Israel’s Paradox of Authority — the Paper

Here is a the latest draft of my paper on Israel’s Paradox of Authority.  This is still a work in progress, so please do not use without author’s permission. 

Paradox of Authority Yoav Sivan june 2023

To the best of my knowledge, I offer here the most comprehensive account of the origins of the the Israeli system.  It is an account that recasts the Israel system — a radical demystification of Israel’s constitutionalism, getting rid with all the metaphysical dead skin that accumulated in years of ignorance and ideology-laden thinking.  Among the points of interest I advance: 

  1. Israel’s Proclamation of State (aka Declaration of independence) inaugurated Israel, the Official Gazette, and was officially the state’s Decision #1 
  2. The Official Gazette, including the Proclamation (Decision #1) was promulgated in Arabic as well as in Hebrew
  3. Israel is the only country without an official constitution. The comparison to the UK, NZ is conceptually misguided 
  4. Israelis, culturally speaking, do not know how to distinguish between “official” and “formal” — denoted by the same word in Hebrew.  (It is very similar to having one word for “epistemology” and “ontology”)
  5. Math analogy. Since February 16, 1949, Israel exists on the Complex Plane.   The Post-1949 Reshumot inhabits the imaginary, or unofficial axis, which competes with the Real (official) Axis of the Official Gazette 
  6. Israeli Reshumot laws are not numbered and do not include an enacting clause, a pedestrian practice that exists everywhere. Reshumot is promulgated only in Hebrew, unlike the Official Gazette.
  7. Israel is the only institution I’m aware of to fail a strict Hart’s Recognition Test. It is my interpretation of Hart’s Rule of Recognition. A naive Recognition Test is about private recognition of personal authority — the child recognizes her mother’s voice. A strict Test concerns recognition beyond the private — the child can distinguish her mother’s voice amid the cacophony on the street 
  8. Israel’s does not have an official procedure to distinguish between a bill and a law!  Only Knesset bylaws to that effect define legislature procedure. But Knesset’s bylaws are internal procedures and cannot have constitutional standing. An official legislation procedure would define the status of a Knesset decision. Israel is like a person who wears her shirt inside out 
  9. Israel’s Reshumot (post 1949-decisions) depend on the authority of the Knesset, therefore Israeli law is relatively private and any state act is necessarily aggressive.