Zulat’s Legislative Reforms Presented to Israeli Party Leaders

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>> Click here to read the full position paper

Amid a prolonged regime-political crisis, the dissolution of the 24th Knesset, and a fifth round of elections within two years, Zulat for Equality and Human Rights published a report titled, Pseudo Democracy: State of the Regime in Israel.

In order for the character of the regime not to hinge primarily on the democratic or authoritarian leanings of any particular prime minister, Zulat has drafted a series of legislative initiatives and bills which, if passed, may strengthen its democratic components. These join other proposals authored by our institute, which are intended to anchor the principles of democracy in the State of Israel.

The need for these proposals is underscored by the findings of the report, whereby Israel has never been a model of liberal democracy. From its early days, its regime has been a hybrid of both democratic and authoritarian components, which at different periods has tilted toward one of those extremes.

The democratic crisis in Israel did not begin only because of this or that prime minister, but evolved as a result of historical, political, social, and economic circumstances in the domestic and international arenas since the establishment of the state. The report shows how prime ministers abused these special circumstances to run the state’s affairs in authoritarian ways, which included undemocratic legislative and institutional steps that broke the “rules of the game.”

Zulat’s legislative proposals are therefore intended to deal with the authoritarian foundations of the regime, as well as to prepare for the mounting dangers in recent years. They are based on the concept that a democratic regime must allow for the existence of a civil public space free of governmental intervention, as well as to respect and protect a range of basic human and civil rights that allow citizens to contemplate their choice of representatives and lifestyle.

Zulat believes that our initiatives and proposals, primarily those dealing with the core democratic components of our regime, merit an open and in-depth public debate, given that optimal transparency and fairness is attained when political parties declare their intentions before Election Day to enable voters to make their choice at the ballot box.

Therefore, Zulat proposes that political parties incorporate these bills, or the principles and ideas contained therein, in their political platforms and pre-election declarations of intent.

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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.