Guests Lecture Series
Mon23Jan20236:30 pmTopkino, Rahlgasse 1, 1060 Vienna
Film Screening of the movie “Game Changers” and panel discussion.Film screening of the movie “Game Changers” in cooperation with the United Nations Information Service (UNIS), the Permanent Missions Israel in Austria, and the Federal Republic of Germany to the UN (Vienna). Panel discussion with film Director Noam Sobovitz, Political Scientist and Historian Dr. Georg Spitaler, University Vienna, and the Ambassador of Germany to the UN (Vienna), Götz Schmidt-Bremme. Moderator: Martin Nesirky, Director UNIS.
Tue16May20237:00 pmVienna School of International Studies (Diplomatic Academy Vienna)Favoritenstraße 15A, 1040 Vienna
Panel Discussion: "The Future is Now: Democracy in Israel"
The Center for Israel Studies Vienna, in cooperation with the Vienna School of International Studies (Diplomatische Akademie Wien) and the Friends of the New Israel Fund Austria, with the support of "Österreichische Gesellschaft für Politische Bildung" invites you to a panel discussion on the topic
The Future is Now: Democracy in Israel
Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2023, 19:00h (7:00 p.m.)
Venue: Auditorium of the Vienna School of International Studies, Favoritenstraße 15a, 1040 Vienna
Words of Greeting: Gesandte Mag. Martina Schubert, Vice-Director, Vienna School of International Studies and
Drin Eleonore Lappin-Eppel, Chairperson of the Friends of the New Israel Fund Austria
Greeting and Moderation: Mitchell G. Ash, Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Vienna and President of the Center for Israel Studies Vienna
Natan Sznaider, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, School of Politics and Society, currently Senior Fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies, Vienna, author most recently of Fluchtpunkte der Erinnerung (2022)
Orly Noy, Chair of the Executive Board, B’tzelem, Jerusalem, activist and widely published author, most recently of „ Do Israeli Protesters Really Want Democracy? “ (March 27, 2023)
Sagi Barmak, Director of the Adam Smith Center for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of commentaries on contemporary Israeli politics, most recently: “Israeli Parliamentarism has Lost,” Makor Rishon (27 March 2023)
Although Israel lacks a written constitution, its democracy is maintained through balanced institutions. The reform of the Judiciary proposed by the current coalition government aims to shift the balance in favor of the Parliament (the Knesset), which will be able to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and also to nullify its rulings by simple majority vote. This move and other proposals of the coalition have led to protests by hundreds of thousands of people who view it as a threat to minority rights and the rule of law, and thus to Israeli democracy itself.
The panel will address the social and political background of the crisis and the contested meaning of "democracy" in Israel. Do the protests signal the end of the political dominance of a secular Israel and the rise of a religious majority? What it is that the protesters are – and should be – defending? Are the protests a chance to clarify what democracy in Israel actually means?