AIS Statement regarding the recent changes in Israel’s legal system

The Association for Israel Studies, the international scholarly society devoted to the academic and professional study of Israel, is committed to academic freedom and freedom of expression. The Association follows with grave concern the constitutional revolution taking place in Israel, which threatens the democratic character of the State of Israel, and is worried about the consequences which might affect the Israeli academia and the academic and professional study of modern Israel. 

We express solidarity with the declaration issued by VERA – The Association of Israel University Heads following the cancellation of Reasonability Cause on July 24. 

Please see VERA’s statement below.

VERA – Association of University Heads announces:

“Yesterday, something happened in Israel. The government completed the first stage of the constitutional revolution which threatens the democratic character of the State of Israel. In every way, we condemn the government’s unilateral and forceful cancellation of Reasonability Cause. We are highly concerned about the government’s plans to complete the constitutional revolution unilaterally and without broad consensus. The risks of the constitutional revolution are materializing everywhere, even in Israeli universities. Having already seen the buds and effects of the government’s harassment of the academy, we are worried that we will not have the protection of an independent Supreme Court if and when these harassments escalate. The academic staff in universities is urged to participate as active citizens in any legal way they can, regardless of their position. “And the educated at the time – will not – stand still”. Members of the academic staff: as beacons and models for a liberal and inclusive society, we all have a duty to express our opinions and act in different ways to fulfill our civic duty towards Israeli society. We, for our part, will back you up as much as we can, and will work in every possible way to ensure a better future for the country. Our society needs to bridge the severe rift created by the constitutional revolution, which threatens social cohesion and the resilience of Israeli society and university campuses.”