Israeli Democracy Is Alive, Kicking and Screaming

in Israel Studies Review

Is Israeli democracy in danger? One often hears nowadays that it is. It is worth recalling how often, and how confidently, this has been asserted in the past. Since May 1977, when the right-wing religious coalition first came to power, it has been claimed repeatedly that Israel’s democracy is deteriorating and some form of clerical fascism is emerging. In the aftermath of the 1977 election a member of the outgoing Labor government burned his papers, fearing what might happen if they fall into the new regime’s hands. These fears, then, were not confined to some radical fringe. In a somewhat less dramatic fashion I shared and voiced them too.