With just days before the last deadline on before the Knesset disperses and Israelis head to a third national election within the past twelve months the political Gordian Knot that has tied up the country for almost a year has only gotten more complicated. Complicating matters further is Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit's decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on one count of bribery and three charges of fraud and breach of trust. A perfect storm of electoral deadlock coupled with a prime minister enmeshed in complex legal problems has left Israelis feeling that the system is lacking the tools needed to extract us from this situation. On the other hand, the country continues to operate. Unlike the reality in the US during government shutdowns, schools are open, government workers are showing up and taxes are being collected.Read more
Watch Yohanan Plesner, former Member of Knesset and current president of the non-partisan Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), analyze the September 17 election results in Israel. Plesner explains who won, who lost, and what are the long-term policy implications for Israel and the Jewish People.
Joining Plesner is former Justice Ministry official Edna Harel-Fisher, Director of IDI’s anti-corruption program, who explains the unique legal reality in Israel as the country faces the possibility of a sitting prime minister serving while under indictment, and the implications of such a situation for the political system.Read more
Just days before Israel’s unprecedented second national election this year, former Member of Knesset Yohanan Plesner, president of the non-partisan Israel Democracy Institute, provides a deep dive into the latest trends and issues impacting this historic vote. This presentation features new polling and data presenting insights into what Israelis are thinking as they enter the polling station and the possible scenarios we can expect to see as the results come in.Read more
See also: Yohanan's pre-election video briefing >>
For the first time ever, Israel is heading for a second national election just months after the conclusion of April's vote. For many Israelis who cherish the democratic values of this country, this election is critical, not so much because of which candidate might end up being prime minister, but because of the possibility of judicial reforms that might soon pass in the Knesset which would limit the Supreme Court's ability to perform crucial oversight over the political system.
How did we get here?
Before detailing what is at stake in this unprecedented political situation, it is important to understand how we got here in the first place.Read more
When JFN originally scheduled this webinar with Yohanan Plesner, president of the non-partisan Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), it was to discuss news reports about a proposal to effectively remove the Israeli Supreme Court's power to hold the Knesset and ministries accountable to Israeli Basic Law, virtually eliminating the important democratic principle of checks and balances from Israel’s political system. But mere hours before the webinar convened, PM Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition, the Knesset dissolved, and new elections were scheduled for September.
In this video, Plesner provides a comprehensive overview of the Israeli political scene — how we got to this unprecedented situation, what to watch over the coming months, what could change, what probably won't change, and what it all means for the future of the original topic of this webinar: safeguarding the principles of checks and balances, democratic accountability, and the rule of law in Israel.Read more