Moreover, a proposal by his Justice Minister, Yariv Levin, to alter the “balance of power” between the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and Supreme Court has triggered huge numbers of protesters taking to the streets week after week for months now.
Supporters of the protesters, both in Israel and around the world, see a threat to democracy itself in Israel. Israel will “become like Hungary, Poland, Nazi Germany,” they say. Critics of the protesters respond that they represent an elite class of globalists more at home around the world with fellow liberals than in Israel with the majority of their fellow citizens who voted for the current government. This ecumenical talk, followed by Q&A, will explain the reasoning of both sides of the debate, the history behind it, and situate the Israeli example in terms of wider discussions of ‘populism’ versus ‘liberalism’ as they pertain to the meaning of ‘democracy’ around the world today.
Gabriel (Gabi) Abramovich
Gabi Abramovich, author or editor of numerous books and articles on Israeli culture and politics, is Senior Research Fellow in Residence at University of Haifa’s Institute for the Study of Zionism and a Research Fellow with Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME).