President Herzog’s ‘The People’s Plan’: Progress Alongside Dangers

On 15 March 2023, in a special speech, President Yitzhak Herzog presented a compromise proposal upon which negotiations on the government’s plan for a regime revolution would be based. Zulat congratulates the Honorable President for enlisting in the effort to block the government’s moves to fundamentally change the regime in the State of Israel and the sensitive balances between the three branches of power.

Zulat thanks the President for his efforts to bridge the deep gaps. Indeed, it seems he succeeded to reduce some of them in the plan he published. Here are some important points:

  • The appointment of judges to lower courts will require the support of at least one Supreme Court judge, which means that judges will have veto rights.
  • Basic Laws will be enacted in accordance with the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty will incorporate an explicit recognition of the rights to equality and to freedom of expression/opinion/protest/assembly.
  • There will be constitutional judicial review of all the rights derived from the right to human dignity, particularly the right to equality.
  • The opinion of government ministries’ legal counsels will be binding.
  • Judicial review based on the reasonableness standard will be applied to unreasonable political decisions by the government and ministers.The application of the reasonableness standard to other state institutions will not be reduced.


Key points in the plan that still fail to adequately address the danger to Israel’s democratic institutions:

  • The number of political appointees in the Judicial Selection Committee will increase, and it will be possible to appoint new judges to the Supreme Court without the consent of sitting judges.
  • As they will be shielded from judicial review, Basic Laws may be used to limit the protections of the rule of law and human and civil rights (rights recognized in certain Basic Laws would be weakened by the enactment of contradictory ones).
  • Judicial review will only be possible insofar as they contradict Basic Laws and will require an unusual majority of Supreme Court judges.The government will be able to re-legislate an ordinary law that has been invalidated as a Basic Law or to amend an existing Basic Law to eliminate the contradiction between it and an ordinary law and thus legitimize it.
  • The government and the ministers will be free to choose to represent themselves in judicial proceedings, as well as to seek the dismissal of legal counsels in a special committee to be established to this effect.
  • Judicial review based on the reasonableness standard will not apply to the appointment of ministers.


For further reading:

> Blueprint Reportedly Discussed by President Herzog


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.