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Israel Politics Society @ NYU is an explanatory journal dedicated to clearing up the conversation around Israel.

By Aaron Baron

Two ultra-Orthodox men are arrested at a protest in Jerusalem the IDF’s attempt to recruit more Haredim. Photo: Xinhua/AFP

Overview of the IDF and its Military Conscription

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were established soon after the state of Israel declared its independence from Britain in 1948. Israel’s government recognized the existential threat posed by its neighboring states and therefore made military service mandatory for Jewish men and women under the 1949 Defense Service Law. The law was later amended so Israeli Druze and men of Circassian descent are also required to serve in the IDF. Israeli Arabs are not required to join the IDF, although recent years have seen record numbers of draftees. While serving…

By an IPS StaffWriter

President Erdogan and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s relationship has been strained by the issue of Palestine. Photo: AFP

On Turkish-Israeli relations

Since the formalization of relations between Israel and Turkey in 1949, the interactions between the two countries have been volatile. Despite these tensions, Turkey is willing to normalize relations after a time of turbulence; Israel, on the other hand, is unlikely to hurry into such a relationship. The Turkish government’s recent attempts to normalize relations with countries in the Middle East and West Asia, including Israel, are results of Turkey’s increasing isolation from Europe and its strained links with the United States. Specifically, Turkey is under pressure as a result of the normalization…

By John Berger

Holocaust remembrance day remains an intensely meaningful day for millions around the world. Photo: Claude Paris/AP

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day, or literally, “day of the Holocaust”) is a deeply meaningful day for the Jewish people. All across the world, Jews and non-Jews take time to reflect on the atrocities that occurred in Nazi Germany and vow to “never forget” all those lives lost. The state of Israel commemorates Yom HaShoah by sounding a siren and stopping everything (including traffic) for a national moment of silence as the whole country stands still to remember those perished in the Holocaust.

COVID-19 forced events across the globe to shift to virtual formats. For some days…

By an IPS Contributor

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks likely to remain in office following Israel’s fourth election in two years. Photo: AP

On Tuesday, March 23rd, Israel held an unprecedented fourth election in two years. The outcomes were mixed and indecisive, with neither Prime Minister Netahyahu nor his opponents seemingly able to form a government majority. If no governing coalition is formed before the electoral deadline on April 7th, a fifth election will be on the horizon.

Israel’s democracy is dissimilar to America’s in many ways. To begin with, Israel has no constitution. The nation’s only founding document is the Declaration of Independence, which outlines many principles for governance but tends to be short on specifics. In place…

By Sydney Brown

The food sustainability movement is flourishing in Israel. With a wide variety of fresh produce from the Mediterranean region, weather that encourages people to spend time outside, and a vibrant food culture that celebrates farm to table eating, Israel is making strides towards sustainability.

Israel has become a world leader in sustainable agriculture, thanks in large part to drip irrigation, a micro-irrigation system that aims to save water over time with specifically placed valves and pipes that emit water through filters and follow a planned distribution path to evenly hydrate plants. Variants on this water distribution system…

By Pavel Vaclav

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poses with Intel CEO Brian Krazanich, along with Israel’s minister of economy and the founders of Israeli self-driving car startup Mobileye. Photo: Amit Shavi

Israel is one of the world’s leading nations in tech, but to fully understand how its global status came to be, we need to evaluate the strengths of the Israeli tech sector and explain the political ramifications of this dominance. Israel’s dominance in tech is not purely due to luck, but rather Israel’s top-notch education system, its privileged relationship with the U.S., and the economic advantages of conducting business in the Startup Nation. …

By Aaron Baron

Introduction to the Chief Rabbinate

The Chief Rabbinate serves as the foremost rabbinic authority in Israel, yet the origins of the institution’s concept predate the Jewish state itself. The rabbinical position was established by the High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine. The High Commissioner approved the appointment of an Ashkenazi and Sephardi Rabbi to the Orthodox Rabbinate position in 1921.

Much of the Chief Rabbinate’s current power is rooted in a decision made by Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, in 1947. In the years prior to Israel’s independence, the leaders of different schools of…

By an IPS Staff Writer

The ICC headquarters, pictured above, are in The Hague. Photo: Marina Riera/Human Rights Watch

On March 3, 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC), a permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals and States for international crimes against humanity, ruled that Chief Prosecutor Fatuo Bensouda has jurisdiction to prosecute crimes in the State of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank). In a 2–1 ruling, the ICC effectively ended debate on the investigative eligibility of Israel and Palestine. Primarily, the investigations concern Hamas allegedly launching rockets indiscriminately at Israel and the IDF allegedly using residential areas to launch military projectiles.

The ICC’s Recognition of the State of Palestine as a…

By Pavel Vaclav

The first article of the French Constitution of 1789 states that “La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale,” which can be translated to: “France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic.” Secularism is a core French value — France prides itself on having no official religion. Although all faiths are accepted, religion itself is a private matter, which is, in theory, not supposed to impact public life. But history has shown otherwise, and many times these secular values have been (and are still being) challenged.

There have been traces of Judaism in France…

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