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Tel Aviv University Senate statement regarding the damage to Israeli democracy

In a statement, the members of the Senate and university officials write: "We call on the Israeli government and the Knesset to stop the legislative processes that fundamentally change the order of the democratic regime in Israel." They express fear that the media and academia will be next in line after the judicial system

My ballot in the Knesset elections. Illustration:
My ballot in the Knesset elections. Illustration:

Tel Aviv University, since its establishment, has enshrined on its banner the commitment to academic excellence, to improving the face of Israeli society, and to fostering critical and creative thinking. We, the members and members of the university's senate, are committed to the fundamental values ​​of the State of Israel, as formulated in the Declaration of Independence, among them the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants, being based on the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in light of the vision of the prophets of Israel, complete social and political equality of rights for all its citizens regardless of religion , race and sex, freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. As in leading academic institutions in the world, the academic community at Tel Aviv University is committed to freedom of thought and expression, understanding that these are necessary conditions for research, academic thought, innovation and scientific achievements. 

In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that these values ​​are facing real danger, given the accelerated legislative processes that the coalition is leading. The planned harm must worry every citizen in the State of Israel who aspires to live in a free and democratic society. We are strongly opposed to measures that mean a fundamental change of the system of the regime in Israel.

The moves led by the coalition are taking place contrary to the opinions and statements of thousands of experts and expertise in Israel and around the world, including Nobel Prize winners, jurists, economists, men and women of spirit who clearly and unequivocally point to the dangerous process that such legislation could produce, and to the actual damages expected for Israel following the changes in the legislation and the processes accompanying her.


Our deep anxiety also stems from the signs indicating that the unprecedented attack on the judiciary will not stop, and is in fact a prelude to harming other institutions, including the public service, the free media, and academia. The proposed legislation that replaces academic control with political control over the National Library is an example of the processes of political interference in the academy, in the study content and in research independence. Academia cannot, and must not, operate under political control.

We call on the Israeli government and the Knesset to stop the legislative processes that fundamentally change the order of the democratic regime in Israel. We call on the Israeli government to turn a deaf ear to the mass and widespread protest that is coming from all over the country, from all avenues of Israeli society, and not to give a hand to the destructive processes that are taking place now. We call on the government to stop the legislation that is designed to fatally harm the independence of the judicial system, and to curb the dangerous trends that have been seen in recent weeks, which undermine the values ​​of democracy, alienate populations and minorities, and lead the State of Israel towards a decline.

We are determined to fight for the image of the State of Israel, for the independence of the judicial system and for freedom of speech and research, and to take, as necessary, firm steps with all the legal tools at our disposal, in order to preserve Israeli democracy and the rights of minorities.

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