Road Map for Free Elections

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>> Click here to read the full position paper

>> A Letter to Prime Minister Yair Lapid

>> A Letter to Chairman of the Central Elections Committee

>> A Letter to Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai

>> A Letter to Privacy Protection Authority Commissioner 

On 1 November 2022 Israel will hold yet another round of elections amid a continuing political and social crisis, as well as a loss of confidence in the state’s institutions and political system by parts of the Israeli public. In the face of this tension, it is imperative to ensure that the elections are held in a free and fair manner. After quite a few years of political recklessness, both in the management of the state’s affairs and in the public discourse, the challenge this time is particularly daunting.
Zulat has formulated a road map based on the major challenges posed by the upcoming elections and their manifestation of the people’s will. The road map consists of three main parts:

1. Reinforce Freedom of Protest
Freedom of expression and protest must be protected to the outmost in the run-up to the elections. There must be no violence against demonstrators in the streets and on bridges, neither by the police nor by opponents. There should be no interference or disruption of protests during this period, nor should they be dispersed in violation of the law or forced to meet requirements that go beyond the law. Police officers should be instructed to behave appropriately at demonstrations and to report any request by political elements to limit the freedom of protest.

2. Curtail Fake News
Free and fair elections take place when citizens are given the possibility to choose their leaders in a free, fair, regular, and orderly manner based on access to accurate, reliable, and trustworthy information about political parties, candidates, and other factors that may impact on their vote. Zulat proposes to establish an interministerial team comprising representatives of relevant government ministries, the Israel Police (primarily its Investigations and Intelligence Division and Lahav 433 Unit), the State Attorney’s Office, the Central Elections Committee [CEC], and the National Cyber Directorate to provide an effective and rapid response to fake news occurrences during the election campaign, and thus help the CEC uphold an orderly election.

3. Protect Voter Privacy
During this time, it is imperative to make sure that personal data contained in the Voter Register does not leak to the political parties for the purpose of targeting voters or persuading them to change their minds. The parties and the companies they employ must be monitored to verify that they report every use they make of citizens’ personal details and that it does not contravene the Privacy Protection Law.
Zulat calls on all decisionmakers to adopt this road map, which has been forwarded to Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev, the Israel Police Commissioner, the CEC Chairman, and the Privacy Protection Authority Commissioner.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.