Israel Democracy Institute
The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI, Hebrew: המכון הישראלי לדמוקרטיה), established in 1991, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Jerusalem, Israel. It goals are to formulate policies and initiate reforms to strengthen democratic values in Israel.
History and goals
On the seam line between academia and government, IDI is a forum for research, debate and reform of Israeli democratic institutions and is a leading nongovernmental agent of change in the Israeli body politic. IDI drives the process of Israel's transition from formal to substantive democracy. Its mission is to strengthen the moral, normative, structural and functional foundations of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. Recognizing the Arab and other minorities as vital components of Israeli society, IDI aims to foster solidarity while embracing pluralism. Drawing on both Jewish tradition and the universal legacy of humanism, it seeks to generate the ideas, promote the values, and shape the institutions that will ensure Israel's future as a vibrant, participatory democracy.
IDI's primary areas of concern are structural reforms, democratic values, and identity and solidarity. Its projects focus on political reforms, reforms in the executive branch, reforms in the Judiciary, reforms in the media, constitutional principles, national security and democracy, human rights and Judaism, democracy in crisis, religion and state, the Nation State, Arab-Jewish relations, and the integration of the Ultra-Orthodox in Israeli society.
IDI's Guttman Center conducts research on public opinion in Israel and publishes the annual Israeli Democracy Index and monthly Peace Index, an ongoing survey of attitudes towards the Israel-Arab conflict which became a joint program of IDI and Tel Aviv University in January 2010. IDI hosts the annual Caesarea Forum for Economic Policy, monthly roundtable discussions, and a variety of conferences and public events. IDI is also responsible for the Constitution by Consensus project and has drafted a proposal for the Constitution of the State of Israel.
The Seventh Eye website, which serves as a forum for discussion of media affairs and journalistic self-criticism, is an additional project of the Institute.
IDI's leadership includes two Vice Presidents of Research: Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Hebrew University, and Prof. Yedidia Stern, a Professor of Law at Bar-Ilan University and former dean of its law school. Senior Research Fellows of the Institute include Professors Avi Ben-Bassat, Hanoch Dagan, Momi Dahan, Tamar Hermann, Shahar Lifshitz, Eli Shaltiel, Yuval Shany, and Anita Shapira.  Past Senior Fellows include Prof. Ruth Gavison, Adv. Dan Meridor, Prof. David Nachmias, Prof. Eyal Naveh, and Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky. The late Prof. Asher Arian headed the Institute's program on political reform and directed its Guttman Center for Applied Social Research. Rabbi Itshak Levi heads IDI's Policy Implementation division. Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz serves as the Chairman of the Institute's International Advisory Council.
Constitution in the concurrence
In 2001 the institute established a public council led by Meir Shamgar in order to consolidate an Israeli constitution which would be agreed upon by all the current currents in Israel. The public council included ninety people from the academy, politics, religion and more which come from a variety different currents and opinions.
The institute runs educational programs together with the Ministry of Education in 150 schools that provide enrichment and discussion on subjects such as democracy to teachers staff and students.
The Guttmann Center run by the Israeli Democracy Institute was established in 1947 to conduct public opinion polls and studies social indexes.
Since 1993 the Israeli Democracy Institute conducts "The Caesarea forum" which is an economic convention which discusses the different aspects of the Israeli economy. The chairman of the discussion is the Israeli treasury minister and the participants are conducted of politicians, businessmen and scholars.
Critics say the Caesarea Forum represents only the wealthy population of Israel, indicates only the economic achievements of the state which are the fruits of the rich sector and neglects and perpetuate the condition of the poor population in Israel, which bad situation comes from it being exploited by the wealthy sector.
- IDI Brochure of Activities: http://www.idi.org.il/sites/english/events/TheAnnualEconomicForum/Documents/IDI_Brochure2010.pdf
- Seventh Eye
- "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) - Recipient's Background.".
- "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) - Judges' Rationale for Grant to Recipient".