democracy

Publications Regarding democracy

Articles

Op-ed

Toward Tyranny of the Majority

Granting the government additional power, which will enable overriding Basic Laws in simple legislation must not be allowed, lest the defense of basic civil rights in Israel are compromised

Op-ed

We the People: Democracy in the Age of Populism

Populism means different things to different people – and political populism has an even more sinister meaning

Article

Legal Ramifications if Israel Decided to Annex the West Bank

Annexation would result in a continuous state of affairs in which two sets of laws apply to two adjacent populations and would undermine Israel’s democracy

Article

Israel at 71

On May 9th Israel will celebrate Independence Day, the 71st anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. What do Israelis think about the state of the country at the age of 71?

Special Project

The Democracy Pavilion

The Democracy Pavilion, a unique multi-media experience, in full 360 degree technology, showcasing the values embedded in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, will open to the public on Independence Day.

Op-ed

Whatever Happened to the Likud's Liberal Values?

Dr. Amir Fuchs looks at how far removed today’s Likud is from the Likud of yesteryear, both in terms of personalities and ideologies

Pre-Elections Survey

Special Elections Survey

The Jewish public is divided over the question whether the prime minister should resign if indicted by the Attorney General, pending a hearing; 52% of the Jewish public believes that Israelis living abroad should also have the right to vote

Op-ed

The Illusion of Political Stability

Despite a solid decade with the same prime minister, other cabinet posts have switched hands at alarming rates.

Op-ed

The Constitutional Tug of War in the Outgoing Coalition

The 20th Knesset was the most injurious of all with regard to democratic values, freedom of expression, gatekeeping and, above all, minority rights. In the next government we can only hope that someone will champion liberal center-right values to continue to protect our democracy. 

Op-ed

Israeli Democracy at 70

Israel at 70 is still a thriving democracy, but current concerns are justified, says Alona Vinograd in an interview to Fathom.

Article

Strengthening Jewish Unity by Strengthening Israeli Democracy

As Israel enters its eighth decade, Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute, reflects on the delicate balance between the state’s two dominant characteristics – Jewish and democratic – which has never been more contested.

Article

Meet the Next Generation of IDI Leaders

Guaranteeing an independent Supreme Court. Integrating the Ultra-Orthodox into the IDF. Boosting participation of Arab women in the workforce. Improving the ease of doing business in Israel. These are some of the challenges facing IDI’s new cadre of program and center directors.

Press Release

Supporting the LGBTQ's Struggle for Equality

The Israel Democracy Institute’s management announced its support for the LGBTQ’s struggle to amend the newly passed Surrogacy Law so as to included gay couples.

Op-ed

The Nation State Bill is a Constitutional Abandonment of Diaspora Jewry

This bill is superfluous and will do far more harm than good. In its newly revised version, the Nation-State Bill, which has been problematic since its inception, reaches new lows by effectively abandoning Diaspora Jewry. 

Op-ed

The Attack on Legal Oversight Threatens Us All

Government-sponsored legislation proposing to change how ministry legal advisors are appointed has stirred up quite a storm. The idea should worry all of us, not only jurists.

Press Release

On Political Appointments of Legal Advisers in Government Ministries

The Israel Democracy Institute ahead of the Knesset Constitution Committee debate on political appointments of legal advisers in government ministries: "A blow to the civil service ethos; an opening for potential corruption, forsakes public interest".

Press Release

Will Israel go to war in the coming months?

The monthly Peace Index of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, published today, finds that the Israeli public split on prospect of war in the coming months

Play
Special Project

Watch the Construction of the Democracy Pavilion in 60 Seconds

Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality: "The establishment of the Democracy Pavilion is an impressive demonstration of Israeli democracy. Only in a democratic society can freedom and tolerance co-exist. This is what allows the opposing sectors of Israeli society to live side by side." The Democracy Pavilion is located at the start of the Independence Trail in Tel Aviv and is open to the public free of charge. 

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.

Article

A Sting in 68 Likes

When we use social networks, search engines or other online services on our computers or smartphones, we leave behind a long digital trail. The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal should serve as a wake-up call to us all as to the implications.

Article

Fertile Ground for Growth: The Jewish State’s Balancing Act

Beinisch and Plesner voice optimism about the future of Israel despite current tensions and threats to its democracy 

Press Release

A Democracy in Flux

President Reuven Rivlin, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked,Leader of the Israeli Labor Party Avi Gabbai and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan relate to tensions surrounding the prime minister's investigations and the coalition crisis at a special conference held last night with Makor Rishon

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

Privacy Matters in the Digital Age

Priavcy is a requirement for the proper functioning of any democratic society.

Op-ed

Time for the Start-Up Nation to Build a Start-Up Government

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that “the time has come for the Start-Up Nation to also have a Start-Up Government.” I agree. But can it be done?

Op-ed

Innovation was the Epic Fail of 2016

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

Op-ed

The Hebron Shooter is not Israel’s Poster Child

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.

Press Release

IDI Statement in Honor of International Day of Democracy

Israeli democracy is dealing with complicated challenges, but we are in a good place in comparison to other countries around the world

Op-ed

Companions on a Shared Quest

The Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, as tradition has it, because of groundless hatred between Jews. IDI's Yedidia Stern takes this opportunity on Tisha B'Av to reflect on the current culture war in Israel, and urge citizens to focus on the covenant of destiny that binds us, rather than the divisions between us.

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

Israel’s Amazing Restraint

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.

Op-ed

The Real Reason for the Turkish Coup’s Failure

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler argues that the main reason the coup in Turkey fizzled is not because of Erdogan’s FaceTime message, but because he had been anticipating this putsch for quite a few years and had arranged the entire legal apparatus that governs the relationship between the Turkish government and the media accordingly. 

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?

Article

25 Events that Impacted Israeli Democracy

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Israel Democracy Institute, we feature a list of the 25 formative events that shaped Israeli democracy.

Op-ed

Expand Israeli Absentee Voting Rights

In this op-ed, which first appeared on the Times of Israel, IDI's Ofer Kenig argues that it is time to cautiously expand the right of absentee voting to more Israelis.

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.

Article

Turning Research into Action

IDI experts analyze challenges to Israel’s democratic values and institutions and work with decision-makers to implement concrete
proposals to strengthen Israeli democracy.

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.

Op-ed

Terror triage – Who comes first?

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. 

Op-ed

Torture Laws Must Apply To Arab And Jew Alike

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.

Press Release

The Israel Democracy Institute to heads of the coalition and cabinet ministers: The bill to obliterate the Supreme Court's ability to disqualify Knesset candidates is reminiscent of the Council of Guardians of Iran

Following the advancement of an amendment to a Basic Law on the issue of removing the authority of the Supreme Court to intervene in decisions of the Central Elections Committee to cancel candidates or lists from participating in elections, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) sent out a sharply worded policy paper opposing this proposal. 

Op-ed

Are House Demolitions an Effective Tool in the Battle Against Terrorism?

Is demolishing terrorists' homes an effective deterrent? Israel Democracy Institute research – based on previous work conducted by the security establishment  – has cast a doubt on its value. There was also a research report published in 2005 by a professional committee led by Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Udi Shani, which led to the cessation of house demolitions for three years.  

Press Release

IDI Experts Oppose Allowing Police to Stop and Search without Suspicion

Upholding human rights means police can only search a person when there is solid suspicion. This was the message that Israel Democracy Institute's Professor Mota Kremnitzer and Dr. Amir Fuchs delivered in a policy statement on Nov. 11.

Press Release

Despite reported tensions, discrimination and intolerance, Israelis say their personal situations are good

The Israeli Democracy Institute (IDI) released the Israeli Democracy Index 2015 on Nov. 10, 2015. This year's public opinion poll, a project conducted by the Guttman Center for Surveys, found that Israeli's are more content than the news reports might make them appear.

Op-ed

‘Jewish and Democratic’ Even in Tough Times

Dr. Shuki Friedman reminds us that the values that are so deeply rooted in our Jewish worldview, are part and parcel with the democratic values of our state and its outlook on the obligation to preserve life and human dignity using the rule of law.

Op-ed

Democracy's Hatred for Hate

IDI President Yohanan Plesner writes that while democracy may be considered a fragile regime that has difficulties coping with extremism, there are still powerful means in the democratic toolbox that can and must be utilized to deal with the threats of homegrown terrorism and hatred of the "other", which can undermine Israel's character as a democratic state.

Op-ed

Education for Democratic Values and Combating Racism through Education

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Noam Lautman, Chairman of the Lautman Fund, recommend ways in which the Israeli educational system can strengthen democratic values, and warn that students should not be forced to choose between two competing alternatives—Israel as a nation-state or as a "state of all its citizens."

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.

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

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

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

When November 4th Meets the 12th of Heshvan

Rabbi Yitzhak Ben David shares thoughts on the alignment of the Memorial Day for Yitzhak Rabin on the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars, which challenges us to find a renewed reconciliation between Israeli democracy and Jewish civilization. 

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

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

A Social Iron Dome for Jewish-Arab Relations

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.?

Op-ed

Education for Democracy as a Remedy for Violence

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.

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. 

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

A Jewish State Warrants Our Sacrifice

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.

Article

Public Opinion: Is Israel Independence Day a Holiday?

Do Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel see Yom Ha'atzmaut as a holiday? Do perceptions among Jews vary depending upon level of religiosity or position on the right-left political spectrum? Find out in this Mini-Survey from IDI's Guttman Center.

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.

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.

Article

Do You Have to Earn Dignity?

Is dignity something that must be earned? Prof. Tamar Hermann, Head of IDI's Guttman Center for Surveys, explores this question, as IDI's Israel Speaks project assembles 200 citizens to begin drafting a Declaration of Human Dignity.

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

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

The Jewish and Democratic State: Zionism is Not Racism

In an op-ed in Haaretz, Attorney Amir Fuchs asserts that Israel is both the nation-state of the Jewish people and a democratic state, despite the confused Zionism of Mayor Shimon Gapso of Upper Nazareth.

Op-ed

Has the Arab Spring Led to Democracy?

Dr. Ofer Kenig, of IDI's Political Reform project, cautiously examines whether the events of the Arab Spring indicate the rise of substantial democracy in the Arab world or whether they merely exchanged one type of authoritarian regime for another—a non-liberal Islamic regime.

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.

Op-ed

Jabotinsky's Vision of a Democratic, Jewish Nation State

In honor of Israel's 65th birthday, Attorney Amir Fuchs reflects on whether the reality of today's Israel adheres to the values and vision of early Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky.

Op-ed

A Zionist State, a Binational State and an In-Between Jewish and Democratic State

In this article, reprinted from Nationalism and Binationalism: The Perils of Perfect Structures, Prof. Sammy Smooha presents three models of Israel's national character, focusing on Israel's identity as a Jewish and democratic state.

Op-ed

What About Democracy?

In an op-ed published in Haaretz, IDI Vice President Mordechai Kremnitzer and researcher Attorney Amir Fuchs point out that despite the assault on democratic values witnessed in the outgoing Knesset, "democracy" does not seem to be on the agenda in the current election campaign.

Op-ed

Belief in God is Not the Problem in Israel

Recently, the findings of the third Guttman-AVI CHAI report—A Portrait of Israeli Jews: Beliefs, Observance, and Values of Israeli Jews—were presented to the public. The findings have drawn much media coverage because they revealed that an overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews believe in God. In an op-ed from <em>Haaretz</em>, IDI Senior researcher Yair Sheleg responds to columnists who were alarmed by the findings regarding belief in God, and argues that what is really of concern is the inverse relationship between this belief and belief in democratic values.

Op-ed

The Democratic Year in Review: The Knesset's Missed Opportunity

The period of the Jewish High Holidays is a time of reflection and introspection. In this op-ed, originally published in Yedioth Ahronoth on September 26, 2011, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern reflects on the gap that emerged between the agenda of the Knesset and the agenda of the Israeli public during 2010-2011 and expresses hope that the message of the social-economic protest of the summer of 2011 will point the Knesset in the right direction in the year to come.

Op-ed

The Founding Vision: Israel as a Democratic State. Period.

The question of who is a citizen of Israel is tied to many issues in the forefront of debate in Israel. In this article, guest columnist Former MK Shulamit Aloni focuses on the democratic nature of the State of Israel, and particularly the concept of equality, as the foundation on which citizenship rests, and decries recent racist undercurrents observed in Israeli society, which she sees as contrary to the founding vision of the State.

Anti-Terrorism Legislation in Britain and the U.S. after 9/11

Democratic countries around the world are struggling to effectively fight terror without compromising basic human rights and freedoms – the essential democratic values. In this article from IDI's Hebrew online journal Parliament, IDI's Yogev Tuval presents an analysis and comparison of post-9/11 anti-terrorism legislation in the United States and Britain, and explains how certain laws threaten democracy.

Op-ed

Israel at 60: On the Road to Democratic Maturity

Barak Cohen discusses how Israel's lack of a constitution manifests itself today as unanswered fundamental questions of seemingly irreconcilable identities. The steps of progress and maturity have to consist of compromises and rationality.

Play
Research reel

The Case for Substantive Democracy

As calls for a "majoritarian democracy" gain strength in Israel, IDI's President warns of the dangers associated with a tyranny of the majority, and makes the case for a richer interpretation of democracy, grounded in the principles of liberty, equality and the separation of powers.

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.

Press Release

How's It Going?

80% of Israelis are proud to be Israeli; 71% are optimistic about Israel’s future; and 38% see social gaps as a major challenge

Books