Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State
Francisca Pérez-Madrid and Montserrat Gas i Aixendri (eds) La Gobernanza de la diversidad religiosa (Aranzadi 2013) 195-206
13 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 27, 2015
Israel’s Basic Law: The Knesset allows disqualification of lists of candidates from participating in parliamentary elections if they negate the character of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The phrase ‘Jewish and democratic state’ is entrenched in Israeli law and jurisprudence, and is highly controversial. The present contribution focuses on the extent to which the Jewish character of the state may encroach on its democratic character in the context of elections, examining it from the perspective of international human rights law. It concludes Disqualification of candidates advocating a change in the character of the state is a violation of the fundamental aspects of democracy and of political rights, and cannot be justified by analogy to the protection of the state’s existence or of its democratic character. Nor can it be justified on self-determination grounds.
Keywords: Israel, Jewish, democracy, self-determination, elections, right to be elected
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