Latest Articles & Research

Multiplicity of Kashrut Certification

By | Kashrut, Religion and State | No Comments

This study examines the phenomenon of multiple kashrut certifications in the local food products market. The study aims to assess the extent of this phenomenon and to draw conclusions from the findings as to the relevance of Chief Rabbinate kashrut certification for the food manufacturers. The study’s findings clearly indicate the Israeli food manufacturers’ ready willingness to acquire private kashrut certifications in addition to that of the Chief Rabbinate mandated by law, this despite the high extra costs involved. The study also found that in many cases, the Chief Rabbinate’s function in this field was deemed ineffective or one that lacked any added value from a kashrut perspective.

To the full research…

Adalah versus the Bedouins Case Study: A Comparative Analysis of the Immunization Policy in Israel

By | Israel Among Nations

Is a law which stipulates that immunizations are a prerequisite for receiving child benefit payments acceptable in a democratic society? This question has been the subject of an argument about Israeli immunization policy in recent years.

The main opposition to the law comes from Adalah – the Arab-Israeli human rights organization – which appealed to the High Court of Justice against the law. According to Adalah, the law discriminates against the Bedouin and other Arab communities who do not vaccinate themselves due to lack of access to medical services. Moreover, there are those who claim that the law limits parents’ autonomy to decide what is best for their children and to object to vaccinations on religious or ideological grounds.

The study investigated these claims in depth and examined whether the Israeli policy is consistent with the principles of a democratic society. The study presents, among others, a historical survey of the development of immunizations and related laws, the different motives for objecting to immunizations, and a comparison between the Israeli immunization policy and that of 23 countries included in the OECD. Among the countries surveyed are the US, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Sweden, and many others. Read More

The Expulsion Law

By | Rights, Duties and Law | No Comments
On July 20 2016, the Knesset passed the final approval of “The Expulsion Law” according to which, a serving Member of the Knesset may be removed from his position if three quarters of the Knesset Committee members determine that he has incited to racism or expressed support for an armed struggle against the State of Israel.[1] This law has aroused protests among many members of the Opposition and certain organizations such as Adalah (The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) that present themselves as being concerned for the rights of Israel’s minorities. According to them, the law constitutes a mortal blow to the values of democracy. They further claim that its sole purpose is to expel Arab Knesset members.

In order to attempt and resolve the issue, we have chosen to study the state of affairs in countries possessing characteristics and regimes similar to those of Israel i.e., democratic nation states. Accordingly, the study presented below examined limitations imposed on political parties and on members of parliament in twelve democratic states, members of the OECD. The study surveyed the existence and actual implementation of legal preventative measures that restrict the foundation or registration of political parties seeking to participate in elections, and also retroactive steps including disassembly or disqualification of a party after its foundation, and suspension or expulsion of a serving member of parliament.

This publication constitutes a complementary study to two relevant studies on the subject published by the Knesset Research and Information Center (hereinafter: RIC) that were conducted in 2006 and 2016 and that, among others, is based on their findings. Read More

Hafkaat Kiddushin

By | Marriage, Religion and State | No Comments

This position paper presents the proposed law that seeks a legally mandated solution for the problem of aginut (the situation whereby a spouse is ‘chained’ to a marriage) resulting from the husband’s refusal to grant his wife a get (a halakhic divorce), or from her refusal to accept a get.  A get ends the marriage. The proposed law is based on a mechanism that was suggested in the Babylonian Talmud to enable the Beit Din (Rabbinic Court), in severe circumstances, to annul the validity of the betrothal that the couple had originally mutually entered. This mechanism is termed hafka’at kiddushin (retroactive annulment of the betrothal).

As explained in the paper, the authority for such retroactive annulment is given not only to the Beit Din but also to the ‘kahal’ – the community. In other words, the community in which the couple lived, also has the authority to decide on implementation of the retroactive annulment of a betrothal in those cases in which the members of the community see fit. In contemporary circumstances, the ability to make such decisions “in the name of the community” can be understood to reside with our elected representatives i.e., the members of the Knesset. The central recommendation of Professor Berachyahu Lifshitz,[1] the author of this paper, is that the harsh reality of aginut created by recalcitrant husbands, should lead the Knesset to legislate the use of hafka’at kiddushin as a means of solving the problem, thereby saving women from this tragic plight.

[1] Berachyahu Lifshitz is a professor of law, senior research fellow at the Institute for Zionist Strategies, the former dean of the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, an expert in Jewish Law and laureate of the EMET Prize awarded under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Israel.

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National Symbols in Democratic Nations

By | Israel Among Nations | No Comments

This study, conducted in conjunction with the ‘National Vision’ movement, surveys a large number of democratic nation-states and shows the connection between their national anthem, flag and emblem, and the nationality of their founding community. The study proves that the attempts to present Israel as an apartheid state, are wholly unfounded.

We thank the team that conducted the study: Noa Lazimi (you can listen to Noa’s interview with Michael Miro here – [Hebrew]), Almog Turgeman, Omer Arica and Adi Arbel. An article about the study can be read here (Hebrew).

For the full study

מחקר משווה סמלים לאומיים

By | Israel Among Nations | No Comments

מחקר משווה: דגל, סמל והמנון במדינות לאום דמוקרטיות

כתיבה: אלמוג תורג’מן, עריכה: נועה לזימי ועדי ארבל, סיוע מחקרי: עומר אריכא

פעמים רבות ובהקשרים שונים נשמעות טענות כנגד מדינת ישראל כי סמליה הלאומיים: הדגל, הסמל וההמנון הם בעלי אופי מפלה כלפי המיעוטים החיים בארץ ובפרט המיעוט הערבי. המאפיינים היהודיים הפרטיקולריים המופיעים בהמנון המדינה, בדגלה ובסמלה הרשמי מעוררים את התנגדותם של חלקים מסוימים בציבור הישראלי ושל ארגונים שונים דוגמת עדאלה (המרכז המשפטי לזכויות המיעוט הערבי בישראל) המציגים עצמם כדואגים לזכויות המיעוטים בישראל. ארגון עדאלה הגדיל לעשות ואף מגדיר את “חוק הדגל והסמל” אשר אושר בשנת 1949 על ידי כנסת ישראל ואשר בשנת 2004 הוחלט כי יכלול גם את המנון המדינה, כחוק מפלה. על מנת לנסות להכריע בסוגיה, בחרנו ללמוד על הנעשה במדינות בעלות אופי ומשטר דומה למדינת ישראל – מדינות לאום הדוגלות בעקרונות הדמוקרטיה. לצורך כך, המחקר המובא להלן בחן את השימוש בסמליים לאומיים בקרב 32 מדינות דמוקרטיות מפותחות החברות ב- OECDבדומה למדינת ישראל. ההשוואה נערכה אל מול דגלים, סמלים והמנונים לאומיים של מדינות אלו. מן הממצאים עולה תמונה חד משמעית: ברוב המכריע של המדינות שנבחנו יש שימוש בסמלים לאומיים המבטאים מורשת דתית, אתנית או לאומית של מקימי האומה. להלן עיקרי הממצאים:

• 30 מתוך 32 מדינות אינן הומוגניות מבחינה דתית, דהיינו הקבוצה הדתית הדומיננטית אינה מהווה יותר מ-90% מקרב האוכלוסייה. רק 13 מדינות הומוגניות מבחינה אתנית.
• ב-28 מתוך 32 מדינות, המנון המדינה כולל מילים הנושאות אופי דתי, לאומי או אתני.
• ב-26 מתוך 32 מדינות, סמל המדינה הינו בעל זיקה דתית או לאומית. ב-11 מקרים הסמל נושא צלב או סהר.
• ב-25 מתוך 32 מדינות, דגל המדינה כולל מרכיבים דתיים בעלי זיקה ללאום המייסד, לדת או מולדת היסטורית. ב-11 מקרים הדגל נושא צלב או סהר.
מכל אלה ניתן לראות בבירור כי מדינת ישראל אינה יוצאת דופן בבחירת סמליה הלאומיים. למעשה, השימוש של ישראל בסמלים הלקוחים מתוך ההיסטוריה והמורשת היהודית מהווה ביטוי של מסורת אוניברסלית ארוכת שנים אשר אין בה כדי להעיד על אפליה או הדרה של מיעוטים החיים בישראל.

…למחקר המלא

Israeli Hamshoosh

By | Religion and State, Shabbath | No Comments

Written by Yair Berlin, Eitan Yarden, Aviad Houminer and Ariel Finkelstain

The idea of fixing another official day of rest in the State of Israeli has come up on numerous occasions in the course of public debate, as well as in the Knesset, since the year 2000. Traditionally speaking, those advocating an additional official day of rest for the Israeli economy propose Sunday. The most serious proposal to be submitted thus far suggested that most of Sunday’s work hours be made up on Friday, which would, in turn, become a part-time work day, while the remaining hours would be made up by adding half an hour to each work day, Monday through Thursday. Those in favor of the move made the following claims: Such a move would strengthen the Israeli economy by making it compatible with Western economies around the world in terms of rest and work days; it would also strengthen the various fields of culture, sports and tourism and render numerous solutions – aimed at settling the religious status of the Sabbath – feasible. Read More

Official Days of Rest Around the World

By | Religion and State, Shabbath | No Comments

Written by Ariel Finkelstien and Tomer Yahud

This study examines the laws of commerce and employment on the official day of rest in most of the developed countries around the world :

1. Rest Days: In the overwhelming majority of developed countries, most of the citizens work Monday-Friday while Saturday and Sunday serve as rest days. In general however, countries do not set Saturday as an official day of rest, and only some countries declare Sunday as a rest day.

2. The Scope of Restrictions: While most Western European countries have various restrictions on commercial activity on the rest day, in the majority of countries in North America, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, East Asia and Oceania there are no such significant restrictions. Read More

Adalah vs. the State of Israel

By | Fighting Anti-Israel Activity | No Comments

Written by Lilach Danzig. Edited by Adi Arbel

Since its inception in July 2005, the BDS movement has sought to promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel with the objective of delegitimizing its existence as a Jewish state. A significant part of the BDS movement’s strategy is the transformation of Israel into an international pariah nation by means of its portrayal as an apartheid state deliberately and institutionally discriminating against its Arab citizens.

Perversely, one of the bodies contributing to this propaganda is actually an Israeli organization, ‘Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel’.  Adalah is persistent in claiming that the State of Israel promotes a discriminatory policy against its Arab citizens.

This report surveys in detail the list of laws published on the Adalah website as discriminatory, and examines the validity of the organization’s claims regarding the existence of discrimination against Israeli Arab citizens. The report’s findings reveal that Adalah elects to adopt a strategy of distorting reality with deliberately biased presentations in order to defame Israel as guilty of enforcing dozens of discriminatory laws. Read More

17th Knesset Zionist Legislasion Scale

By | Constitution, Nation State | No Comments

Zionist Legislation

As the 17th Knesset draws to an end, the Institute of Zionist Strategies is proud to publish the Zionist Legislation Scale, in which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to Members of Knesset who excelled in Zionist legislation activism.

What is the Zionist Legislation Scale?

The Zionist Legislation Scale Report is being published for the first time by the Institute of Zionist Strategies in preparation for the upcoming elections. The report summarizes the Zionist legislation passed during the term of the 17th Knesset, from Nissan 5766 (March 2006) to Shvat 5769 (February 2009).  The report only contains laws and amendments that passed the entire legislation process.  This report praises the Zionist activism of MKs who excelled in passing these laws.

What is Zionist Legislation?

Zionism, in this day in age, is a concept that is open to broad interpretation.  The definition of Zionism can be quite vague and minimalist (for example, establishing a State for the Jewish nation), or alternatively, very comprehensive (for instance, creating a perfect society that will set an example for the world).

We, at the Institute for Zionist Strategies, believe that Zionist activity should be understood as the strengthening the State of Israel as a National Home for the Jewish Nation, by means of intensifying its Jewish identity. Read More

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