In an article on judicial reform in the Jerusalem Post several months ago, Michael Star discusses "Law and disorder" in Israel.
Starr reminds us that the reform plan on the balance of powers between the Knesset and the Supreme Court of Justice did not commence with Justice Minister Yariv Levin, but commenced with the very origins of the state.
Israel was supposed to have a constitution. It is specifically stipulated in United Nations Resolution 181.However, the Knesset declined to act on it for several reasons. "The institution of Israeli judicial review, or former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak's claim that there is a constitution, was built on a kind of a hollow foundation, a big lie. And what's happening now is that the nature of that legal invention is being revealed, and the edifice is beginning to crumble", said Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Director of Scalia Law School's Center for the Middle East and International law.
Kontorovich believes that while the Basic Laws were supposedly the basis for the power of judicial review, but once the right-wing developed Basic Laws such as the Nation State Law, "the Court started saying, we have authority to review whether even a Basic Law or an amended Basic Law is constitutional. Where did they get the authority? I thought the Basic Laws were the highest authority-----And now that we're finally trying to amend some of the Basic Laws that would involve judicial review, the Court is saying, 'Oh wait, you can't do that, but wait, the whole thing was based on Basic Laws.'"
He knows what he is saying. Kontorovich is one of the world’s preeminent experts on universal jurisdiction and maritime piracy, as well as international law and the Israel-Arab conflict. Professor Kontorovich has published over 30 major scholarly articles and book chapters in leading law reviews and peer reviewed journals in the United States and Europe.
The late Professor Bernard Lewis penned his learned views on the given subject through a Wall Street Op-Ed on April 1, 2009 entitled, "Israel's Election System Is No Good."
He informs us that it is becoming increasingly clear that electoral reform of some kind is imperative if Israeli democracy is to survive. In 1992, "I remarked at the time, in the course of a lecture in Jerusalem, that Israel already had the worst electoral system in the Free World and has succeeded in finding a way to make it even worse."
Lewis comments. "This system of voting by lists is the source of many of the difficulties which plague Israeli public life. A significant disadvantage of the present system is that there is no direct relationship between the elected members and the electors. In the Israeli system, the member is only responsible to the party leadership or, worse still, to the party bureaucracy ."
Israel's Justice Minister Yariv Levin in explaining his plans for judicial reform makes no mention of what Bernard Lewis has in mind. nor does any member of the government or the opposition or the protestors.
On April 7,2019 Times Of Israel posted Dov Lipman's, "Agenda Item for the next Knesset: Electoral Reform." His commence note reads, "The Average Israeli has no say about who represents them, and that's not only a shame, it’s a failure in democracy."
Of the 3 issues he raises, one specifically addresses the citizens not having their own Knesset representation beholden and accountable to them and thus the Knesset doesn't truly represent the will of the people.
Daniel Tauber wrote in March in the Jerusalem Post:
His introduction, "If a lawmaker doesn't face the public before whom he and his opponents can present initiatives, defend their records and be judged, then there is no bond between them."
"But in all the talk about electoral reform, and why it is necessary, one element has been sorely missing. Perhaps that is because it is not an easy truth to admit to. Israeli citizens don't elect representatives and an essential component of democracy is therefore missing."
"Israel's "Flawed Electoral System: Obstacle to Peace and Democracy" by Alex Bain was published on February 1, 2011. In the body of the essay, Bain states, "Ultimately, what is needed is a system that increases accountability and stability, even at the cost of a decrease in representation for single issue and minority viewpoints."
The findings of the 2005 "Report of the President of Israel's Commission for Examination of the Structure of Governance in Israel, notes, "There is no clear linkage between an elected person's performance and their chances of being reelected. This disconnect between performance and political success is widely recognized by ordinary Israelis; according to research by the Israel Democracy Institute ,--'only 18% of the Israeli public feel they can influence government policy to a large or to a certain extent.----[and] about 50% of the public feel they have no influence. Furthermore, 36% of Israelis believe 'It makes no difference who you vote for---it does not change the situation.'"
Greer Fay Cashman wrote,"it's time for an electoral reform" on June 15, 2022."Not every party has primaries, and there is no such thing as regional representation."
She continues, "Change is needed to ensure that every party has primaries, so that Knesset members are elected by the people and are not chosen by the leader of the party.
"In addition, there must be regional candidates vying for election in every party and a third of the slots should be reserved for them."
It is truly surprising that Prime Mister Benjamin Netanyahu in recognizing the necessity for reform did not include the importance of accountability. Perhaps, if he had, it may have led to less resistance by the protestors.