Knesset and Legislation

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Articles

Op-ed

A Storm in a Teacup

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

Article

The Emergence of New Political Parties in Israel

A survey of the creation of new political parties in Israel, from the state's founding through 1992, which was originally published in Hebrew in Parliament, IDI's online journal.

Article

Who Presides over the Knesset? On the Role of the Speaker of the Knesset

IDI Researcher Dr. Dana Blander examines the statutory and customary roles of the Speaker of the Knesset and considers whether this is a symbolic job or one that has real influence on the operations of the Knesset. In addition, she compares the powers and functions of the Knesset Speaker with the corresponding roles in Great Britain and Australia.

Op-ed

Legislative Solutions in Israel and America: Comparing Apples to Oranges

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

Article

Coalition Building: How Long Is Too Long?

How long is too long to form a coalition? Dr. Ofer Kenig looks at how long it takes to form a government in different parliamentary democracies.

Op-ed

The 2015 Knesset: Can New Brooms Make a Clean Sweep?

Israel's 20th Knesset will have 39 new members. Will this infusion of new blood improve the Knesset's performance? Dr. Chen Friedberg explores some of the issues that may impede the ability of these new Knesset members to "clean up" the Knesset.

Op-ed

The Social Composition of the 20th Knesset

On Tuesday March 30, 2015, the 120 members of the 20th Knesset will be sworn in. About one third of them are new faces, and almost a quarter are women. How many religious MKs are in the Knesset?  Which is the "youngest" parliamentary group? Dr. Ofer Kenig explores the demographic attributes of the 120 members of Knesset.

Article

Call for Proposals: Regulating the Activities of Lobbyists in the Knesset

On April 4, 2012, IDI published an ad in the Hebrew Haaretz daily newspaper, appealing to the public for input that will inform the Institute's efforts to draft a proposal for regulating the activities of lobbyists in the Knesset.

Press Release

The Israeli Facebook bill is Unenforceable

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

Article

Proper Representation - Let's Play!

As the Knesset celebrates its 69th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 30, here is a chance to see how you score on knowledge of Israel's parliament. What did Israel's lawmakers do before joining the Knesset? What did they do after leaving? what are the benchmark requirement to becoming an MK? How many are currently serving their first term? Let's play!

Op-ed

No Way to Run a Democracy

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.

Op-ed

What Might Jabotinsky Say About the Actions of the 20th Knesset?

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

Op-ed

The Cabinet in (com)Motion

May 14 marked the one-year anniversary of the fourth Netanyahu government. According to IDI researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig, "it is safe to say this cabinet has broken a record for internal instability."

Op-ed

Standing Up for Democracy

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

Op-ed

Israel's 34th Government: A Profile

On May 14, 2015, the 34th government of the State of Israel—the fourth Netanyahu cabinet—was sworn in. In this article, IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig presents an overview of the process of forming the government and the profile of its members.

Article

The Party Democracy Index 2013

The findings of the Party Democracy Index, a new tool designed to evaluate the level of democracy within political parties, which was designed by IDI's political reform research team and released in advance of the 2013 Knesset elections.

Op-ed

Women's Representation in the Knesset: Still Increasing But Not Fast Enough

Dr. Ofer Kenig analyzes the predicted rate of representation of women in the 20th Knesset as compared to previous Knessets and as compared to the rate of women's representation in the parliaments of other democracies. 

Article

The Yisrael Beiteinu–Likud Split: Background and Consequences

Following the announcement of the dissolution of the partnership between Yisrael Beiteinu and the Likud, IDI researcher Assaf Shapira explores the implications of Knesset faction splits. 

Op-ed

Who Will Guard the Guards?

IDI Researcher Dr. Chen Friedberg warns that the government's prolonged inability to appoint a permanent head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee may be causing serious harm to the very foundations of Israeli democracy.

Op-ed

Women’s Representation in the Knesset: Is it Sufficient?

The 19th Knesset is expected to have a record number of women MKs. Nonetheless, the percentage of women in the Knesset is lower than that found in the parliaments of most other established democracies. IDI researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig provides an overview of the situation.

Op-ed

Women in the 18th Knesset

IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig analyzes the results of the 2009 Israeli general election elections as they pertain to women's representation in the Knesset.

Op-ed

Coalition Building in Israel: A Guide for the Perplexed

In an article specially written for the IDI website, Dr. Ofer Kenig explains the basic principles of the process of coalition building, sharing facts, figures, and comparative data.

Article

Increasing the Size of the Israeli Knesset

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.

Op-ed

Improving the Way the Knesset Functions

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

Op-ed

There is Still Hope for Knesset Reform

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

Op-ed

Lessons from the Yisrael Beytenu Affair

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

Play
Op-ed

Behind the Scenes of Israel's Ministerial Committee For Legislation

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.

Op-ed

Where has the Oppositon gone?

The danger of a weak opposition should not be underestimated. This situation harms most of all those populations who are not represented in government, and even harms the functioning of the government itself, which is not subjected to real criticism

Op-ed

MK Suspension Bill: Anti-Democratic to the Core

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

Article

Campaign Financing in Israel

A discussion of the principal issues pertaining to campaign financing in Israel, written before the Knesset elections of 2015. 

Op-ed

Israel's Central Elections Committee: Political Cabal or Independent Agency?

IDI Researcher Dr. Dana Blander discusses the role of Israel's Central Election Committee and asserts that change is needed in its structure, composition, and working methods.

Op-ed

Summing Up the Knesset's Summer Session

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer reflects on the productivity of the Knesset during the summer of 2008, suggesting that most of its members' energy was invested in dangerous, anti-democratic, disproportionate, offensive, and sometimes almost racist, legislation.

Op-ed

Civil Unions in Israel as a Democratic Compromise

Prof. Shahar Lifshitz, author of an IDI policy paper proposing a spousal registry as a framework for civil unions in Israel, welcomes the reintroduction of this issue to the public agenda but expresses some concern about the formulation of the current bill.

Op-ed

23 Knesset Seats is Not a Victory

In an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Yehoshua Oz, IDI's Director of International Communications, argues that pundits eager to crown a victor in the 2015 elections have lost sight of the fact that winning one-fifth of the Knesset seats is no victory.

Op-ed

How to Prevent the Recurrence of Early Knesset Elections

IDI President Yohanan Plesner recommends a change of approach and some practical steps for changing the reality in which the Israeli public repeatedly goes to the polls to elect a new Knesset before the previous Knesset has finished its term.

Article

The Firing of Ministers in Israel: A Historical Overview

The demise of the 19th Knesset was hastened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's firing of Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. In the article below, IDI researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig discusses the various grounds for firing ministers in the past and how the current case fits into Israeli political practice.

Op-ed

Shemitat Kesafim: The Year of Escape from Debt

Dr. Benny Porat discusses the precept of debt cancellation during the sabbatical year (Shemita) and proposes ways in which to update this practice to suit the economics of contemporary Israel and create a model society. 

Article

The Many Ways to Dissolve the Knesset

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. 

Op-ed

10 Reasons Why Even People Who are Appalled by Israel Hayom Should Oppose Legislation against It

Hanoch Marmari, former editor of Haaretz and current editor of The Seventh Eye, an independent on-line journal dedicated to critique of the media, defends <em>Israel Hayom</em>'s right to exist as a free newspaper, notwithstanding his professional qualms about the quality of its journalism.

Policy Statement

Legal Opinion on the Israel Hayom Law

A summary of a legal opinion opposing the "Law for the Advancement and Protection of Print Journalism in Israel," which would prohibit the distribution of a full-sized daily newspaper in Israel free of charge.

Policy Statement

Operation Protective Edge and International Law

As Operation Protective Edge enters its second week, IDI experts outline the legal basic concepts involved in asymmetrical warfare and the boundaries of permissible action according to standard interpretations of existing international law.

Op-ed

Zero Tax, Zero Logic

Attorney Amir Fuchs argues that the proposed legislation that would exempt first-time home-buyers from value added tax (VAT) violates the principle of equality for people who do not serve the State of Israel. 

Op-ed

The "Anti-Pardon" Bill: Laws are not a Substitute for a Backbone

In an article in <em>The Times of Israel</em>, Attorney Amir Fuchs argues that legislation that would give judges the authority to sentence murderers to life in prison with no possibility of pardon is misguided and will not prevent terrorists from being released in future prisoner exchanges.

Op-ed

Thoughts on the Use of a Gag Order Following the Kidnapping

As Israel prays for the safe return of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of IDI's Media Reform project, shares thoughts on the use of gag orders and military censorship in the digital age.

Op-ed

Force-Feeding Prisoners: A Serious Violation of Human Dignity

In an op-ed in <em>Maariv</em>, Attorney Amir Fuchs warns that force feeding hunger striking prisoners is a serious violation of human dignity, and should not be permitted in order to serve public relations efforts of the State of Israel.

Op-ed

Abolish the Presidency? Certainly Not This Way

Dr. Ofer Kenig responds to the initiative to abolish the presidency and emphasizes that such decisions require due consideration and cannot be taken as part of a capricious move that tramples on the democratic rules of the game.

Op-ed

Who Needs a President Anyway?

In an op-ed in Makor Rishon, Dr. Ofer Kenig responds to calls to eliminate the institution of the presidency, and explains the value of the presidency in Israel and other parliamentary democracies.

Article

The Presidential Elections: The Rules of the Game

Who elects the president? What are the candidacy requirements? What majority is needed to win the election and how is it obtained? Dr. Ofer Kenig explains some of the basics. 

Op-ed

The Israeli Presidency: Unnecessary Institution or Vital Symbol?

As the 2014 presidential election draws near, once again there have been calls to do away with the institution of the presidency. Is the President of Israel an unnecessary position or a vital symbol? IDI researcher Dr. Dana Blander analyzes the two sides of this question.

Article

At the Starting Line: The Israeli Presidential Race Begins

Is Prof. Dan Shechtman, who formally announced his candidacy for the 2014 presidential race in Israel, any different than traditional candidates for the position? IDI researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig surveys the characteristics of Israel's past presidents and presidential candidates. 

Op-ed

Israeli Public Opinion on the President and the Presidential Elections

As the elections for the tenth President of Israel near, IDI researcher Ella Heller of the Guttman Center for Surveys presents an analysis of Israeli public opinion regarding the desired professional background for the next president of Israel, and how the elections should be conducted.

Article

The Presidential Elections: A Political Race for a Ceremonial Position?

As Israel approaches the election of its 10th president, Dr. Ofer Kenig surveys the results of past presidential elections and asserts that although the role of the Israeli president is largely ceremonial, the race for the position is partisan and political. 

Op-ed

The Presidency: The “Additional Soul” of Israeli Democracy

Former Speaker of the Knesset MK Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin shares his views on the importance of the institution of the Israeli presidency, as part of an exclusive IDI series of articles by the presidential candidates of 2014.

Op-ed

The Presidency in Israel as a Unique Challenge

An article by Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman, which was written as part of an IDI project in which the candidates for President of Israel share their views on the presidency and discuss what they would bring to the job.

Op-ed

A Socially-Oriented President

MK Meir Sheetrit presents his views on the institution of the Israeli president and describes what he would bring to the job, in the first of a series of articles by the presidential candidates of 2014. 

Op-ed

An Unequal Share of the Burden? The Truth about the Hesder Yeshivot

Do students in the religious Zionist hesder yeshivot really contribute less to the IDF than other men who serve? IDI Researcher Dr. Benny Porat does the math and comes to an interesting conclusion.

Policy Statement

Civil Unions for All

Prof. Shahar Lifshitz explains why IDI's proposal for civil unions, which was first presented in his IDI policy paper The Spousal Registry, is the best solution possible today for alleviating the distress of couples who cannot or do not want to marry in a religious ceremony in Israel.

Article

Remembering Ariel Sharon (1928–2014)

Dr. Ofer Kenig presents some of the milestones in the career of Ariel Sharon, the 11th Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

Op-ed

Releasing Terrorists: An Insult to the Criminal Justice System

In an article in <em>Haaretz</em>, attorney Amir Fuchs explains why he believes the release of convicted terrorists as part of prisoner release deals or  as part of diplomatic negotiations degrades Israel's criminal justice system.

Op-ed

The Referendum Law as a Metaphor

In an op-ed originally published in Haaretz, IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon explains his reservations about the "Referendum Bill" and warns that the concept of referendum is antithetical to the principles of democracy.

Op-ed

The Fate of a Mamzer

In an article in The Jewish Week, Gitit Paz, a young scholar in IDI's Human Rights and Judaism project, discusses the status of mamzer in Jewish law and in contemporary Israel. 

Op-ed

An Anti-Zionist Law

In an op-ed in Haaretz, IDI Researcher Attorney Amir Fuchs warns that the proposed Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People is not only anti-democratic but also undermines the foundations of Zionism.

Policy Statement

A Professional Assessment of the Governance Bills

A professional assessment of proposed changes to Basic Law: The Government and the Election Bill, which was submitted by Prof. Gideon Rahat to MK David Rotem, Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

Article

Happy Birthday, Knesset!

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.

Op-ed

Turning Back the Tide

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

Article

What Do Parliamentary Aides Think of the Work of Members Of Knesset?

Researchers surveyed aides in 40 Knesset offices. Of those, 92% of aides says they think MKs do not come prepared for Knesset committee meetings and that the Knesset is not succeeding in properly supervising the government (95%).

Op-ed

Civil Service Commissioner: For Country or Government?

The civil service commissioner holds an important public position, and should not be relegated to serving as a rubber stamp for the government.

Article

A Prime Minister Under Criminal Investigation

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

Press Release

Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) Leaders Say ‘In Favor’ of Initiative to Limit Private Legislation and Raise Oversight Power of Members of Knesset

Press Release

Knesset Proposal to Impose Sanctions on Non-Attendance at Parliamentary Committee Meetings:

IDI scholar recommends adopting a proposed amendment to Basic Law: The Knesset, aimed at penalizing Knesset committee members who are invited to testify or submit information but do not comply.

Article

The Electoral Threshold, Wasted Votes, and Proportionality

In the upcoming elections, the electoral threshold will be 3.25%, a big leap from the last elections. Will this higher hurdle deter voters from supporting small parties? Will it reduce the share of wasted votes? What impact will it have on the proportional nature of the electoral system?

Op-ed

Adviser or Prosecutor? Israel's Attorney General Can't be Both

IDI Vice President Yedidia Stern asserts that there is a conflict of interest between the Attorney General’s two functions—as State Attorney and State Prosecutor—and the office must be split in two. 

Op-ed

A Red Alert for Israeli Democracy

In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, IDI President Yohanan Plesner warns of the dangers of racism, incitement, and stifling of free speech and asserts that it is essential to internalize a substantive democratic culture. 

Article

The Leading Candidate for President: "I Don't Know"

Two months before the elections for president of Israel, who does the Israeli public see as the most suitable candidate for the job? Find out in this mini-survey from IDI's Guttman Center.

Op-ed

Only a Constitution will Ensure Good Governance in Israel

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

Article

Nothing is Known Yet: Public Opinion on the Israeli Presidential Race

Although the presidential race is heating up, the public does not seem to be particularly interested in it. What do Israeli citizens know about the race? Who is their candidate of choice? Find out in this mini-survey by the Guttman Center for Surveys.

Op-ed

Human Rights under Attack

IDI Researcher Attorney Amir Fuchs discusses two indirect threats to human rights in Israel: attacks on the Israeli Supreme Court and attacks against Israeli human rights organizations.

Op-ed

Gotta Have Faith: The Knesset's Top Priority for 2017

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

Op-ed

Harmful Revolution: The Nation-State Bill’s Assault on Equality

Israelis must unite around a balanced arrangement that asserts that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people that guarantees equality for all its citizens.

Op-ed

Detention of African Asylum Seekers in Israel: Welcome to Round Three

On December 8, 2014, just before the Knesset dissolved itself to prepare for early elections, it enacted the Law for Prevention of Infiltration and Ensuring the Departure of Infiltrators from Israel. IDI's Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler reviews this development.

Op-ed

The Elephant in the Room: Relations between Religion and State in Israel

Prof. Yedidia Stern urges Israel's leaders to stop tiptoeing around the core issues of religion and state in the Knesset election campaign, and to take a clear position on the matter.

Op-ed

Banning Arab Workers: A Hypocritical Condemnation

The mayor of Ashkelon's announcement following the massacre in a Har Nof synagogue that Arab workers would not be employed in his city was roundly condemned by members of the Knesset. Dr. Amir Fuchs points to the hypocrisy of these condemnations.

Op-ed

A Ready Alternative to the Nation State Law

IDI researcher Dr. Amir Fuchs criticizes the proposed Basic Law that would establish Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and recommends accepting Israel's Declaration of Independence as the preamble to Israel's future Constitution instead.

Policy Statement

IDI Experts Submit Legal Opinion on Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

A legal opinion opposing the proposed Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People, which was submitted by IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on June 4, 2014.

Op-ed

Israeli Democracy Day: Yitzhak Rabin's Legacy for the Future

On the 19th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Prof. Yedidia Stern asserts that if the annual memorial day for the late prime minister were to be observed as Israeli Democracy Day, Rabin's legacy for the future would be even greater.

Article

On the Punishment of MK Hanin Zoabi by the Knesset Ethics Committee

IDI researcher Assaf Shapira provides background information on the decision of the Knesset Ethics Committee to suspend MK Hanin Zoabi for statements she made about the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers and about Operation Protective Edge.

Op-ed

Heart vs. Head: The Case of Hanin Zoabi

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Admiral Ami Ayalon argue that while the heart has difficulty defending MK Hanin Zoabi's freedom of expression, the head demands that we object to the decision to remove her from parliamentary activity for six months.

Op-ed

The Struggle against Government Corruption

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

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: Is the Shaked Committee's Bill Destined to be Overturned?

As the Shaked Committee begins to vote on its proposal for the Haredi draft, Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern warns that the proposal's recommendation to exempt Haredi men of draft age during a three-year "adjustment period" is both inequitable and ineffective. 

Op-ed

What Can We Learn about Israeli Policy Making from the Supreme Court's Ruling on the Anti-Infiltration Law?

Attorney Talya Steiner warns that a Supreme Court's judgment that struck down an amendment of Israel's anti-infiltration law as unconstitutional points to significant flaws in Israel's process of policy-making.

Article

The Israeli Economy: Has the Melting Pot Succeeded?

A study conducted by IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Momi Dahan that reveals that there has been a continuous narrowing of income gaps between Israelis of European-American origins and of Asian-African origins since the 1990s.

Op-ed

The Contributors to the State Bill: Contributing to the Jewish-Arab Divide

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Att. Talya Steiner warn that the veteran's benefit bill, which is intended to extend benefits to those who have contributed to the State, discriminates against Israel's Arab citizens, who are exempt from military service in Israel.

Op-ed

Separating the Prosecution from the Police

Most criminal cases in Israel are prosecuted by the Israel Police rather than by the State Prosecutor. Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Guy Lurie call for a division that would make the Police responsible for investigations and the State Prosecutor responsible for indictments and trials.

Op-ed

On the Need for Civil Unions in Israel

Rabbi Dr. Benjamin (Benny) Lau expresses support for the proposed civil union bill, which would allow couples who do not want to marry in a religious service to form a legally recognized union and be eligible for the benefits and responsibilities associated with marriage.

Op-ed

Regulating Bedouin Settlement: A Disengagement Plan for the Negev

Ronit Levine-Schnur analyzes the Bill to Regulate Bedouin Settlement in the Negev 5773–2013, warns that it seems to be motivated by an exaggerated fear of a Bedouin takeover of the Negev, and offers an alternative approach. 

Op-ed

Quashing Legislation Mandating Lengthy Detention of Asylum-Seekers

Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler shares observations on the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court that an amendment of the Prevention of Infiltration Law that mandated lengthy detention of asylum seekers is unconstitutional.

Article

2015 Knesset Elections Media Coverage

Press Release

IDI President Responds to Advancement of V-15 Bill

Today, the V-15 bill advanced to the Knesset, with a vote expected as early as later this week.

Press Release

Israel Democracy Institute Scholars on the Proposal to Enable Religious Courts to Arbitrate on Civil Matters: ‘A Good and Balanced Proposal’

Ahead of today’s vote on a bill that would enable religious courts to conduct arbitration with the agreement of both parties, similar to the arbitration that takes place in other frameworks, a policy statement was sent to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation by Israel Democracy Institute’s Dr. Benny Porat.

Press Release

The Israel Democracy Institute criticizes decision to reduce search committees for public service employees from 5 to 3 and says discussions of allowing additional political appointees ‘will harm the professional ethos of the public service’

IDI President Yohanan Plesner said of this latest development: “While one hand in the government is taking significant steps to diminish regulation and improve human resources in the public service, the other hand is harming these efforts.

IDI Presents Outstanding Parliamentarian Award to MKs Elharar and Folkman

Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein: "It's time to bring the rules of the game back to the Knesset

Research reel

Ensuring a Vibrant Democracy

Op-ed

Who is Responsible for Finding a Solution to the Plight of Mesoravot Get?

Prof. Shahar Lifshitz outlines what halakhic authorities and the Knesset can do in order to resolve the issue of get refusal, as discussed at the Second Agunah Summit.

Op-ed

Democracy: The Key Election Issue

In an op-ed in Maariv, IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer calls for an election campaign that focuses not only on foreign policy and Israel's social gap, but on the nature of Israeli identity and the value of Israeli democracy itself.

Op-ed

A Four-Step Plan to Combat Hatred between Jews and Arabs in Israel

IDI Research Fellow Yair Sheleg outlines four steps that can allay fears, contribute to dialogue, combat hatred, and improve relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel

Policy Statement

Legal Opinion on the "Zoabi Bill"

A summary of a legal opinion on a proposed amendment to Basic Law: The Knesset that was submitted by Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Amir Fuchs to the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs.

Op-ed

Overriding the Supreme Court: A Breach in the Wall of Democracy

Dr. Amir Fuchs discusses the proposal to add an override clause to Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom that would enable the Knesset to bypass the High Court and deal a a severe blow to the main safeguard of human rights and minorities in Israel.

Article

Second Strike and You Are (Finally) Out? The Quashing of the Prevention of Infiltration Law (Amendment No. 4)

IDI Researcher Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler presents a brief overview of the Israeli High Court of Justice's decision to strike down Amendment No. 4 of the Prevention of Infiltration Law, and explores several themes that may be of comparative constitutional interest. 

Op-ed

The Prevention of Infiltration Act in the Supreme Court: Round Two

IDI researcher Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler explains why he believes the Supreme Court should overturn Amendment No. 4 of the Prevention of Infiltration Act just as it invalidated its predecessor.

Op-ed

Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People – A Danger to the Zionist Enterprise

In an article in the Hebrew weekly <em>Makor Rishon</em>, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs argue against the current initiative to pass Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People, which they see as divisive and problematic.

Op-ed

Basic Law: Referendum—Changing the Rules of the Game of Israeli Democracy

Dr. Dana Blander draws on the findings of Israeli public opinion polls and explores some of the ramifications of the new Basic Law: Referendum, a law that establishes a system in which every citizen is entitled to participate in historic decisions on withdrawal from territory.

Op-ed

The IDF and the Ultra-Orthodox

As the Knesset prepares to vote on the "Draft Law" designed to regulate the service of ultra-Orthodox men in the Israel Defense Forces, Dr. Haim Zicherman surveys the current situation within Israel's Haredi community.

Op-ed

The Electoral Threshold: Why the Rush?

In an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Dr. Ofer Kenig warns that while there is nothing wrong with a moderate increase in Israel's electoral threshold, increasing it from 2% to 3.25% in a single step is problematic.

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: Equality Now?!

On November 21 2013, Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern appeared before the Shaked Committee and argued that criminal sanctions are not recommended for reaching conscription goals. In an op-ed in Makor Rishon, he explains why.

Op-ed

Is Israeli Society Frail Or Flourishing?

Is Israeli democracy weak, fragile and on the brink of collapse, or is it robust, stable and resilient? 

Op-ed

The Admissions Committees Ruling: A Lack of Ripeness or Refusal to Decide?

Dr. Amir Fuchs discusses the Israeli High Court of Justice's decision to uphold the "Admissions Committees Law," which allows small communities to reject applicants due to a lack of social suitability. 

Op-ed

Price Tag Attacks: Racist Crimes

In an article in <em>Haaretz</em>, Attorney Amir Fuchs stresses the need to wage a genuine war against racism, in order to preserve the values of Zionism and safeguard the Jewish and democratic state.

Press Release

'Yes' to a Nation-State, 'No' to a Nationalistic State!

Leaders of the Israel Democracy Institute call for alternative proposal that would place nation-state of the Jewish people on equal footing with democratic obligation to equality for all Israeli citizens.