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2019 Israel Democracy Index published by IDI

2019 Israel Democracy Index published by IDI

This week, the IDI published its annual Israel Democracy Index, with highlights available online. What follows is a selection of Hiddush’s highlights from this Index, which focus on significant observations in the area of religion & state.


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A fight for the soul and future of Israel like no other since 1948

A fight for the soul and future of Israel like no other since 1948

The passing of Israel’s cherished former Supreme Court Chief Justice Shamgar (laid to rest this week) reminds us of the lingering threat to Israel’s Supreme Court and to its rule of law.

Hiddush on the Knesset TV channel

Hiddush on the Knesset TV channel

I'd like to share my insights from a panel I participated in today, broadcast on the Knesset TV channel. In the program, a panel of two reacts to the political events of the day. My co-panelist was an Orthodox economist who plays a leadership role in the Jewish Home party.

"The orthodox status quo in Israel cannot hold any longer"

We were gratified to read a recent op-ed in the popular conservative Canadian National Post written by Canada’s former Ambassador to Israeli Vivian Bercovici. She subsequently made Aliyah and now resides in Tel Aviv.

Impact of ‘religious freedom’ upon the Israeli elections

Impact of ‘religious freedom’ upon the Israeli elections

Avigdor Lieberman has emerged as the great victor of the elections (despite the small size of his party – 8 seats), for his party has turned out to be the determining factor in the balance of the coalition negotiation efforts.

Not antisemitism, rather: democracy defending itself

Not antisemitism, rather: democracy defending itself

Reading through the ultra-Orthodox parties’ official media outlets in recent days brings up yet another crucial consideration, which justifies the demand that these parties be kept out or neutralized in the next government coalition, as the majority of the public clearly wishes.

2019 Israel Religion & State Index and post-election survey

2019 Israel Religion & State Index and post-election survey

84% Adult Israeli Jews support religious freedom and equality of civic burden; 74% oppose government’s activities in religion-state; 63% want a civil coalition, which does not depend on the ultra-Orthodox parties and advances religious freedom and equality; 64% support equal status for the non-Orthodox Jewish streams and Diaspora Jewish engagement in advancing religious freedom and equality in Israel; wide support (62%-84%) for the principles of the Vision Statement on Israel as Jewish and democratic state.

Israeli Elections, Religion, State and American Jewry

Israeli Elections, Religion, State and American Jewry

Israel has never experienced a similar opportunity to end the decades-old fundamentalist Orthodox hold over its religious Jewish life.

Will there be a

Will there be a "Mahapach" [upheaval]?

Since 1977, when the Right first won the Israeli elections, and the Israeli "Mr. TV" Haim Yavin, who has led the newscast since 1968, opened the election broadcast with the words: "There's a mahapach (upheaval)!" there haven’t been many elections that had the potential of producing another “upheaval”.

68% of the Israeli public supports freedom of choice in marriage

68% of the Israeli public supports freedom of choice in marriage

A large majority of voters for Israel’s civil parties, including the Likud, want freedom of marriage, and given the central role that religion/state issues are playing in the current election campaign - We may be closer than ever before to forming a coalition that will finally grant Israelis this fundamental right.

Renewed Haredi assault on the Supreme Court

Renewed Haredi assault on the Supreme Court

This week temporarily halted the removal-from-office procedure, which Interior Minister Deri (Leader of Shas) initiated against Mayor of Tiberias Ron Kobi. Kobi has become a symbol and lightning rod, as a crusader against religious coercion.

Hiddush in the legal trenches

Hiddush in the legal trenches

Hiddush legal advocacy ranges from cases dealing with the abuse of religious IDF draft exemptions for young women to elderly hot dog vendors who legally operate their carts in Jerusalem on Friday night.

Israel's Religion and State conflict in the September elections

Israel's Religion and State conflict in the September elections

The unfolding election campaigning provides further validation to Hiddush's contention as to the major role that the clash of religion-&-state can potentially play if properly positioned in shaping Israel's future political trajectory. Avigdor Lieberman (whose political focus on "anti-halakha state" we've described in detail) continues to reap the gains.

Hiddush's next battle over pluralistic burial in Israel

Hiddush's next battle over pluralistic burial in Israel

Hiddush submitted a new petition aimed at further expanding religious freedom in Israel in general and pluralistic burial alternatives in particular.

60% of Israel’s adult Jewish public wants national unity government

60% of Israel’s adult Jewish public wants national unity government

60% of Israel’s adult Jewish public supports Avigdor Lieberman's intention to establish a broad national unity government without the ultra-Orthodox parties, including 94% of blue and white voters. 53% of Israel's adult Jewish public may decide who to vote for on the basis of the party’s commitment to promote religious freedom and equality of the burden.

Divorce denied in Israel due to prenuptial agreement

Divorce denied in Israel due to prenuptial agreement

A terrible example of the danger to the Israeli public that stems from the monopoly of the rabbinical courts on marriage and divorce in Israel swept through the media just recently with the publication of a ruling by the Rabbinical Court in Petah Tikva in a divorce case.

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