The Many Deaths of Israel's Basic Law on Social Rights

For nearly 20 years, Knesset members have been trying, and failing, to pass a law that spells out and guarantees Israel's essential social rights. They have been voted down every time.

With the opening of the winter session of Knesset at the beginning of November 2011, Knesset members had a golden opportunity to harness the momentum of the recent social-justice protests and translate it into parliamentary action. That movement, which had drawn hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets, led to debates and the formation of Knesset committees, and especially to proposed bills that...