for almost three months now, hundreds of thousands of people in Israel have been taking to the streets against a “judicial reform”, which for them is less of a reform and more an undermining of the separation of state powers and an attack on democracy. For left-wing activists, demands of protesters often do not go far enough: for them, democracy has not been at risk only since the November elections, but in their view, the situation of occupation excludes genuine democratic conditions by definition. Now Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a partial weakening of the reforms, and further decisions have been postponed. Many, however, see this as merely an attempt to debilitate the movement.
For Palestinians, the political atmosphere fueled by individual members of the Israeli government has very serious consequences, as recently demonstrated by the violent outrage in Huwara (West Bank).
In Serbia, President Vucić, too, continues his attempts of an authoritarian restructuring of the state: A new police law aims to expand police powers and restrict democratic rights through, for example, legalizing biometric facial recognition and house searches in the absence of affected persons as well as prohibiting the filming of police actions by citizens. So far, civil society has successfully stood up against the enactment of the law and approval of the law remains pending.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, while elections in the fall of 2022 did bring a social democrat as Bosniak member to the state presidency, overall, nationalist and authoritarian tendencies remain on the rise. Recently, attacks on journalists have also increased, especially in Republika Srpska.
Democratic achievements must not only be fought for time and again, but also need to be defended against authoritarian attacks. Doing so requires, among other things, political dialogue and the creation of safe spaces, both of which we enable together with our partners.
Support our work with your donation!