Throughout the political stalemate over the last 15 months, both sides of the debate have decried “the destruction of Israeli democracy.” After watching two days of Supreme Court hearings this week on petitions brought against the developing Netanyahu-Gantz unity government, it is clear – a week after Independence Day – that democracy in Israel is very much alive and well. With only four of the 11 justices coming from the conservative camp, many assumed that the bench would do anything possible to disqualify Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a government while under indictment, and that they would side with the petitioners request to disqualify the coalition agreement. Far from what transpired, the hearings – broadcast live to provide complete transparency, and watched by one million Israelis – demonstrated a fair and balanced process. Justices from liberal, moderate and conservative ideologies heard presentations from all sides: attorneys for Likud, Blue and White, the attorney-general’s office, the Knesset, opposition parties, and various petitioning organizations such as the Movement for Quality Government. The justices didn’t hold back, asking serious questions, making sure to remove politics from the process, and focusing on the legal issues.When a lawyer for the petitioners argued that democracy in Israel would collapse if the court permitted Netanyahu to lead a new government while under indictment, liberal Chief Justice Esther Hayut berated the attorney, saying, “That claim is not appropriate. A side cannot claim that if its position is not accepted then the entire fortress of the rule of law will fall.” She also rebuked the Likud’s attorney for claiming that there would be devastating consequences if Netanyahu were barred from forming a government. The justices continuously hammered away on how they only have the right to rule over legal issues: If there is no law barring Netanyahu from forming a government, then they cannot prevent him from doing so; if there is no law that the coalition agreement goes against, then they cannot invalidate it. When an attorney for the petitioners decried what kind of society Israel would become with a prime minister under trial for corruption, Justice Yitzhak Amit remarked, in a classic moment, “You are asking us to issue a court injunction to make the world a better place, and that is simply not within our jurisdiction.” The justices made it clear that they had no intention of ruling on laws that have not been passed, even if a plan to pass them appears in a coalition agreement. But they also guided the Likud and Blue and White attorneys on issues that they believe need to be fixed within the agreement, and that do fall within their role of checks and balances on the legislature and the government. The two parties made adjustments to the agreement and submitted it to the court less than a day after the hearings concluded. Regardless of how the justices rule, history was played out on live television over these two days in a fair, balanced, orderly and fully transparent process, as should be in a democracy. While many have seen the 15 months of political instability as a stain on the Jewish state, Israel going through three election campaigns while adhering to its laws without chaos in the streets demonstrates that Israel remains a beacon of democracy in a region filled with dictators who lead countries that lack any nonviolent transition of power. One additional element of this process highlights Israel’s vibrant democracy: Aside from the three elections and the process leading up to the dramatic Supreme Court hearings, Israeli citizens have been expressing their strong opinions by holding public demonstrations. Members of the Left have gathered in public squares and have become regular fixtures outside the Knesset, demanding that Netanyahu be barred from forming a government while under indictment and that Blue and White not move forward with what they view as a corrupt coalition agreement. The Israeli Right has also demonstrated outside of the court and even close to the homes of justices, demanding that they reject the petitions calling on them to prevent Netanyahu from being prime minister, and to negate the coalition agreement in what they would view as judicial overreaching. The government made sure to allow the demonstrators to congregate despite coronavirus lockdowns, as long as participants adhered to the rules of social distancing to keep the public safe. These protests featuring speeches and chants – neither violent nor militant – further demonstrated Israel’s vibrant democracy. As difficult and tumultuous as these past 15 months have been, as frustrated as we may be with our leaders, and even whether we end up with a new government or head to a fourth election, the process itself – culminating in this week’s Supreme Court hearings – shows that our relatively young, 72-year-old Israel is still working through its political, legal and constitutional issues. It is even still working on its very identity, as it tries to sort out what it means to be a Jewish and democratic state in the 21st century. And that reality is worth celebrating. The writer served as a member of the 19th Knesset.