Following the widespread public demonstrations and protests against the regime revolution and the ensuing heavy domestic and international pressure on the government, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he would suspend the promotion of the anti-democratic bills until the Knesset’s summer session in order to negotiate with the opposition.
Zulat’s vision for the future is that in order to entrench the democratic regime, it is imperative that Israel, like all Western liberal countries, anchor in a constitution or in Basic Laws (a Bill of Rights, new Basic Laws, or amendment of existing ones) the relationship between the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive; explicitly recognize all the human and civil rights vital to any democratic regime, such as equality, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion; recognize and imbue with concrete content the social rights essential to a human existence with dignity and equality, such as education, health, and housing (Zulat has drafted a bill to establish a Human Rights Commission).As long as all these components of democracy are not fully anchored in legislation, Israel’s political regime will remain unstable and hinge on the personal democratic/authoritarian disposition of the government and the prime minister heading it.
In any case, that which already exists must be preserved, and the government’s attempts to abolish the independence of Israel’s democratic institutions and to roll back the recognition and protection of human and civil rights must be blocked. No government should be allowed, due to the political/personal needs of its members or the prime minister heading it, to temporarily revoke the validity or impose conditions for the independence of the country’s democratic institutions and of human and civil rights that have already been recognized:
- Protect the independence and professionalism of the judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and legal counsels. Primarily, prevent the government from usurping the appointment of judges, legal counsels, and law enforcement employees.
- Protect the grounds for judicial review already recognized in Supreme Court rulings.
- Protect the rule of law and oppose legislation that would expand and legitimize corruption.
- Protect democratic and free elections and the right to vote and be elected.
- Protect, at a minimum, the existing status quo on human and civil rights that have been recognized in the Declaration of Independence, Basic Laws, and Supreme Court rulings.
- Protect the independence of the media, particularly the Public Broadcasting Corporation.
- Protect the status, independence, and professionalism of the Civil Service Commission, particularly in regard to appointments.
- Protect women’s rights recognized by law and court rulings, both in the public and private domains.
- Protect the rights of minorities, especially Arabs (including collective rights) and LGBTQ, which have been recognized by law and in court rulings.
- It should be emphasized that these are red lines for the aforementioned negotiations. Zulat will publish additional proposals as warranted by developments.