In this episode of Occupied Thoughts, FMEP Nonresident fellow Peter Beinart is joined by Nathaniel Berman (Brown University) and Sawsan Zaher (human rights attorney) to discuss the notion that the Israeli Supreme Court – even before the proposed judicial reforms – is a protector of human rights and democratic principles in Israel. This conversation addresses the current protests against Netanyahu’s overhaul, and the historic role the Israeli Supreme Court has played in systematically oppression (or allowing the oppression of) Palestinians.
Recorded on February 20, 2023
Nathaniel Berman is the Rahel Varnhagen Professor in Brown University’s Department of Religious Studies. He is the author of “Passion and Ambivalence: Colonialism, Nationalism, and International Law” (Brill 2011) and “Divine and Demonic in the Poetic Mythology of the Zohar: the ‘Other Side’ of Kabbalah” (Brill 2018). Twitter: @na_berman
Sawsan Zaher is a Palestinian feminist and human rights lawyer, based in Haifa, Israel. She served for 16 years as a senior litigator at Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. She has litigated several landmark cases before the Israeli Supreme Court challenging discriminatory laws and policies against Palestinians including the recent Jewish Nation State Basic Law. She was selected as a Young Global Leader (2015); a Yale World Fellow (2013); a fellow at the Women in Public Service Project at Wellesley College, M.A., (2012); and a Fellow of the Public Law Program in the Public Interest Law Institute in Colombia University, NYC (2008).
Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an Editor-at-Large at Jewish Currents, and a CNN Political Commentator. He tweets at @PeterBeinart.
- “Israel’s Supreme Court Is No Human Rights Savior. Just Ask the Palestinians” (Haaretz, Nathaniel Berman 2/14/2023)
- “You Can’t Save Democracy in a Jewish State” (New York Times, Peter Beinart, 2/19/2023)