Soft Dictatorship: Zulat Emergency Webinar on Coalition’s ‘Softening Scheme’

9On 22 March 2023, Zulat held an emergency webinar within the Emergency Call-Up Order project to discuss the deceitful “Softening Scheme” of the coalition and the regime revolution. Moderated by Haaretz journalist Neta Ahituv and with a live audience of over 6,000 people, the webinar included an opening statement by Zulat President Zehava Galon and its participants were former ministers Roni Bar-On and Avi Nissenkorn and former Knesset Members Mossi Raz and Revital Sweid. Following are highlights of their remarks:

Zulat President Zehava Galon: “The Emergency Call-Up Order project was born of the realization that many former ministers and MKs were eager to make their voice heard. We recruited a huge group of former MKs who are raising their voice against the regime revolution in Knesset committees and public events. In its bid to change the regime, we see this government driving us to the abyss. On top of the regime coup, today the government shamelessly voted down a bill that would have required spouse-beating men to wear electronic monitoring bracelets, thus throwing women to the dogs with its madness, stupidity, and recklessness. We have a lot of work on our hands. They have a parliamentary majority, but the millions marching in the streets will defeat them.”

Former Finance Minister Roni Bar-On: “Our economy is highly dependent on investments from abroad. No investor will ever trust a government that abolishes the principle of separation of powers and does whatever it wants. We now have a single branch of power, and the glorious principle of separation of powers and of checks and balances is all but gone. I already hear about investments not coming here. The so-called softening of the reform recalls tenderizing a piece of meat, by pounding it out blow by blow.”

Former MK Revital Sweid: “What’s happening in the Constitution Committee is not really a discussion. Never before has a committee chairman so totally ignored speakers appearing before it or the committee’s legal counsel. Never before have we seen such volume of pig-headedness. Minorities and disadvantaged groups will be the first to suffer. Years ago, women in the Knesset on opposite sides of the political spectrum collaborated on legislation for women, and nothing could drive us apart. Today we see nothing of the sort.”

Former Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn: “The protest is saving Israel. As someone who knows Bibi, I want to tell you that he is not out of control. His most precious wish was the legislation of the Gifts Law [allowing lawmakers to accept gifts to pay for legal fees] and the law protecting him from impeachment, and he got them both. The so-called softening is no softening at all, as the coalition will continue to control the Judicial Selection Committee. The entire judicial reform is being done through private bills, which is unheard of. Israel’s new constitution is being written by Kohelet Forum.”

Former MK Mossi Raz: “The protest will not stop even if Netanyahu halts the legislation. What we have here is an onslaught on the lifestyle of half of the Israeli public, if not more. People will demand an equality law. The regime coup is accompanied by very extreme measures in the occupied territories. Netanyahu is leading us to a soft dictatorship, as suggested by the name of this webinar.”

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.