as the latest developments regarding the political parties and voting patterns of Arab Israelis.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, what can we wish for regarding Israeli regulatory policy? Here are some possible policy proposals.

Disqualifying candidates and lists for the Knesset violates one of the most fundamental democratic rights, the right to vote and to be elected. Therefore, it must be done with the utmost care, judgment and objectivity. Who can reject candidates and lists for the Knesset, and on what is the criteria? IDI experts answer these questions.

The disintegration of the Joint List is arousing diametrically opposite reactions from the two big blocs of the Israeli political spectrum. How will this new political reality play out in the upcoming elections?

Democracy is not just majority rule, but ensuring that all segments of society are provided with the opportunity to take part in a free and fair political process. For Israel, this means ensuring that the Bedouin population has equal opportunity to place their vote in the upcoming election.

The study, by Dr. Dana Blander, finds that Israel is the only country where sitting members of parliament serve as members of the body that administers and oversees the elections, without any threshold conditions. The members of Knesset and the other members that are party representatives sitting on the Central Election Committee have the authority to make consequential decisions regarding to the election they themselves are usually competing in - including disqualifying lists and the candidates running against them in the election.

In order to make a fundamental change we must start treating teaching as a national-priority profession

In Israel, judges sit on the bench until they reach the age of 70, while advocates for changing the current method of their appointment often support the idea of limiting Supreme Court judges’ tenure.

Before the next violent outbreak, let’s quickly address the needs of mixed cities.

The problem with the Nation-State Basic Law is what it fails to mention - equality! Thus excluding Israel’s minorities who call the country home.

Israel is the only democracy whose constitution or basic laws omit all mention of the right to equality –leaving a gaping hole that must be filled.

As Israel celebrates its 74th birthday - what must be done to bolster social solidarity? Education, education and education!

Dreams of free content and equality are often highjacked and tightly controlled by wealthy people with a hearty appetite for attention.

The Israeli discourse on Holocaust remembrance lacks depth and is too far removed from profound and complex study of the critical significance of its Jewish, as well as of its universal, lessons.

The proposal to hold the public hearing of the Judicial Selection Committee is a reasonable arrangement and the fact it was agreed to by the President of Supreme Court, indicates that it is intended to increase public confidence in the selection process of justices.

Arab society in Israel is being revolutionized by the rise in the standard of living, life expectancy and education, along with the decline in fertility rates, changes to family structures, and an increasing desire to realize individual aspirations at the expense of collective values.

Closing the gender gap is crucial to closing social and economic gaps overall - Arab men and women must work together towards this goal

This study aims to provide an up-to-date snapshot of the current situation in mixed cities alongside a description of trends in Israel’s mixed cities over time, in five closely related fields—welfare, education, higher education, employment, and crime—by presenting data collected over a period of time, as a critically important input to sound policymaking.

This task is certainly feasible. Unfortunately, the current political reality in the Knesset seems to indicate that we are still a long way from achieving this ideal.

The clash between Putin’s Russia and international institutions is a shock to the existing world order.

The temptation to make excessive use of spyware and the apparent failure of the current oversight mechanisms compel a significant reinforcement of existing mechanisms. The creation of a new independent commission to monitor online surveillance is necessary.

The text proposed in the draft bill of a new Basic Law: Rights during Interrogation and in Criminal Proceedings, must be revised, because its scope is too narrow. Although the bill is a welcome initiative, it should be expanded and lead to the Knesset's passage of a Basic Law that provides constitutional protection of the right to due process and its derivative rights.


The debate as to how to define surveillances software in legislation, and when it may or may not be used misses the point entirely. The bigger question is if law enforcement agencies should be using anti-terror technologies at all.

"If these reports prove true, the activities attributed to the police cast a shadow on Israeli democracy and the rule of law and imply an appalling lack of respect for the checks and balances between the branches of government that form the basis of all democracies"

Innocent Israelis should have the right to know about illegal surveillance– and the appropriate tools at their disposal to hold those responsible accountable for infringements on their privacy.

Richard Pater from Bicom and IDI expert Dr. Arik Rudnitzky discuss the social, political and economic situation of the Arab citizenry in Israel - economic programs in the new budget for the Arab sector, the current situation over the military draft for young Arabs, government actions to tackle the level of crime in Arab towns, as well as the political dynamics between the United Arab List (in government) and the Joint Arab List (in opposition).

Israel’s rules governing privacy and related laws have experienced a dramatic past few weeks. These developments started with an Israeli Supreme Court ruling in favor of relaxed rules governing cellphone search warrants and ended with an expose revealing that Israeli police have been using NSO Group spyware allegedly without warrants or explicit statutory authorization.

NSO-Israel Police affair proves we need to rethink the way we oversee surveillance technologies. The solution: Israel needs a privacy czar

Among assertions that a limited tenure for justices would prevent excessive influence by past governments on the current composition of the Supreme Court bench and allow the current government to replace a larger number of justices - what is the average tenure of Israeli Supreme Court justices?

Recent media reports alleging that the police are using controversial surveillance software to spy on Israeli citizens has troubling implications and the current Protection of Privacy Law is not equipped to cope with today’s reality. Israel badly needs new legislation that is up to the challenges of the information age.

As former Prime Minister Netanyahu weighs the option of a plea bargain, IDI experts weigh in on the legal standing of such an agreement and its ramifications.

There should be a real commitment to improving Israel's political system and correcting its flaws.

Despite a decline in trust - the public still believes that in the Court’s role as a professional independent entity and guardian of democratic principles.

Israel Democracy Institute researchers welcome the move to anchor the right to equality in a Basic Law, and note the urgent need for this step, particularly in light of the Nation-State Law. At the same time, the researchers also recommend a series of amendments to the bill.

A new government plan aimed at increase the integration of Arab Israelis tries something new – bringing together political leaders, civil servants, and representatives of civil society to collaborate in its formulation and implementation.

Everyone’s talking about “META,” Facebook’s new name, and the thrilling future world of virtual and augmented reality in which we will communicate, shop, play, and even work. Are we entering a new chapter of the internet’s history, in which we will merge with events and don’t just watch them on screen? Mark Zuckerberg thinks so, as he wrote: “The defining quality of the metaverse is presence, which is this feeling that you're really there with another person or in another place.”

Even if we accept the argument that lowering the exemption age exacerbates existing discrimination, we should still assess the proportionality of this harm. Basic rights such as equality are not absolute, and are sometimes subject to restrictions in the face of a pressing public interest.

In Israel, there are frequent complaints about over-regulation, burdensome bureaucracy and inefficient law. On the other hand, many acknowledge that there are areas where regulations are lacking or out of date. IDI experts weigh in and explains the proposed new law that are set to reform Israel's regulatory framework.

It's up to lawmakers to enact privacy protection, outlaw predatory marketing and hold social media providers in Israel accountable for the harm they do

Arabs ostensibly are present, but in reality are absent from the highest levels of the ministry, where decisions are made.

The imminent retirement of Judge Kara will leave the Supreme Court without an Arab justice, yet there is only one Arab candidate on the list of possible replacements. We must move beyond filling the "Arab chair" and ensure proportional representation of Arabs as well as women and Mizrahim in the courts

The FDA ruling regarding the Pfizer booster shot may have not been completely in-line with the Health Ministry's recommendation, but the open and transparent decision-making processes employed by the American agency holds important lessons for Israel

Equality should be enshrined in a broad Basic Law that defines Israel as a democratic state - to create the proper balance between the Jewish and democratic components of Israel's identity, a balance that was upset by the Nation-State Law

Let us wish the people of Israel, the government of Israel, and its leaders a Shana Tova, a good new year, and one in which we are able to meet the coming challenges and tests with success.

Social media narrows our range of information by spreading misinformation.

Israel is at a shortage of teachers that is forcing schools to take drastic measures, but the Jewish schools are still not hiring Arab teachers.

How many generations of Israelis will be educated without the tools they need to commit to the values of inclusion, respect for the other, and equality?

Amazon reportedly cut NSO off from its AWS service - the same one that is supposed to support Israel’s new official state cloud. Could Jerusalem be cut off, too?


The allegations against Israeli cyber-security company NSO have made international headlines. How could this affect the ‘Startup Nation?’

Prof. Amichai Cohen discusses his new book The Constitutional Revolution and Counter-Revolution, and explains the changing role of the High Court of Justice in maintaining the checks and balances of Israeli democracy.


Edna Harel-Fischer sits down with the Tel Aviv Review and unpacks the recent controversy around governance/governability in Israel: How did it become a partisan issue? And what is the role of the public service in safeguarding the will of the people?

The new government has potential for the return of normalcy, and even for historic changes

Should there be term limits for prime ministers? A mandated cooling-off period between their terms? How easy should it be for Knesset factions to split once elected? IDI experts examine some of the more contentious proposed new laws in the coalition agreements and assess their possible implications.

There are no provisions for limiting the tenure of prime ministers in parliamentary democracies such as Israel, and any new rules must be objective and not made to satisfy political needs

Israel needs a president who will position social solidarity and common purpose as supreme values as an alternative to the toxic competition between the competing political blocs that have held the Israeli people hostage.

Israel’s responses in each of these two arenas, internally in Israeli cities and externally vis-à-vis Gaza, may have dramatic consequences for the future. The ultimate goal of Hamas is to drag the “Arabs of 1948” (Israel’s Arab citizens) into the conflict. Even today, it is important to note the growing desire of the majority of Arab citizens to integrate in Israeli society, and to drive a wedge between them and the leaders in Gaza

The horrific violence that has erupted over the past few days between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens came as a surprise to many - not so much to the Arab residents of the 'mixed cities'.

IDI experts answer questions on the balance of powers at the Security Council, whether any dramatic resolutions can be expected, and the extent to which the debate and international pressure effect the IDF.

The recent clashes in a capital where even the smallest spark can set its streets ablaze are a direct result of the city's long-term neglect of its disadvantaged Palestinian residents, among whom poverty rates are double that of Jewish Jerusalemites.

Can one regulator rule Israel’s cyber ecosystem?

The education system must cultivate political and civic literacy of today’s pupils and tomorrow’s citizens


The recent elections proved, once again—especially against the backdrop of the Joint List’s meteoric success a year ago—the weakness of the parties’ base on the Arab street.

The disregard shown for the Basic Law of Government, signed coalition agreements and the Attorney General’s legal ruling is unacceptable - agreement must be reached in appointing a Minister of Justice

The pandemic offers a chance for much-needed educational reform, but the hasty return is raising fears that the opportunities presented by the crisis for truly driving the education system forward into the 21st century are being missed

The decision not to convene the Arrangements Committee prevents the Knesset from conducting itself as a legislative body and performing its oversight duties

In an age of waning trust in state institutions and an ongoing health and democratic crisis, the public must be able to look towards the courts as a staunch defender of human rights and democratic structure.

Four elections in two years failed to produce decisive results - what's wrong with Israel's political system and is there is any way out of its current political stalemate?

Prime Minister Netanyahu is promoting legislation that that will institute direct elections for prime minister. How would this proposal work? Will it resolve the political stalemate? Would the Supreme Court rule on its legality? IDI experts weigh in.


The latest judgement in a series of legal challenges to controversial measures adopted by the Israeli government in response to COVID, shows that the Supreme Court still plays an important role in checking government excess and reaffirming basic democratic and human rights values

The lack of any reason to celebrate was symbolized by the proceedings at the Jerusalem District Court, where the prime minister was charged with serious criminal offenses

Electronic bracelets should be used only after restricting access to information and ensuring its security

Ben Caspit talks this week with Yohanan Plesner, who warns that the undermining of Israel’s democracy may seem unconceivable, but is indeed possible.

Anarchy reigns in Arab localities, terrorizing law-abiding residents who fear for their lives - it absolutely essential to put Arab families’ lost sense of security on the national agenda. The time has come to join hands

Israel's Central Election Committee made a landmark ruling: promoted content online - even to real news reports - is political advertising

Arab women are closing the gap in education – but this achievement is not reflected in the job market. What can be done?

There is no doubt that the Government has an obligation to employ meaningful measures against the pandemic, but the ease with which it was willing to infringe basic rights—is most disturbing

A new IDI study on NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) finds close connection between academic education and NEET in young adulthood

Dr Arik Rudnitzky analyzes the changing voting patterns in the Arab community ahead of Israel’s fourth general election in two years.

Israel's Supreme Court ruling on ISA's contact tracing is a reflection of the government’s decision-making processes during COVID

In Israel any individual or organization can request the disqualification of an electoral list - also interesting to note that there is no equivalent to the Central Elections Committee in any other democratic state

The Supreme Court ruled to limit contact tracing but is it really possible to put an end to the ISA’s bulk coronavirus surveillance?

Setting sweeping restrictions on Israeli citizens’ ability to return to the country from overseas is extremely problematic from a constitutional perspective and is without parallel in the democratic world


As Covid-19 continues to take Israeli lives and ravage its economy, seemingly immune to Israel’s impressive vaccination campaign, IDI President Yohanan Plesner and Professor Karnit Flug, Vice President, Research and William Davidson Senior Fellow for Economic Policy joined IDI's VP of Strategy Dr. Jesse Ferris on a JFN webinar to discuss the stakes and possible outcomes of Israel’s fourth election in less than two years.

A bill to include the right to equality in Israel's Basic Laws recently passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset. This is a much-needed amendment to an existing law, which would provide Israelis with legal provision that exists in the constitution of all democratic countries.

The Prime Minister's trial reconvenes with a pandemic raging and the elections camping continuing. What can we expect?

In the midst of a fourth election in two years, IDI President Yohanan Plesner sat down with the Tel Aviv Review to discuss how Israel can emerge from the ongoing political crisis that has left it without a stable government, a state budget and an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Arab citizens have the right to feel that their security is protected by the government. This right should be respected and protected declaratively and in practice.

Banning users from social media platforms raises concerns about free speech protections online

Arab Israelis want to see their representatives in the Knesset and are willing to go out to vote to ensure this happens. Kafr Qassem could be the test case for the larger Arab community who are more likely to vote if they feel that their Knesset members are representing them faithfully.

The public should protest the violation of its privacy - so that regulations can be put into place to protect everyone

The public has given the Police a failing grade for fairness and transparency. Does the public believe this can change? Not really.

With the exception of issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, this Knesset has passed almost no legislation, and this government has met only rarely.

"Legislative declarations do not remain purely "declarative". They have consequences." Dr. Amir Fuchs explains.

Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute on today’s preliminary vote to disperse the Knesset: "Today's vote served as the opening shot in the 'blame game' with both Gantz and Netanyahu seeking to frame the other side as dragging the country towards a fourth elections as COVID numbers begin to rise again."

Prof. Yuval Feldman, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, utilizes behavioral analysis of regulation, enforcement and compliance to understand how trust in the state has affected the response to the COVID pandemic in Israel and beyond


Israel Democracy Institute Experts to the Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee: “The only way to return to normal routine is through regulation and by encouraging the use of locally-developed apps in malls, workplaces and in educational institutions"

Upon the opening of the new academic year a special national survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Aharon Institute for Economic Policy found 22% of Arab students are considering quitting or taking a break from their studies, compared to 10% of Jewish students.

As democracies struggle with the balance between health restrictions and freedom of assembly, Israel has limited protests to a one kilometer radius from their homes during the country's lockdown. How does this compare to other democracies?

As the contentious debates about protests and prayers continues in Israel, we must recognize that there is no room for imposing unjustified restrictions on the basic rights of one group of citizens, simply because this will make it easier to impose justified restrictions on the basic rights of another

Senior governmental positions remain unfilled as political bickering has delayed appointments. Israeli law lays out a clear process for how such appointments must be made and the government should do so without further delay.


This past year has been has been like no other in our history and the months ahead will be every bit as challenging. Nevertheless, we at IDI are confident in the future of Israel as we wish our friends around the world a safe, healthy and sweet new year.

Elections are an attempt, not always successful, to translate the voters’ wishes into a well-functioning and representative government - however no democracy anywhere in the world makes do with elections to a single institution as the only means for implementing democracy

Israel's system for appointing top law enforcement officials must not be changed 

As the police are increasingly drawn into a conflict between protecting the right to protest and attempts to politicize their work, it is clear that appointment of a full-time commissioner is long overdue

IDI experts' report on digital contact tracing highlights its importance as a helpful tool in addition to human epidemiological investigations

Legislation giving ministers total authority over decision-making sets dangerous precedent for Israeli democracy and chaotic decision making will surely diminish the already-dwindling public trust in both government and future emergency regulations

IDI's Dr. Tehilla Shwartz speaks with Amanda Borschel-Dan on a Times of Israel podcast about the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and how Israel's government is tracking them.

What are the possible human rights implications of annexing parts of the West Bank? In these experts from a more detailed analysis in Hebrew, IDI  detail the rights that might be violated if the plan moves forward.

In its attempts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Israel has employed a measure that has not been used by any other democratic country. Since mid-March, the Israeli government has sought the assistance of the General Security Service (also known as the Israeli Security Agency, the ISA, the Shabak or Shin Bet) in conducting epidemiological investigations by providing the Ministry of Health with the routes of coronavirus carriers and lists of individuals with whom they have been in close contact. The ISA queries its communication metadata database to identify the route of confirmed carriers and the individuals with whom they have been in close contact.


IDI President Yohanan Plesner and VP of Research Prof. Yuval Shany held an online briefing for the diplomatic community in Israel focusing on potential plans by the government to apply sovereignty in parts of the West Bank.

IDI experts held today an online briefing focusing on potential plans by Israel's government to apply sovereignty in areas of the West Bank as part of the U.S’ ‘Deal of the Century’

With calls to enact an 'override clause' to push back against judicial review back in the news, Dr. Amir Fuchs analyzed the twenty laws the Court has overturned since Israel's establishment

The Israeli public deserves leadership that isn't weighed down by a track record of incoherent instructions, selective enforcement, and politicians’ own failure to comply

The fast-moving escalation in the conflict between President Trump and Twitter in the last week of May may prove in hindsight to be a watershed development for the legal architecture of online social media.

The proposed bill, which is slated to replace the existing emergency regulations, limits Knesset oversight - the very reason this 'primary legislation' is so necessary

There have been calls to investigate the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis – but who should do the investigating?

After three contentious election campaigns, Israel's new government has been sworn in. IDI's experts weigh-in with their recommendations on the most important issues on the agenda. Dr. Tammy Hoffman outlines policy recommendations for the new Minister of Education.

After three contentious election campaigns Israel's new government has been sworn in. IDI's experts weigh-in with their recommendations on the most important issues on the agenda. 

After three contentious election campaigns Israel's new government has been sworn in. IDI's experts weigh-in with their recommendations on the most important issues on the agenda. Edna Harel-Fisher presents recommendations on cultural policy.

It's one of democracy's substantial achievements: just like every citizen, Netanyahu will stand before 3 judges, whose task is to decide whether he is innocent or guilty


With Prime Minister Netanyahu's groundbreaking trial is set to commence next week, Professor Yuval Shany, IDI's Vice President of Research, and Dr. Amir Fuchs, the head of the Defending Democratic Values Program, briefed journalists on how the court process will proceed and the long-term legal implications of trying a sitting prime minister.

After three contentious election campaigns, Israel's new government has been sworn in. IDI's experts weigh-in with their recommendations on the most important issues on the agenda. Dr. Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya and Ayman Saif on the urgent challenges facing the 35th government to address the significant economic gaps that between Israel's Jewish and the Arab populations.

Israel's High Court handed down a unanimous decision - and the public saw for themselves that there was no devious plot to undermine the separation of powers.

Many Israelis attribute a left-wing bias to the Supreme Court and accuse it of extreme activism, but the hearings that were broadcast live highlight the vast gulf between the Court's image and the reality

IDI’s Dr. Amir Fuchs speaks with Richard Pater of Bicom about the recent Supreme Court hearing and the rulings they handed downs regarding the new government

ISA's tracking of civilians is being discussed in the Knesset Subcommittee for Secret Services. As Israel is beginning to emerge from a state of emergency, less invasive alternatives should be adopted.

IDI researchers testified before the Knesset's Special Committee: Personal and retroactive changes should not be made to legislation regarding the Prime Minister's legal status

Information is power. Governments and private entities that have access to vast troves of information have vast power.

This is a familiar plague: rewriting the game rules of democracy to suit changing political circumstances has become the norm in Israel.

IDI President Yohanan Plesner held an online media briefing and Q&A session on the new coalition agreement between the Likud and Blue and White parties.

Israel is not adequately preparing its younger generation to be responsible citizens and must work now to improve its civics education curriculum.

Privacy doesn't have to be sacrificed in order to protect citizens from the coronavirus - it too must be protected

IDI's management convened an online 'town hall' with Yohanan Plesner, Yuval Shany, Karnit Flug and Jesse Ferris to discuss the political, constitutional and economic fallout from the corona crisis, and IDI’s unique role in addressing it. 

Israel is not the only country in which the court system has been curtailed, or had its activity modified, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many countries are taking such measures, while at the same time striving to refrain from harming citizen's basic right of available access to courts.
Included are several examples from around the world.

We should take advantage of the opportunity that the coronavirus presents to improve our children's education.

Israel has authorized its secret services to carry out extensive surveillance of civilians in the battle against the Coronavirus. In most other democracies there is dedicated legislation to deal with information gathering during the epidemic. IDI's experts complied a comparative review.

Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein has resigned so as not to comply with the Supreme Court ruling to hold elections for a new speaker - what happens next? IDI’s Dr. Amir Fuchs explains

How is the coronavirus pandemic changing the way governments track their citizens? IDI expert takes a look around the world to see what policies countries are implementing.

Israel finds itself in an unprecedented political situation at a time it must face a worldwide pandemic.

We must take advantage of the technological tools at our disposal to battle the coronavirus - without forfeiting our right to privacy

Even a life-saving measure must be weighed against the threat it poses to democracy -- we do it all the time

The new regulations that allow the ISA to track citizens threatens our right to privacy, and set a dangerous precedent that could remain with us long after the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end

The people had their say in these elections. A majority of the Arab Israeli public (65%) turned out to proclaim a resounding vote of confidence in the Joint List

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trial in the Jerusalem District Court is to begin on March 17th. Dr. Amir Fuchs, a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute provides responses to key questions as to what this process will look like.

Has the "Deal of the Century" injected energy into Israel's third election and perhaps provided an incentive for Arab Israelis to turn out in higher numbers than September? Arik Rudnitzky uses the village of Bartaa as a possible case study.

The UN Human Rights Council published a database of Israeli and international companies operating in the West Bank - what are the ramifications and possible outcomes?

What are the legal barriers standing in the way of the current government implementing the U.S.'s “Deal of the Century” peace plan?

The last decade in Israel has been marked by a wave of legislation that has dealt a blow to the country’s democratic values, the rule of law, and separation of powers.

IDI experts explain Israel’s immunity law, what happens when it’s requested and what the implications may be for the political system.

After lengthy deliberation, the attorney-general, who holds the statutory authority to file charges against him, decided to indict Netanyahu.

There's an unacceptable, extreme conflict of interest between Netanyahu the accused and Netanyahu, head of the executive branch

The sharing of medical data has extremely positive potential. It can help with predicting rare diseases, early detection and more exact diagnoses than are possible with existing medical capabilities.

Actual policy making in a liberal democracy is based on sophisticated nuances.

This claim was first put forth in a letter from the Knesset’s legal adviser, Eyal Yinon, to the speaker of the Knesset with regard to the situation of MK Haim Katz.

Our level-headed, intelligent, rational prime minister has lost his good judgment and is inciting against some of the most important institutions of state

They are everywhere, argued the PM after pushing to install them in polling stations. He's right, and that's exactly the problem

When the PM smeared Arab Knesset members, those 'allies' who urged us to go and vote had a responsibility to protest. They didn't.

The rhetoric accompanying the attempts to delegitimize a “minority government” is questionable. The current transitional government is supported only by 55 Knesset members, with 65 opposing it. If any government deserves the moniker ‘minority government,’ it is the one currently in office.

Justice Minister Amir Ohana,has launched a fierce attack against the State Attorney’s Office. The Prime Minister who appointed him would be wise to remember that the angel of history is peeking over his shoulder.

Coalition negotiations continue and Israel does not yet have a government - but one thing is certain - Israeli democracy dodged a bullet.

Like all democracies, the principle of the "Rule of Law" exits in Israel. In recent years, there have been quite a few attempts to overcome this tenant, potentially causing long-lasting damage to public confidence in the justice system. Dr. Fuchs explains.

Technological progress has created a situation of severe tension and incompatibility between the right to privacy and the extensive data pooling on which the digital economy is based. This development requires new thinking about the substance of that right.

This article focuses on the overlap and interaction between the doctrine of proportionality and other doctrines used to assess the constitutionality of state violations of the right to equality

In this paper, we present the first integrative discussion of policy analysis and legal proportionality in order to specify a method of meaningful integration of the proportionality requirements into policy analysis.

The recent wave of populism forces us to sharpen our understanding of the literal meaning of 'democracy' and 'the rule of the people' as well as the accepted definition of liberal democracy

Of the three realistic options, a unity government seems optimal. The other possibilities - a third round of voting or a narrow, right-wing government - carry exorbitant price tags.

"This election will be less about which candidate ends up as prime minister, but rather the real possibility of radical judicial reforms that might soon pass in the Knesset and which would limit the Supreme Court’s ability to perform crucial oversight over the political system."

It turns out that voters actually want robust judicial oversight - which explains why the Override Clause and placing limitations on judicial review have not been prominant in the election campaign

On claims that the High Court ties the security establishment's hands, Dr. Amir Fuchs says "the truth is that when authoritative figures from the defense establishment appear before the court to support some important security requirement, the court almost always adopts their argument".

The Israel Democracy Institute offers a look inside efforts to reduce politicization of Israel's Supreme Court.

"Israel and other Western Democracies must carefully consider the negative ramifications of excelling in technology while disregarding moral and ethical questions." Read Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler's latest in Techcrunch

A year has passed since, The Basic Law: Israel the Nation-State of the Jewish People, was passed. What, if anything, has changed in that time?

The public - your employer - has the right to know how often you skip the Knesset plenum or travel abroad. Election date is getting closer and there is no better time than now, to give some thought to the public’s right to information

Arab parties can surge if they shake off the old politics - a significant number of Arabs who stayed home in April will vote if they are persuaded their leaders have integrity

Israel’s judiciary is under assault, according to some, or experiencing a necessary corrective to rampant judicial activism, according to others. Dr. Amir Fuchs, legal expert and the head of the Defending Democratic Values project at the Israel Democracy Institute, walks through the Knesset’s attempt to change the judiciary and the balance of powers in Israel, what’s behind it, and what it means for the country.

The real story of the April 2019 elections took place outside the polling booth. In the Arab sector, the Movement to Boycott the Knesset Elections, a grassroots group based on Arab young adults and university students, working on the social networks with a shoestring budget, conducted an effective campaign with a simple and catchy slogan: “Boycott: The People’s Will.” This message stood in utter contradiction to the motto of the elections in 2015: “The Joint List: The People’s Will.”

One of the main explanations for the dramatic decline in voter turnout in the Arab Israeli sector in the last elections (49%, versus 63% in the 2015 elections) is the sense that the voice of Israeli Arabs — is a voice that doesn’t count.

What is the media's responsibility in covering the protests of the Ethiopian community against and what are the problems in the coverage?

Granting the government additional power, which will enable overriding Basic Laws in simple legislation must not be allowed, lest the defense of basic civil rights in Israel are compromised

The proposal promotes personal and political interests, strikes a severe blow to the public’s trust in democracy and to elected officials’ obligation to act with integrity

An opinion submitted today (June 26th) to MKs, the Attorney General, and the Knesset Legal Advisor on behalf of the Israel Democracy Institute, opposes the proposal to repeal the law to dissolve the Knesset and seeks to take the proposal off the agenda.

The Knesset once again renewed the declaration of a state of emergency. This practice has been around since the establishment of the State - is it still necessary?

Can the Mueller report shed light on the labyrinth of cyber connections, which are at the basis of the suspected criminal activity? Probably not.

The bizarre constitutional situation in which we now find ourselves raises a great many legal questions, not all of which have simple answers. Does the law allow the prime minister to fire all the government’s ministers? Can he serve as “the government” by himself?

Will Arab politicians take advantage of the second chance that the new elections have presented? Runing in a Joint List and reaching out to their younger voters - 60% of which didn't vote in the last election, would be the right place to start.

The story of liberal democracies in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been, to a large extent, the story of protecting personal liberties by independent democratic institutions.

IDI’s President Yohanan Plesner and Canadian jurist Irwin Cotler on the challenges facing Israeli democracy in the months ahead.

Today, Israeli election law focuses on banning propaganda conducted by means of boats and planes (e.g. adverts on them).

First thoughts on early elections with Yohanan Plesner - how did we get here and what to expect next

Are these encouraging numbers the harbinger for positive change in Israeli society?

The Conscription Law and the repeated crises it has generated, are a classic example of the Israeli political system’s inability to deal with the country’s fundamental problems

Populism means different things to different people – and political populism has an even more sinister meaning

“The future coalition aspires to replace the current “judicialization of Israeli life” with the “politicization of Israel law”, says Yedidia Stern

The conservatives who think the court is moved by a malicious intent to stamp out politics are mistaken. Our High Court of Justice is squeaky clean, and of the highest possible caliber

In Israel the proposed Immunity Law is central to coalition negotiations - yet around the globe there is a gradual but significant process of reducing the scope of procedural immunity. See how Israel compares with democracies around the world

The Override Clause would not alter the balance between the branches of government – it would shift the balance of power between the government and the governed

Annexation would result in a continuous state of affairs in which two sets of laws apply to two adjacent populations and would undermine Israel’s democracy

Government transparency means responsibility and accountability – core values that should be independent of political agenda

The current proposal conveys a harsh message of contempt for the rule of law and is in sharp contrast to the current trend in democratic countries

Laws define the legal rules of our democracy and ensure the stability of the political system while guaranteeing individual rights and general public interest - enactment of the Override Clause would seriously undermine this balance.

Arab turnout for the vote was the lowest in a decade – only 49% participated in the elections for the 21st Knesset – Arik Rudnitzky summarizes

After abysmal Arab voter turnout, it’s time for public action. Arabs in Israel are desperate for a new discourse and leaders who connect with them -- what they don't want is more ideology

Voter’s Day, between vicious campaigning and brutal coalition cobbling, lets us appreciate the great equalizer of 'one person, one vote'

The good news is that according to surveys that we published at the Israel Democracy Institute, there is widespread consensus among Israelis on many of the most significant issues our country faces

How should media outlets in Israel prepare themselves for “fake news” campaigns and how has the digital sphere become the “Wild West?” Tipping Point hosts Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler to discuss the extent Israeli elections are influenced by digital campaigns

Iran has apparently hacked the cellphone of Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Netanyahu's main challenger in the April 9 elections. But despite serving as a tool in Likud's campaign, it has not derailed the democratic process in any significant way. In this conversation Eli Bahar, former legal adviser to Shin Bet and IDI fellow, and Ron Shamir, the former head of the technology division at Shin Bet and a fellow at the Hebrew University's Federman Cybersecurity Center, discuss with Tel Aviv Review's Gilad Halpern the danger posed by potential cyber-attacks on Israeli democracy

When we struggle during election campaigns to enforce a rule against use of private data and building profiles of users in order to target them with personalized messages, we are essentially fighting for the rights of the community of older voters

If we want to preserve a healthy democratic process, and especially public trust that it is possible to hold fair elections in this country, democracy must stand up and protect itself

Instead of training rhetorical cannons on the court, which is doing its job in a chaotic situation, the legislature should delete Section 7A from the Basic Law. Let everyone run for the Knesset, and let those who violate criminal laws bear the consequences of their actions

Eli Bahar and Ron Shamir examine the threats posed by foreign intervention (in its broadest sense) in Israel’s Knesset elections—by means of Cyber-attacks, whether at the state or sub-state level

Dr. Amir Fuchs looks at how far removed today’s Likud is from the Likud of yesteryear, both in terms of personalities and ideologies

Will Israel's democratic institutions prove resilient? How is the party system changing and is Israel headed for a tyranny of the majority? Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute, examines the ramifications of the unprecedented indictment of an incumbent Prime Minister in Israel


The essence of breach of trust is a conflict of interests in which decision-makers may find themselves when dealing with public matters. And we should pause to consider this conflict of interest, on the public level no less than on the criminal level

The major parties have been turning a blind eye to women politicians, and their campaigns are the worse for it

While the final decision about an indictment will not be made until after a hearing, with the publication of the draft indictment, the Prime Minister must decide whether he will launch a public campaign under the reverse heading: “Benjamin Netanyahu vs. the State of Israel"

Will Arab elected officials adopt a pragmatic and matter-of-fact approach and overcome the obstacles standing in the way of establishing political partnerships among them, in order to encourage Arab voters to go to the polls on Election Day?


The fifth in a series of articles and videos prepared by the Israel Democracy Institute in the run-up to April 9, explaining and critiquing what goes on during an election period

These elections provide us with an opportunity to raise our voices on the need to regulate the parties’ conduct so that they operate transparently and are accountable to the public

The report and its conclusions, regardless of whether or not they will be acceptable to the State of Israel, once again highlight the importance of the rule of law, and bring to the fore the need for in-depth investigations of events which might be construed as in violation of international law

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, Yohanan Plesner assures readers that, "Supporters of Israel's democracy at home and abroad should know that so far the checks and balances built into our young democracy are holding up in the face of serious pressures."

Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute, and Prof. Yuval Shany, Vice President of Research "No democracy can tolerate public corruption or any exception to the principle of equality before the law."


It is difficult to identify them - they are hidden, disguised, sophisticated and resonate to us what our immediate surroundings think. During the election campaign they are at their peak - bots, fake accounts, unnamed identifiers - all trying to influence public opinion. We bring to you 5 tips for managing smart online presence

The fourth in a series of articles and videos prepared by the Israel Democracy Institute in the run-up to April 9, explaining and critiquing what goes on during an election period

Such a code will not only prevent corruption, but in addition will prevent serious damage to the government’s image and attacks on law enforcement

In an op-ed published in Techcrunch, Dr. Shwartz Altshuler analyzes the dangers of exploiting one of Israel's rare assets - an extraordinary volume of computerized healthcare information, and the potential damage it could cause.

A review of political and ideological streams in Arab society in Israel - towards 2019 elections.

The five-year plan for the development of the Arab community was a giant step forward towards the socioeconomic advancement of Israel’s Arabs, nevertheless the current election campaign is going to be the acid test: Is the Israeli government serious about integrating the country’s Arab citizens into the broader society, or merely in promoting the Arab economy in light of its importance for the country’s overall prosperity?



How are judges appointed in Israel? Who sits on the committee? And why is it so important to maintain the balance between judicial independence and democratic accountability in the appointing process? Tune in to learn more with Dr. Guy Lurie

Transparency International is among the most prominent global organizations fighting corruption through exposure, documentation and measurement.
Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of the organization, discusses the challenges, pitfalls and goals of their work, while Alona Vinograd of the Israel Democracy Institute brings the question of corruption home to Israel against the backdrop of a heated political stage.

The 20th Knesset was the most injurious of all with regard to democratic values, freedom of expression, gatekeeping and, above all, minority rights. In the next government we can only hope that someone will champion liberal center-right values to continue to protect our democracy. 

In its fight against terrorism, Israel has often been proud of its ability to effectively fight terrorism, while remaining faithful to democratic principles. House demolitions were always considered a necessary evil, which could be resorted to in very exceptional circumstances - are we now facing populist trends that runs contrary to the traditional ethos of subjecting counterterrorism policies to rule-of-law constraints.


Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler sat down with The Israel Project to discuss Israeli Security Agency’s warning against foreign countries’ intervention in Israel’s upcoming elections


Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will not step down even if indicted and will run for elections in three months. Where does the law stand? Dr. Guy Lurie explains

Tune into an interview with Yohanan Plesner, President of IDI and The Israel Project on why the government coalition has collapsed hurling Israel into early elections in April 2019

In 2016, Israelis’ trust in the mass media reached an all-time low. But the decline seems to have bottomed out then; the increase in trust registered in 2017 has continued this year and reached 31%. This is still low as compared to many other institutions, but is all the same an improvement.

We would not be global leaders in cyber and technology without simultaneously protecting fundamental human rights.

Trust in Israeli media is on the rise, and that's a valuable lifeline to those whose job it is to keep the public informed.

Israel's 2018 Democracy Index, an annual survey of the health of Israeli democracy, shows off the deepest contradictions in Israeli life. Prof. Tamar Hermann explains why half the country thinks democracy is endangered but half do not, why the left-right divide is now seen as the most threatening division in Israeli society, but the number of Israeli Jews who think things are going well has been rising for over a decade

One fact is clear: the moment the attorney-general announces his decision, half of the public will reject it, to the point of accusing him of serving political interests and not really seeking the truth.

Black Friday is a good reminder that that in order to protect our privacy as well as minimize the use of personal data to influence our ability to make free choices, there needs to be a change in consumers’ habits as well as increased digital literacy. 

The truth is that the bill was designed to castrate expression and creativity, and induce self-censorship by artists and cultural institutions.

A modern nation of laws isn’t supposed to act based on revenge. Its legal system is founded on decency, justice and equality, not primitive concepts like hatred.

How despicable is a mob that calls for non-partisanship but is unwilling to listen to a voice that speaks for a majority of Israelis today?

Israel at 70 is still a thriving democracy, but current concerns are justified, says Alona Vinograd in an interview to Fathom.

The digital domain has developed into something of a wild west for election campaigning in recent years. While there are strict laws governing the press, radio, and television, there are almost no restrictions on online campaigning, such as on the forms of advertising permitted, the use of personal data, and advertising budgets. This lack of regulation has already been shown to potentially affect election results, and may lead to the misuse of information on residents, routinely collected by the municipality as part of its function by those in positions of power in local government. 


Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya’s research finds that shared work spaces in Israel benefit both Jews and Arabs alike. Moreover, working together reduces alienation, erodes stereotypes, and contributes to the Israeli economy.

"While Israeli national politics get most of the coverage, it is the local level that in many cases has the greatest impact on Israeli lives." Read Yohanan Plesner's op-ed on the upcoming municipal elections and why electoral reform is required, both on the local and national level.

The United Nations, with all its many flaws, has an essential role to play in promoting the basic idea that any and all individuals must enjoy human rights.

As Israel enters its eighth decade, Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute, reflects on the delicate balance between the state’s two dominant characteristics – Jewish and democratic – which has never been more contested.

Guaranteeing an independent Supreme Court. Integrating the Ultra-Orthodox into the IDF. Boosting participation of Arab women in the workforce. Improving the ease of doing business in Israel. These are some of the challenges facing IDI’s new cadre of program and center directors.

Comparitively low representation of Arab residents in the municipal government of “mixed” cities adversely affects their trust and sense of belonging as well as their affinity in the municipality.

The deputy president of the Jerusalem District Court inaugurated the Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, issuing the first verdict based on it -  imposing punitive damages on Hamas for the severe post-traumatic stress suffered by a Jewish Israeli wounded in a terror attack in Tel Aviv in 1998. 


"How good it is that there are judges in Jerusalem, including the Magistrate’s Court, whose insight has not deserted them, despite the demands on them by the government to function as automatons in the service of brutality."

Initial observations on Israeli's Military Advocate General's decision to conclude investigation into 'Black Friday'.

The breach of IDF’s Meitav website was almost inevitable, in light of inadequate attention to the need to protect sensitive personal information and the lack of supporting legislation in Israel.


Now is the time to rise above petty politics and pass a draft law that will uphold the principle of civic equality in Israel.


In the bill’s final wording, the state only commits itself to act within the Diaspora to strengthen the ties of Jewish peoplehood – as if actions taken inside the Jewish state, like the reneged-upon Western Wall compromise, have no bearing on the rest of the Jewish world.

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler joins hosts Dahlia Scheindlin and Gilad Halpern to discuss the deteriorating relationship between politicians and the press, how media policy in Israel may infringe on the country’s relatively robust freedom of the press, and how a strong press in Israel threatens the current government.

The Israel Democracy Institute applauds Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to reevaluate the Facebook Law which was initially formulated to help fight terrorism, but evolved into a draconian law that could set back the Start-Up Nation decades in terms of freedom of speech.

A Basic Law that seeks to define the character of the state but does not anchor the principle of civic equality has no place in the law book of any democracy.


How can Israel - a light to the nations, and homeland for the Jewish People, fail to embrace equality for all, alongside commitment to the diaspora?

The Israel Democracy Institute issued a letter to the Prime Minister regarding the Nation State Billl, asserting that if the value of equality is not anchored in the legislation alongside the other enumerated national characteristics of the state, the law may eventually erode Israel's democratic character

The Lod district court decision illustrates the possible dangers to criminal defendant’s human rights though the expanding defense of necessity and the lack of separation between the preventive and criminal phases of the investigation.

Yohanan Plesner discusses with Tipping Point the "People's Army". Can a compromise be reached and is "sharing the burden" of military service a realistic goal? 

Government-sponsored legislation proposing to change how ministry legal advisors are appointed has stirred up quite a storm. The idea should worry all of us, not only jurists.

The Israel Democracy Institute ahead of the Knesset Constitution Committee debate on political appointments of legal advisers in government ministries: "A blow to the civil service ethos; an opening for potential corruption, forsakes public interest".

Israel’s supporters, who have the nation’s best interests at heart, should resist the urge to engage in partisan smear campaigns that attempt to tarnish the reputations of patriots who are on the frontlines of the struggle for Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish and democratic state. We have enough enemies on our borders.

The majority of the Arab public want to be included in the State’s decision-making processes, and support Arab ministers serving in the government.


Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute cautions that the Ministry of Defense’s proposed draft bill “endangers IDF’s model of service as a “People's Army” based on the principle of mandatory service for all

Professor Yuval Shany discusses the seeming dissonance between Israel's advanced surveillance technology, the minimal restrictions on using it, and a citizenry that hardly cares– and why all this might have to change

The good news is that despite the unprecedented offensive which aims at dealing a significant blow to the Supreme Court, the majority of the Israelis still have trust in this institution. In fact, the levels of trust in the court are much greater than those of the Knesset and the Government

The National Economic Council has repeatedly stated that the human capital potential of Arab society could be a significant source of economic growth, and is a resource that has not been developed.

Judiciary activism is neither easily defined nor easily measured. That said, it is important to clarify: Israel’s Supreme Court strikes down relatively few laws as compared with courts in other countries

 The proposed amendment which will strip the Supreme Court of the power to invalidate legislation (“the British model”), or alternatively, would allow the Knesset, by a vote of 61 of its members to reinstate a law that the court has struck down (“the override clause”) pose a grave threat to every single Israeli citizen. 


The Democracy Pavilion, a unique multi-media experience, in full 360 degree technology, showcasing the values embedded in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, is open to the public.

Beyond the important political, humanitarian and moral issues raised by the “Great Return March” and the IDF’s response, complicated legal issues also present themselves. 

When we use social networks, search engines or other online services on our computers or smartphones, we leave behind a long digital trail. The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal should serve as a wake-up call to us all as to the implications.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal raises troubling questions about the colossal amount of personal data now available online. Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler says that states must take more aggressive action to protect individual privacy and prevent private entities from hijacking elections.


The nation state law is the "identity law" of the state, and this will have a revolutionary significance, since democracy is not mentioned in it.

Arab women - around 10% of the total population of Israel - barely participate in the workforce, far below the employment rate of Arab or even ultra-Orthodox men. Why?

“The campaign to remake the Supreme Court has been completed” said Justice Minister Shaked - so now with its new and more conservative profile, there is no longer any justification for the delegitimization of the Supreme Court.


In a letter to the Members of Knesset, IDI's management clarifies that the ultra-Orthodox proposed legislation will influence budgetary matters such as allocations to Yeshiva students and housing grants, and will  place Israel’s national security in jeopardy



Letter to Members of the Knesset on the proposed Basic Law: Torah Study - "This is an extremist proposal to enshrine the principle of inequality in our law books.Its adoption could undermine the IDF’s model of service and place Israel’s national security in jeopardy"

Powerful forces are pushing against the rule of law, attempting to derail it. From the perspective of those who wish to preserve the rule of law, we are living in a Greek tragedy whose dreadful outcome is foreknown. 

"The facts revealed yesterday by the police are deeply troubling. Faced with this reality, all those who consider themselves leaders in our community, must come forth and make their position clear, rejecting such conduct forthrightly, lest moral decay spreads through our civil service and public’s trust in the government plummets.”

The Israeli government’s plans to deport en masse thousands of persons in need of international protection to undiscolsed ‘third contries’ pursuant to secret (denied, and effectively unenforcable) agreements are deeply troubling from a refugee and human rights law perspective. They should be called off.

Deporting people against their will to the countries they escaped from evokes strong and disturbing recollections of dark episodes in Jewish history.


On the complex relationship between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the secret to bringing down the walls of fear and prejudice


As calls for a "majoritarian democracy" gain strength in Israel, IDI's President warns of the dangers associated with a tyranny of the majority, and makes the case for a richer interpretation of democracy, grounded in the principles of liberty, equality and the separation of powers.


"Weak media leads to fake news"

David Zeev (Reshet Bet) talks to Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, 

The panel: Is it Trump, Zuckerberg or US - Whose Fault is Fake News? was held at the Globes-Israel Business Conference in Jerusalem on January 11, 2018.

Last year the Democracy Index pointed to an all-time low in public trust in the media. However, in 2017 it seems that the trend has reversed. Why?

The Israeli High Court of Justice’s Dec. 12 decision in Abu Ghosh v. Attorney-General provides a good opportunity to reexamine the implementation of the prohibition against torture in Israeli law almost twenty years after the court’s landmark 1999 judgment in Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, which outlawed torture.

Six countries – Canada, Germany, India, Israel, Poland and South Africa – are paradigm examples of modern constitutional systems where rights may be limited through the application
of a constitutional limitations clause. In each jurisdiction, the constitutionality of a rights limitation has come to rely on the principle of proportionality, and the key exercise in judicially reviewing a rights limitation is the proportionality analysis.

The Facebook Bill, which would allow the government to use administrative means to remove content from social networking sites, would both set a precedent and be ineffective

Rabin's legacy was equal representation at decision-making levels, fair regulation of land and services in Arab towns and equality as a right that’s guaranteed to all.

A state that is proud of its identity has nothing to fear from granting all its citizens equality.

How both faiths can use their common threads and customs as a means to connect, dialogue and cooperate.

The state and its Arab leadership, not only the political leadership, must work together to bring as many Arab citizens as possible into the decision-making echelons.


Israel's Military Censor, an institution that has no parallel in any other democracy in the world, must cease to exist.

The north presents real opportunities for Israel’s society and economy. Turns out that the solutions have been in plain sight all along.

Now you know what it's like to feel marginalized and unequal in Israel. Arab citizens know that all too well. That's why we must join forces.

Israel’s leadership appears to have diverted from Theodor Herzl’s path. Instead of striving to create equality and a common ground, it is doing everything in its power to incite and divide for the sake of a few more votes.


Recent findings by the Central Bureau of Statistics on the Israeli labor market reveal that 80% of the country's Arab citizens are employed in jobs with difficult physical conditions. Watch a Research Reel about the NEET phenomenon among Israel’s Arabs.

Citizens must lead the way in the battle against political corruption.

Haredim and Arabs must be integrated into society and economy to take the start-up nation to the next level.

The author proposes a number of policy recommendations that could help Israel’s Arab population, and could be applicable to any society that suffers from socioeconomic segregation and related challenges. This article was first published by Jmore.

Priavcy is a requirement for the proper functioning of any democratic society.

The sale of Mobileye to Intel is not surprising when you consider that last year MIT Technology Review ranked the Jerusalem-based company as one of the 10 smartest companies in the world. As such, the real story is the relationship between government, society, and technology.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that “the time has come for the Start-Up Nation to also have a Start-Up Government.” I agree. But can it be done?

It is almost certain that readers of this article will not recognize the name of this man, the terrorist who caused more damage to Israel’s security than any other attacker in recent years. His name is Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, 21, from Hebron.

What is the state of freedom of information in Israel? Like in the US, there is good and bad news.

In Israel, we talk a lot about innovation. But what does the term really mean?

Harnessing the power of readily available technological tools to promote political engagement and revitalize intra-party democratic practices is essential for strengthening party institutions and restoring the public’s faith in government.

Experience and history repeatedly teach us that what was once widely accepted as an irrefutable truth can be revealed to be a total falsehood.

Instead of accepting the Arab local authorities’ proposal for a dialogue and the preparation of a comprehensive joint strategic plan for permitting construction in the Arab locales, the government is continuing to destroy Arab homes in Israel ... and there is no solution on the horizon.

Elor Azaria’s case shows how online pressure by extremist voices can swiftly go viral in the Israeli mainstream, forcing politicians to choose: Play catch up or resist, but at great personal cost.

Ahead of a recent discussion by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on the “Facebook Bill,” IDI’s Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler wrote a policy statement in which she called the bill non-applicable to the modern day. She said the bill is likely to cause disproportionate censorship through what will be dysfunctional legal proceedings.

Dr. Ofer Kenig discusses the multiple ways in which the United States has facilitated the voting process in order to improve voter turnout, and suggests that Israel adopt a number of these innovations. This op-ed originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post

Although one need not agree with the positions held by Israel’s Arab citizens, it can’t be denied that they constitute an independent, moderate voice – and a promising political middle ground on the Palestine- Israeli conflict. This article first appeared in The Jerusalem Post.

When a sizable portion of our decision-makers have that difficulty, and “digital illiteracy” becomes evident in the upper echelons where decisions are made, we’ve got a problem. This article was first published by The Jerusalem Post.

Some 76 years ago, on August 4, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, one of the most prominent Zionist thinkers and leaders, founder and head of the Revisionist movement, Betar youth group and the Irgun paramilitary organization, died prematurely. It is interesting to explore his views on matters related to democracy and liberalism.

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler says rejoicing over the death of television and the birth of “intervision” is premature. This column was originally published by Times of Israel.

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler argues that the main reason the coup in Turkey fizzled is not because of Erdogan’s FaceTime message, but because he had been anticipating this putsch for quite a few years and had arranged the entire legal apparatus that governs the relationship between the Turkish government and the media accordingly. 

Last week, the Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee began deliberating over a proposal that would fundamentally alter the Basic Law – The Knesset: The MK Suspension Bill. If passed, the proposed bill would grant members of Knesset the power to remove another parliamentarian. This op-ed originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

The Oscar award-winning “Spotlight” captures the mix of frustration, joy, drudgery and thrill that goes into every great investigative story, reminding viewers of the power of investigative journalism to reveal the abuse of power in the public and private sectors. Could the Pulitzer-prize winning work of the Boston Globe be replicated today?

One of the most fundamental principles of democratic government is the delicate system of checks and balances that prevents the arbitrary exercise of power by the majority. Israel, the sole democracy in a dangerous and unstable neighborhood, has long been an exemplar of these checks and balances. We cannot allow Israel's democratic foundations to gradually erode. Israel’s survival and prosperity hinge, in the final analysis, on its democratic vitality.

This essay makes a case for the international community’s right of self-defense against atrocities, through its members, and to refer briefly to the challenge of implementing such a right. 

Few stories illustrate the unfeeling and aggressive attitude of the Israeli government toward the Arab-Bedouin population of the Negev as well as the case of Atir-Umm al-Hiran. In this op-ed, which was first published by JTA, Eli Bahar and Thabet Abu Ras of the Abraham Fund discuss Israel's obligations toward its minority citizens.

The Knesset is currently considering a proposed amendment, sponsored by the Prime Minister, to Basic Law: The Knesset. It would allow a special majority of 90 Knesset members to suspend an MK for an unlimited period of time. In effect, this would be tantamount to an expulsion, with the suspended parliamentarian replaced by the next person on his or hers party’s candidates list. This article was first published by

The integration of talented Arab employees into Israel’s hi-tech sector could relieve the human-resources shortage for employers. Encouraging Arabs to enter the hi-tech industry could improve their economic situation significantly, which would reduce inequality and contribute to a reduction of social tensions in the Arab community.

While in Israel there is no formal constitution, freedom of expression is inherent in our Basic Laws. Yet a recent episode between the Israeli government and the foreign press placed Israel in a problematic light and was neither democratic nor right.

How long will we continue to recite the mantra that “technology cannot be stopped?” To what extent will we take a stand and cease to permit bad social engineering? This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.

As Israel gets ready to transition to its new Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, now is a good time to ask ourselves: Was Yehuda Weinstein a good Attorney General? An opinion piece by Guy Lurie, which originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post. 

Dr. Mordechai Kremnitzer argues that it is time for Israel to examine the Shin Bet security service's regulations, based on the assumption that they apply to all residents of Israel. One law must apply to all suspected perpetrators of terrorist acts — Jews and Arabs alike.

Israel refuses to officially disclose the identity of the states to which relocation takes place.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must charge forward and turn his words into action. Only then will he be able to guarantee his vision of Israel as “a source of unity for our people.” (This article was first published by

In an op-ed in <em>Haaretz</em>, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer discusses government corruption in Israel and the implications of the Holyland verdict for deterring such corruption in the future.

IDI researcher Attorney Amir Fuchs asserts that the only way for Israel to ensure good governance is by adopting a constitution.