May 23, 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.”

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