Extortion is a felony that deals with pathological aspects of social and political relations. I argue that the felony in criminal law may constructs certain social norms of behavior for political parties in Israel. This paper, accordingly, explores whether such a felony is applicable or should be applicable to the volatile political sphere.
The Israeli political constitutional structure consists of an elected parliament (the Knesset), and a government, which even under direct system of election needs to win parliamentary vote of confidence. Many social segments are represented in the parliament with their respective special needs, and they incline to take advantage of the polarized political setting for utilization of their needs. Ultra-Orthodox parties are notable examples of the tendency to exploit political polarization for special allocation of benefits, and yet they are not the only examples. Does the felony of extortion enable us and should it enable us to look at political pressures as a possible unlawful phenomenon? What should be taken into consideration in deciding whether to let criminal law to intervene in the political game and what are the appropriate ways to initiate under certain conditions such a legal intervention in politics?
* Alon Brenner, student in the LLB Program, Tel Aviv University.