Human Rights

Publications Regarding Human Rights



Continue to Stand Guard: Israel's Decline in Global Democracy Metrics is Troubling, but Not Catastrophic

V-Dem's latest report downgraded Israel's status from a "liberal democracy" to an "electoral democracy." The change in Israel's category is concerning, but on its own, it does not necessarily indicate a clear democratic decline. 


Preparing for Ramadan as Israel Arms Itself

In a few days, Israel's Muslim citizens will begin celebrating the month of Ramadan. While safeguarding this ritual and protecting freedom of worship, security forces will face challenges in defending public security, as this is considered a sensitive time. With the influx Israeli citizens taking part in the civilian defense squads and licensing themselves, the police must make serious efforts to ensure all Israeli citizens feel safe. 


What We Should Learn About Ourselves, On the Occasion of Facebook’s 20th Birthday

Twenty years into the social media revolution, of which Facebook is the poster child, we need to reassess and renew our fundamental democratic principles.

Special Project

The ICJ Hearings on Israel and the War on Hamas

On January 11th, the court will begin by hearing South Africa’s oral argument, with Israel presenting its counter argument on January 12th.

What does the international law state and what are the possible implications of these proceedings on the ongoing war and Israel’s international standing? We’ve compiled a shortlist of important information you should have.


Explainer: South Africa’s Case Against Israel at the International Court of Justice

The ICJ is hearing allegations that Israel has violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. What is the ICJ? How is the government responding? What are the implications for the war against Hamas and Israel’s international standing?
All the answers in a special IDI explainer.


Israel's War in Gaza and International Law

International law is a normative system that regulates the conduct between states, organizations recognized by international law and at times, individuals. This explainer presents an overview of international law in conflict and its application in Israel's war against Hamas.   


International Law "Made In Israel" Vs. International Law "Made For Israel"

Tendentious interpretations of international law are not surprising considering the high emotions surrounding the long and bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, to serve its purpose guiding the conduct of States and retain a high degree of legitimacy, international law must serve as a common legal language. 


Women in War Under International Law

Now, when it is clear that Hamas’s murderous attack was unprecedented in its extreme violence, including sexual violence, the relevant international bodies—such as the UN Security Council, UN Women, and the International Red Cross—must respond to these incidents.


The War in Gaza: Who is Authorized to Approve a Deal for the Return of the Hostages in Exchange for the Release of Palestinian Prisoners?

The state has a moral and ethical duty of the highest order to act as quickly as possible to free and return all the hostages and the missing. But what is the legal mechanism that should be applied when agreeing deals to secure their release which also involve freeing Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons?


The Hamas Abductions and International Law

Details and clarifications on the international crimes committed by the Hamas in their abduction of Israeli civilians, and the responsibilities attached to these crimes.


Populism as an Existential Threat in Israel

In an effort to create uniformity, populists are ready to destroy the state.


The Abandonment of Arab Israelis

Ditching the 5-year plan for the Arab sector will have adverse long-term effects on the Arab's sector ability to integrate into Israel's shared society.


How Revolutionary Was Israel’s ‘Constitutional Revolution’?

Prof. Amichai Cohen discusses his new book The Constitutional Revolution and Counter-Revolution, and explains the changing role of the High Court of Justice in maintaining the checks and balances of Israeli democracy.



Using Electronic Bracelets

Electronic bracelets should be used only after restricting access to information and ensuring its security


Women's Representation in the Knesset and the Government: An Overview

Women still constitute less than 30% of all Knesset members and the percentage of female cabinet members in the government has never risen above 23.5%

Press Release

On the decision by the ICC in The Hague

IDI Vice President Prof. Yuval Shany on the decision by the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC): "It will be a long time before the investigations mature into indictments or arrest warrants."



Annexation and the Violation of Human Rights

What are the possible human rights implications of annexing parts of the West Bank? In these experts from a more detailed analysis in Hebrew, IDI  detail the rights that might be violated if the plan moves forward.


Heading Towards Annexation? IDI's Experts Hold Online Briefing for International Diplomats

IDI President Yohanan Plesner and VP of Research Prof. Yuval Shany held an online briefing for the diplomatic community in Israel focusing on potential plans by the government to apply sovereignty in parts of the West Bank.


IDI's Experts Hold Online Briefing Ahead of Annexation

IDI experts held today an online briefing focusing on potential plans by Israel's government to apply sovereignty in areas of the West Bank as part of the U.S’ ‘Deal of the Century’


House Demolition at the Israeli Supreme Court: Recent Developments

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.



A Show of Global Solidarity – The UN and Human Rights

The United Nations, with all its many flaws, has an essential role to play in promoting the basic idea that any and all individuals must enjoy human rights.


‘Black Friday’ and Other Investigations: Initial Observations

Initial observations on Israeli's Military Advocate General's decision to conclude investigation into 'Black Friday'.


The Debate Over Planned Deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese Nationals

Deporting people against their will to the countries they escaped from evokes strong and disturbing recollections of dark episodes in Jewish history.


Back to the ‘Ticking Bomb’ Doctrine

The Israeli High Court of Justice’s Dec. 12 decision in Abu Ghosh v. Attorney-General provides a good opportunity to reexamine the implementation of the prohibition against torture in Israeli law almost twenty years after the court’s landmark 1999 judgment in Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, which outlawed torture.


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. 


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.


Questioning the Legality of Deporting Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum Seekers from Israel

The Israeli government’s plans to deport en masse thousands of persons in need of international protection to undiscolsed ‘third contries’ pursuant to secret (denied, and effectively unenforcable) agreements are deeply troubling from a refugee and human rights law perspective. They should be called off.