How can Israel - a light to the nations, and homeland for the Jewish People, fail to embrace equality for all, alongside commitment to the diaspora?
On July 12, 2010, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee approved a controversial draft bill on conversion reform. Presented as an effort to make conversion more accessible to hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens who are not Jewish according to state and religious law, the proposed legislation sparked an outcry both in Israel and the Diaspora. In this article, IDI Researcher Netanel Fisher exposes the dangerous linkage between conversion and the status of Judaism's non-Orthodox movements and assesses the likelihood of the bill achieving its goals.
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.
The proposed "Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People" has the support of one third of the members of Knesset. In this op-ed, which was originally published in Hebrew in Yedioth Ahronoth, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern, who is deeply committed to the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, warns that the shift from defining Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" to a "Jewish state with a democratic regime" is not a semantic shift, but a seismic change.
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.
Last week, the Justice Minister proposed a bill aimed at separating the duties of the Attorney General from those of the Public Prosecutor. Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer writes that Friedman's several attempts to introduce changes to the judicial system should be seen for what they are: a part of his larger agenda of weakening the judicial system.
A sharply worded policy statement by Israel Democracy Institute experts was sent last week to members of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation against the proposed amendment to the party funding law that allow a committee to halt funding to parties that call for placing a boycott on the state of Israel or any area of Israel, including the West Bank.
There are ways to transform this powerful committee into one that combines politics with professionalism, instead of being one more arena for the settling of political scores.