Since in Israel the state budget for 2023-2024 was adopted, and the ruling coalition thus strengthened its position, the country is likely to return to the discussion of the legal reform.
Despite the efforts of Israel’s main mediator, President Yitzhak Herzog, negotiations between coalition and opposition aimed at finding a compromise on legal reform did not lead to success.
Considering the decline in trust in many institutions of power in Israel (The Supreme Court had the lowest approval rating in 2022 compared to other years, as did the Israeli media, the parliament, and political parties – https://en.idi.org.il/articles/47344), there is a natural need to form a new social contract.
The process of “pushing through” the legal reform can and should become the starting point for public discussion of the draft Constitution of the State of Israel. This will for sure reduce the intensity and direct clash of opponents/supporters of the reform, which, by the data of various polls, has divided our society roughly in half.
The legislative framework that ensures rights is only partially developed. The principle of equality is enshrined only in the Declaration of independence. There are no laws establishing freedom of the press, the right to peaceful protest, and much more. Today’s struggle against “legal reform” (which, according to some experts, will violate the system of “checks and balances”) can be the starting point for public discussion of the draft Israeli Constitution.
In March 2021, in the closed study of LS GROUP Consulting Institute, they asked the respondents (among the representatives of the so called “Russian street”) – “In order to win your vote – is it important or unimportant that the party pays attention to the next question?” More than 50% of the Russian-speaking population noted the importance of “creating Constitution for the further development of the Zionist state.” Only 13% marked this issue as unimportant. Considering the similarity of the positions on global issues of the representatives of the “Russian street” with other large social groups in Israel, others Israeli citizens can adhere to this point of view.
The draft Constitution has enormous potential for politicians who will have enough courage of standing on a par with Ben Gurion and Golda Meir. The usage of balanced approaches and an open discussion with the society of proposed drafts of chapters of the Constitution, will systematize legislative work, increase the responsibility of politicians and build the strategic work of governments to create and maintain long-term programs.