August 18, 2019

Is This the End of Israeli Democracy?

“When Israelis vote on April 9, a lot will be riding on the outcome. But there is one thing that will not be decided in this election: whether or not Israel will remain a democratic state.

Whether or not the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party are able to form the next government—or, if instead, it’s Benny Gantz and his Blue and White Party that will lead the country—the Jewish state is not about to begin a slide into authoritarianism in which the rule of law, the free press and an independent judiciary might be lost.

That’s not what a lot of commentators in both the United States and Israel are saying. To the contrary, much of the discussion about the contest in which Netanyahu is seeking his fourth consecutive (and fifth overall) term in office has centered on the notion that another win for him will mark the end of the country’s democratic system.

With the Israeli left and its platform advocating land-for-peace schemes aimed at resolving the conflict with the Palestinians once and for all largely discredited in the eyes of a majority of Israelis, it’s perhaps understandable that many people are now thinking about more than war and peace.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."

"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."

"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."

"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."

"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."

"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."

"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."

"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."