“I don’t think we’ve ever experienced a time like this. We could, in a sense, deteriorate into a nationalist state. Our liberal democratic character is being worn away.” This was the diagnosis of Mordechai Kremnitzer, vice president of research at the Israel Democracy Institute and professor emeritus of law at the Hebrew University, during one of the most challenging weeks that Israeli democracy has ever known.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed in his attempt to postpone the presidential elections just a few weeks before they are scheduled to take place — a step he only took to prevent Knesset member Reuven Rivlin from being elected to the position. Nevertheless, he left a sense that there isn’t a single Basic Law that is immune from his whims. Kremnitzer, who has been researching Israeli democracy for over two decades, is also disturbed by the numerous manifestations of extreme nationalism and racism.