The Rule of Law in a Polarized Society

Legal, Social, and Cultural Aspects

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  • Cover Type: Softcover |Hebrew
  • Number Of Pages: 174 Pages
  • Price: 60 NIS

A summary of an IDI seminar on the rift between the Right and the Left, and its effects on the rule of law and law enforcement in Israel. Topics include the State Prosecutor's enforcement policy on incitement and sedition, attitudes toward ideological crime in Israel, Jewish fanaticism from a sociological and anthropological perspective, and the way in which Jewish settlers perceive Israel's law-enforcement agencies.

Over the years, law-enforcement agencies in Israel have refrained from combating instances of incitement and extremist activity in the political sphere head on, due to concern for harming freedom of expression and basic values of democracy. After the Rabin assassination, Israeli society found itself in a new situation, one that required a fresh examination of how it grappled with the split between Right and Left and with the phenomena and implications of this schism, alongside a careful balance with the principles of democracy.

In February 1998, the senior echelons of Israel's law-enforcement agencies, headed by the Attorney General, the State Prosecutor, the Inspector General of the Israel police, leading Israeli academics, and senior representatives of the General Security Service and of the IDF Judge Advocate General’s office, gathered for a symposium co-sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Justice Ministry’s Unit for Continuing Education of Prosecutors and Legal Advisors.

This collection, which is based on the proceedings of the symposium, includes, inter alia, an overview of the State Prosecutor’s enforcement policy regarding incitement and sedition written by attorney Talia Sasson; an analysis of Israeli society’s attitude towards ideological crime written by the former head of the General Security Service, Carmi Gillon; an overview of Jewish fanaticism from a sociological and anthropological perspective, written by Dr. Gideon Aran; a presentation of the way in which settlers perceive Israeli law-enforcement agencies, written by Yisrael Harel, the editor of Nekuda and the former head of the Yesha Council, and other articles and essays on the rule of law in a polarized society.