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Israel Democracy Institute

  • Legal bullying in the service of the prime minister

    The Knesset is fast-tracking legislation to hobble and hide corruption investigations against Netanyahu. The bill would further erode Israeli democracy, training citizens to accept that they do not have the right to know the facts about their leaders. The Knesset raced toward adopting a law this week intended to constrain Israeli police from making recommendations about indictments based on its investigations, and to keep the findings of those investigations from the public. The law would apply retroactively to the current investigations involving the Prime Minister. [tmwinpost] The bill represents another blow to democratic practice in Israel, along with laws in recent…

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  • Right-wing TV station ordered to include Reform, Conservative Judaism

    A public television channel with a right-wing Zionist slant asks for permission to start a nightly newscast. Israel's Communications Ministry says sure, but only if they start including 'every stream of Judaism.' By Raanan Shemesh Forshner Israel’s Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting (CCSB), part of the Communications Ministry, accepted last week a request from Channel 20 to start broadcasting nightly news programs. The channel in turn accepted the Council’s demand that it join the Israel Press Council. In addition, following the Reform Movement’s opposition to the granting of a license to Channel 20, the council ruled that the…

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  • Israelis don't get to hold a referendum on Palestine

    A recent poll found that if there were a Brexit-style referendum over whether to maintain Israeli control over the West Bank, most Israelis would choose 'remain.' But is that up to Israelis to decide? If there were a referendum in Israel about whether to "leave" the West Bank — while holding onto most of the settlements — only 41 percent of Israelis would vote “leave.” If you narrow that down to Israel’s Jewish citizens, a mere 36 percent would vote “leave,” according to June’s Peace Index poll, published by the Israel Democracy Institute earlier this week. [tmwinpost] And who would have…

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  • Gag orders in Israel have tripled over last 15 years

    As the Military Censor has become more liberal, authorities have turned to gag orders as a convenient alternative for controling the dissemination of information. Over the past 15 years, the number of gag orders issued in Israel has more than tripled. But that is only a rough estimate because no state body actually monitors them. [tmwinpost] Noa Landau, the former news editor of Haaretz newspaper and currently a fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, has submitted a freedom of information request to the courts' directorate and the answer she received consisted only of…

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  • Views on torture split along ethnic lines, Israeli poll finds

    Attitudes toward torture in Israel differ significantly among Jews and Arabs. Poll also finds conciliatory views about the legitimacy of the ‘other’ and their claims to the land. More than 55 percent of Jewish Israelis think it is permissible to use “physical methods” of interrogation, i.e. torture, against terrorism suspects even if there is no “ticking bomb” scenario to stop, according to a public opinion poll published Monday. The issue of torture has been in the news in recent weeks because attorneys for a handful of Jewish extremists accused of committed acts of terrorism against Palestinians say the Shin Bet, Israel’s…

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  • Poll: Majority of Jewish Israelis support executing terror suspects on the spot

    A recent poll finds that Israelis Jews believe that Palestinians suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks should be killed on the spot, and that their family's home should be demolished. Over half of Jewish Israelis (53 percent) believe that a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a terrorist attack "should be killed on the spot, even if he has been apprehended and no longer poses a threat," a new survey shows. The poll, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute at the end of October, quizzed Jewish Israelis and Palestinian citizens of Israel on their attitudes toward the current wave of violence sweeping…

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  • Poll: Israelis don't believe either candidate will make peace

    Six days before Israelis head to the polls, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his challengers, Herzog-Livni, are closer than ever. According to a new survey, most Israelis support a continued peace process, but don't think it will succeed — regardless of who is at the helm. The past two-and-a-half months of campaigning leading up to next week's elections have been cast as a choice between “us and them,” between the stability of an incumbent and the change offered by his challenger. While the latest polls show Israelis almost evenly split — both among so-called Left and Right blocs, but also among…

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  • Israeli society mounts resistance to assault on democracy (updated)

    This post has been updated, 21 July, 2011 When we look back on this period in Israeli history, I don't want to wonder: "why didn't Israelis fight for their democracy? Why did they stand by and let themselves be taken over by sham leaders representing repressions that belonged to the dark days of the last century? What was the birth of our state worth if it failed to guarantee us a democracy? I learned the Israeli national anthem as a child, and when I was very young, I used to choke up at the part that says "l'hiyot am hofshi…

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