Last week, Israel Academia Monitor sent out an article by Dr. Nir Eisikovits:
|Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
| (click to view article)
|Nir Eisikovits: Israel's slipping democracy: This beacon of freedom is becoming more like its authoritarian neighbors
There are, of course, well-known problems with this democratic self-understanding. Our basic constitutional docume'nts speak of a "Jewish
democratic state" while about 20 percent of our citizens are non-Jews. We have no separation of synagogue and state. We have, for over 40 years, maintained illegal settlements and a harsh military occupation in most of the Palestinian territories captured in 1967.
One does not need to be a constitutional scholar to worry about a democracy that eliminates access to its courts, curtails the right to be elected, and chooses to protect its police rather than detainees. Since all these measures were widely popular with Israelis, it is worthwhile reiterating an obvious point: Democracy is not only about the rule of the majority.
Rather, its essence lies in empowering the majority without allowing it to tyrannize the minority. Such a balancing act is possible only if a robust set of political rights is in place. A state that jettisons these in favor of national security will probably stay safe, but it will rarely stay democratic.
Nir Eisikovits appears on Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Academic Speakers Bureau:
The Department of Academic Affairs, Consulate General of Israel to New England
Israel Diplomatic Network
Academic Affairs: Speakers Bureau
Israeli Academic Fellows
Professors & Researchers
Nir Eisikovits teaches legal and political philosophy at Suffolk University. He is also a fellow at the International Center for Conciliation.
Dr. Eisikovits’s research focuses on the moral and political dilemmas that arise in post-conflict settings. His research interests include the possibility of sympathy between enemies, the feasibility of forgiveness in politics, and the comparative benefits of truth commissions and war crime tribunals for societies emerging from prolonged conflict.
His recent scholarly publications include: "Forget Forgiveness: On The Benefits of Sympathy for Political Reconciliation" (Theoria, 105), "I am the Enemy you Killed my Friend: Rethinking The Legitimacy of Truth Commissions"(Metaphilosophy, 37) and "Moral Luck and the Criminal Law" (in Law and Social Justice MIT, 2005). Nir has also written numerous op-ed pieces on the Middle East conflict for various American newspapers and weeklies.
Dr. Eisikovits received his Ph.D. in legal and political philosophy from Boston University in 2005. Prior to that, he graduated from law school in Tel Aviv. Dr. Eisikovits is a captain in the IDF reserves.
Democracy and the War on Terrorism
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Attempts at Peace
Israel as a Jewish Democratic State
The Day After: A Comparative Look at Political Reconciliation
Moral Questions in International Relations: Just War Theory, Duty of Assistance to Poor Countries, Realism vs. Idealism in Foreign Policy