Middle East Briefs

Parallel to the Center’s scholarly work, Middle East Briefs provides a brief analysis of a single issue at the top of the region’s political, social, or economic agenda. Targeted primarily at decision-makers and opinion leaders, the publication was launched in 2005.

Latest Brief

December 2022 – Democracy at Risk? Assessing Israel’s Democratic Backsliding

Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch

Middle East Brief 150 (Summary) — Is Israeli democracy at risk? This was a question raised by analysts and opinion makers after the results of the November 2022 Knesset elections in Israel, and the victory of Benjamin Netanyahu and far right parties aligned with him. In this Brief, Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch argues that while the election results raise the short-term risk of populist authoritarianism in Israel, the more significant and longer-term risks are the erosion of democratic institutions and decline in democratic values, particularly among Israeli youth. She concludes that these risks further shape and are being shaped by Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Read Middle East Brief 150 (PDF)

Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Legal Studies at Suffolk University and a former senior fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies.