Israeli society

Publications Regarding Israeli society

Articles

Op-ed

Defending Women’s Rights to Serve Equally

Creating a gender-equal military is a complicated task, but the IDF must not forget its responsibility, nevertheless many Israeli soldiers have not been trained on gender equality says Idit Shafran Gittleman.

Israeli Voice Index

Two Weeks to Election Day: IDI Poll Reveals Jewish Israelis are in Favor of a Unity Government

The August 2019 Israeli Voice Index found that Jewish Israelis show a strong preference for a unity government while Arab Israelis prefer a center-left wing government led by Gantz and that over the past five months there has been a steady decline in the public’s optimism about the future of Israel’s democracy and security

Article

New School Year 2019

The majority of the public would prefer to pay more taxes, in exchange for funding of education from birth for all Israeli children; The respondents defined the main factor impacting the quality of education, is the quality of teaching in schools; Moreover, most Israelis would not encourage their children to work as teachers in the future

Press Release

Religion and State: Israelis Seek Change in Existing Arrangements

Even though most Israelis support opening businesses & public transportation on Shabbat issues of religion and state will not decide the September elections

Op-ed

Solidarity is a Must for the Survival of the Jewish people

Jewish solidarity is an existential imperative. As we mark the solemn day of Tisha B'Av, Dr. Friedman reflects on the importance of strengthening the common denominator among all Jewish communities. 

 

Op-ed

Is Israel like Iran? Hardly

An unflattering US report on freedom of religion would have us believe that Israel is being run by an ayatollah-like regime. While some limits to freedom of religion exist, Israel is a free country

Op-ed

Jewish Identity is Highly Explosive: Handle with Care

Many Israeli policies only influence Israeli citizens. But when it comes to questions of Jewish identity, every decision and every statement made reverberates throughout the Jewish world.

Op-ed

Why are the Ethiopian Israelis Angry?

Only rarely can a protest totally uproot racism and discrimination, but a strong leadership can negotiate for change

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

Israeli Voice Index

How Jewish Israelis Feel Towards Non-Jews and the Current Conversion Process – Shavuot Survey

Conversion is a central theme of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot when the biblical story of Ruth the Moabite – widely considered the first convert to Judaism – is traditionally read. In the spirit of the holiday, we decided to examine what types of relationships Jewish Israelis are ready to have with non-Jews. We also looked into what Jewish Israeli think about the topic of conversions in general and the conversion process in Israel in particular.

Op-ed

The Ultra-Orthodox Community on the Conservatism-Modernism Spectrum

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox sector is less homogeneous than most assume.

Israeli Voice Index

Israeli Voice Index: 82% of Israelis Are Proud of Country’s Achievements

On the eve of Israel’s 71st Independence Day, 82% of the Israeli public thinks that the national balance of achievements shows more successes than failures and 62% think legal proceedings against Prime Minister Netanyahu should not be stopped, notwithstanding his success in the elections

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.

Podcast

The Growing Power of the Independent Ultra-Orthodox Voter

In a conversation with Fathom Deputy Editor Calev Ben-Dor, Malach discusses the recent changes that have taken place in ultra-Orthodox society, voting trends within the ‘sector’, and how the onset of technology is affecting voting patterns

Research

Standard of Living

The third out of six chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Research

Employment

The fourth out of six chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Research

Ultra-Orthodox Lifestyles

The fifth out of six chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Op-ed

Ultra-Orthodox Political Parties in Israel—Past, Present, Future

What is the secret behind the power of the ultra-Orthodox political parties in Israel and how has it changed over the years? The article presents an overview of the development of the ultra-Orthodox political parties in Israel from the establishment of the State as well as insights as to future developments.

Podcast

The Haredi Spring

As election season heats up, Tipping Point host Dr. Gilad Malach of the Israel Democracy Institute and Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer to understand how Haredi parties became kingmakers in Israeli politics, why recent polls show a decline in their power and whether there is a chance that Shas and United Torah Judaism will join forces in the current campaign.

Op-ed

Climbing up the Socioeconomic Ladder: Military Service among the Ultra-Orthodox

Even though military service seems to be one of the most blatant threats to the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle, it has become a rather attractive channel for broad segments of the community.

Article

Citizenship and Military Service in Ultra-Orthodox Society

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.

Play
Press Release

2018 Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

IDI’s 2018 report on ultra-Orthodox society is out - shedding light on changing trends in population, education, employment, and leisure in the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel.

Op-ed

Keep Politics Out of Corruption!

Supporters of this government show increasing tolerance for graft, and this is a red flag for the rule of law in Israel.

Article

Beyond the Veil of Ignorance

One fact is clear: the moment the attorney-general announces his decision, half of the public will reject it, to the point of accusing him of serving political interests and not really seeking the truth.

Article

Presentation of the Israeli Democracy Index to the President of Israel

"Our central mission—and we see you as a partner in this—is to strengthen Israel’s democratic core in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence"  says Yohanan Plesner in his address to President Reuven Rivlin.

Article

Being Able to Say No

How can we reverse the growing rift between Israel and diaspora Jewry? Both sides have their work cut out.

Article

Local Government and Local Elections: Time to Move Away from Centralized Thinking

Israel’s system of local elections has been in place since the 1970s - but is it optimal? Prof. Gideon Rahat proposes reform to enhance the compatibility of the system to the characteristics and needs of different localities.

Op-ed

Faith and the City

In an op-ed for the Jerusalem Post, Dr. Shuki Friedman, Head of IDI's Center for Religion, Nation and State, explains how local government plays a critical role in balancing religion and state in day-to-day life in Israel.

Article

Israel Climbs Five Spots in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index

Israel improved by five spots over last year in the index of 190 countries. In first place is New Zealand, followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The Ease of Doing Business Index is an international indicator of how easy it is to do business in various countries.

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.

Op-ed

Why Local Elections Matter

"While Israeli national politics get most of the coverage, it is the local level that in many cases has the greatest impact on Israeli lives." Read Yohanan Plesner's op-ed on the upcoming municipal elections and why electoral reform is required, both on the local and national level.

Article

Two States for Two People? A Long Decline in Support

For the past few decades, support and opposition to a two state solution has been a fault line dividing people and parties in Israel. Dr. William Cubbison presents an overview of the level of Jewish support in the 25 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Press Release

Is It a Very Scary Time for Young Men?

The monthly Peace Index of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University finds that: 44% of Jewish and Arab Israelis agree with President Trump’s statement that “It’s a very scary time for young men” – the percentage among men who agreed was significantly higher than that among women.

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.

Article

Shabbat in the City

A recent law stripped local authorities of the power to decide on allowing commercial activity on Shabbat and handed it over to the Minister of the Interior, a development which was met with public uproar. Would it not be better to leave these powers in the hands of the municipalities, which act according to the profile of their resident population? Dr. Shuki Friedman makes the case for leaving these decisions in the hands of the local authority.

 

Article

Women’s Service in the IDF: Between a ‘People’s Army’ and Gender Equality

Over the years and especially in recent decades, the concept of gender equality has also become relevant to the discussion of military service, and more and more roles have been opened up to women serving in the IDF. Dr. Idit Shafran Gittleman presents an overview of 70 years of women in the IDF.

Article

Understanding How Bibi's 'Gift Affair' Might Have Happened

In an interview Prof. Yuval Feldman, discusses his new book "The Law of Good People" and sheds light on the connection between good people and corruption.

Article

Debating the Draft – Public Opinion Survey

Majority support for drafting young ultra-Orthodox into the army goes as far back as 1991. There have been small fluctuations, but consistently --at least 2/3 (65%) of the Israeli public has supported drafting yeshiva students or young ultra-Orthodox into the IDF.

Op-ed

Are We Guilty? Are We Traitors?

Shared responsibility, engraved in Jewish tradition, is one of the secrets of the State of Israel's success and the use of the plural form in confession reflects this perception.

Article

Israeli Collective Repentance

A collective Israeli repentance will enable us all to pray together for our common good, even if the content of our prayers is a matter of fierce disagreement.

Op-ed

Strengthening Jewish Peoplehood In The Diaspora — But Not In Israel

In the bill’s final wording, the state only commits itself to act within the Diaspora to strengthen the ties of Jewish peoplehood – as if actions taken inside the Jewish state, like the reneged-upon Western Wall compromise, have no bearing on the rest of the Jewish world.

Op-ed

Israel's wealthiest are abandoning IDF combat units

Israel's secular elite has lost its enthusiasm for combat service and now targets intelligence units, such as Unit 8200.

Op-ed

Israel Is Repeating The Mistakes That Led To The Temple’s Destruction

What message of Tisha B’Av is relevant for life in a sovereign state like Israel? Does the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel make the day of mourning for “the city that is in mourning, laid waste, despised and desolate” an anachronism?

Op-ed

Is it time to do away with Tisha B’Av?

Israel has evolved into an economic and military superpower; what must we mourn?

Press Release

Letter to the Israeli Government on the Nation State Bill

The Israel Democracy Institute issued a letter to the Prime Minister regarding the Nation State Billl, asserting that if the value of equality is not anchored in the legislation alongside the other enumerated national characteristics of the state, the law may eventually erode Israel's democratic character

Op-ed

A Misconstrued Perception of Who the "Bad Guys" Are

Behavioral ethics, a growing area within psychology and management literature, demonstrates that an individual’s unethical behavior is demonstrated through self-deception.

Podcast

Quo Vadis, IDF?

Professor Yuval Shany and Professor Amichai Cohen discuss the pivotal role of the IDF in Israeli life - past and present. 

Article

Involving Arabs in political decision-making is right in principle and vital for Israel’s social cohesion

The majority of the Arab public want to be included in the State’s decision-making processes, and support Arab ministers serving in the government.

 

Article

Israel’s Looming Ultra-Orthodox Housing Crisis

The Minister of Finance has invested tremendous resources in meeting the needs of the Israeli middle class. However, even with these efforts, the minister has failed to address the ultra-Orthodox’s needs — a mistake that has contributed to an acute housing crisis for this sector of Israeli society.

Article

A Dishonorable Burial of the Constitutional Regime

 The proposed amendment which will strip the Supreme Court of the power to invalidate legislation (“the British model”), or alternatively, would allow the Knesset, by a vote of 61 of its members to reinstate a law that the court has struck down (“the override clause”) pose a grave threat to every single Israeli citizen. 

Article

These Four Conflicting Visions Will Determine Israel’s Future

Israel is a success story on many levels — social, economic, scientific, and in terms of protecting its security. Nevertheless, many of its citizens see the country as treading water. What is the source of this dissonance?

Article

Time To Counter Charedi Parties On Jewish Character Of Israel

No matter when they take place, the upcoming elections will have a decisive impact on the identity of the state if decision-makers and the general public continue to follow the ultra-Orthodox lead

Article

Israel's Religion and State Rift is a Minefield for American Jews

Thought leaders recommend an ‘all in the family’ perspective when it comes to challenges between Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.

Press Release

Israelis Support Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem

61% of the Jewish and Arab public believes that it is very likely that moving the American embassy to Jerusalem for Israel’s 70th Independence Day, will ignite an outbreak of violence. Nevertheless, 69% of the Jewish public think that even in light of the expectation of violence, Israel should not ask the Americans to postpone the move

Article

For Arab Women in Israel, It's Just Not Working

Arab women - around 10% of the total population of Israel - barely participate in the workforce, far below the employment rate of Arab or even ultra-Orthodox men. Why?

Research

Population & Demographics

The first out of five chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Research

Education

The second out of five chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Research

Poverty & Standard of Living

The third out of five chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Op-ed

Who’s Afraid of Ultra-Orthodox Israelis?

Ultra-Orthodox society is moving toward a more Israeli, more modern future, while also maintaining its unique characteristics. 

Play
Press Release

Data Israel

In Honor of Israel's 70th Anniversary The Guttman Center for Public Opinion Research and Policy at the Israel Democracy Institute Is Launching “Data-Israel”: The largest and most encompassing online public opinion research database in Israel at the click of a button.

Op-ed

Haredi women lead change

Are women leading the change in ultra-Orthodox society or are they preserving their unique way of life? Learn more about the tension between the possibilities that the modern world offers ultra-Orthodox women and the many complex challenges facing them. 

Press Release

Is President Trump’s public declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel in Israel's best interest?

In light of President Trump's Declaration on Jerusalem: a large majority of the Jewish public think President Trump’s public declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was in Israel's best interest; a clear majority (over 60%) of the Israeli public agrees that Jerusalem is already divided into two cities: the eastern city and the western city

Article

Charedi Women Increasingly Having It All

Growing numbers of ultra-Orthodox women postponing marriage to pursue a career path, new study finds.

Op-ed

Israel at 69 — Not What You Think

Ahead of Israel Independence Day: If we are willing to turn down the volume of the extreme voices and listen instead to the mainstream representatives in each of Israel's sectors, we will find cause for optimism about the shared Israeli future.

Research

Employment

The fourth out of five chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Op-ed

Israel's Tragedy: One Country, Separate School Systems

IDI's Shuki Friedman laments the existence of separate education systems for each sector of Israel's population, which reinforce, rather than bridge societal divides. This op-ed first appeared on Times of Israel.

Op-ed

The Loss of Naïveté: The Impact of the Withdrawal from Gaza on Religious Zionism

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. 

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. 

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

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

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

The IDF’s Fighting Ethos in the Wake of Operation Protective Edge

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.

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

Mourning for Gazan Children Isn't Left-Wing

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. 

Op-ed

On Intermarriage, Judaism, and Democracy in Israel

Rabbi Dr. Benjamin Lau shares thoughts on the tension between Judaism and democracy, in response to the public protests against the marriage of a Jewish woman who converted to Islam and an Israeli Arab. 

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

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

Ultra-Orthodox Integration: It Takes Two to Tango

In an op-ed in Ynet News, IDI researcher Dr. Haim Zicherman discusses the steps that Israeli society must take in order to enable ultra-Orthodox men to integrate into the Israeli army and workforce.

Op-ed

Shavuot in Israel: A Celebration of Torah or First Fruits?

Dr. Hizky Shoham explores the multiple identities of the holiday of Shavuot, which began as an agricultural festival, was transformed into the "holiday of the giving of the Torah," and is most often commemorated as a celebration of Torah in today's Israel—by secular and observant Jews alike.

Op-ed

My Jerusalem: Thoughts for Jerusalem Day

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer shares thoughts on Jerusalem, which symbolizes what is most beautiful and exalted in Jewish culture: the commitment to law and morality, to justice and mercy.

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.

Press Release

2014 Israeli Independence Day Mini-Survey

87% of Jewish Israelis Celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut as a Holiday, 68% of Arab Israelis Do Not

Majority of Israeli Jews Support Reducing Gov't Support for Institutions Which Mark Israeli Independence Day as the “Nakba”

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.

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

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

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

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.

Op-ed

Have No Fear: On the Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities in Society

An op-ed by IDI Senior Fellow Admiral Ami Ayalon, Project Head Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau, and Shira Ruderman of the Ruderman Foundation, stressing the need to dispel the fear of the Other and the Different. 

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

Non-Jews in a Jewish State: Searching for a New Paradigm

In an article in The Jewish Week, Rabbi Dr. Kalman Neuman of IDI's Religion and State project examines some of the thorny questions of Jewish law when it comes to non-Jews in a Jewish state.

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

"Who Made Me a Woman": Women in Ultra-Orthodox Society

A series of Hebrew videos on the historical processes behind the development of the role of ultra-Orthodox women in the family and society, which were developed as part of IDI's research projects on the Nation State and on the Integration of Haredim in Israeli Society.

Op-ed

No to the Separation of Religion and State in Israel

Should the American model of separation of church and state be applied to Israel? In an article in <em>The Jewish Week</em>, IDI's Yair Sheleg argues that Israel needs a unique model.

Op-ed

How Can We Draft the Ultra-Orthodox with Consent?

Is it possible to draft the ultra-Orthodox and integrate them into Israel's society and economy in a mutually-agreeable manner that encourages solidarity between the different sectors of the Jewish people? Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern shares thoughts on wars between brothers and brothers-in-arms.

Op-ed

The Ultra-Orthodox Draft: Crossing the Third Rubicon

Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern and Attorney Haim Zicherman stress the need to break down barriers that are preventing Haredi service in the army and integration in the labor force, and warn against passing a popular but ill-advised reform. 

Op-ed

Haredi Integration: Not by Re-Education

IDI researcher Attorney Haim Zicherman warns against attempts to integrate ultra-Orthodox Jews into the army by encouraging them to abandon their lifestyle, and calls for developing mechanisms that will accept and respect their values. 

Op-ed

The Ultra-Orthodox Draft: A Test of the New Israeli Politics

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern warns that the hasty passage of the proposed government bill on the Haredi draft would be "old politics," and stresses the importance of a Knesset debate to arrive at balanced legislation that is in line with the national interest. 

Op-ed

The Peri Committee Recommendations: Fanning the Flames of Haredi Extremism

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern warns that the Peri Committee recommendations on the ultra-Orthodox draft will undo progress already made in integrating Israel's Haredi community into Israeli society.

Op-ed

The Proposals for Drafting the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel: The Issues at Hand

IDI's Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer critiques various aspects of the proposals for integrating the ultra-Orthodox into the army and calls on the Israeli public to stand firm on its demand for an arrangement that is fair and equitable.

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: The Need for an Alliance of the Moderates

Prof. Yedidia Stern calls for a historic alliance between religious and secular moderates that will yield a solution that will  that will yield a solution that addresses the need for ultra-Orthodox army service while taking into account the most important values of the Haredi community.

Op-ed

The Need for Equal Sharing of the Burden and Strengthening of Torah Study

The need for the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel to share the burden of military service and participate equally in the Israeli economy was a central issue in the 2013 elections. IDI researcher Dr. Benny Porat shares his thoughts on how to bring about this change in the Haredi community.

Op-ed

The Comeback of Polarization

IDI researcher Dr. Benjamin Brown discusses the sense of attack experienced by the Haredi community in the 2013 election campaign and calls for a process of gradual change in integrating the ultra-Orthodox in the Israeli army and workforce.

Op-ed

The Haredim and the State of Israel

In an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, IDI's Prof. Yedidia Stern, who served on the Plesner Committee for Equality in National Service, and Mr. Jay Ruderman analyze the Haredi community's reluctance to serve in the Israeli army and present an approach that will facilitate Haredi integration into Israel's army and society.

Op-ed

Ultra-Orthodox Conscription: Making It Work

Will the High Court of Justice’s refusal to extend the Tal Law indeed reduce the inequality of burden sharing in Israeli society? IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Momi Dahan does not think so, and argues that ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel should be exempted from the army and allowed to work, so as to assume their fair share of the tax burden.

Op-ed

Do Not Put an End to Ultra-Orthodox Army Service

Following the dissolution of the Committee to Advance Equality in Sharing the Burden, committee head MK Yohanan Plesner submitted proposals for alternatives to the Tal Law. In this article, IDI Researcher Attorney Haim Zicherman, who served as the content coordinator of the Plesner Committee, warns that some of those measures were personal recommendations rather than recommendations of the Committee, and may reverse trends of increasing army service by ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Op-ed

The Tal Law: Judicial Responsibility at its Best

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer presents a contrasting view to Prof. Yedidia Stern's assertion that the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling on the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service in Israel is "<a href="http://en.idi.org.il/analysis/articles/judicial-activism-at-its-height">Judicial Activism at its Height</a>." 

If They Give, They Will Receive

In this response to the Supreme Court ruling on the Tal Law, IDI Senior Researcher Yair Sheleg asserts that the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service is an unparalleled <em>Hillul Hashem</em>—a desecration of the Name of God, and shares his views of a possible solution.

Op-ed

Make the Ultra-Orthodox Serve

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern sets the  controversy over mass transportation on Shabbat and holidays in Israel in a broader context, and distinguished between the need for an Israeli-Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) rather than a religious Shabbat.

Op-ed

Finding Middle Ground

In an op-ed in Israel Hayom, IDI researcher Adv. Haim Zicherman argues that a temporary extension of the Tal Law would help the growing trend of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF and would enable volunteering for civilian service to continue.

Op-ed

Father Judaism and Mother Democracy

In an op-ed from Haaretz, IDI research fellow Yair Sheleg responds to settler leader Benny Katzover’s positions on the Jewish and democratic nature of the State of Israel, and argues that Israel should not prefer either of these two identities and should view its Jewish and democratic nature as two manifestations of human dignity.

Op-ed

The Exclusion of Women and Control of the Public Sphere

Why is the marginalization of women in Israeli society and their exclusion from the public sphere on the rise in Israeli society? In this op-ed, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern focuses on the religious Zionist community and the power struggle to determine who will control the public sphere and the space of the religious community.

Op-ed

Listen to the Language: The Young People's Protest of 2011

In this op-ed, Dafna Gruber, Head of IDI's Young Leadership Forum, reflects on the wave of social protest in the summer of 2011, and points to what it reveals about the nature of young people in Israel today. 

Op-ed

The Quality of Independence

In an op-ed from Yedioth Ahronoth written in honor of Israel's 63rd Independence Day, IDI Vice President of Research Yedidia Z. Stern reflects on the quality of Israeli independence, and asserts that a connection with the wellsprings of Jewish culture is necessary for maintaining the quality of the independence that Israel holds so dear.

Op-ed

Coercive Imposition of Western Culture

In this article from Haaretz published on October 3, 2010, Former Education Minister Rabbi Itshak Levi, head of Policy Implementation at IDI, objects to the cultural coercion involved in a mandatory core curriculum, and advocates requiring only the study of Hebrew and Civics of all students in Israel.

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

In late 2009, a series of crimes were committed by individuals who hailed from different sectors of Israeli society—Russian, ultra-Orthodox, the settlers, and the Israeli upper class. These crimes were attributed to the actualization of traits stereotypically associated with the "tribe" of each perpetrator. In an op-ed in <em>Yedioth Aharonoth</em>, Prof. Yedidia Z. tern warns against public displays of tolerance that create a cultural "city of refuge" that condones such behavior, and calls on the leaders of each "tribe" to assume responsibility and take action to eradicate the negative behavior associated with their camp.

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

Immigrants and Crime: The Case of FSU Immigrants to Israel

Researcher Michael Philippov exposes stereotypical views of Russian immigrants and suggests that criminality is a product of Israeli society's obtuseness and indifference. He encourages Israel to consider Aliyah absorption seriously and to focus on fundamental problems such as the lack of development of the peripheral regions and insufficient investment in education.

Op-ed

Emigration from Israel – The Overlooked or Hidden Facts

An article by the Guttman Center for Surveys on the desire of young people from the Russian immigrant community in Israel to remain in Israel. 

Article

Israel: A Society of Immigrants

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel's demographics have shifted greatly due to large immigrant waves (aliyot). This article examines several models of cultural absorption, analyzes the success of Israeli absorption efforts in the past, and proposes possible improvements for the future.

Op-ed

Why are the Russians Leaving Israel?

According to recent data, every second person emigrating from Israel is an immigrant from the Former Soviet Union. This article by IDI's Michael Philippov asserts that the failed integration of the Russian aliyah is not a natural, predictable process but a painful failure for Israel as a host society.

Article

From a Shabbat of Work to a Shabbat of Rest

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern discusses the innovative Sabbath Law proposed by IDI. This proposed legislation seeks to a unique Israeli character in the public sphere on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, in a way which does not force religion on the public. 

Op-ed

Israeli Secularism in the Guttman Center Polls 1990 – 2008

Findings on Israeli secularism from an in-depth study of religious behavior in Israel conducted by the Guttman Center and the Avichai Foundation, which show that a vast majority of secular Jews observe certain aspects of Jewish tradition.

Op-ed

The Burden of Proof

Calls for applying "Torah Law"in Israel lay bare the the much larger problem posed by the substantial clash of the world of Halacha with two fundamental principles of the modern liberal world: individual freedom and equal rights

Op-ed

The Voice that Doesn’t Count 

One of the main explanations for the dramatic decline in voter turnout in the Arab Israeli sector in the last elections (49%, versus 63% in the 2015 elections) is the sense that the voice of Israeli Arabs — is a voice that doesn’t count.

Op-ed

The Ethiopian Israeli Protests

What is the media's responsibility in covering the protests of the Ethiopian community against and what are the problems in the coverage?

Article

The “People’s Army”?

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.

Research

Way of Life & Voting Patterns

The fifth out of five chapters of the Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel

Article

Israel's Alt-Right is Now Mainstream - Are Lawmakers Doing Enough to Stop It?

27 years after Kahane’s murder, Jewish extremists praise the rabbi, calling him a righteous prophet whose politics were ahead of his time. Like Kahane, Gopstein’s ultimate dream is an Israel that operates according to Jewish law, or Halacha, where the only Arabs who live there are those loyal to a Jewish theocracy. “At this rate,” he says of Palestinian citizens of Israel, “it’s either us or them”

Play
Research reel

Limited Partnership: Arabs and Jews in Israel

On the complex relationship between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the secret to bringing down the walls of fear and prejudice

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.

Op-ed

Two Jewish Nations and the Abyss Between Them

For many American Jews, identification with the State of Israel is a significant component of their Jewish identity.

 

Press Release

Peace Index: 40% of Israelis Believe that Rifts Between Groups Will Widen

Monthly survey also finds that 84.5% of Israeli public defines mood as good or very good while 43% expresses trust in Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Op-ed

This Yom Kippur, Let's Turn Down the Volume

A country that comes to a standstill for one whole day and doesn’t derive anything significant from it is missing the point.

Play
Op-ed

Where Will the Ultra-Orthodox Community Live in 2040?

The State of Israel needs to come up with appropriate living solutions for the ultra-Orthodox, whose numbers are expected to increase significantly.  

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.

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

United by Outrage? Israel's Arab Citizens and American Jews

Now you know what it's like to feel marginalized and unequal in Israel. Arab citizens know that all too well. That's why we must join forces.

Op-ed

Voyage to Identity

Prof. Yedidia Stern argues that our Jewish identity and culture depend on how we understand and internalize the past.

Books