Vol. 28 No. 3&4 , 2023
Democracy on the Defensive

We, Israelis and Palestinians who work together for conciliation and peace, are horrified and pained by the tragic war underway between our two peoples. 

Israelis were shocked and horror-struck by the vicious Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which over 1,400, mainly civilians including women and children, were killed and more than 200, among them infants and the elderly, were taken hostage. Barrages of rockets and missiles continue to be fired on Israeli cities from the Strip, disrupting daily life and causing damage and casualties. Skirmishes are taking place on Israel’s northern border as Hezbollah weighs its options, raising alert levels and fears of a regional escalation. 

Palestinians are devastated by the Israeli retaliation to the attack, which as of the end of October had killed approximately 10,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians including 2,000 wom
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This issue was sponsored by
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Table of Contents
  1. Amidst the Horror Lies an Opportunity for Peace ( )

    By Hillel Schenker and Ziad AbuZayyad Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  2. Democracy on the Defensive in Israel and Palestine ( )

    By Hillel Schenker and Ziad AbuZayyad Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  3. Focus
  4. Palestine from a Flawed Democracy to Authoritarianism ( )
    Palestine was the most successful experiment in Arab democracy, but its democratic fabric has withered since 2006. Despite the obstacles posed by Israel, a genuine shift toward democratic rule and inclusive pluralism would help reestablish the credibility and legitimacy of the PA.
    By Hiba Husseini Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  5. Democracy by Jews and for Jews ( )
    The appearance of a lone Palestinian speaker at the protest rallies serves to highlight the fact that the Palestinian issue is not on the minds of the masses who are fighting to protect a democracy that was flawed from the outset.
    By Susie Becher Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  6. The Israeli Judiciary Reform and the Palestinians ( )
    Hamas and the PA rule Gaza and the West Bank respectively through their security forces and without any legitimacy, yet Israel’s judiciary “reform” will worsen the situation by destroying any hope for peace and for the emergence of a democratic Palestinian regime.
    By Moien Odeh Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  7. The Effects of the Occupation on Israeli Democracy ( )
    De facto annexation of the territories and the seeping of the government’s oppressive practices into the Green Line have made disrespect for democracy a major characteristic of the Israeli political system.
    By Izhak Schnell and Daniel Bar-Tal Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  8. The Challenges to Palestinian Democracy: A Catch-22 ( )
    A keen-eyed observer cannot overlook the discrepancies in Palestinian democracy, but overriding factor is the Israeli occupying authorities’ obstruction of the democratization process while keeping Palestinian society in a state of disarray, making democracy impossible to attain.
    By Manuel Hassassian Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  9. “Shared Democratic Values”? U.S. Reactions to the Protests after 8 Months ( )
    The large majority of the liberal American Jewish community appears to sympathize with the protests in Israel, but at the same time it appears that they – as well as their elected representatives – will not and cannot do much to save Israelis from themselves.
    By Paul Scham Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  10. A Perilous Implosion Awaits Israel Unless True Democracy Prevails ( )
    The conflict over the judicial “reforms” offers a historic opportunity to examine and rectify every aspect of Israel’s democracy, which has been compromised since the day of Israel’s inception. This is imperative to prevent future onslaughts on Israel’s democracy by aspiring authoritarians.
    By Alon Ben-Meir Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  11. Political Coups in Israel and its Implications for the Palestinian Minority ( )
    The Palestinians in Israel currently face new Jewish political elites that seek to radically change their relationship with the state. Apartheid is on the table, and the Third Israel’s success in imposing it will depend on the fight put up by the Palestinian minority and their elites.
    By Raif Hussein Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  12. Is Democracy a Factor in Solving the Palestinian–Israeli Conflict? ( )
    To solve this exceedingly difficult historical conflict, new ways must be sought and there must be a stronger desire on both sides to intensify education for peace, democracy, and coexistence based on respect of the equal rights of the “other.”
    By Edy Kaufman and Shukri Abed Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  13. Palestine: The Dilemma Inherent in the Paths of National Liberation and DemocraticDevelopment ( )
    Israel is not solely responsible for the erosion and weakening of democracy in the Palestinian scene. Palestinian political actors exploit the internal division to seize control, dominate, and monopolize governance, concentrating power in the hands of the elite.
    By Talal Abu Rokbeh Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  14. Hindu Nationalism: How India is Backsliding in Democracy and Secularism ( )
    Like Israel, India is facing the erosion of its democratic institutions and a shift to the far-right that is unparalleled in its history. With signs of autocracy appearing in India and Israel, the big question is whether the protest movements will be able to reverse these negative trends.
    By Jugal Bhinde Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  15. 12 Years After the Arab Spring the Arabs Still Believe in Democracy, but Consider itDifficult to Achieve ( )
    The current conditions in the Middle East are not fertile ground for a democratization process, but the people still believe in democracy, and it remains to be seen whether the reformists of the future will succeed in where previous generation failed.
    By Ksenia Svetlova Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  16. The Hijacking of Democracy in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict ( )
    In both Israel and Palestine, the pillars of democracy are being hijacked by nationalreligious radicals. Without democratic values on both sides, there will be no peace not only between the Palestinians and Israelis but also among themselves.
    By Iyad Muhsen Sulieman AlDajani Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  17. The New Colors of Democracy: The Israeli Protests of 2019-2020 ( )
    The 2020-2021 protests called for change but not for a more inclusive society, revealing much about the state of democracy in Israel. With the Supreme Court and democracy threatened by authoritarianism and bigotry, the absence of even preliminary consensus on egalitarianism is concerning.
    By Ignacio Rullansky Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  18. Roundtable
  19. Democracy ( )
    Wesam Ahmad, Hind Khoury, Eran Nissan, Alon Liel, Stephen Ogin, Susie Becher, Hillel Schenker and Ziad AbuZayyad
    Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  20. Viewpoint
  21. Oct. 7th Attack and the War on Gaza! ( )
    Getting out of this vicious cycle of violence through a political initiative.
    By Ziad AbuZayyad Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  22. Weaponizing “Israeli National Parks” as a Tool of Ethnic Cleansing ( )
    National Parks designation is used to effect ethnic cleansing, limit property maintenance, demolish homes, and dispel residents
    By Mazin B. Qumsiyeh and Haidee Clauer Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  23. A Necessary Journey – Four days in East Jerusalem and the West Bank with Yachad ( )
    On visits to Israel over the past few years, I’ve managed to avoid engaging with the details of the occupation. A four-day trip in November 2022 focusing on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, however, introduced me to a reality that is both shocking and upsetting.
    By Stephen Ogin Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  24. UnXeptable – Israelis and Jews Abroad Standing Up for Israeli Democracy ( )
    The power of the Balfour protests in 2020 led to the emergence of an Israeli expat protest movement called UnXeptable. Now the fastest growing movement of its kind, it unites Israelis and Jewish Americans in a shared mission to support Israel while opposing its government’s policies.
    By Ben Linder Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  25. Book Review
  26. Yael Warshel, Experiencing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- Children, PeaceCommunication and Socialization. Reviewed by Edy Kaufman ( )

    Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  27. Daniel Bar-Tal. Sinking into the Honey Trap of the Intractable Conflict: The Case ofthe Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Reviewed by Izhak Schnell ( )

    Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  28. Culture, Literature and the Arts
  29. The History of the Future ( )

    By Shahar-Mario Mordechai Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  30. Civil War ( )

    By Almog Behar Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  31. A rewrite ( )

    By Michal Rubin Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  32. Letters from the Sea ( )

    By Liana Badr Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023
  33. In Memoriam
  34. In Memoriam: Latif Dori, 1934-2023 ( )

    Vol. 28 No. 3&4 2023