Zulat Conference “From Quasi-Authoritarian State to Dictatorship?”: Panel of Former MKs

The Zulat conference held on 14 May 2023 at the Einav Center in Tel Aviv, included a panel entitled “What Do We Do Now?” Moderated by former MK Zuhair Bahlul, the panel consisted of former-MK Prof. Naomi Hazan, former Israeli ambassador to France and minister Yael German, and former minister Ofir Pines-Paz, who participate in our Emergency Call-Up project. Here are highlights of their remarks:


Zuhair Bahlul: “Human rights violations in Israel did not start yesterday or the day before. We [Israel’s Arab citizens] have long been experiencing racism, exclusionary legislation, incitement, and a world that is growing darker by the day in front of our eyes.”


Prof. Naomi Hazan: “What we are experiencing today did not start on 1 November 2022 [Election Day], nor when the Right drew a horn on my forehead. The Israel of my childhood was no democracy, but in recent years it has undergone radicalization and polarization. Please let’s stop talking only about the Jewish side. We are doomed if we abandon the Palestinian side.”


Yael German: “I’m against the talks at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem, and if somebody were to propose to quit, I would second the motion. The talks are futile, they have no future and no purpose. The dream of Yariv Levin and his henchmen is to annex all of Judea and Samaria and establish one state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, with two types of citizens. I have no doubt that this is his goal.”



Ofir Pines-Paz: “People in our camp like to tender their resignation, but no one is resigning on the other side. MK Moshe Gafni [of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party] will never resign from anything. So, what do we do now? We must remain determined and keep up the street protests. It is these protests that may help us win the local elections. And, enough with the Labor Party and Meretz! What we need now is a united party of the Left! Last but not least, we must rebel against the government doing whatever it wants with our tax money. It’s about time this question was put on the table.”


Watch the highlights (with English 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.