February 21, 2023
10:00 am - 11:15 am


Zoom Webinar

A new Israeli government took office in late December 2022. The government, which includes far-right members in key ministerial positions, has quickly declared its intention to advance reforms and legislation that will significantly undermine Israel’s democracy. As the government began taking concrete steps to advance its political and policy goals, a growing number of Israelis started voicing concern and opposition.

A pushback movement against democratic erosion is gradually evolving in Israel, increasing in size and impact week after week. It is a movement that Israel’s liberal friends in the West are likely to increasingly engage with and support. These domestic developments are coupled with an Israeli-Palestinian escalation, and they raise questions about whether the new Israeli government will be able to maintain the current level of improved relations with the country’s Arab and Muslim neighbors, and whether further Israeli-Palestinian flare-ups can be prevented.

Please join the Middle East Institute for a discussion with  prominent figures related to the Israeli pro-democracy movement, who will share their experiences and analysis. The assembled panelists will discuss the centrality of safeguarding democracy, the diplomatic implications of democratic erosion, the importance of grassroots activism, media and parliamentary action, the role of Israel’s Arab population and the Palestinian issue, and how international actors can help.


Nitzan Horowitz
Former Member of Knesset and Minister of Health

Noa Landau
Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Haaretz

Sally Abed
Member of the National Leadership, Standing Together

Daniel Shek
Former diplomat and Ambassador to France; Board Member, The Mitvim Institute

Nimrod Goren, moderator 
Senior Fellow for Israeli Affairs, Middle East Institute 

Detailed Speaker Biographies

Nitzan Horowitz
Nitzan Horowitz is an Israeli politician and a former journalist. He served as Israel's Minister of Health in the outgoing government and chaired the Meretz party from 2019 to 2022. He was a Member of Knesset during the last decade. Previously he was a leading commentator and documentarist on international affairs in television, radio and newspapers. Horowitz served as chief correspondent to Paris and Washington for the Israeli media. He studied law and he is a member of the Israeli Bar.

Noa Landau
Noa Landau is an Israeli journalist. She is the Deputy-Editor-in-Chief of Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily. Landau worked at Haaretz since 2009 as a reporter, commentator and news editor. She served as Haaretz head of the news department and editor of Haaretz’s English edition and is a member of the paper’s editorial board. Landau is also the founder of Haaretz21, an organizational project aimed at amplifying underrepresented voices and stories of Arabs/Palestinians in Israel. Before joining Haaretz, Landau worked as a journalist for Galei Tzahal radio, Channel 10 TV and Maariv. She is also an Advisory Board member and alum of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

Sally Abed 
Sally Abed is a member of the national leadership at Standing Together, the largest Jewish-Arab grassroots movement in Israel. In recent years, Sally has become a prominent Palestinian voice in Israel, advocating progressive causes for social and climate justice, and highlighting their connection to the struggle for peace and an end to the occupation through building a new majority in Israeli society.  Sally is the Co-host of Groundwork - a podcast series about Palestinians and Jews refusing to accept the status quo and working together for change.

Daniel Shek
Amb. (ret.) Daniel Shek is a former Ambassador of Israel to France, and a Board Member at Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. During his 27-year long career in Israel’s diplomatic service, he also served as Director of European Affairs, Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry and Consul General in San Francisco. Since leaving the Foreign Service, he has co-founded NEXUS Elite Task Force and teaches Diplomacy at Tel Aviv University. He is  Chair of the Public Council of the Arava Institute, an Israeli-Palestinian NGO devoted to resolving cross-border environmental challenges.

Nimrod Goren
Dr. Nimrod Goren is the Senior Fellow for Israeli Affairs at the Middle East Institute. He is the President and Founder of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, Co-Founder of Diplomeds - The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, and member of President Herzog's Israeli Climate Forum. Nimrod holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Nimrod is a past recipient of the Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East and the Centennial Medal of the Institute of International Education. 

Photo by Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images