In February, Hart Publishing will release “The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State,” by Mazen Masri (University of London). The publisher’s description follows:
What does Israel’s definition as a ‘Jewish and democratic’ state mean? How does it affect constitutional law? How does it play out in the daily life of the people living in Israel? This book provides a unique and detailed examination of the consequences of the ‘Jewish and democratic’ definition. It explores how the definition affects the internal ordering of the state, the operation of the law, and the ways it is used to justify, protect and regenerate certain features of Israeli constitutional law. It also considers the relationship between law and settler-colonialism, and how this relationship manifests itself in the constitutional order.
The book offers a novel perspective on the Jewish and democratic definition rooted in constitutional theory and informed by a socio-legal approach. Relying on a wide range of court cases and statutes as well as secondary sources, the book shows how the definition is deeply embedded in the constitutional structure, and operates, as a matter of law, in a manner that concentrates political power in the hands of the Jewish citizens and excludes the Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel from the political process. The book is a timely intervention in an increasingly important question, and is essential reading for those who want to understand Israel’s character, its relationship with the constitutional order, and its impact on society.