Zulat’s Position on President Herzog’s Blueprint for “Judicial Reform”: Analysis and Action Proposals

>> Read the full position paper

On 12 February 2023, President Yitzhak Herzog presented a compromise proposal about the government’s plan for a regime revolution. Zulat congratulates the Honorable President for enlisting in the effort to block the government’s move. Below is Zulat’s response to the main components of the President’s blueprint:

  • Enacting Basic Law: Legislation, whereby Basic Laws would require a broad Knesset majority and four readings, and could not be overturned by the Supreme Court. Given that the government fully controls the Knesset, it would easily be able to pass Basic Laws that are personalized, fatally harm the principle of equality and the core of democracy, and legitimize corruption. In the absence of judicial review, it would be impossible to even try to impede such Basic Laws early in the legislative stage.
  • Anchoring the Supreme Court’s authority to conduct judicial review of ordinary laws and enacting an override clause enabling the Knesset to invalidate laws. Likewise, the government would be able to enact any ordinary law it wishes, given that the override clause would abolish the Supreme Court’s ability to protect human and civil rights, the democratic system of government, and the rule of law.
  • Changing the Judicial Selection Committee’s composition so that each branch of power is equally represented, and public representatives agreed upon by the Justice Minister and the Supreme Court President. The government would forever enjoy a constant majority in the committee, and even its MK members would be chosen from among the heads of coalition-controlled committees.
  • Attaining broad consensus about judges’ use the reasonableness standard. Given the disagreement about its boundaries, the reasonableness standard protecting human/civil rights and the rule of law would be rendered hollow and ineffective.


Instead of the President’s blueprint, Zulat proposes to address the precarious constitutional framework in Israel, the fact that the core of democracy includes recognition and protection of human/civil rights and the principle of the rule of law. We also propose to set a procedure for the legislation of Basic Laws, minority rights, and the representation of minorities, especially the Arab minority. The government must be demanded to totally halt the advancement of any legislation that would harm the rule of law and alter the independence and professionalism of the judiciary, law enforcement authorities, independent legal counsels, the Civil Service Commission, and the media.


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.