Israel on the Brink of Full Authoritarianism: The Moves Toward Regime Change

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>> Read the full Position Paper

On 4 January 2023, Justice Minister Yariv Levin revealed his plan to promote a regime change by crushing the independence of the judiciary and fully subordinating it to the executive branch, which already fully controls the legislative branch. In order to implement this revolution, Levin announced a package of legislative amendments including a clause to override Supreme Court decisions by a slim majority of 61 MKs, increasing the number of politicians in the Judicial Appointments Committee, ending the standard invoked by the Supreme Court to overrule government decisions deemed unreasonable, and making legal counsels in government ministries positions of trust.

n this position paper, which was submitted to the Constitution Committee of the Knesset in coming to discuss these articles, Zulat’s position is stated that rather than be considered individually, the proposed amendments should be taken as a whole transforming Israel into an authoritarian regime and completely eliminating the checks and balances between the branches of power. For example, if the Supreme Court’s judges will be political-personal appointments by the government, there will be no need to activate an override clause with any majority since in any case the judges will be the servants of the government and its whims. Likewise, making the job of legal counsels a position of trust will severely damage the status of the Attorney General whose guidelines will be sidestepped and contravened through the creation of a separate legal counselling system in every government ministry.

Therefore, Zulat recommends to the MKs representing the democratic public:

Realize that what we have here is a plan for regime change, whose implementation will cross the authoritarian threshold that the State of Israel has been treading for many years

Refuse to discuss any proposed amendments separately, and treat them as a whole transforming Israel into an authoritarian regime and completely eliminating the checks and balances between the branches of power.

In view of the contradictions between the content of the agreements signed with the coalition parties and the declarations of their leaders on the one hand and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “reassuring messages” on the other, you must refuse to start any discussion at all before the government reveals all the “chapters” of the package of legislative amendments it intends to promote on the basis of the coalition agreements. The salami method is meant to throw off MKs and the public with regard to the overall move planned by the government to carry out a regime change.

Read More:

>> Pseudo Democracy: State of the Regime in Israel

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.