Red Lines for Negotiations on Judicial Overhaul at President’s Residence

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.

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.