Balancing effective protection and agency overreach: lessons from Israel

Israel has a longstanding experience on dealing with security, and the many administrative tools developed in an effort to provide domestic safety. One must bear in mind that such effort may require extraordinary powers, not often used in a democracy. The decisions made will impact the level of infringement on human and civil rights. One decision regards chosing which state agency will handle each emergency (civillian? military? a specialized agency?). A second decision concerns what rules such agencies will apply and the level of protections that civilians will enjoy (oversight with the agency, press coverage, availability of appeal, judicial and parliamentary oversight etc.). Finding a balance between effective protection of national security and agency overreach takes time, and must be done with care and respect bewteen the branches, as such issues receive great public attention especially when public support and trust is most vital.