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In this op-ed IDI's Amichay Ayalon and Idit Shafran-Gittleman argue that the challenge of combatting terrorism requires security concerns to be weighed against the values of a free society. The prevailing attitude among supporters of Hebron shooter Elor Azaria of allowing the security mantra to trump any other concerns may lead to short-term military success, but will be a moral loss for Israel, both on the home front and in the international sphere. This op-ed originally appeared in Haaretz.

In the last decade, no member of the IDF has been convicted of an offense as serious as that with which Azaria is charged.

Israel's senior political leaders are playing with fire when they publicly justify violating the rules of war and ethical conduct. Troublingly, a majority of the Israeli Jewish public agrees.

As the IDF's military court handed down its verdict in the case of Elor Azaria, the soldier accused by the military prosecutor of shooting and killing a terrorist who no longer constituted a clear and present danger, it is an appropriate moment to recall the recent experience of another soldier in another army.

Recent events surrounding the evacuation of the Israeli settlement of Amona have ignited a long-simmering debate within Israeli society regarding the construction of a small portion of settlements on privately-owned Palestinian land in Judea and Samaria.

The primary significance of Resolution 2334 is that it strengthens other initiatives whose purpose is to punish Israel, its leaders and businesses for their involvement in the settlement enterprise. 

While there is no way to know whether the military picture of the recent Gaza war would have been different had members of the security cabinet been kept abreast of the tunnel threat, there can be no doubt that what occurred was a failure of Israel’s democracy.

It is almost certain that readers of this article will not recognize the name of this man, the terrorist who caused more damage to Israel’s security than any other attacker in recent years. His name is Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, 21, from Hebron.

Three IDI experts on terrorism and democracy discuss the key points of the UN Security Council resolution that condemns the abuse of human rights by the Islamic State, and note two points that they believe are missing from the resolution. 

IDI Researcher Attorney Eli Bahar discusses the central role that members of Israel's system of legal counsel play in formulating the rules of what is permissible during warfare in real time, during the fighting, in order to ensure that Israel's citizens will not be ashamed of themselves after the fighting ceases. 

Israel's security agencies have sweeping surveillance powers, but are subjected to few checks and balances.

Israel has been in a state of emergency since 1948. But the nature of the threat has changed over-time—from full-scale military invasions to isolated airplane hijackings, from suicide bombings to missile attacks, and most recently, cyber and lone wolf terrorism.
These ever-evolving threats necessitate new responses and strategies.

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.

In an op-ed first published by The Jerusalem Report, Prof. Yedidia Stern says this intifada of knives has left Israel in a twilight zone. It is not a time of war, in which the army is permitted to use arms more freely. But nor is it a time of peace in which any use of arms is seen as most irregular. Sharp differences of opinion between the public and the army could lead to a crisis in public confidence in the military high command. There is a crying need for responsible leadership.

IDI's Prof. Amichai Cohen explains why Israel had to launch a swift and effective investigation into the actions of the solider that shot a neutralized terrorist in Hebron. This article originally appeared on the Times of Israel

The Peace Index has shown us that when it comes to the political situation, the majority of the Israeli Jewish population is in a conceptual fog. On the one hand, the Israeli center and center-left has become growingly frustrated and disillusioned with the option of peace as it was perceived in the early ‘90s. On the other hand, the center and center-right have come to acknowledge that there must be a solution and that this solution could mean some type of splitting of the land, most probably a two-state solution. This article was first published by the Jerusalem Post.

In the aftermath of the Tel-Aviv terror attack, it is becoming increasingly clear that the current round of terror will not end soon. When there are casualties of attacks, not only do security issues arise, but so do medical issues – and these can be equally as complicated. This article originally appeared in Crescent City Jewish News. 

Dr. Mordechai Kremnitzer argues that it is time for Israel to examine the Shin Bet security service's regulations, based on the assumption that they apply to all residents of Israel. One law must apply to all suspected perpetrators of terrorist acts — Jews and Arabs alike.

A society that is doomed to live forever by the sword cannot hope to be truly humanist and democratic. Originally published in the Jerusalem Report.

Twenty years have passed since Yigal Amir murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Both for political reasons and for the sake of national unity, Israeli society has avoided a fundamental and straightforward examination of the background, meaning, and implications of this event. But unity cannot be based on whitewash or false symmetry between left and right. The following is an invitation to conduct the kind of inquiry that is necessary. 

Parallel to negotiations, a process, designed to create a two-state reality through independent and unconditional steps, must be implemented

Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya and Eli Bahar say the biggest difference between the security situations in 2000 and now is the profound lack of understanding between the two sides. This article was first published on the Times of Israel website.

Dr. Amir Fuchs delivers the following message: While Israeli security forces must fight terror using all legal means available to them, Israeli leaders have another and no less important role: to maintain the democratic character of the state. This is especially the case when it comes to equality, minority rights and defending the innocent from acts of revenge and/or lynching.

Is administrative detention an appropriate response to Jewish terror such as the events in Duma? Dr. Amir Fuchs argues that there is no justification for administrative violations of a person’s freedom except for in concrete emergencies in which criminal law would be impossible to apply.

Submitted to the UN International Commission of Inquiry on February 11, 2015, this document details the role of lawyers within the Israeli Defense Forces in implementing and enforcing International Humanitarian Law within the IDF.

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, IDI Vice President of Research, analyzes fundamental principles that bear crucially on the moral aspects of the Goldstone Report, Israel's stance with respect to the report, and contemporary international criminal law in general. 

IDI Vice President of Strategy Dr. Jesse Ferris argues that the one- and two-state paradigms are no longer relevant and suggests a redrawing of boundaries among Israel, Jordan and Egypt instead.

While pending the possible decision to evacuate settlements in Judea and Samaria, IDI Research Fellow Yair Sheleg offers a new model of evacuation, based on the Algerian evacuation model, altered to fit Israeli reality.

Prof. Amichai Cohen argues that there is only one good way to prevent prosecution of Israeli soldiers abroad: Israeli authorities must conduct effective, independent, and genuine investigations in cases where there are suspicions of war crimes or other violations. This article was first published by Times of Israel.

How should suspected violations of the international laws of war be investigated? As Operation Protective Edge winds down, Prof. Yuval Shany and Prof. Amichai Cohen discuss the options of an internal investigation by the IDF, an international investigation, and an Israeli commission of inquiry.

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer discusses the High Court of Justice's decision to uphold the Israel Broadcasting Authority's rejection of an infomercial in which the names of Gazan children who were killed in Operation Protective Edge would have been read aloud. 

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.

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. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced recently that Israel and Turkey had reached an agreement leading to reconciliation between the two countries – and the Knesset approved the deal. Now the question becomes: will the deal have the impact Israeli soldiers are hoping for? Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

Ten years after the disengagement from Gaza, Yair Sheleg, head of IDI's Religion and State program, explores the impact of the withdrawal from Gush Katif under the leadership of Ariel Sharon on the Religious Zionist community in Israel. 

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.

IDI Senior Researcher Yair Sheleg shares his thoughts on the differences between the evacuation of Yamit and the Sinai Peninsula in the past, and the upcoming evacuations of Migron and the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El.

Elor Azaria’s case shows how online pressure by extremist voices can swiftly go viral in the Israeli mainstream, forcing politicians to choose: Play catch up or resist, but at great personal cost.

Even before the conclusion of the Elor Azaria trial, there were calls for the 'Hebron Shooter' to be pardoned. Under such circumstances, what does a pardon entail and how can an IDF soldier who had been sentenced in a military court of law be granted one?

This essay makes a case for the international community’s right of self-defense against atrocities, through its members, and to refer briefly to the challenge of implementing such a right. 

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

An interview in which IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon discusses the Institute's achievements, his views on the government and its size, and the connection between his expertise on Nazi Germany and his research on democracy. 

The upcoming High Holidays are an opportunity to expand our perception beyond our selves and communities. This article was first published by the New York Jewish Week.

As the Central Elections Committee begins to debate disqualifying MK Hanin Zoabi and others from running for Knesset, IDI Senior Fellow Ami Ayalon writes that as distasteful as some of her words may be, banning Zoabi from running would be a victory for Israel's detractors.

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. 

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer addresses the question of the appropriateness of the letter that Givati Brigade commander Col.Ofer Winter sent to his subordinate officers as Israel prepared for the ground incursion in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

Attorney Amir Fuchs asserts that educating Israeli students regarding democracy and civics from a young age and throughout their education is the best way to prevent hatred, violence, and racism.

IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern reflects on the privilege of sacrifice and the necessity to maintain a Jewish Israel in order to justify that sacrifice, in an article written for Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism.

IDI President Yohanan Plesner stresses the need to ensure that the Israel Defense Forces remains at the heart of the Zionist consensus so as to enable it to continue to be the army of all citizens of Israel.

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.

In an op-ed in <em>Yedioth Ahronoth</em>, Prof. Yedidia Stern warns that the Iron Dome could not protect Israel from hatred between Jewish and Arab citizens, and stresses the need for both sides to use imaginative empathy to mend the fabric of Israel's shared society.?

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.

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

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.

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.