Israel’s Debate: The Judiciary, Law of Return, and Democracy
Thursday at 2:00pm PDT
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has returned to power as head of a new coalition government that has proposed a variety of legal reforms, including limitations on the autonomy of the Supreme Court, restrictions on the Law of Return, and curtailments on the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community. These proposed changes have incited unprecedented demonstrations across Israel, as well as a large debate about the future of its democracy.
Join us for a thought-provoking conversation that aims to explore the current state and future of democracy in Israel. AJU’s President Dr. Jeffrey Herbst will be in discussion with judicial expert Joel D. Joseph about the critical issues being debated in Israel and among Jews everywhere. Dr. Joseph is the author of Solomonic Justice: How the Israeli Supreme Court Has Become a Beacon of Justice in the Middle East.
Joel D. Joseph is the author of eighteen books on the law including Solomonic Justice: How the Israeli Supreme Court Became a Beacon of Justice in the Middle East. Joseph is best known for his book Black Mondays: Worst Decisions of the Supreme Court. Now in its fifth edition, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote the foreword. Joseph is a former law professor and graduate of Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Joseph brought the successful Hungarian Gold Train case against the United States. At the close of World War II, the U.S. Army seized a train heading to Germany with the property of Hungarian Jews. The case was settled with the Justice Department. The multi-million-dollar settlement went to Hungarian Jewish survivors who were then mostly in their eighties at the time.
Dr. Jeffrey Herbst is the fourth president of American Jewish University. At AJU, he has focused on promoting innovation in the university’s academic programs. He has also supported the growth of the Maas Center for Jewish Journeys, expansion of the B’Yachad/Together digital platform, and capital improvements on the Brandeis-Bardin Campus. Prior to joining AJU, Dr. Herbst was president and CEO of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC. From 2010 to 2015, he was president of Colgate University, where among other accomplishments he is credited with helping the university complete its nearly half billion-dollar fundraising campaign, leading the development and initial implementation of a university-wide strategic plan, and increasing the diversity and academic caliber of its educational programming. Dr. Herbst earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in political science from Yale University. He is the author of the award-winning “States and Power in Africa” and, with several co-authors, the just-published “Making Africa Work.”