Center for Governance and the Economy

The Center for Governance and the Economy aims to promote reforms in Israel's political system, civil service and labor market, in order to improve the functioning of these systems and increase public confidence in them.

Among other achievements, these programs have resulted in the repeal of direct elections for the Prime Minister, the establishment of Israel's National Economic Council, and the creation of the Knesset's Legislative Information Center.

The Center's flagship event is the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society (formerly the Caesarea Economic Policy Planning Forum), which is widely recognized as Israel's most influential economic conference.

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    Prof. Karnit Flug

    Vice President, Research; William Davidson Senior Fellow for Economic Policy

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    Prof. Karnit Flug joined IDI in June 2019 as its Vice President of Research and the William Davidson Senior Fellow for Economic Policy.

    Prof. Karnit Flug completed her five-year term as Governor of the Bank of Israel in November 2018. In March 2019 she joined the Department of Economics at the Hebrew University. 

    As Governor, Prof. Flug oversaw the design and implementation of Israel's monetary policy and served as the Economic Advisor to the government. She was widely credited for maintaining stability and supporting growth in the Israeli economy.

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    Daphna Aviram-Nitzan

    Director of the Center, Head of the Economic Reform Program and Director of the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society

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    Daphna Aviram-Nitzan has held the position of Director of the Center for Governance and the Economy since 2016 along with serving as the Director of the annual Eli Hurvitz Conference for Economy and Society.

    Between 2002-2016, Aviram-Nitzan was the Director of the Economic Research division and the Chief Economist at the Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI) and the economic advisor of the President of the business sector. Before that (1994 – 2002) Daphna served as an economist in several positions in the MAI's research and strategy department. She is the former chairman of the board of directors of Clal Finance-Mutual Funds and currently serves as an External Director of companies in the Israeli capital market.

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    Dr. Assaf Shapira

    Head, Political Reform Program

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    Assaf Shapira received a PhD in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at the Centre d’études européennes (Center for European Studies) at the Sciences po (Paris).

    His research largely focuses on political representation, political parties, the role of money in politics, and reforms in Israel's public service.

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    Adv. Rita Golstein-Galperin

    Head, Civil Service Reform Program

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    Rita is a senior practitioner in the fields of public policy and innovation, she joined the Institute after holding a variety of senior positions in the public service. Rita founded the Israel's Economic Attaché delegation to the OECD in Paris and led of the exclusive training program, "Civil Service Cadets ".
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    Prof. Gideon Rahat

    Senior Fellow, Political Reform Program

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    Professor Rahat is a faculty member of the Political Sciences Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an International Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine.

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    Prof. Yotam Margalit

    Senior Fellow, Economic Reform Program

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    Professor Margalit headed a large, experimental cross-national study of the investment decisions of multinational firms, a project that he developed and carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

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    Prof. Itai Ater

    Senior Fellow

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    Professor Atar is a senior faculty member at the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University. He is an empirical researcher in economics and strategy and focuses on increasing understanding of the factors behind the high cost of living in Israel.  Since the beginning of 2023, he has been editor of the "Quarterly Journal of Economics.”  At the Israel Democracy Institute, he focuses on research relating to high of cost of living and housing.

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    Erez Sommer

    Head the Climate Change Project: Israel 2050

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    Since 2019 Erez has been leading and coordinating the climate response initiative on behalf of IDI and in cooperation with the government. He is a member of the content team for the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society. A graduate of the Heschel Sustainability Center fellowship program which trains young leaders for social, economic and environmental change.


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    Gabriel Gordon

    Researcher, Economic Reform Program

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    He holds a Master's degree in Economics and Environmental studies.

    His research focuses on demographics and trends within the Israeli labor force.

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    Zak Hirsch

    Research Assistant, the Economic Reform Program

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    Zak researches intergenerational mobility, changes in workers' skills and tasks, and environmental employment policies.

    He graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, economics, and political science from Tel Aviv University. He is currently a Master's student in economics in the joint .research track of the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University

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    Yarden Kedar

    Researcher and Coordinator of the Future Labor Market Project in the Economic Reform Program

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    Prof. Ofer Kenig

    Research Fellow, Political Reform Program

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    Prof. Ofer Kenig is a senior lecturer in Ashkelon Academic College and a research fellow in Israel Democracy Institute. His areas of research include comparative politics, political parties, leadership and candidate selection and Israeli politics. He co-authored the books Reforming Israel's Political System (2013)The Promise and Challenge of Party Primary Elections (2016) and From Party Politics to Personalized Politics (2018).

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    Roe Kenneth Portal

    Researcher, Economic Reform Program

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    Roe came to the institute with experience in policy research, data analysis, and report writing in both the public and private sectors. He conducted research for the labor force on future employment trends, characteristics of special populations in the workforce, and remote work. He also dealt with improving data infrastructure for the avodata website. Additionally, as part of his work at the economic consulting firm ERCG, he was a consultant for the Ministry of Finance regarding natural gas royalties.

    At IDI, Roe is involved in research on unemployment, social mobility, and remote work. He is responsible for current economic analyses based on the center's needs. Roi graduated with honors from the PPE, combined program in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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    Dr. Itamar Yakir

    Researcher, Economic Reform Program

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    Itamar is a researcher in the Economic Reform Program at IDI and holds a PhD from the School of Public Policy, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    He studies social policy, labor markets and political economy.

    His Dissertation deals with the response of minorities to reforms made in labor market programs.

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    Dr. Dana Blander

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    Research Fellow and Research Consultant

    Dr. Dana Blander is a Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and an expert clinical psychologist. Her doctoral thesis - "ambivalence as a challenge to the political order" - which combines political philosophy with psychoanalytic insights won the Alex Berger Award of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2008. She served as a guest lecturer at Tufts University in Boston in the years 2010-2011.

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    Dr. Chen Friedberg

    Research Fellow, Political Reform Program

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    Dr. Chen Friedberg has co-written many papers published by the Israel Democracy Institute.

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    Avital Friedman

    Researcher, Political Reform Program

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    Shahar Livne

    Research Assistant, Civil Service Reform Program

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    Shahar holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master's degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, both with exceptional distinction. Currently, she is pursuing a doctoral degree in Health Systems Management at the same university, focusing on readiness and coping with the climate crisis in resource-scarce environments as part of an international team.

    She has experience in policy research, evaluation and measurement, and strategic planning from various research institutes in Israel and from service in public sector. She is skilled in designing and editing interdisciplinary research and conducting mixed-methods studies, as well as facilitating public engagement processes with diverse audiences.

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    Nadav Porat Hirsh

    Research Assistant, Economic Reform Program

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    Holds a joint degree in law and economics and Master's degree in economics at the Hebrew University.

    primary research interests encompass labor market dynamics, the cost of living, and the impact of climate-change on labor market.

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    Asaf Heiman

    Research Assistant, Political Reform Program

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    Asaf holds a bachelor's and master’s degree in political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His thesis presented on a comparative study of political parties in local government in Israel. At IDI, Asaf researches local politics in Israel and explores ways to promote local democracy in Israel. As part of this, Asaf focuses on studying the activities of political parties in Israel's local government and the local electoral system.

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    David Shurman

    Research Assistant, Public Sector Reform Program

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    David is a graduate of the Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students at Tel Aviv University, and holds an MA degree in Public Policy in the field of Development Economics, with high distinction. He has extensive experience in designing, executing, and managing interdisciplinary research in Southeast Asia and Africa.

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    Maayan Sacher Pelleg

    Research Assistant, Civil Service Reform Program

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    Maayan is a policy researcher with management experience in organizations focused on human rights advocacy, economic justice, and social impact innovation. Prior to joining the Institute, Maayan served as an account manager at a social impact incubator, a disability case manager, braille teacher, and a researcher at international organizations, including the UN and the OECD. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University as an International Fellow grantee and obtained her Bachelor’s degree (BA) in Anthropology and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania as a Civic Scholar.

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    Uri Zamir

    Research Assistant

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    Uri is a research assistant at the Center for Governance and the Economy and focuses on environmental and climate economics. He is an MSc economics student at Tel Aviv University and has a BSc with first class honors in
    economics and cognitive sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
    He is a fellow in the "Mind Journeys" program at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and in the "Program for Social Economists" at the Social Economic Academy. Has rich experience in carrying out long-term, qualitative and
    quantitative research projects.
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    Ofir Mohaban

    Research Assistant, Civil Service Reform Program

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    Holds a Bachelor’s in PPE (Philosophy, Political Science and Economics) and the Amirim Interdisciplinary Honors Program in the Humanities from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    Worked as a research assistant for several political science researchers in Israel and abroad. Assisted in research projects about analyzing levels of nationalism and populism in the UK and US, ranking levels of populism and nationalism in past speeches given by Israeli prime ministers, and the effects of gender biases on violence against women in the US.

    Also assisted Dr. Elyakim Cislev from the Federmann School of Public Policy and Governance in the Hebrew University with the analysis of responses given by the elderly in Israel to a survey on the government’s responsive policy towards senior citizens following the events of the 7th of October, 2023.

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    Omer Cohen

    Research Assistant

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    Ayala Goldberg

    Research Assistant, Local Authority Project at the Public Sector Reform Program

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    Research assistant in the Religion and State program at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for Shared Society, and a local governance project within the Public Service Reform program. Holds a Bachelor's degree in the PPE program from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Currently a Master's student in government and public policy at the Open University.

On February 27, 2024, elections were held in 242 localities throughout Israel. The following analysis reviews the results of the elections from a number of angles.

V-Dem's latest report downgraded Israel's status from a "liberal democracy" to an "electoral democracy." The change in Israel's category is concerning, but on its own, it does not necessarily indicate a clear democratic decline. 

The National Unity faction in the Knesset is disbanding and reverting into the two parties that composed its list of candidates in the last election. The splitting of joint lists does not contribute to political stability. It contributes to fragmentation within the political system and may be perceived as political cynicism.

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.

The local elections this week in Israel—taking place at a time of war—have many Israelis asking, perhaps louder than usual, is it actually important to vote in these elections? The answer to this question is a resounding yes.

Over the weekend, Moody’s Investors Service announced that it had downgraded Israel’s credit rating from A1 to A2 and assigned it a “negative” credit outlook. Our policymakers would be well advised to study the risk analysis and assessment in Moody’s report closely and to take all possible steps to mitigate the risks. 

Israeli reserve soldiers are making unimaginable sacrifices to protect their country. To rise to the challenge of meeting the IDF's expanded personnel needs, Israel's policy solutions must be as diverse as are the reservists serving this nation. A "one-size-fits-all" compensation approach will not cut it. 

A decision to allow Palestinian workers back into Israel is not at all a simple matter. Despite recommendations by Israel's security agencies to allow entry to Palestinian workers, the Ministers of Construction and of the Economy oppose it for security reasons. As alternative solutions to the severe shortage of workers are unsatisfactory, we must ask ourselves whether we, as a country, are prepared to withstand another socioeconomic crisis.

This survey was conducted in order to assess public opinion regarding the preferred economic policy in light of the war in Gaza, to identify the main areas of concern to the public, and to examine the public’s views on various social issues.

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?

Coalition funds have been part of the budget-making progress for years. This study examines the trends in the use of these funds under the last three governments. One can see that the volume of coalition funds has grown up to fourfold within two Governments and that their breakdown has been less professional and more directed to interest groups.

The paradigm of reliance on technology for our security seems to have led us to a point in which infinite data points and technological tools are at our disposal failed to produce a response. It is of course essential to continue investing in technological superiority, but this needs to be done with a clearer head.

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.

The ongoing war poses unprecedented challenges—military, civilian, geopolitical, and economic. Our focus is on providing necessary responses to the needs of the military, the needs of those directly affected in combat areas, mitigating the financial damage to businesses and employees, and rebuilding the communities destroyed on October 7.

The government of Israel must recognize the strategic importance of agriculture, the food sector, and other industries producing goods that are vital for the country’s security and for the continued functioning of the business sector during times of emergency and war

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.

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.

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

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. 

Earlier this year, we published an article warning against the dangers of the judicial reforms, to our regret, many of the negative developments about which we warned at the beginning of the year have already come to pass.

Prof. Karnit Flug, IDI's VP of Research, William Davidson Senior Fellow and a former governor of the bank of Israel offers data on the current effects of the controversial judicial overhaul and projections for more ripples as the high tech industry begins to unravel. 

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 term "incapacitation" refers to a situation in which a government official is unable to perform their duty. The previous version of the law did not detail what constitutes incapacitation, nor who is authorized to declare incapacitation. The current version is accused of being personal and political.  

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?

This paper seeks to elucidate the economic consequences of the judicial overhaul. It approaches the topic through the lens of the new institutional literature in economics, which has extensively addressed the link between democratic institutions and the economy in recent decades.

The coalition is currently seeking to advance a legislative amendment that will prevent the Supreme Court from annulling (or striking down) decisions of the government, individual ministers, and other elected officials (such as mayors) it finds to be "extremely unreasonable."

In Israel, the public sector succeeded in enhancing innovation in the private sector but has remained rigidly stuck in the past and lags behind OECD standards.

The reform proposal and the resulting protests brought to light and to a large extent also created conflicts on religious and ethnic grounds. The findings of this research reveal a strong relation between levels of religiosity and support or opposition to the judicial overhaul.

Four behavioral insights on the recent State budget and how it informs on Israeli society and politics.

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

Study on the integration and mobility of individuals from disadvantaged economic backgrounds in the high-tech industry

40% of Israelis aged 25–44 cited the high cost of living as the issue that concerns them most. 80% of them have had to give up one or more item of expenditure, particularly leisure activities and vacation in Israel and abroad, and about 30% have refrained from buying basic items, food, or cars.

The OECD recommends granting local authorities’ greater autonomy in setting local taxation. The program being pursued by the current government raises fears of central government taking control of the Arnona (municipal tax) Fund, as has happened in the past.

New survey of Israeli workers reveals changes in levels of satisfaction post COVID pandemic: Most workers in Israel are satisfied with their work-life balance, despite the fact that half of them work more than their official number of hours; around a third report difficulty with functioning in family life

Even though the tax seems to have reduced the use of disposable utensils, its repeal demonstrates that a sustainable change in behavior requires additional measures, including running information campaigns tailored to the ultra-orthodox, making alternatives available, and encouraging their use.

The impact of the proposed changes to the judicial system on the financial balance of Israeli households: analysis of the M.O.F risk scenarios by income deciles

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.

Precisely what legal clause Levin and company will choose to achieve their goals isn’t really important, but the larger implications certainly are.

A top democracy index hasn't yet ranked Israel with Hungary. That will change if the majority becomes all powerful

The concepts of a “position” and “conflict of interest” crop up frequently in the discussion of the judicial revolution - that is why the facts are so important

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. 

Just one year ago, women’s representation in Israeli politics soared to an all-time high—in the Knesset, in the Government, and in local authorities. But today, we are going backwards. The approach of International Women’s Day is an appropriate time to look at the current situation and express concern as to this trend.

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

Coercive regulations and enforcement, especially in democratic countries, have a more limited reach than governments are prepared to admit.

Debilitating the judicial system would deal a blow to overseas investors’ motivation to invest in Israel and lead to a sharp drop in its credit rating. We need only look at the precedents of Turkey, Hungary, and Poland, to understand just how serious the threat is.

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.

Netanyahu will soon begin his third term as Prime Minister – 26 years after he was first elected to the position. This is an extraordinary accomplishment – however not unheard and there are other leaders of democratic countries who have made more than one comeback.

Limits should be placed on the conditions under which joint lists composed of several parties can split up. It also needs to be clear under what circumstances a Knesset Member who has seceded from his faction must resign, so that the resignation will be considered to be “soon after his secession.”


Dafna Aviram-Nitzan, Director of the Center on Governance and the Economy at the Israel Democracy Institute notes that “The option for working remotely opens up a window of opportunity for purchasing housing in the peripheral areas of Israel”

The trend to divvy up the government in political agreements has reached new heights - with detrimental impact on the ministries ability to provide high-quality service

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

The impact of the climate crisis on the well-being of Israel’s citizens is to a large extent dependent on the politicians’ coming to grips with the issue.

With regards to the relations between the Coalition and the Opposition in the new Knesset - we must restoring the crown to its former glory

The “Norwegian Law” has many troubling and significant downsides - however Israel's parliament is simply too small.

Joint lists that fall apart quickly often do more harm than good, heightening political divisiveness and instability

The majority of the population in Israel lacks significant precautionary savings and thus are not capable of dealing with Mega-Macro Shocks - mandatory precautionary savings should be put in place for all citizens for use during such a crisis.

Fourteen days after the election, the 25th Knesset will be sworn in. This is the fifth Knesset inauguration in less than 3½ years—testimony to the political crisis which Israel is undergoing. How many new MKs are there? Will the stagnation in female representation continue? How many MKs have a background in local government?


The elections for the 25th Knesset assembly produced a clear result. Israel’s citizens have had their say, and the political system is now entering the next stage of the cycle: forming a new government. Over the coming days, President Herzog will consult with the representatives of the factions elected to the Knesset, and will decide whom to entrust with the task of forming a government. This will begin the process that will culminate in the swearing-in of Israel’s 37th government. What are the rules that govern this process, and what can we learn from past experience in Israel and in other countries?

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.


Despite a clear majority of seats in the Knesset for Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition, the number of votes cast in the 2022 elections in Israel was almost equal between the factions. How is this possible?
Israel's electoral process is one of proportional representation and includes a 3.25% threshold. Find out what role this played in determining election results and how it differs from the American electoral college system.

From a comparative perspective, the electoral threshold in Israel (3.25%) seems perfectly reasonable. In the vast majority of democracies, this figure ranges from 2% to 5%. Every percent plus or minus comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. When the threshold is higher, there is a greater danger that votes will go to waste. This is what just happened in Israel, where the lists that came up short of the threshold now find themselves out of the Knesset. But this is not predestined: whether parties clear the threshold or not, depends on their use of their political intelligence.

After five elections in less than four years – Israel is on its way to political stability. Although the number of voters since 2021 didn’t change dramatically – almost 9% of the votes were wasted below the electoral threshold – how does this affect the makeup of the new Knesset?  In addition the 2022 elections resulted in a clear victory for former Prime Minister Netanyahu, even though voters were split on whether they wanted him back in office. Prof. Kenig explains.


The 2022 elections resulted in a clear victory for former Prime Minister Netanyahu, even though voters were split on whether they wanted him back in office. Prof. Kenig explains.

Does the past predict the future? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. What we can expect is stability in the number of double-envelope ballots, which will have a negligible impact on the distribution of Knesset seats between the blocs, unless they push some list below the threshold.

What it is the significance of “vote-sharing agreements,” how is it decided which of the parties that signed a vote-sharing agreement gains an additional seat, and what happens if one of the parties does not pass the electoral threshold? The answers to all these questions are provided in this overview.

With less than a month to go to Israel’s fifth elections in three and a half years, it is clear that governmental instability has wreaked huge damage. The work of the Knesset and of the government has suffered, as Knesset members and ministers are constantly operating in a campaign mode. The rules of the game that are generating this instability must be addressed carefully and based on a broad consensus.

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.

Over the past decade average real wage of Israeli workers increased by 25% - nevertheless their purchasing power is relatively lower than the OECD average

The current political instability is the result a breach of accepted rules of the game that are based on assumptions about the nature of politics—and even of human nature.

The current campaign finance system in Israel incentivizes existing parties and creates a closed club where its difficult for new parties to compete. How can the system be reformed?

The dramatic differences among the different parties in terms of women’s representation in realistic candidate slots raise the question of what has gone wrong with the gender quota system. One simple recommendation for gradually increasing these quotas could radically change the situation and help ensure equitable representation for women

Former Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Karnit Flug, explains what lies behind the recent wave of the rise in prices; what is the main tool for dealing with inflation, and how this relates to wage agreements in the public-sector. She makes is clear that we are not back where we were in the 1980s, but, we must deal with the situation without delay.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot’s decision to join Benny Gantz and Gideon Sa’ar’s new political framework is a part of a long-standing trend in which retired IDF chiefs of staff join the political system.

The election campaign for the 25th Knesset is in its early stages, and one of the key landmarks is September 15th when all the parties contending must submit their list of candidates.

Dr. Assaf Shapira discusses the primary system in Israel with Bicom's Richard Pater. They talk about why parties chose to elect their candidates through different systems and what benefits parties such as the Likud and Labor gain from using the closed primary system.

How much does religious affiliation influence the votes that Israelis cast in the ballot box? Central Bureau of Statistics data and Viterbi Center surveys are used to present a comprehensive picture.

Israel has a closed electoral system, so that on election day, the country’s citizens do not vote for individual representatives, but rather-for a list, which subsequently evolves into a faction in the Knesset. What does that mean in terms of balancing the power between the party and  individual parliament members?

The 24th Knesset has dispersed, around a year and a quarter since it was sworn in. The most prominent finding in the following review is that this Knesset continued the trend set by its predecessor: Both saw a dramatic increase in the number of private members’ bills put forward, and a dramatic reduction in the proportion of such bills that passed a third reading and became laws.

Joint lists decrease political polarization in the Knesset, but this might not hold true when it comes to artificial mergers and parties that have never proven that they represent a significant portion of the population.

Behind the record number of job openings, in an age of full employment and an economy with rapid growth, what steps can the government take to promote the inclusion of workers currently outside the job market and to help businesses?

Merav Michaeli just became the first Labor leader to win reelection since the party adopted the ‘primaries’ system in 1992. IDI expert Prof. Ofer Kenig presents three pertinent insights on the state of democracy in the party founded by the leaders who established Israel.

What majority is required to pass a law to dissolve the Knesset on the various readings? After the Knesset is dissolved, how do it and the Government function? What do things look like right now?

Israel is about to hold its fifth election in less than four years. With elections taking place every 2.4 years, this places Israel first in the world in terms of frequencies of elections since 1996.

The rapid rate of technological development requires an examination of the changes in demand for workers, specifically in terms of the tasks that make up different occupations. This study offers such an examination along with recommendations for action

A new study by IDI experts Prof. Yotam Margalit, Gabriel Gordon and Zak Hirsch finds that the Israeli Economy is transitioning towards occupations in which the main tasks require high analytical abilities and to a lesser extent interpersonal abilities. Occupations which mainly require routine-physical abilities are diminishing rapidly

As Israel prepares for the dispersal of the Knesset, which will lead to the fifth election in less than four years, CNN's Hadas Gold spoke with Yohanan Plesner to unpack what all this means

This study examines patterns of intergenerational mobility and found considerable differences between different population groups

New IDI study finds that only 14% of Israeli children in the bottom income quartile will reach the top quartile

Despite the health and economic crisis that has affected Israel since March 2020, the share of those who say they are satisfied with their economic situation (“somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied”) has risen from 28% in the summer of 2019 to around 33% in May 2022.

Israel hi-tech sectors is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, accounting for around 10% of jobs in the country - but innovation to be limited to what is still a minority of the workforce. 

This report presents the results of the work led jointly by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Israel Innovation Institute - a proposal for government policy to promote climate innovation

A fifth election in three years, is a clear indication that Israel’s worst political crisis did not end when this government was sworn into office.

Following the announcement by MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi that she no longer views herself as a member of the governing coalition, Dr. Assaf Shapira, Director of the Political Reform Program at the Israel Democracy Institute, examined the three instances in which a minority government of 59 MKs served in Israel.

The Knesset might be dissolved before the end of its term – a phenomenon not unique to Israel, but rather common to almost every parliamentary democracy providing a degree of flexibility.

The unlikely coalition that survived thanks to the one vote has lost the parliamentary majority. Does this mean that the Knesset will disperse and new elections will be held? Dr. Dana Blander explains the different ways in which the Knesset can be dissolved and discusses the relationship between these mechanisms and government stability in a parliamentary system. 

Ahead of the Knesset House Committee’s debate and vote to declare MK Amichai Chikli as a ‘defector’ - what is a parliamentary defector, how are they designated as such, and what are the repercussions? IDI experts Dr. Chen Friedberg, Dr. Assaf Shapira have all the answers.

Prof. Karnit Flug, Vice President of Research and William Davidson Senior Fellow for Economic Policy at the Israel Democracy Institute, as well as the former Governor of the Bank of Israel on Israel’s economy after two years of the global pandemic and political crisis in Israel in conversation with Talia Dekel from the Jerusalem Press Club.

IDI experts Prof. Gideon Rahat and Dr. Chen Friedberg explain what a Constructive No-Confidence Vote means for the stability of Israel’s government.


In the wake of the latest political crisis - can a minority government prevent yet another election? 

In the wake of the announcement by MK Idit Silman (Yamina party) that she no longer supports the current government (as Yamina MK Amichai Chikli did shortly after the coalition was established), the coalition now includes only 60 Knesset members. What are the implications of her move? What developments can we expect to see in the government and the Knesset in the near future?

A new study utilizes extensive data to offer a new understanding of the changes the labor market underwent during two years of Covid-19

As we mark International Women’s Day, there are a record number of women are in the Knesset (35) and in the government (9) but most senior government positions are still held by men.

New IDI survey finds that 250,000 Israelis, who are not working, and not receiving unemployment allowances, might soon be forced to rely on supplemental income support.




As the Knesset, Israel’s legislature, marks its 73rd birthday, IDI is taking the opportunity to reflect on two of its characteristics; the social composition of its membership and its size as compared with other countries.

IDI welcomed the adoption of its recommendations by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked who announced the implementation of the Investor's Regulatory Roadmap Report, first published at IDI’s 2018 Eli Hurvitz Conference.

Critical reforms are necessary to ensure the quality and future of Israeli democracy

Most of the public support limiting local authority rabbis' term of service to five years and giving them the option to be re-appointed at the end of each term

How will Israelis react to a new tax on sugary drinks? A special IDI survey found that only a quarter of the public said that they would reduce their consumption of such drinks if they are taxed up to half a shekel, but a significant majority said they would limit their consumption if the tax exceeds two shekels.


The "great resignation" that has swept the US and UK in recent months is one of the symbols of the recovery from the pandemic. Is this trend taking place in Israel too?

Reducing centralization and handing over political power to local authorities, might just might do the trick

The recently proposed bill would limit the tenure of the Prime Minister in Israel to eight years (continuous or cumulative). At the end of that time, the Government would be considered to have resigned and its head would no longer be eligible to serve as Prime Minister. This limitation would apply only to tenure after the date of the law’s passage.

To date, the Knesset was dissolved only once due to failure to pass a budget. On December 23, 2020: the 23rd Knesset was dissolved after it did not approve the budget. Originally, the law mandated that the government approve the budget by August 2020, but as part of what was termed the "Hauser compromise" the law was amended, and the date was postponed to December of that year.


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.

Israel is small, crowded, and polluted. If we fail to act, we will see more and more damage to the country, especially to our most vulnerable populations

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, finally left office this year. He is now on trial on corruption charges and Israel is ruled by the most diverse coalition in its history. Financial Times Gideon Rachman discusses Israel’s new political landscape with Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute

As part of IDI's 'Israel 2050' initiative, a survey found that the majority of Israelis are concerned about the risks of global warming and believe that their government should act accordingly.

Minister Gideon Saar's proposed bill preventing a criminal defendant from forming a government is unprecedented, but so is the reality in Israel.

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.

Writing in Foreign Affairs, IDI President Yohanan Plesner notes that Netanyahu is out, but the crisis he thrived on remains.

There has been much talk and little action about the need to delegate powers to the local authorities. Now is the time for actual be movement on the ground.

Outgoing OECD Secretary General Ángel Gurría is a close friend of Israel whose name has become synonymous with the organization itself. Gurría's long tenure saw Israel implement a number of important OECD reforms, will this continue after his departure?

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.

With the Knesset set to vote on a new government on Sunday, Prof. Ofer Kenig, a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, presents an following analysis of the proposed government.

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

If the “coalition for change” led by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid does indeed come into being, it will be a rara avis on the national scene, with the potential to extract us from the political imbroglio we have been mired in for the past two years and more.

A government headed by a prime minister who leads small faction in the Knesset - how exceptional is such a scenario and to what extent is it prevalent in parliamentary systems? Prof. Ofer Kenig analyzes examples of parliamentary democracies where the prime minister hails from a small party.

The race for the election of the 11th President of Israel has officially begun. After the large number of candidates in the race that took place 7 years ago, this time only two will compete: Yitzhak Herzog and Miriam Peretz. Most of the candidates who have run for the presidency throughout Israel's history have had a political-partisan background; Most of them were men, aged sixty plus.


Who elects the president? What are the candidacy requirements? What majority is needed to win the election, and how is it obtained? With the approach of the 2021 presidential elections, Prof. Ofer Kenig explains some of the basics.

As Israel approaches the election of its 11th president, Prof. Ofer Kenig surveys the results of past presidential elections and argues that although the role of the Israeli president is largely ceremonial, the race for the position is partisan and political.

The prime minister who once presented Arab political leaders as a threat has legitimized them as potential coalition partners.

Had Israel adopted a number of reforms proposed in recent decades, today we would have a stable government and a budget—without a fourth election, without a political imbroglio, and without caretaker governments.

In the March 2021 elections, Israel's fourth in two years, voter turnout was down throughout the country. Yet a comparison to the last round of elections in 2020 shows how a more substantial downturn in voting in religious and rightwing strongholds resulted in a significant weakening of Netanyahu's Likud party.

One of the most striking elements to emerge from the preliminary results is that the current Knesset is going to be much more fragmented

Prof. Ofer Kenig presents examples of parliamentary democracies in which the Prime Minister is from a small party.


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.


IDI President Yohanan Plesner and BICOM Director Richard Pater discuss Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's options for forming a government, possible alternative coalitions and what to look out for in Netanyahu’s trial.


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

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

Are the fourth national elections in less than two years due to political chaos or Prime Minister Netanyahu’s legal woes?

The survey indicates that economic inequality between the Arab and Jewish populations in Israel has increased as a result of the COVID-19 crisis

Women still constitute less than 30% of all Knesset members and the percentage of female cabinet members in the government has never risen above 23.5%

Insights from 2020 Israel Democracy Institute Surveys and from the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020

Dr. Ofer Kenig weighs in on whether the trend toward greater representation of women in the Knesset has come to a standstill and do Israeli governments suffer from high levels of gender inequality

Numbers working from home skyrocketed with the outbreak of the pandemic mainly among white-collar workers, workers with an academic degree, and high-salary workers


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.

The pandemic has brought to the fore what was already clear - the public's trust in Israel’s local government is much higher than in the central government. It is high time more authority to be transferred to the care of local leaders.

A special IDI survey on the economic impact of the COVID crisis finds that worker's financial liquidity has declined sharply with 31% of respondents reporting that they had no liquid funds to support themselves.

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.


The final list of parties and candidates have been submitted and it appears that at least 20, perhaps even 30, of the 120 MKs elected in 2020 will not serve in the next Knesset.

The data reflects a very high turnover rate in Israel's political system. This has both positive and negative aspects. On the one hand - a robust political system should be refreshed - but it can also be a symptom of a "sick" system

Labor was the only political party to elect its chair and candidates for the Knesset in primary elections consecutively since 1992 – including in the 2021 election. While its membership is dropping, this is consistent with ongoing trends in most Western democracies.

After failing to meet the December 22 deadline for passing a budget, Israel is headed towards a once unfathomable fourth election in less than two years. The results of the last three elections in 2019-2020 did not dispel the political turmoil - we are about to see if the results from the fourth elections in 2021 will be any different.

Prof. Karnit Flug unpacks the effects of the COVID pandemic on the Israeli economy: Does the fact that Israel is a small and centralized economy work in its benefit and how quickly will it bounce back?

In a classic conflict of interests, the parties dip into the public coffers before every election, flouting any semblance of fiscal responsibility

How often does Israel hold elections? On average every 2.3 years!

With the vaccines for Covid-19 soon to be made available and in light of the high rates of Israelis who do not want to be the first to get the vaccine - IDI expert Prof. Yuval Feldman explains how to encourage public cooperations in getting COVID-19 vaccines.

Incentivizing compliance could have a negative impact on those who view being tested for the coronavirus as an act of civic responsibility

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."

The false prophecy of “equality” and “one state” amounts to little more than taking the name of Yavneh in vain

Bahrain and United Arab Emirates peace deals show Washington’s Arab-Israel ‘experts’ got it all wrong again


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.

One of the very few pieces of good news resulting from the corona crisis is the increase in people working from home (WFH). Unfortunately, workers from lower socioeconomic groups are not benefiting from this change.

An IDI survey examines public opinion on Israelis preferred areas of study and participation when undergoing vocational training during the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus.

Even if the agreement with the UAE leads nowhere, the taboos that have been broken will be difficult to reconstruct.

This law, unique to Israel, was meant as an incentive to avoid budgetary deadlock. Today, it sows instability.

"In its obsession with Israel, anti-Zionism is a pathological worldview; even absent the obvious anti-Semitic motifs, it’s hard to see how contemporary anti-Zionism can claim the mantel of a progressive ideology"

Do Israelis want their government to improve the economy's readiness for the climate crisis? IDI's special survey on public attitudes to the climate crisis says that an overwhelming majority (89%) says "yes."

Dr. Shany Mor pens an open letter in The Forward in response to actor Seth Rogen's comments on the Israel

A growing number of countries around the world have realized that vocational training and subsidies for the training period can increase the demand for workers. Israel's government should follow this lead, while at the same time accelerating the pace of development of infrastructure projects, to increase the demand for skilled workers.

A tale of two unity governments: The coalition agreement that formed Israel's unity government is all about forcing the parties to live up to the deal. Ireland's is all about policy.

The coronavirus has made working from home much more prevalent, and has many advantages, including improving efficiency and providing workers with more flexibility. But how do we ensure that it does not increase wage disparities and provide even more advantages to those who are already the higher earners? IDI experts weigh in with recommendations to ensure that all sides benefit

The current crisis threatens the heart of the labor market with 400,000 workers between the ages of 35-54 designated as "temporarily absent from work" due to the coronavirus

This document examines the functioning of the Knesset during the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, in a comparative perspective with other countries, and draws conclusions on the changes that are needed to improve its work in future crises.

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

Netanyahu and Gantz could use their unity government to put in place a 'democratic ceasefire' and speed Israel’s economic recovery rather than entrenching political deadlock.

After 18 months of political deadlock, Israel’s 35th government was sworn in - and in many ways it's quite unique.

In mature democracies, parliaments are regaining their relevance in the coronavirus era.

The establishment of the Netanyahu-Gantz government required many compromises.That being said, there is absolutely no way to justify the extravagant size of the new government

Daphna Aviram Nitzan presents an analysis of unemployment in Israel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The rotation mechanism agreed upon creates a governmental structure, unprecedented neither in Israel or anywhere else

The coronavirus is an international threat but will it stem the growth of populism around the world?

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.

Prof. Karnit Flug's press briefing today focued on the Coronavirus’ effect on the Israeli economy and policies that could mitigate the damage inflicted by the pandemic.

Reports of a 30 to 34 minister cabinet in the works beg for a public outcry: Costly, inefficient and divisive is not what we need today.

As the Knesset struggles to resume its work, IDI took a look at how parliaments around the world are putting into place processes and mechanisms that enable them to operate during the coronavirus pandemic so they can fulfill the vital role they play in democracies.

Will the coronavirus crisis result in an unity government, which can, at least temporarily, resolve Israel's political deadlock? IDI experts explain.

In this paper, we argue that in a public health emergency, such as the one we are experiencing now, when unprecedented means are being employed in the fight against COVID-19, the Knesset’s smooth functioning is even more essential, especially with regard to the need for strict and effective oversight of the government.

What will be the economic ramifications of the coronavirus outbreak on the Israeli economy? Prof. Karnit Flug explains.

Since the early 2000s, we have seen an unusual rise in the number of private member bills submitted to the Knesset

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

The results of this third round of elections would seem to indicate that, once again, no decisive victory has been won, and that the Israeli political system is likely to remain stuck at the same dead end at which it has been stranded for the last year. Could a government of experts resolve the crisis?

Although there is no precedent in Israel's history for forming a minority government immediately after an election, minority governments around the world are far from a rarity.

How can MKs 'cross the floor' and what sanctions might they face? An explainer by Dr. Assaf Shapira

Rather than “packaging” voting as a political, civic and moral obligation, we should try instead to get these potential voters to think about the personal benefits to be gained by going to the polls.

With two weeks to go, Yohanan Plesner presents the key issues to look out for in Israel's unprecedented third election and what – if anything – will determine if a stable government will finally be formed.

At this writing, Israel seems to be headed towards its third elections within a year. Israel has been governed for almost a year by a caretaker government, and no one can be sure that the next elections will resolve the stalemate. While this state of affairs may fulfill the dreams of libertarians or anarchists, for most others – it looks more like a nightmare.

The terms antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and criticism can be described as three different phenomena - Dr. Shany Mor explains

Considering Israel is facing the third national elections in less than a year, isn't it reasonable to expect the political parties, whose campaigns are publicly funded, to act in a fiscally responsible manner?

Political parties no longer fulfill the goals for which they were intended, rather they have become technical structures that are focused on the ranking of the candidates on their Knesset lists.

After the party lists have been submitted Dr. Assaf Shapira analyzes expected representation of women in the 23rd Knesset based on the September 2019 elections

New record low of number of lists; Left-Center shrinks from eight lists in 2013 to three today; women’s’ representation continues to dither – less than 30 women MKs are expected

Prof. Karnit Flug, former Governor of the Bank of Israel and currently Vice President for Research at the Israel Democracy Institute, analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the Israeli economy.

Israeli Voters, Not Judges, Must Determine Who Will Lead the Country Next

Israel is gearing up for its third national elections in less than a year - how does this compare to other democracies around the world?

Reducing the regulatory burden is a key objective for many government ministries -but how can this be achieved while maintaining honest and ethical behaviour

Tomorrow, Gantz's mandate to form a government will end, and we are expected to enter an unparalleled stage in Israel - 21 days, during which a majority of Knesset members, at least 61, are allowed to ask the president to assign the mandate to anyone of the 120 MKs. 

The final results of the third election are in and Israel is in very much the same stalemate position as the previous two rounds - is a minority government the solution?

Assaf Shapira argues that if the choice is between a minority government and another round of elections, the former is the better option.

While we cannot know for sure if Benny Gantz will succeed where Benjamin Netanyahu has failed, we can state with certainty that our political system of the past year has been characterized by deadlock, and this is not expected to end in the near future.

The strangest and most polarizing election in Israel’s history is now over. The people have spoken, and we’re now entering the next stage of the political lifecycle: forming a new government. What are the rules governing this process, and what can be learned from a historical and comparative perspective?


After an unprecedented second round of elections - the final outcome is still unclear. We’re now entering the next stage of the political lifecycle: coalition negotiations - Dr. Kenig explains what’s next

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."

All in all, the human landscape of the Knesset continues a trend of an improved representation, which better reflects the heterogenous Israeli society. Still, several groups are still under-represented, mainly women, non-Jews, young adults and “Russians”.

Those who are not familiar with the Knesset’s day-to-day activities may mistakenly believe that it normally functions efficiently.

On July 19th 2019, Netanyahu’s total days in office as Israel’s prime minister equals Ben-Gurion’s and on July 20th he will hold the title of the Israeli prime minister with the longest term in office. This also will make him the third most 'veteran' leader among the OECD countries. 


Why should parties be allowed to use state funding for ongoing expenses to cover the debts accrued during political campaigns?

Long ridiculed, Labor is one of the few parties that meet stringent standards on campaign finance and transparency

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 rerun elections expose a weakness in our system of government and highlight the need to modify the current system for forming a government

Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t form a government, because the electoral system is dysfunctional. The country needs to enact two simple reforms, or it will face perpetual stalemate.

Among other things, government corruption deals a blow to the country’s economic vitality, and makes it less attractive to investors and entrepreneurs.

Reframing the eco-system to prepare for Israel’s job market of the future.

In Israel, people vote for a party rather than a candidate. But over the years, there has been a shift towards the personalization of politics. Prof. Gideon Rahat offers his take

Lawmakers sit on too many committees and propose too many laws. The fix starts with government members quitting the Knesset

The current paper presents data on the parliamentary work of the MKs and parties in the outgoing Knesset. All the information is based on data taken from the Knesset archives and the Knesset’s Research and Information Center which are open to the public

A trustworthy and independent Central Elections Committee is essential for the holding of truly democratic elections – that is why a reform is overdue

As talks begin toward the formation of a new government – it is an opportunity to call on the Prime Minister to keep the number of Ministers low

After an exhausting and polarizing election campaign, the people have spoken, and we’re now entering the next stage of the political lifecycle: forming a new government - Dr. Kenig explains what’s next

The 2019 election results mark the return of Israeli politics to two large lists. Voter turnout declined, as the parliamentary fragmentation. The impressing increase in female representation was halted, and the number of ex-generals will be the highest in decades. An initial analysis of the election results.  

In Israel, people vote for a party rather than a candidate. But over the years, there has been a shift towards the personalization of politics. Why have our elections become a competition among single personalities rather than a confrontation among different parties and ideas? Prof. Gideon Rahat offers his take

What reforms are necessary to repair the electoral process to improve governance? Prof. Gideon Rahat sits down to discuss the upcoming elections with David Schulberg from the Israel Connexion in Australia

Why doesn't the government take more initiative towards peace? Why is there no egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall? How come the ultra-Orthodox don't serve in the military? The common denominator to all these issues is that they all stem from a structural flaw in our electoral system, which allows vocal minorities to hold the national interest hostage to their concerns and interests

The alliances and fragmentation has far-reaching consequences for the work of the Knesset and the government

As the Israeli attorney-general is expected to announce his decision regarding the possible indictment of Prime Minister Netanyahu on corruption charges, Tipping Point hosts two leading experts for a discussion on the legal and political ramifications. Dr. Guy Lurie (Israel Democracy Institute) and Dr. Emmanuel Navon (Kohelet Policy Forum) try to make sense of what’s about to come

Following the merger between Yesh Atid and the Israel Resilience Party, April’s elections will feature real competition between two major blocs. The next step in minimizing fragmentation in the Israeli political system is reforming the method by which a government is formed. The head of the largest party should automatically be appointed to form the next government.


The third 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

Primaries often don't reflect the true will of actual party supporters -- voters should weigh in on Election Day


In February 1969, Golda Meir was appointed fourth prime minister of the State of Israel. Despite this achievement, the inclusion of women in Israel’s cabinets is far from impressive. Dr. Ofer Kenig explains that after 70 years of independence, the time has come for Israel’s governments to strive for true equality and reflect greater gender balance.

Despite record numbers in the Knesset, few females hold senior government posts — their absence leaves Israel worse off.


“The current system grants small parties disproportionate power, leads to excessive preoccupation with coalition management, does not provide strong incentives for creating an effective opposition, and leads to the allocation of over-sized budgets to sectoral interests. We need to create a system of incentives which will solidify the political system into two main blocs.” says Prof. Gideon Rahat

Despite a solid decade with the same prime minister, other cabinet posts have switched hands at alarming rates.

As Israeli political parties begin to formulate their lists of candidates for the upcoming election, Tipping Point hosts Prof. Gideon Rahat, (Israel Democracy Institute), and Dr. Emmanuel Navon (Kohelet Policy Forum) for a conversation on the pros and cons of the primary system.

What will secure victory in the 2019 elections: inter-party alliances, or splits? Yohanan Plesner discusses with The Israel Project, Israel’s multi-party system, processes of fragmentation and their detrimental effects on effective governance

The steady increase in the percentage of women in Israel's parliament has not been accompanied by a concomitant rise in their cabinet representation. In this article, IDI researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig argues that the new government that will be formed following the 2019 elections provides Israel with a golden opportunity to rectify this situation.

It is commonly accepted that in order to defeat Netanyahu, the political parties in the center and on the Left must unite and present a single and clear alternative. However, under the current system, this claim is simply not true.

How will yesterday's announcement impact the elections? Will Bennet and Shaked take votes from the right and will their gamble pay off? Listen to Prof. Gideon Rahat talk to The Israel Project on the fragmentation of the Israeli political system.


Supporters of this government show increasing tolerance for graft, and this is a red flag for the rule of law in Israel.

Israel’s system of local elections has been in place since the 1970s - but is it optimal? Prof. Gideon Rahat proposes reform to enhance the compatibility of the system to the characteristics and needs of different localities.


Daphna Aviram-Nitzan and her team at IDI set out 18 months ago to resolve some of the heavy bureaucratic and regulatory burden with which the business sector must contend when establishing new manufacturing plants and doing business in Israel. The result is the “Regulatory One-Stop-Shop for Investors”, which was adopted in August 2018 by the government to improve the ease of doing business in Israel.

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. 


There is a glaring gap between the tremendous promise of Israel’s innovating workforce and the antiquated laws that constrain its productivity. In this video, IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Yotam Margalit proposes a series of changes to Israeli labor law, including new mechanisms for flexible working arrangements that will benefit both employers and employees.

"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.

In a democracy, parliaments are supposed to not only pass laws but also engage in oversight; that is, to ensure that legislation is implemented and identify deficiencies in the government’s work.

Recent years have seen the emergence of dozens of corruption scandals involving local government in Israel. Subsequently there have been calls to set mayoral term limits to prevent graft and corruption. Dr. Ofer Kenig and Shahaf Zamir's dispel the idea that there is a connection between the length of a mayors term and levels of corruption.

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.

In an interview Prof. Yuval Feldman, discusses his new book "The Law of Good People" and sheds light on the connection between good people and corruption.

A Special Analysis by the Israel Democracy Institute on which MKs make the most use of the parliamentary tools available to them.

 Yedidia Stern, speaks to hosts Dahlia Scheindlin and Gilad Halpern about the fundamental nature of Israeli society – and how it is changing. He expresses his fears about disturbing the balance of a Jewish and democratic state, as the nation-state law threatens to do. He believes that Israel must be a Jewish state, but without a legal anchor for equality, society is in trouble. He reflects on how religious life is being dominated by the ultra-orthodox; and diaspora Jews, especially Americans, should have a say in public life but not too much.

Behavioral ethics, a growing area within psychology and management literature, demonstrates that an individual’s unethical behavior is demonstrated through self-deception.

Israel’s ranking on international indices of regulatory and bureaucratic burdens has been far from flattering - a closer look reveals the difficulty in complying with the demands of the complexity and inefficiency of Israel’s bureaucracy and regulatory system.

The “Regulatory Roadmap for Investors” was initiated against the backdrop of the heavy bureaucratic and regulatory burden with which the business sector must contend when establishing new manufacturing plants and doing business in Israel.

The number of vacation days in Israel is among the lowest in the world. Research by Prof. Yotam Margalit presents a new model which will ensure a minimum of 18 vacation days for each worker.


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.

The absolute exclusion of women from ultra-Orthodox parties keeps their specific interests from being addressed effectively in the public sphere.


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.

IDI President calls on the leaders of the coalition factions to stop politicizing the civil service

Statesmanship or lack thereof has been in the background of a long list of scandals and incidents that have rocked Israeli politics in recent years


In recent years we have seen one Prime Minister, several ministers and numerous mayors charged and convicted on corruption. But most people enter politics for idealistic reasons and with good intentions. So what went wrong? 


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.

Despite making regulatory improvements, the past decade saw Israel continue its slip down the World Bank's annual ease of doing business rankings. But this descent can still be reversed.

"In order to change this trend, we must increase the use of technological tools and behavioral economics."


There are ways to transform this powerful committee into one that combines politics with professionalism, instead of being one more arena for the settling of political scores.

Regulation, transparency and enforcement capabilities are crucial steps for lobbying to work.  

A summary of where the law stands regarding alleged wrong doing by the premier, as well as timely suggestions for reform, are in order.

When legislators exhibit such disdain for the country’s legislative body, is it any wonder the average citizen does too?

A set of reforms must be implemented so that Knesset members' supervisory ability over the government will be enhanced.

The Knesset is one of the smallest parliaments in the world, in terms of legislators per capita. As a result, the effectiveness of the Israeli parliament is diminished, especially regarding the important task of overseeing the executive.

For Israel's economy to grow, significant investment in building a strong and effective infrastructure for occupational training and reemployment is critical.

“Pray for the welfare of the government. For if it were not for fear of it, one man would swallow his fellow alive (Avot 3:3).”

Everything you wanted to know about the Labor Party primaries but didn't know who to ask.

To tackle the crisis of democracy we must restore the public's faith in its governing institutions.

Donald Trump’s surprise win seems to illustrate the awesome power of the Internet-savvy individual in politics.

The impressive increase of women's representation in the Knesset has not translated into similar strides in other political spheres and senior executive positions.

As the Knesset, Israel’s legislature, marks its birthday, IDI takes the opportunity to consider two aspects about it: its members’ social composition and its relative size.

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.

The Knesset’s top priority for 2017 should be to restore the Israeli public’s belief in its political institutions.

As of November 22, 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu will have occupied the Prime Minister’s Office for 2,793 days in a row, thereby surpassing David Ben-Gurion for the longest continuous tenure as premier in Israeli history. 

IDI President Yohanan Plesner argues that electoral reform will not suffice to fix the short-term-ism that is destroying Israel's capacity for long-term planning and policy execution; reform of the internal processes of the parties themselves is required. This op-ed first appeared in the Jerusalem Report.

Liberal democracy is in crisis everywhere. We in Israel have our share of problems. Our democracy is far from perfect, and it is under massive pressures — both external and internal. But all in all, if we look at the world around us, Israel is doing rather well. This article was originally published by the Atlanta Jewish Times.

The volatile Israeli party system, together with several recent political developments, lately brought the idea of holding open leadership primaries to Israel. However, when considering the adoption of open primaries, one must also take into account their potential challenges and dangers.

In this op-ed, which first appeared on the Times of Israel, IDI's Ofer Kenig argues that it is time to cautiously expand the right of absentee voting to more Israelis.

The start-up nation owes it success to the democratic system of government established by its founders. Israel’s liberal democracy not only unleashes the creative talents of individual Israelis, it fosters a business environment favorable for the establishment of companies with disruptive potential on a global scale. However, Israel’s continued success should not be taken for granted. Indeed, there are a number of signs that Israeli governance may be weakening.

The number of women in Knesset has increased dramatically to five times what it was 25 years ago. The share of women in the Israeli Knesset is now almost 27%, making it higher than in the U.S. Senate (20%) or the House of Representatives (19.4%). 

On Monday, February 1, 2016, the long and complex process in which the two major American parties choose their candidates for president began in Iowa. One of those two candidates will be the 45th President of the United States. What exactly are the presidential primaries? What makes them so long and complicated? What is their timetable and who, for now, are the main candidates?