Gila Stopler is Dean of the Law School and an associate professor of law at the College of Law & Business in Ramat Gan (Israel).
Simcha Rothman, member of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) and chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, is working with Justice Minister Yariv Levin to change the Israeli regime by taking over the judiciary and removing checks on the executive branch and its leader. Rothman was quoted in closed conversations in April 2023 saying that Israel is at the start of a religious war and that he has no intention of withdrawing from passing the reform. Rothman’s statement reveals the deep divide in the Jewish-Israeli public regarding the status of religion in the country and religion’s centrality in the current national crisis as well as in the question of the nation’s continued shared existence. The intensity of the intra-Jewish religious rift and its effect on the state are surprising when considering the starting point, in the days of the establishment of the state, when the religious minority in the largely secular Jewish population was small and its political power so scant that Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion believed it would become extinct within a few years.