Governance

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Articles

Op-ed

Netanyahu’s East Africa Visit: Negotiating Away Israel’s ‘Unwanted’ Asylum-Seekers

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded a visit to East Africa. Uganda is doubly symbolic in collective Jewish-Israeli memory. In 1903, the ‘Uganda proposal’ put the territory forward as a supposedly alternative site for Jewish self-determination; the Zionist Congress rejected it. And Uganda was also the site of the Entebbe raid on 3-4 July 1976, when an Israeli commando squad rescued 103 civilians being held hostage after a plane was hijacked en route from Israel to France. 

Op-ed

The Road to Better Governance

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.

Article

The Researched-based Responses to Troublemaking MKs

News from the Knesset in the last week raises myriad questions about democracy, and Israel Democracy Institute president Yohanan Plesner tries to provide answers.

Op-ed

With Approval Of Mandelblit: Time to Consider Shortcomings of Outgoing Weinstein

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

Op-ed

Criteria for Evaluating the Success of the Israeli Attorney General

In an article in The Marker, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Guy Lurie recommend ways of ensuring that the performance of the Israeli Attorney General is evaluated on a regular and systematic basis.

Article

Rivlin Under Fire

Ever since he was elected, President Reuven Rivlin has been under attack from the extreme right wing in Israel. Why should a right-wing President be under attack from the right? IDI Researcher Dr. Amir Fuchs explores the origins of the animosity towards Israel's liberal, right-wing President.

Op-ed

Don't Increase the Number of Cabinet Ministers

Dr. Ofer Kenig argues that amending the clause of the Basic Law that limits the number of ministers in the next government to 19 is not only unnecessary, but also brings about a sense of déjà-vu that the Knesset is defying the rules of the game once again.

IDI President Dr. Arye Carmon on the Forum for Political Reform

In 2009, IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon established The Forum for Political Reform in Israel in response to "the urgent need to generate significant improvement in the capabilities and functioning of the Knesset." On March 28, 2011, Forum Chairman Meir Shamgar, Former President of the Israeli Supreme Court, submitted the Forum's recommendations to the Knesset. In this video interview, Dr. Carmon speaks about the Forum, its key recommendations, and obstacles to political reform in Israel. 

Decade in Review: Israeli Governance in Crisis

IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon, one of Israel's foremost experts on political reform, sums up the Israeli political scene at the end of the first decade of the third millennium in an article that was published in collaboration with Walla!, a popular Israeli website.

Article

Conference Rationale

IDI's international conference "What Do Think Tanks Do?," conducted in May 2011, focused on the role and nature of think tanks in the democratic context. In this article, Dr. Karmit Haber explains the rationale behind the conference and examines the primary roles of think tanks and how they approach a variety of issues.

Op-ed

Clearing up the Confusion on Cairo

As the United States debates whether or not to cut aid to Egypt in the aftermath of the military-led ouster of President Muhammad Mursi, IDI Vice President of Strategy Dr. Jesse Ferris makes the case for increasing US aid to Egypt.

Article

Anti-Politics

Anti-politics is the aversion of citizens to political institutions and elected political figures. In this article, IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Tamar Hermann and IDI researchers Yuval Lebel and Hila Zaban survey different types of anti-politics, distinguish between anti-politics and de-politicization, and present insights about Israeli anti-politics based on the findings of the 2008 Israeli Democracy Index.

New Record! Netanyahu Now Longest Continuously Serving Israeli Prime Minister

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. 

Article

Women in Politics: 2017

There has been a substantial increase in the amount of women serving as Ministers of the Knesset since 1999.

Op-ed

Israel Exemplifies Rise of Personalized Politics

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

Op-ed

Leviathans, Minnows and the Rule of Law

“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).”

Press Release

The Democracy Pavilion

After months of preparation, we are proud to inaugurate, along with the Tel-Aviv-Yafo Municipality, the Democracy Pavilion, celebrating 70 years of Israel’s independence. A unique multi-media experience, in full 360-degree technology, showcasing the values embedded in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the historic highlights of 70 years of independence.

Press Release

The Israel Democracy Institute Ahead of Deliberations on the V-15 Bill

Ahead of Wednesday’s (January 4) deliberations on the changes in the V-15 Bill, scholars from the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) sent a letter to members of a joint committee of the Knesset’s House and Law Committees calling on them to amend the bill significantly.

Press Release

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked: 'Legislation is like medicine'

At joint Israel Democracy Institute-Makor Rishon conference, ministers also addressed chemical weapons tragedy in Syria.

Press Release

Police-Society Forum

Police-Society Forum convenes at IDI to discuss issues related to law, order and enforcement among Israeli citizens

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

The Trump Phenomenon: Israeli Politics in the 'Age of Me'

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s once unthinkable ascension became a reality earlier this month, following a largely drama-free roll call vote on the Republican National Convention floor. Trump is a prime example of a candidate whose vision and ideas are not a direct reflection of his party's values and policies, and who, in many ways, battled his way to the top of the party. His nomination is just one example of a current trend toward political personalization, a process in which the influence of individual leaders in the political process has increased, as the centrality of the political group declines.

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

Are Open Primaries the Answer?

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.

Op-ed

Britain's Referendum: Democracy at its Finest or Crass Populism?

In Britain, nationwide referendums are a rare event. This development highlights an issue that many of today's democracies are struggling with: the ongoing tension between direct and representative democracy. Is a national referendum a shining example of the democratic ideal put to practice, or does it represents deterioration to cheap populism?

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

Only As a Democracy Will We Win

IDI President Yohanan Plesner says that even after 20 years, the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin remains the Israeli democracy's breaking point. He calls on all peoples and their leaders to develop a joint democratic vision.

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

National and Local Politics

An examination of the development of Israeli local politics, which discusses voting patterns, citizen participation in the decision making process and political activism, as each relates to local politics.

Article

In Israel, Rescuing Government from Itself

Dr. Arye Carmon, co-founder and president of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), discusses how the lack of a constitution is an internal existential threat to Israel. Dr. Carmon's approach is inclusive and integrative, including such remedies as one-ballot elections and a Constitution by Consensus.

Op-ed

Why Israel Should Fight with One Hand Tied Behind Its Back

In an op-ed in <em>The Jerusalem Post</em>, IDI President Yohanan Plesner stresses that Israel's adherence to international law is not a source of weakness, but rather one of its greatest strengths.

Op-ed

On Operation Protective Edge, Justice, Law, and Victory

Admiral Ami Ayalon asserts that the winner of today's wars is the side whose story is perceived as just, and argues that without a diplomatic track, Israel cannot win the war, even if the war is justified and Israel adheres to international law in the face of terrorists who violate it. 

Op-ed

How Should the President of Israel be Chosen?

Is the institution of the presidency necessary? Who elects the president? Is the election an open vote or secret ballot? Dr. Ofer Kenig explores the situation in Israel and other parliamentary democracies.

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

Between Shamir and Ben-Gurion

On November 10, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the Israeli prime minister who has served the second longest cumulative term. Dr. Ofer Kenig explores Netanyahu's placement between record-holder David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Shamir.

Op-ed

Are Convicts Fit for Political Office?

IDI Vice President Mordechai Kremnitzer and Doron Navot, author of Political Corruption in Israel, discuss whether politicians convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude should be allowed to return to the Knesset.

Op-ed

A Privately Run Prison: Worthy Addition to Israel's Correction System

In this article, the former Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Public Security debunks the case against the proposed privatization of prisons in Israel. In his opinion, operating a prison under private management is an experiment that can actually improve prison conditions and support prisoners' rights.

Op-ed

A Preemptive Strike on Iran: Who has the Authority to Decide?

As the world considers the threat of a nuclear Iran, Israeli public discourse has focused primarily on whether or not Israel should launch a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. But who has the authority to decide whether a military operation should be conducted? In this article, IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and researcher Eyal Tsur explore the strengths and weaknesses of the current division of responsibility regarding this matter, and recommend ways of improving the system.

Op-ed

A Coalition of Hope

Following the elections of 2013, IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern hails the incoming Knesset as a unique opportunity to change the nature of the State of Israel so that it is both more Jewish and more democratic at the same time. 

Op-ed

Should Israel Celebrate the International Day of Democracy?

Article

Israelis Believe Clinton will Push them Harder on Peace, Back Her Anyway — Poll

Israelis may have given up for now on peace, but still want peace talks. Arab Israelis are more optimistic than their Jewish counterparts about state’s future. 

 

Article

Remembering Rabin: Attitudes toward Political Violence in Israel 2013

How do Israelis feel about political violence today, 18 years after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin? As Israel commemorates Rabin Memorial Day, consider the following findings of the 2013 Israeli Democracy Index.

Op-ed

The Future of Israel’s Political Parties is on Facebook

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.

Op-ed

Innovation was the Epic Fail of 2016

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

Article

Jerusalem Report: Welcome to 21st Century Politics

Poorly funded and under threat from personalization and social media, political parties are in decline.

Op-ed

Democracy at Risk

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

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

New Partners in the Struggle Against Terrorism

Yohanan Plesner argues that as Denmark grieves for a terror attack on its soil, Israeli leaders must broadcast "a message of partnership among democracies battling terrorism without sacrificing their democratic values."

Article

ISIS: Is the Islamic State Really a State?

What criteria must the caliphate of the Islamic State meet in order to be considered a State under international law? This article presents an analysis of this question by IDI experts on terrorism and democracy.

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.

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.

Op-ed

Dismantling Sectarian Cities of Refuge

In an op-ed in Yedioth Aharonoth, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern calls on the leaders of each "tribe"—Russian, ultra-Orthodox, settler, and upper class— to take action to eradicate the negative behavior stereotypically associated with their camp.

Op-ed

Local Authorities: An Issue of National Importance

Who is addressing the problematic relationship between local and national government in Israel? Is anyone designing a a comprehensive reform program to solve some of the issues that are the result of a malfunctioning system of local governance? How, if at all, does the national media deal with this issue?

Op-ed

Confronting the Rabin Assassination

Nineteen years after the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer explores the background, meaning, and ramifications of this event, taking a hard look at some of the dangers he sees in Israeli society today.

Op-ed

Joining Together to Remember Yitzhak Rabin

On the 19th anniversary of the Rabin assassination, Rabbi Dr. Benjamin (Benny) Lau, head of IDI's Human Rights and Judaism in Action project, looks at the youth of Israel and shares a vision of hope.

Op-ed

A Betrayal of International Law

In a Jerusalem Post op-ed, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer argues that by breaching their responsibility to be impartial, the  UN Human Rights Council and its commission for investigating alleged war crimes in Gaza are betraying international law, even if unintentionally.

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

Does Israel Need a Police Prosecution Department?

In an op-ed in <em>Haaretz</em>, IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Dr. Guy Lurie call for reform that will abolish the Police Prosecution Department, leaving the Police to investigate and the Public Prosecution to bring criminal charges.

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.

Article

The Labor Primaries: Will Shelly Yachimovich Break the Losing Streak?

Will Shelly Yachimovich manage to succeed where others have failed and maintain her position as chair of the Labor Party for a second term? Dr. Ofer Kenig shares insights on the upcoming primaries for the party leadership.

Op-ed

Women and Israeli Local Politics – A Natural Fit

More women than ever are running for Israeli municipal government in the local elections of 2013, but is it enough? Moran Nagid surveys the appeal of local politics for women and suggests a means of improving the situation.

Article

The Israeli Municipal Elections 2013: Some Preliminary Findings

Dr. Nir Atmor, Dr. Dana Blander, and Assaf Shapira share some preliminary findings on voter turnout and women's representation in the Israeli municipal elections of 2013.

Op-ed

On the Decline in Voter Participation in Municipal Elections in Israel

Why is voter participation in local elections in Israel so low? Assaf Shapira explains the reasons behind this phenomenon, discusses its implications, and offers possible remedies.

Op-ed

Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky are Turning in their Graves

The text of an ad placed by IDI in three major Israeli newspapers soon after the Knesset passed the Anti-Boycott Law and just before its vote on legislation that would mandate investigations of human rights organizations, calling on Israel's legislature and judiciary to defend Israeli democracy from an onslaught of irresponsible legislative initiatives.

Asylum Seekers in Israel: A Snapshot

On the occasion of International Migrants Day and an IDI roundtable on Israeli immigration policy, IDI researcher Adv. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler provides an overview of the treatment of African asylum seekers who have crossed into Israel via its southern border.

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.

Op-ed

A Jewish and Undemocratic State?

The proposed "Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People" has the support of one third of the members of Knesset. In this op-ed, which was originally published in Hebrew in Yedioth Ahronoth, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern, who is deeply committed to the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, warns that the shift from defining Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" to a "Jewish state with a democratic regime" is not a semantic shift, but a seismic change.  

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

Status of Women in Israeli Politics: The Good, The Bad and The Road to Full Equality

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

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

How Israeli Society Has Changed Since The Six-Day War

Polling data finds that far more Israelis distrust their leaders today than in 1967.

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.

Op-ed

Active Labor Market Policy Must Become Priority

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

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.

Elor Azaria: Statement by IDI President Plesner

Following the conviction of Elor Azaria on Wednesday, January 4, IDI President Yohahan Plesner called on leaders to spearhead a coordinated effort involving the education system, the IDF, and the political leadership.

Press Release

Professor Eytan Sheshinski joins the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) as a Senior Researcher in the Center for Governance and the Economy

Top Israeli economist, Professor Eytan Sheshinski, has joined IDI as a senior researcher in the Center for Governance and the Economy, under the leadership of Dafna Aviram-Nitzan.

Press Release

Start-up Nation Central, the Israel Democracy Institute and the Israel Innovation Authority Praise the Government’s Decision to Increase Governmental Interoperability as an Important Step for the Israeli Civil Service

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), the Israel Innovation Institute (III) and Start-up Nation Central (SNC) said the government’s recent decision to approve implementing new and innovative interoperability strategies is an important step that could lead to a major breakthrough.

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

IDI Ahead of the Vote on the V-15 Bill:

‘The bill sets an extremist and dim precedent, which casts a shadow of harsh limitations on freedom of expression’

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. 

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.

Article

The Israeli Democracy Index: A Periodic Check-Up

Prof. Tamar Hermann, head of IDI's Guttman Center for Surveys, discusses the findings of the 2013 Israeli Democracy Index, which was submitted to President Shimon Peres on October 6, 2013.

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

What remains of the religious status quo?

Instead of Judaism being what unites Jews in Israel with Jews around the world, our religion has become the main source of conflict.

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

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.

Op-ed

Transparency in Local Authority Budgets

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler discusses the challenges to transparency in the budgets of Israel's local authorities, including the need to make budgets accessible, to enable searches within budgets, and to facilitate comparisons between the budgets of different authorities.

Op-ed

Shmita: Rest, Share, Release

An exploration of the existential, social, and economic dimensions of the Shmita year, that calls for bringing together social, moral, cultural, religious and national forces to implement the idea of Shmita in non-agricultural and national contexts in Israel.

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

On Leadership and Responsibility: The Lessons of the Purim Story

Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau and Shira Ruderman, Israel Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, share thoughts on the Purim story, leadership, responsibility, and repair of the world.

Op-ed

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer Speaks Out on Using Administrative Detention in Cases of Organized Crime

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer responds to the possibility that the police will use administrative detention to combat organized crime, much in the manner as it is used to combat terrorism. 

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

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. 

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

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.

Press Release

Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society

With the featured participation of: Bank of Israel Governor, Education Minister, Economy Minister, Director-General of the Finance Ministry, Director-General of the Prime Minister Office, Chairman of the Histadrut Labor Federation, Director-General of Bank Leumi, Director General of Microsoft Israel and other VIPs

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.

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

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

International Disabilities Day 2013: Human Rights and Judaism in Action

In honor of International Day for Persons with Disabilities, Rabbi Dr. Benjamin (Benny) Lau updates us on IDI's efforts on behalf of people with disabilities and reveals that people with guide dogs are now allowed to access the Western Wall.

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.

Article

Life Under Two Suns: When Human Rights and Jewish Values Collide

The first in a series of articles by researchers from IDI's Judaism and democracy projects and Human Rights and Judaism project on the complementary but tense relations between Judaism and democratic values.

Op-ed

Time to Include Arabs among the Decision-Makers

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

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.