When the Coronavirus Crisis Turns into a Crisis of Democracy

The ongoing political crisis in Israel raises the question of whether the government acts fully in good faith when deciding on measures to fight the spread of COVID-19. The current situation, in which the parliament is hindered from functioning and in which emergency regulations directly benefit the personal situation of the current Prime Minister, raises doubts about this.

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An Open Letter to the Speaker and the Legal Advisor of the Knesset

Following the March 2 election, Prime Minister Netanyahu has the support of 58 Knesset-Members. In contrast, 61 Knesset-Members have come out in support of Benny Gantz. In light of this majority, earlier this week Gantz was tasked by Israel’s President the mandate to try and form a government. Against this backdrop, on Wednesday, Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein unexpectedly suspended the recently elected Knesset.

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Slowing or Stopping the Turn to Authoritarianism in Israel

The elections will not bring any change with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the religious conflict or the growing inequality. But they are important and even crucial for the future of Israel as they are most likely to slow and perhaps block the erosion of the protection of civil rights in Israel and the slow but continuous transition of Israel from a liberal democracy to an authoritarian one.

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What Difference Does it Make to Fully Annex the Quasi-Annexed Occupied Territories?

Whether or not Netanyahu’s era of prime minister of Israel is coming to an end, his campaign announcement that Israel will unilaterally annex at least parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories should not be dismissed. First, because this possibility has long ceased to be a political taboo in Israel. Second, and more importantly, because in many ways, a sub-official process of partial annexation is already taking place in Israel, to a large extent, under the radar of the international community.

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36 Jahre Sabra und Shatila und die Frage der Strafverfolgung

Das Massaker von Sabra und Shatila wurde zum Sinnbild für die Grausamkeiten des Libanesischen Bürgerkrieges. In dieser Woche jähren sich die Ereignisse zum 36. Mal. Grund genug der Frage nachzugehen, ob eine etwaige Strafverfolgung gegen die aktiv beteiligten Milizionäre durch deutsche Strafverfolgungsbehörden auch heutzutage noch möglich wäre.

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Shifting towards a democratic-authoritarian state: Israel’s new Nation-State Law

The 'Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People' was passed by the Knesset on July 19, 2018. The Basic Law purports to entrench the identity of the state as a Jewish state. As this Article is being written several petitions against the Basic Law are being prepared and will be submitted to the Supreme Court. The Court however may find it very difficult to declare the Basic Law void.

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A new chapter in Israel’s “constitution”: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

In the very last day of the Knesset’s summer session, on July 19th 2018, the Israeli Knesset passed a new Basic Law stating that Israel is the Nation State of the Jewish people. Supporters of this Basic Law claim that it simply states the obvious: Israel was established as a refuge and a homeland for the Jewish people. Still, the Basic Law is very problematic. Not because of what is included within it, but mainly for what is missing from it: the idea of a democratic state and the principle of equality.

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The Israeli Override Clause and the Future of Israeli Democracy

The recent proposals to enact an override clause to the Israeli Basic Law; Human Dignity and Liberty has triggered a fierce public debate in Israeli legal and political circles. Under this proposal, the Knesset could reenact a statute that was declared void by the courts.   As is characteristic of such debates, the proponents and opponents of the override clause claim to defend democracy, strengthen the protection of rights and defend restore the proper balance between different branches of government. The purpose of this post is to explain the background of this debate and evaluate the pros and cons of the override clause in the Israeli context.

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Protecting Israeli Citizens against Discrimination in Germany?

Last week, the district court of Frankfurt/Main issued a verdict that Kuwait Airways was allowed to refuse an Israeli citizen on its flight. The decision gained widespread international news coverage: Amidst concerns about rising antisemitism in Europe, many parts of the public were alarmed by what the mayor of Frankfurt described as anti-Semitic discriminatory practices that violated German law and international standards. In the following we take a close look at the legal issues involved in this case and discuss whether or not it might have been possible to come to a different conclusion.

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Courts in a Populist World

“I did not come to in order to be loved but in order to voice the sentiments of the public,” said Minister Miri Regev. Meanwhile, an Opposition Member of Knesset exclaimed that “we are here because we reflect and represent the people.”1)Haim Jelin, Yesh Atid (party), Knesset Session/Sitting (3 August 2016) (our translation; emphasis added). […]

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