democracy education in israel
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Democracy Education in Israel

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 46

Democracy Education in Israel - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Democracy Education in Israel. Raphael Cohen-Almagor Director, Center for Democratic Studies, University of Haifa. Preliminaries. Israel was established as a Jewish democracy Based on Liberal-Democratic values AND Jewish values. Preliminaries. Authoritarian regimes surround it.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Democracy Education in Israel' - sandra_john

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
democracy education in israel

Democracy Education in Israel

Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Director, Center for Democratic Studies, University of Haifa


Israel was established as a Jewish democracy

Based on Liberal-Democratic values


Jewish values

  • Authoritarian regimes surround it.
  • The key factor for its success is its relationships with our neighbours.
  • Israel survived seven wars and two Palestinian uprisings in 58 years of independence.
  • It is hard to maintain normality under such a hostile environment.
  • Security expenses exhausts a third of our budget, leaving insufficient resources for the development of other spheres.
  • The constant security threat destroys the tourism industry and preempts external investments essential for economic growth.
  • Unemployment continues to be significant.
  • Salaries going down in real terms.
  • Welfare benefits are cut.
society s profile
Society’s Profile

No shared raison d'être

  • 20% wish to transform democracy into theocracy
  • 20% do not endorse the Zionist ethos
  • 20% of the population are immigrants from the former Soviet Union where no democracy existed
background schisms
Background - Schisms
  • In addition, Israel suffers from internal schisms:
  • between Israeli-Palestinians and Israeli-Jews inside the Green Line;
  • between Palestinians under the Palestinian Authority and Jews;
  • between orthodox Jews and secular Jews;
background schisms9
Background - Schisms
  • between the ideological right and the ideological left,
  • between Sephardim and Ashkenazim;
  • between socialism and capitalism, and
  • between cities and kibbutzim
major problems
Major Problems
  • No shared raison d'être
  • Many schisms
  • Not-so-friendly neighbours
  • Terror
major problems11
Major Problems
  • Shaky economy
  • Problematic election system that brings about unstable Knesset and corruption
major problems12
Major Problems
  • Racism
  • Culture in which generals are heavily involved in politics during and after service
  • Our greatest asset is education
  • But it is not in the government’s priorities
  • 20% cut in universities’ budget since 2001
  • Almost no new hiring
  • Israelis study in the finest universities in the world, and then cannot find a job in their home country
the declaration of independence
The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence holds that Israel will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; that it will be based on the foundations of liberty, justice and peace;

the declaration of independence16
The Declaration of Independence

that it will uphold complete equality of social and political rights to all of its citizens irrespective of religion, race or sex, and that it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.

important remedies
Important Remedies
  • Need to strengthen the democratic foundations
  • Promote Democratic Culture
democratic education
Democratic Education
  • At present there is no standard democracy education In Israel.
  • There is a great need to equip our youth with understanding of democratic values and principles.
  • For years, the State of Israel has neglected this subject.
democratic education19
Democratic Education
  • All that exists is citizenship education, taught for two or three years, one hour per week, in which only the formal procedures and mechanisms are explained.
  • The substantive issues of what does it mean to live in a democracy are neglected.
current situation
Current Situation
  • The result is most unfortunate.
  • The majority of people in Israel take democracy for granted, fail to understand the values of democracy, or contest democracy.
current situation21
Current Situation
  • Bearing in mind that twenty per cent of the population are immigrants from the former Soviet Union where no democracy existed, and that large segments within Israeli society wish to transform democracy into theocracy, or preach one state for all Jews and Palestinians on the western side of the Jordan River, which would effectively mean the end of Israel as we know it, make us realize how vulnerable Israeli democracy is.
  • Indeed, repeated public polls have shown that some thirty percent of Israeli citizenry wish to transform democracy into "a government based on strong hand", limit free expression and freedom of the press so as to have "better control".
center for democratic studies
Center for Democratic Studies
center for democratic studies25
Center for Democratic Studies
  • The aim of The Haifa Center for Democratic Studies is to promote awareness and understanding of civic culture in democracy.
center for democratic studies26
Center for Democratic Studies
  • Recognizing the growing need to secure the foundations of democracy and to facilitate conditions for pluralism, the Center establishes a national and international forum for deliberation and discussion.
center for democratic studies27
Center for Democratic Studies
  • The Center aims to increase public awareness of liberal democratic values: liberty, tolerance, justice, equality and peace
center for democratic studies28
Center for Democratic Studies
  • Focus is on the role of ethics and justice in all spheres of public life: politics; economy; culture; academy; business; law; media and medicine.
center for democratic studies29
Center for Democratic Studies
  • Strengthening of active participation in public life, professional ethics, accountability for one’s actions, multiculturalism, diversity, and civic equality

center for democratic studies30
Center for Democratic Studies
  • The Center also focuses attention upon abuse of power and violation of basic human rights. It encourages open debate on the vital importance of freedom of expression, in its broad sense, in democratic life.
center for democratic studies31
Center for Democratic Studies
  • On this front the Center sees an urgent need for education on all levels: primary schools, high schools and universities.
  • Develop a broad curriculum of recent history and civics, empowering civic education.
democratic education32
Democratic Education
  • Liberal Ideology:
  • Putting the Individual at the Center
  • John Locke: society, tolerance, property, pursuit of happiness
  • John Stuart Mill: Harm Principle, Truth principle
democratic education33
Democratic Education
  • Liberal Ideology:

Emanuel Kant: Dignity, Respect for Others, Perceiving People as Ends Rather than Means

democratic education34
Democratic Education
  • Rights:

Human Rights

Civic Rights

Social Rights

Health Rights

Minority Rights

Women Rights

Rights of Physically and Mentally Challenged People

democratic education35
Democratic Education
  • Foundations:
  • Liberty
democratic education36
Democratic Education
  • Basic Liberties:

Free Expression, including freedom to demonstrate and to picket, free media, artistic freedom, and academic freedom.

Free Assembly

Free Association

Freedom of Religion

Freedom from Religion

democratic education37
Democratic Education
  • Foundations:





-- multiculturalism,

-- mutual understanding and diversity

  • Studies of all religions that exist in Israel should be made available.
democratic education39
Democratic Education
  • Mechanisms:


Active participation in public life

democratic education40
Democratic Education
  • The participatory mechanisms need to be strengthened, otherwise the decision-making process will be left in the hands of partisan politicians whose interests do not necessarily coincide with the interests of the people.
democratic education41
Democratic Education

Through participation and representation:

-- professional ethics

-- accountability for one’s actions

democratic education42
Democratic Education
  • Comparative Studies:

Learning from Experience of other democracies:

The United Kingdom

The United States


democratic education43
Democratic Education
  • Weaknesses of the Democratic Regime:

The Paradox of Tolerance

The Democratic Catch

The Tyranny of the Majority

The Tyranny of the Minority

  • Democracy should be nurtured and sustained through active education and through constant efforts on the part of the citizenry who care for the society in which they live.
  • Through education, we should invest our energies to promote liberty, tolerance, equality, justice, peace and multiculturalism in our troubled society.