Abolishment of Reasonableness Standard: Radical Violation of the Rule of Law

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Zulat for Equality and Human Rights promotes the defense of the rule of law and democracy and opposes all elements of the regime revolution declared by Israel’s 37th government upon its establishment. The proposed amendment of the reasonableness standard is part of a legislative package and other government moves designed to effect a regime revolution in the State of Israel.

The bill introduced by the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee on 20 June 2023 to amend Article 15 of Basic Law: The Judiciary with respect to the reasonableness standard heralds the resumption of the committee’s discussions of various laws presented by the government with the aim of weakening the judiciary and fully subordinate it to the executive branch, which had seemingly been suspended until recently while opposition and coalition representatives engaged in a dialogue at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to abolish the reasonableness standard as it relates to decisions of “the government, the prime minister, a minister, or other elected officials to be determined by the law.”

Zulat’s position: Abolishing the reasonableness standard will significantly limit the power of the courts to review governmental decisions that inflict extreme harm to Israel’s citizens. It will deepen governmental corruption and inflict long-term damage to the Israeli economy.

  • The sought amendment is another step in the government’s aspiration to eliminate any effective criticism of its actions by those branches of government whose purpose in a proper democratic regime is to monitor and restrain its actions for the good of the public.
  • For example, when the government makes appointments based on extraneous considerations that are not in the public interest, are devoid of any standard of professional competence and/or propriety, and are instead intended for the personal benefit of elected officials or of a limited circle of close associates, the reasonableness standard is the sole and exclusive anchor for the protection of the rule of law and justice.
  • In the absence of the reasonableness standard, the danger will increase of a transition from a democratic regime based on the good of the general public to a sectorocratic regime based on the personal interests of politicians and power groups connected to the government.
  • These moves will deepen governmental corruption in Israel, a phenomenon that inarguably inflicts serious damage to the rights of a country’s citizens, its economy and financial stability, and whose repercussions are clearly borne by all its citizens.
  • In light of the above, the abolishment of the reasonableness standard amounts to an extreme violation of the rule of law and enables the violation of the civil and human rights of individuals and groups that are not “useful” to the elected officials.

Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.