Knesset

Publications Regarding Knesset

Articles

Op-ed

A Knesset in the Deep Freeze

Those who are not familiar with the Knesset’s day-to-day activities may mistakenly believe that it normally functions efficiently.

Op-ed

So Few MKs, So Much to Do: The Knesset is Dysfunctional

Lawmakers sit on too many committees and propose too many laws. The fix starts with government members quitting the Knesset

Article

The 20th Knesset in Numbers

The current paper presents data on the parliamentary work of the MKs and parties in the outgoing Knesset. All the information is based on data taken from the Knesset archives and the Knesset’s Research and Information Center which are open to the public

Op-ed

It’s time to change how we select Knesset candidates

Primaries often don't reflect the true will of actual party supporters -- voters should weigh in on Election Day

Op-ed

Israeli Politics is Still a (Mostly) Boys’ Club at the Top

Despite record numbers in the Knesset, few females hold senior government posts — their absence leaves Israel worse off.

Press Release

Proposed Facebook Bill - Dangerous Legal Precedent


Proposed Facebook bill circumvents standard legal procedure and threatens to transform Israel into a world leader in repression of free speech

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.

NGO Bill Passes: IDI Scholar Dr. Amir Fuchs Reacts

Despite the many changes that have been made to the bill, largely due to the opposition of many coalition MKs that did not want to harm human rights organizations, the bill is still not a good one, it will not improve transparency, and it has no precedent in the Western World.

IDI Praises MK Ayelet Shaked: Time to Reduce Private Legislation

The Israel Democracy Institute praises Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv on Aug. 31 railed against overregulation and over-legislation.

Press Release

Outstanding Parliamentarian Award

The Israel Democracy Institute on Tuesday will bestow the
Outstanding Parliamentarian Award on two members of the current Knesset: Minister Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) and MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union).

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.

Press Release

Israel Democracy Institute Scholars Come Out Against NGO Bill

Israel Democracy Institute Scholars Came Out Against the NGO Bill, which is being discussed today in the Knesset Law and Constitution Committee

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."

Press Release

Israel Democracy Institute Scholars Ahead Of Monday's Vote On The MK Suspension Bill:

Ahead of tomorrow's expected first reading of the MK Suspension Bill on the Knesset floor, Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) scholars sent an updated policy statement to members of Knesset, calling on them to vote against the bill.

Press Release

At The Close Of The Winter Session Of Knesset: Only 17% Of Israelis Believe The Knesset Properly Represents The Public

As the Knesset winter session comes to a close, and a year into the 20th Knesset, the image of the Parliament and its members continues to suffer. On Tuesday, a new caucus will be launched with the purpose of proposing ways to improve the image of the Knesset and its members. 

Press Release

Improving the Image of the Knesset

Yesterday, a team of Israeli leaders met with President Reuven Rivlin at his residence to form a new caucus focused on restoring the public's faith in Israel's Parliament. The caucus, led by MK Elazar Stern, will work together with the Israel Democracy Institute to improve the Knesset's image.

"The Knesset is one of the most important institutions in our democracy. Improving its ability to function and its image in the eyes of the public is of extreme national importance," said IDI President Yohanan Plesner.

Press Release

The Israel Democracy Institute to Knesset Ministers: "Support Bill to Shorten Time Allotted For Forming A Government"

Ahead of today's meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) called for supporting a bill that will shorten the length of time allotted to form a governmnet after an election. 

Press Release

IDI President Yohanan Plesner Reacts to Decision to Push Forward MK Suspension Bill

"The MK Suspension bill is an embarrassment to the Knesset."

Press Release

IDI Scholars on the MK Suspension Bill: Unacceptable, Invites Political Witch Hunts

IDI researchers come out against MK suspension bill.

Op-ed

How Not to Achieve Coexistence

Arab elected officials have disappointed the public time after time with their lack of professionalism in how they lead their constituents toward political change. (This article was originally published by the Jerusalem Post.)

Press Release

Jewish vs. Democratic: IDI Experts Say Nation State of the Jewish People Bill Threatens Stability in Israel

Bill is as an attempt to destabilize the balance between Israel's democratic character and its Jewish character.

Op-ed

The 2015 Knesset: Can New Brooms Make a Clean Sweep?

Israel's 20th Knesset will have 39 new members. Will this infusion of new blood improve the Knesset's performance? Dr. Chen Friedberg explores some of the issues that may impede the ability of these new Knesset members to "clean up" the Knesset.

Op-ed

The Social Composition of the 20th Knesset

On Tuesday March 30, 2015, the 120 members of the 20th Knesset will be sworn in. About one third of them are new faces, and almost a quarter are women. How many religious MKs are in the Knesset?  Which is the "youngest" parliamentary group? Dr. Ofer Kenig explores the demographic attributes of the 120 members of Knesset.

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.

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.

Op-ed

The "Anti-Pardon" Bill: Laws are not a Substitute for a Backbone

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.

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.

Press Release

IDI's Prof. Gideon Rahat Responds to the Proposed "Largest Party" Bill

Head of IDI's Political Reform project responds to reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu is planning to promote legislation that would automatically give the head of the largest Knesset party the right to form the government.

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

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.

Article

Remembering Ariel Sharon (1928–2014)

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

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.

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. 

Op-ed

Requiem for the 18th Knesset

Upon the announcement of early elections, IDI researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig reviews the performance of the 18th Knesset and wonders how it will be judged by history.

Article

The Emergence of New Political Parties in Israel

A survey of the creation of new political parties in Israel, from the state's founding through 1992, which was originally published in Hebrew in Parliament, IDI's online journal.

Article

Call for Proposals: Regulating the Activities of Lobbyists in the Knesset

On April 4, 2012, IDI published an ad in the Hebrew Haaretz daily newspaper, appealing to the public for input that will inform the Institute's efforts to draft a proposal for regulating the activities of lobbyists in the Knesset.

Op-ed

Neeman's "Jewish Poker" Game

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs explain why they see the "Bar Association Bill" as undermining the rule of law. This bill would change the way that the Bar Association's representatives to the Judicial Appointments Committee are selected, and would apply retroactively.

Op-ed

The Limits of Party and Coalition Discipline

How much parliamentary independence should Knesset members have? To what extent must they toe their party's line? At a time when party discipline and coalitional discipline play a decisive role in determining the fate of Israeli policy and proposed legislation, MK Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin, Speaker of the Knesset, calls on parties to allow Knesset members to remain true to their conscience and to their role as representatives of the people.

Article

Who Presides over the Knesset? On the Role of the Speaker of the Knesset

IDI Researcher Dr. Dana Blander examines the statutory and customary roles of the Speaker of the Knesset and considers whether this is a symbolic job or one that has real influence on the operations of the Knesset. In addition, she compares the powers and functions of the Knesset Speaker with the corresponding roles in Great Britain and Australia.

Op-ed

Women in the 18th Knesset

IDI Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig analyzes the results of the 2009 Israeli general election elections as they pertain to women's representation in the Knesset.

Op-ed

A Weak and Inefficient Knesset

In a democracy, parliaments are supposed to not only pass laws but also engage in oversight; that is, to ensure that legislation is implemented and identify deficiencies in the government’s work.

Op-ed

Who's Afraid of a Jewish State with Equality for All?

A state that is proud of its identity has nothing to fear from granting all its citizens equality.

Play
Press Release

Out of Sight: How Do Israeli Parties Perform on Social Networks?

Yesh Atid, Zionist Camp and Meretz have the strongest online presence, while the Joint List and Yisrael Beiteinu lag behind.

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%).

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.