The Split within Israel’s Government over Policy towards the Palestinians: What does it Mean for Israeli-Saudi Normalization?
When Prime Minister Netanyahu convened a cabinet meeting on September 12, one week before heading to New York to address the UN General Assembly and meet President Biden and other world leaders, a contentious issue emerged: Should the families of Palestinian security prisoners (those convicted on terrorism charges) be allowed to visit once a month, […]
On September 12, Israel’s Supreme Court will convene in an atmosphere of heightened political tension to listen to petitions asking it to strike down a recently-passed Knesset law. No decision from the Court is expected imminently as Israel enters a month of High Holy Days. But political compromise proposals by the Prime Minister and others […]
Worries over the Reservists’ Protest and Its Implications.
On March 29, a few hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed pause on his government’s plan to overhaul Israel’s judiciary, US President Joe Biden delivered a warning to his long-time friend. “Like many strong supporters of Israel, I’m very concerned,” Biden said, masking his deep frustration with measured understatement. “I’m concerned that they get […]
Recently, I was asked whether I might consider revising the book I wrote on the US-Israeli relationship entitled Doomed to Succeed. Turmoil in Israel, the most right-wing, religious government in Israel’s history, and President Biden’s decision to hold off inviting Prime Minister Netanyahu to Washington led to concerns about where the relationship might be headed, […]
A bitter debate has now engulfed Israeli society over the proper role of the judiciary. The new government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, began its term in January by introducing far-reaching reforms to the judiciary, which I have already described in detail. The continuing strong reaction to these proposals, well described by my JST […]
If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that a nuclear Iran is Israel’s greatest threat, then why is his government focused instead on passing domestic judicial reform legislation as its top priority? This question, posed by a former head of the Mossad’s Iran department, appeared in the headlines of Israel’s daily Yedioth Ahronoth on March 3. […]
Since December 2022, every Saturday evening after Shabbat, tens of thousands of Israelis have demonstrated against the judicial reform proposals of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government. Former generals and judges, economists, journalists, hi-tech professionals, medical workers, shopkeepers, young students and their grandparents who fought in the War of Independence, native-born Israelis and recent immigrants, and Arab […]
A strident debate is occurring in Israel about the role of the judiciary and democratic governance. Virtually every democracy debates this issue periodically, because there is an inherent conflict between majority power and minority rights. The traditional role of non-elected courts is to impose a check on politicians who are elected by the majority. Whenever […]
As Israel’s finance minister from 2003–2005 and later as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was the father of Israel’s economic miracle that transformed a stagnant socialist economy into a thriving “start-up nation.” Today, however, Netanyahu is on a path toward wrecking what was one of his crowning achievements. His government’s proposed judicial reforms have begun to […]