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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Palästinenser suchen "Präsidenten" per Castingshow

Eine der Errungenschaften dieses Jahrhunderts ist die Erfindung der Castingshow: Aus einer anonymen Masse von Bewerbern werden in allerhand Proben und Prüfungen in einem festgelegten Verfahren kollektiver Meinungsbildung der oder die "Beste" herausgefiltert. In aller Regel geht es um Schlagersänger oder Models. Aber Präsidenten? Dass Castingshows politisch werden können, kann man derzeit in Ramallah, Nablus […]

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Ein paar Gedanken zum New-School-Antisemitismus

Was Old-School-Antisemitismus ist, davon haben wir alle eine ziemlich genaue Vorstellung. Weltverschwörung und Hostienschändung, Stürmer-Karikaturen von krummnasigen Börsenjuden: damit wollen wir natürlich alle nichts zu tun haben. Das ist was für Skinheads und SS-Veteranen. Aber wir doch nicht! Wir verabscheuen doch die Nazis aus tiefster Seele. Gerade weil das unsere Großväter waren. Wir wissen doch […]

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Israels Regierung will Supreme Court nach rechts drücken

Ran Hirschl berichtet auf ComparativeConstitutions.org über zwei Gesetze, die derzeit im Knesset beraten werden und den Supreme Court betreffen: Beide dienen offenbar dem Versuch, die Dominanz der Rechten auf der Richterbank zu sichern. Israels Supreme Court hat sich unter seinem Vorsitzenden Aharon Barak in den 90er Jahren den Ruf erworben, besonders aktivistisch zu sein. Das […]

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