Israel's National Security Law
Political Dynamics and Historical Development
Routledge – 2011 – 282 pages
Terror attacks on western civilian targets have stimulated interest in the dilemmas faced by liberal societies when combating threats to national security. Combining the perspectives of political science and law, this book addresses that discourse, asking how democracies seek to harmonize the protection of individual liberties with the defence of state interests.
The book focuses on the experience of Israel, a country whose commitment to democratic values has continuously been challenged by multiple threats to national survival. It examines the legal, legislative and institutional methods employed to resolve the dilemmas generated by that situation, and thus provides a unique interpretation of Israeli national security behaviour. Policy-making and policy-implementation in this sphere, it shows, have reflected not just external constraints but also shifts in the domestic balance of power between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The book concludes with an agenda of the measures that each branch of government needs to implement in order to repair the flaws that have developed in this system over time.
Based on a close reading of legislative and court readings, the book proposes a new taxonomy for the analysis of national security legal frameworks, both in Israel and elsewhere in the democratic world. As such it will be of great interest to students and scholars of political science, national security law, Israeli history and civil-military relations.
Introduction Part 1: Foundations 1. Frameworks of Analysis 2. Cultural Contexts Part 2: Development 3. Centralisation, 1948-63 4. Diffusion, 1963-77 5. Realignment, 1977-95 6. Legislation, 1995-2008 Part 3: Perspectives and Prescriptions 7. Diagnosis: Israel’s Hybrid National Security Legal Framework 8. Prognosis: Modes of Reform
Amichai Cohen teaches International Law at the Faculty of Law, Ono Academic College, Israel, and is a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute. His research interests are International Humanitarian Law, and the interaction between International Law and Domestic Law.
Stuart A. Cohen teaches Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, where he is also senior research associate of the BESA (Begin-Sadat) Center for Strategic Studies. He is the author of Israel and its Army (Routledge 2008) and edited The New Citizen Armies: Israel’s armed forces in comparative perspective (Routledge 2010).