Many observers call Israel’s current constitutional crisis the biggest political challenge for the state since its establishment in 1948. Both parties—the coalition government and the opposition, as well as their supporters—are extremely polarized, with little room for compromise. While the major cause of the crisis (the reform of Israel’s Supreme Court) seems to be purely secular, a deeper look reveals a variety of religious aspects to the crisis.
The recent demographic shift in Israeli society to a more right and obviously more religious part of the political spectrum is thought to be among the main precursors to the crisis. The proposed reform might decrease the independence of the Supreme Court and weaken its role in protecting religious minorities’ rights as well as human rights for vulnerable groups. In a broader context, implementation of the reform might also mark the beginning of reconsidering the “Jewish and democratic state” formula, the religion-state relationship in Israel, or even the notion of what it means to be Israeli and Jewish.
In the following series of posts, Ori Aronson, Gila Stopler, and Moshe Jaffe elaborate on these and many other religion-related dimensions of the crisis.
Posts in the Series: