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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    Daphna Aviram-Nitzan


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    Daphna Aviram-Nitzan is the former head of the migration research unit at Aharon Meir Center for Banking and Economic Policy at Bar-Ilan University and the former director of the economic research division at the Manufacturers Association of Israel.


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    Prof. Gideon Rahat

    Director, 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. Yuval Feldman

    Senior Fellow, Labor Market Reform Program

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    Professor Yuval Feldman is a full professor at the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University and a former fellow of Institutional Corruption Lab at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

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    Prof. Yotam Margalit

    Senior Fellow

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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. Eytan Sheshinski

    Senior Fellow

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

In the wake of the results of the elections to the 24th Knesset, it would seem that a minority government is the most likely option that would enable the formation of a government and prevent yet another election

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.

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

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."

Subsidizing cheap old apartments in poor towns won't solve the housing shortage for the ultra-Orthodox, but it will destroy those towns' social fabric

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?

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."


Vocational training in Israel used to be a success story, but lack of funding and management has severely compromised its effectiveness. Dr. Eitan Regev explains how this in turn impairs productivity and wages and what should be done to improve this important program.

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 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 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.

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.

Israel suffers from a shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing industries and hi-tech and an overflow of the service sector; priorities in the allocation of public resources for the training of human capital must be changed to better fit the needs of the economy.


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? 

Join Bret Stephens, Yohanan Plesner and Yonit Levi for insightful analysis as they assess the new government’s durability and its capacity to change the trajectory of Israel’s domestic policies and relations with the world in general and the US in particular.

  • Open to the public
  • English
  • Live

The Eli Hurvitz Conference focuses on long-term strategic issues of importance to the government and the state. The conference is based on research and professional discussions, and integrates a wide range of experts, government officials and businessmen.

  • Hebrew
  • Participation by invitation only
  • Open to the public
  • Hebrew
  • Hebrew
  • Open to the public
  • Live

The Eli Hurvitz Conference focuses on long-term strategic issues of importance to the government and the state. The conference is based on research and professional discussions, and integrates a wide range of experts, government officials and businessmen.

  • Participation by invitation only
  • Hebrew
  • English Simultaneous Translation

After 70 years, how are we implementing the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and what will we be proud of when we celebrate our 100th anniversary?

  • Open to the public
  • Hebrew

The Status of the Declaration of Independence: Vision, Law or Constitution? Marking the transition from the Assembly of Representatives to the Knesset, February 1949

  • Open to the public
  • Hebrew

What is the most suitable way to select candidates for the Knesset? What are the pros and cons of the various methods, from the leader's method to open primaries? What are the opportunities and risks involved in adopting an open primaries model?

  • Participation by invitation only

Do political appointments in the civil service improve governance or obstruct gatekeepers' oversight abilities? This special discussion is being convened by the Israel Democracy Institute and Center for Citizen Empowerment.

  • Live
  • Participation by invitation only

This year the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) will bestow the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award MK Roy Folkman (Kulanu) and MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid)

  • Hebrew
  • Participation by invitation only

Work collaboratively in an intimate setting and among senior thought leaders on ways to strengthen the socioeconomic strategy of the state of Israel.

  • Participation by invitation only

An Israel Democracy Institute event in collaboration with the Hebrew paper Makor Rishon

  • Hebrew
  • Open to the public

A second meeting of the caucus for strengthening the stature of the Knesset led by MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid). Discussion focused on private-member legislation, which is brought before the Knesset at a higher rate than among most Western countries.