Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 4, 2020

The Occupied Territories, Gaza, and Israel’s Recent Slide to Authoritarianism

Menachem Mautner


In recent years there have been numerous warnings in the press and in the social networks that Israel is about to convert its liberal democracy into a fascist regime. This Article argues that the occupation of the West Bank stands at the root of the most important processes that have been taking place in Israel in the past five decades. One of those processes is the erosion of Israel’s liberalism. I claim that the prolongation of the occupation is the central, lasting threat to Israel’s liberalism. In essence, the occupation breeds denunciations of and protests against the government and the Israel Defense Forces, and these, in turn, bring about measures on the part of the government and right-wing civil society organizations that undermine or threaten Israel’s liberalism. In addition, the full-scale wars between Israel and Gaza, and the continuation of violence between the parties in the periods between the wars, undermine or threaten Israel’s liberalism.

Corresponding author: Menachem Mautner, The Danielle Rubinstein Chair of Comparative Civil Law and Jurisprudence, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, E-mail:

I wish to thank Oren Tamir for his comments.

Published Online: 2020-12-04
Published in Print: 2020-11-25

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