PMR Issue 14, June 2011

The recent events taking place in the Israeli political scene have shown a growing trend towards an anti-democratic culture in which all components of the system play a role. Our previous report, which included an analysis of transformations in the Israeli public’s political positions and values between 1992 and 2009, showed that Jewish citizens prioritize the concepts of procedural democracy, rather than the values of democracy. Dissonance between democratic executive practices and democratic essential values leads to a disparity between perceived reality and actual reality – a contradiction which can result in grave consequences, such as the intensification of discriminatory and oppressive practices vís-à-vis Palestinian citizens. Furthermore, the majority of the Jewish public in Israel calls for strengthening the Jewish character of the state, as well as for guaranteeing the superior position of Jewish citizens. The administration contributes to and nurtures the prevalent political culture in the country by carrying out undemocratic policies directed at Palestinian citizens and at residents of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Accordingly, the Knesset institutes legal pretexts for undemocratic positions and values through legislation, as have been outlined in detail in previous reports. Such laws also aim to diminish the political rights of all citizens in opposition to the new Zionist consensus, and to curtail the national identity and awareness of Palestinians in Israel. Moreover, certain Israeli civil society organizations complement the policies of the authorities by attacking anyone who appears to be in opposition to the political and national principles they espouse. As we will show in this report, these organizations demand public and material penalties for those who express views outside the national consensus, and call on both the legislative and executive authorities to implement punitive measures. On the other hand, the judiciary stands silent in the face of the aforementioned injustices.

Other topics discussed include:

  •     Attempts to Prevent Commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba
  •     Statements by Politicians

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