Israel’s lack of a constitution: denial of equal rights

For the past 5 months hundreds of thousands of citizens on Israeli streets, draped in Israeli flags, have been protesting laws proposed by the newly elected government to gut the power of the Supreme Court. The protesters soon began demanding a constitution.
Israel’s lack of a constitution is fundamental to our understanding of the situation in Israel Palestine. Constitutions constrain the power of governments by defining in precise terms who has what rights, what rights form the basis of legal decisions and
how political power is dispersed among institutions.  Israel’s lack of a constitution enables its ambiguous stance on key issues central to the nation’s identity.  Is Israel founded on the Jewish religion or is it a secular state that is home to Jews, with non-Jewish minorities? Do Arab Israelis and other non-Jewish citizens enjoy the same rights as their Jewish counterparts? What is the relative power of the legislature and judiciary? Without a constitution official borders remain undefined. Despite Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the West Bank, Israel denies rights to Palestinians living there because the West Bank is not yet officially part of Israel and Palestinians living there are not Israeli citizens.
What obstacles have stood in the way and continue to stand in the way of Israel adopting a constitution?  What are the implications for freedom, equality and justice, for those Jewish and Palestinian citizens living inside Israel 48, for those living in the occupied territories as well as for those Palestinians in the diaspora. 
The protesters are primarily self-identified liberal, secular, educated and middle-class Jewish Israelis.  They have shunned questions about the occupation, and Palestinian citizens of Israel have mostly declined to join a movement that has overlooked them entirely. What could the protesters’ calls for a constitution mean for the dismantling of the occupation?
We begin our exploration of these questions with our conversation with Dr. Brendan Szoden, 

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