The art of constitution-making is never one-dimensional. In regard to the United States' model, it has recently been argued that “[d]espite the enormous literature on the critical period, including the foreign affairs imperatives behind the movement for reform, it is not fully understood that the animus behind the reform effort that culminated in the new Constitution was a desire to ensure that the United States would be in a position to meet its international commitments and thereby earn international recognition.” While there are obvious differences, and while this concept is perhaps of even greater importance and more poignantly felt for a nation that has so long been plagued with issues of de facto and de jure recognition, many of the same factors that would make it incomplete to view the purpose of the American Constitution as a strictly internal document hold true for our strongest ally in the Middle East. After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the young country experienced diplomatic isolation and Arab League boycotts. Today, Israel has diplomatic ties with 154 out of the other 191 member states of the United Nations, as well as with non-member Vatican City. This paper argues that the developing Israeli constitutionalism (this term is used broadly to cover not only the Basic Laws but also the quasi-constitutional founding documents and semi-constitutional proclamations of the Israeli Supreme Court) is also to a large extent about facilitating the admission of the new nation into the community of civilized states. From treaty making and economic development, to existential security issues, Israel recognized early on that it needed to quickly develop a strong and responsible federal government capable of enforcing compliance. It established a judiciary with capability of maintaining and enforcing the law of nations, and even challenging the state itself. More importantly though, while in the American model the framers were looking for and trying to gain trust in an economic sense, the Israelis are more focused on gaining international respect, especially on civil rights issues.
Recommended CitationMark Goldfeder, The State of Israel's Constitution; A Comparison of Civilized Nations, 25 Pace Int'l L. Rev. 65 (2013)
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