Israel on the Edge Webinar – Is Israel on its Way to a Constitutional Crisis?

On August 20, 2023, Zulat Institute held an emergency webinar: “Israel on the Edge – Is Israel on its Way to a Constitutional Crisis?”

As Prime Minister Netanyahu and his ministers refuse to commit to adhering to Supreme Court rulings, we may be entering an unprecedented era. What will the gatekeepers do in such a case? The webinar was moderated by Haaretz journalist Netta Ahituv and attended by Carmi Gilon, former head of the Shabak; Attorney Daphne Holtz Lechner, an expert on constitutional law and the petitioner against Netanyahu and Deri; Adv. Avi Nissenkorn, Minister of Justice and former Chairman of the Histadrut; and David Zur, retired Major General, Commander of the Tel Aviv District and former MK.


Highlighted below are statements from several webinar attendees:

.Attorney Daphna Holtz Lechner: “Not only are we lacking a Basic Law for Legislation, but there are also no guidelines on how to enact such a Basic Law. The coalition contends that one should obey a Basic Law unquestioningly, even if it was enacted without established rules, regardless of its relevance to Basic Laws, and without the support of a special majority. They abuse their authority as constitutive authority. When the Supreme Court ruled, that Netanyahu must comply to the conflict-of-interest arrangement and with Mandelblit serving as the attorney general, Netanyahu exercised caution and navigated the minefield unscathed. But when the option of being incapacitated was denied to him, he became hands-on and directly involved. He is driven by self-interest, primarily attempting to elude his individual looming danger. This is a troubling characteristic for a prime minister to possess.”


David Zur: “I attended an event where Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai stated that the police operate in accordance with the law. I was pleased with their approach. The very fact that such a statement is deemed dramatic is surreal in itself. A minister cannot simply instruct the police commissioner to forcefully disperse demonstrators or to ascend to the hills.Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Tel Aviv district, to express his support for the police officers under Machash investigation, is far from being appropriate, and should not have taken place. The police are becoming the Ben-Gvir police.”


Avi Nissenkorn: “The real game-changer isn’t an economic shutdown; it’s the ongoing protests. A more significant impact will come if another 100,000 people take to the streets. Perseverance is the key in this situation. Should the core values of the State of Israel, as both Jewish and democratic, be compromised, it becomes imperative for the Ministry of Justice to step in. This holds true even when facilitated by a Basic Law.”

Carmi Gilon: “The face-off regarding the reasonableness standard won’t take place on September 13. Instead, it will arise over a tangible issue, when an entity makes a decision that goes against a government resolution. In such a scenario, I’m confident that all gatekeepers will defer to the authority of the High Court of Justice, rather than the government.”

(Translation from Hebrew: Moran Yellin)

Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):





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.