IDI's annual conference on National Security and Democracy, held in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Israel office), convened top officers and academic experts to discuss the changing relations between the IDF and Israeli society and draw lessons for the future from the military’s unprecedented involvement in the civilian COVID-19 crisis.
In its fight against terrorism, Israel has often been proud of its ability to effectively fight terrorism, while remaining faithful to democratic principles. House demolitions were always considered a necessary evil, which could be resorted to in very exceptional circumstances - are we now facing populist trends that runs contrary to the traditional ethos of subjecting counterterrorism policies to rule-of-law constraints.
More and more ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Israelis are enlisting in the IDF, driven by personal, financial, and professional motives, with military service seen as an “entrance ticket” to Israeli society and to the labor market. But military service also introduces them to the shared components of identity and citizenship linking them to the state and its values, and enabling them to identify with others, from outside their community.
In an op-ed soon to be published by the Jerusalem Report, the former head of the Shin Bet security service argues that mutual responsibility is the cornerstone on which the resilience of Israeli society is founded, and is most strongly expressed in the commitment of the government of Israel to do everything possible to secure the release of its captured soldiers.
The Israel Democracy Institute’s Dr. Amir Fuchs came out against the statement by Minister Naftali Bennett that Elor Azaria should be immediately pardoned, even if convicted by the military court. Azaria shot a terrorist who came at soldiers with a knife, after the terrorist was disarmed. Fuchs said that Bennett’s proposal is unadvisable.
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.
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.
Upon the release of the findings of the international investigation of Operation Protective Edge: IDI warns that the intervention by international bodies in the investigation of the events of the Operation in Gaza undermines the basis of the international demand to establish investigative mechanisms and weakens the Israeli legal system.
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.
In an op-ed in <em>Maariv</em>, IDI Vice President Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs warn that the proposed amendment to Israel's Anti-Defamation Law, which would allow IDF soldiers to bring a class action suit for libel when the operational activities in which they participated are criticized in the media, will have the opposite of its intended effect.
In an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Prof. Yuval Shany discuss the need for measures, laws, and institutions designed to combat the war on terror in order to strike a balance between concern for national security and the need to safeguard democratic values such as human rights and the rule of law.
The violent incidents that took place on the Israeli-Syrian border in June 2011 raise the question of how the Israel Defense Forces should deal with violent events that resemble disturbances while at the same time affecting important Israeli security interests. IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Yuval Shany offers his analysis of the Israeli response to these events.
The following op-ed by IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern was originally published in Hebrew in the <em>Yedioth Ahronoth</em> daily newspaper on December 8, 2010, just before the Knesset was scheduled to vote on a bill that would recognize the validity of all conversions performed within the context of the service in the Israel Defense Forces—a vote that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed by several days due to competing pressure within the political system. It urges the Israeli government to fend off political pressure, act morally, and assert that anyone who has converted to Judaism in the IDF is a Jew.
This op-ed by IDI Prof. Yuval Shany argues that despite the Goldstone Report’s shortcomings, it strengthens the demand to investigate claims raised against the IDF through an extra-military entity. As he sees it, the main question to address is whether the army's internal investigation of "Operation Cast Lead" meets the requirements of international law.
This article presents the main milestones in the recurring attempts to put a satisfactory arrangement for the deferment of military service for yeshiva students in place. In doing so, it surfaces the changes that have occurred over time in the constitutional, legal, and public responses and attitudes on this issue.
Despite the verdict, the real story in the Azaria affair is the moral, not the legal, issue, and this debate is alive and well.
IDI was quoted in nearly 500 articles connected to the Elor Azaria verdict, including interviews with Yohanan Plesner, Yedidia Stern, Mota Kremnitzer, Amichai Cohen, Tamar Hermann and Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler. We reached a potential 403 million individuals, through coverage in 28 countries and 42 states, plus Washington, D.C.
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.
Reforming Policies for Self-Investigation
Israel's Policy of Preventative (Targeted) Killing in Judea, Samaria and Gaza