Covid-19 Pandemic and Democratic Resilience in Israel   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "This article explores the need to strengthen democratic institutions and values in the decision-making process in Israel, in light of lessons learned from the State's efforts thus far to contend with the Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic. It presents fields where democratic resilience in states of emergency is imperative, and defines standards and criteria that can assist in preserving critical democratic interests in times of emergency. The article begins with a brief survey of the democratic backdrop in Israel at the onset of the coronavirus crisis, and then focuses on the following democratic standards: preservation of checks and balances vis-à-vis the power of the executive branch; protection of freedom of expression and the freedom to criticize government authorities; the appropriate scope and manner of protecting human rights; the appropriate protocols of emergency legislation; transparent and credible government activity; the need to strengthen democratic elements within the decision-making process; and democratic culture during crisis management. Safeguarding democratic principles pertaining to each of these aspects and fulfilling the standards proposed herein can help ensure Israel's continued democratic resilience. When democratic resilience is preserved, a new outbreak of Covid-19, or a different state of emergency, can be dealt with in a manner that maintains not only public safety and health, but also the image and core values of Israeli society and the State of Israel."

Institute for National Security Studies
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