The Kohelet Policy Forum strives to secure Israel's future as the nation-state of the Jewish people, to strengthen representative democracy, and to broaden individual liberty and free-market principles in Israel.

The Legality of the Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip

Adv. Avraham Shalev 11 Adar I 5784 | 20 February 2024

Israel is reportedly considering establishing a security zone within the Gaza Strip, along the border, to prevent terrorist infiltration, invasion or launching of attacks on Israel, such as occurred in the October 7th massacre. It has been claimed that the Israeli buffer zone violates international law. There are two...

If Jews aren’t safe in Gaza, they won’t be safe in Israel either

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich 29 Tevet 5784 | 10 January 2024

President Biden has declared a set of principles for Israel’s role in postwar Gaza: “no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, and no reduction in territory.” A fifth no is implicit: no Jews in Gaza. The administration hasn’t insisted that a future Palestinian government must allow Jews and Arabs to live “side by side in peace,” as they do in Israel. The...

Chronic Failure Without Accountability: International Peacekeeping and Security Forces in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Dr. Adi Schwatz 7 Tevet 5784 | 19 December 2023

IntroductionThe U.S. and other international actors have become increasingly insistent on having a governance plan for “the day after” the Gaza War. Washington seems to be pushing for a United Nations or some other multinational security force after Israel defeats Hamas, as a “transitional” step to turning over the...

The “Swords of Iron” War and International Law

Adv. Avraham Shalev, Adv. David Peter 10 Kislev 5784 | 23 November 2023

Is it permissible to strike a hospital? When is it justified and proportional to harm noncombatants? What about humanitarian aid? How did other Western countries conduct war in similar circumstances? What are the duties imposed on countries around the world during the war in Gaza? Advocates David Peter and...

Hamas’ Use of Human Shields and Israel’s Response – Legal Aspects

Adv. Avraham Shalev 21 Heshvan 5784 | 5 November 2023

SummaryHamas’ use of human shields, including using hospitals and civilian objects to store weapons, launch attacks and place operations, is forbidden under international law and constitutes a war crime. Once civilian objects are used for military purposes, they are considered as legitimate military targets. Israel may strike such targets,...

legal issues regarding a siege on Gaza

Prof. Avi Bell 5 Heshvan 5784 | 20 October 2023

Israel has a right under international law to impose a complete siege, which would be a land encirclement of the combat area of the Gaza Strip. Since Gaza has land borders with two countries—Israel and Egypt—a complete siege would require that Israel interdict land transfers from Egypt to the...

The ICC has a chance to restore its reputation and prosecute Hamas for war crimes

Prof. Avi Bell, Adv. Avraham shalev 4 Heshvan 5784 | 19 October 2023

October 7, 2023, was the bloodiest day in Israeli history. As the world now knows, in the early hours that morning, during a Jewish holiday, more than a thousand Hamas terrorists invaded Israel from Gaza, aiming to massacre as many people as possible. By the end of the day,...

Israel’s government has a duty to use every lawful means of warfare to defeat Hamas

Prof. Avi Bell, Adv. Erielle Davidson 3 Heshvan 5784 | 18 October 2023

Israelis are still burying the 1,200 victims of the Saturday attack on southern Israel by Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group that seized power in Gaza in 2007. As the assault unfolded, terrorists raped women and dragged them through the streets. They decapitated babies in their cribs. They slaughtered entire families...

Is it Legitimate for Parliament to Legislate Restrictions on Judicial Administrative Review?

Kohelet 28 Elul 5783 | 14 September 2023

An interesting judgement from the British court is of particular relevance to the discourse in Israel: Is legislation that deems some government agencies’ decisions immune to judicial review acceptable, or does such legislation contradict supra-constitutional norms? One line answer: The rule of law principle binds all government branches, including...

May a workers’ union strike as part of a political demonstration?

Kohelet 28 Elul 5783 | 14 September 2023

Following the court decision that canceled the Israel Medical Association (IMA)’s strike against the judicial reform (SK 57697-07-23). One line answer: The Labor Court determined that the IMA’s strike against the reform was an illegal political strike, and that IMA claims of potential harm to doctors and to the...

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