The Israel Democracy Institute, a Jerusalem-based NGO headed by former Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner, published an article on Sunday which suggested that Israeli democracy is in “clear and present danger” from Israeli "racism."
The article, written by IDI program head Amir Fuchs, lambasted the Israeli public for the widespread support of a soldier arrested for killing a wounded terrorist in Hevron.
“The reaction of the public to the killing of the wounded terrorist in Hevron is nauseating,” wrote Fuchs.
According to a 2015 poll commissioned by the IDI, 53% of Israeli Jews favored the killing of Arab terrorists at the scene of the attack, even if they were already neutralized.
Fuchs cites this figure and the phenomenon of “talkback” comments on the internet praising the soldier’s action as proof that Israeli democracy is in “real danger."
“This is just another sign of the disintegration of democratic values and the respect for the rule of law in Israel.”
“This process didn’t happen in one day, and we can’t hide from the fact that Israel’s leaders have fanned the flames, especially in recent years.”
Fuchs went on to label the Knesset’s behavior as racist, without providing specific examples, and warned that Israeli democracy was on the verge of being overturned by a growing trend of racism and disregard for the rule of law.
"Don't be surprised by the extremist trends among the public [which are] running roughshod over democratic values. [It's no coincidence] that just as the Knesset legislates racist [laws] and [engages in] racist discussion and the Israeli public supports and fans the flames of racism, [we also have] talkback internet comments about eliminating terrorists, the death penalty for terrorists and being trigger-happy; all of this fans the flames of legitimization and glorification of unnecessary killing."
“Every person who holds liberal, democratic values should sense the clear and present danger. We’re fast approaching the point of no return for preserving our [democratic] values. If steps are not taken immediately to reinforce the teaching of democracy, human dignity, rule of law, and to combat racism; if the reckless rhetoric of our public leaders doesn’t stop – it may be impossible to ever fix.”