Ruth Gavison 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni announced late Monday night that she had appointed
renowned Prof. Ruth Gavison to draft a constitutional provision defining
the exact dimensions of what it means for Israel to be a “Jewish and democratic
Livni highlighted that this was the “first time” that a
comprehensive effort on this issue was being undertaken, implying that prior
efforts had been targeted at narrow aspects of the issue.
She added that
this definition was necessary in light of “the substantive societal and legal
dispute, and the many proposed laws in which every part of the political map is
trying to force its worldview” on the rest of the state.
A press release
said that Livni made the appointment “with the agreement of the prime minister
and the heads of the parties in the coalition.”
Livni said that she told
Gavison that she “believes that the time has arrived to draft a constitutional
framework that deals with the character of the State of Israel as Jewish and
democratic, and anchors the components of the identity in a balanced way,
integrating these values, the Jewish and the democratic.”
said in response, “I will act with the purpose of supporting the desire to
advance and to constitutionally anchor the identity of the State of Israel as a
Jewish and democratic state, according to the spirit specified in the
Declaration of Independence.”
In mentioning the “constitutional” aspects
of the issue, the press release did not indicate whether the new initiative
would be framed as a Basic Law or have some other special status.