Understanding Israel's Current Political and Constitutional Crisis

An In-Person Conversation

Understanding Israel

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's Minister of National Security in Benjamin Netanyahu's newly formed government.

Thursday, February 9, 2023
6:00 PM - 7:15 PM (Pacific Time)
574 Hilgard Ave.
Gindi Auditorium
(Second Floor of UCLA Hillel)
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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Organized by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies in collaboration with the American Friends of the Hebrew University. Co-sponsored by UCLA Hillel, the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, and the UCLA Center for Middle East Development.

About the Talk

Israel is in the midst of an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis sparked by the new Israeli government's radical plan to reform the judiciary. Massive demonstrations against the plan have taken place in recent weeks, while many legal experts have denounced the plan and economists have warned that it could seriously hurt the Israeli economy. To understand what's happening in Israel and what it might mean for the future of the country, come hear Professor Reuven Hazan, one of Israel's leading political scientists, discuss the crisis with UCLA's Professor of Israel Studies, Dov Waxman, who is the director of the Nazarian Center, and Dr. Tamar Hofnung, a teaching fellow at the Nazarian Center.


About the Speakers

Professor Reuven Hazan was closely involved in reforming Israel's electoral system and continues to advise Israel's leading politicians on the restructuring of its legislative branch. He collaborates with Israel's top think tanks, serves as a consultant for several political parties, is often called upon to testify in the Israeli parliament, and has served on the Presidential Commission on the Structure of Government in Israel. He is the lead editor of the recently published Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society and is working on a textbook manuscript called Politics and Government in Israel.

 Professor Hazan is a political scientist and political affairs commentator. He is the former Chair of the Political Science Department at the Hebrew University. Educated at The Hebrew University (BA) and Columbia University (MA, PhD), he has held academic appointments at the Hebrew University since 1995. He was also a Visiting Professor in Political Science at Emory University and in Government at Harvard University. His specialization is in historical and current analysis of democratic institutions in general and Israeli democracy in particular.

 In 2017, Reuven became the first incumbent of the Chair in Israeli Democracy and Politics at the Hebrew University. Reuven has served as a commentator for CNN, FOX, BBC, and NPR, and has been quoted in magazines such as Time and Newsweek and in newspapers across North America from the Los Angeles Times to the Wall Street Journal.


Professor Dov Waxman is the director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. He is a Professor of Political Science and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair of Israel Studies at UCLA. An award-winning teacher, he previously was professor of political science, international affairs, and Israel studies, and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern University. He also co-directed the university’s Middle East Center. In addition, he taught at the City University of New York and Bowdoin College. He has also been a visiting fellow at Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Oxford University. Professor Waxman received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and his B.A. degree from Oxford University.



Dr. Tamar Hofnung is a political sociologist specializing in the politics shaping gender and racial equality policies in Israel and the United States. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science with a specialization in Human Rights from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has conducted her postdoctoral studies as a Rothschild fellow at UC Berkeley’s Department of Sociology. She is currently a teaching and research fellow at the Y&S Nazarian center for Israel studies, working on affirmative action, and violence against women policies in Israel and the United States. Her most current research project examines the impact of unsystematic data gathering — and the lack of evaluation guidelines — on policymaking related to diversity and discrimination in Israel.



DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.

Sponsor(s): Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Center for Middle East Development, UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, American Friends of the Hebrew University, UCLA Hillel