Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Netanyahu's historical legacy likely to be unfavorable.

Netanyahu’s historical legacy likely to be unfavorable.

Netanyahu’s Dangerous Legacy: Undermining Democracy in Israel

Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist contributing to CNN, The Washington Post, and World Politics Review. In her opinion, Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister of Israel, has divided his nation and weakened its democratic foundations. Netanyahu’s recent moves to curtail the power of the courts and strengthen his control over the country’s government has raised concerns about the future of democracy in Israel.

Controversial Legislative Reforms

Netanyahu’s supporters argue that the proposed judicial overhaul, aimed at curbing the power of the courts, will strengthen democracy by defanging unelected judges. However, opponents insist that these measures amount to a coup, allowing the most right-wing government in Israel’s history to govern without checks and balances. The passage of a key element of the proposed reforms, which weakens the Supreme Court’s ability to review Cabinet decisions, has sparked outrage and led to massive protests across the country.

Protests and Opposition

For the past 29 weeks, Israelis have taken to the streets to voice their opposition to the changes in the legal system. The demonstrations have been significant, attracting up to 200,000 protestors at a time in a country with a population of only 10 million. Concerns about the concentration of political power and the potential impacts on the economy and national security have been voiced by prominent economists and security officials. Reservists have threatened to stop volunteering, and businesses are closing their doors in protest.

Netanyahu’s Changing Agenda

When Netanyahu came to office again seven months ago, he promised to focus on stopping Iran’s nuclear program, expanding relations with Arab countries, and strengthening the economy. However, he quickly shifted gears, possibly to secure the support of his far-right coalition partners and protect himself from ongoing corruption prosecutions. This shift in agenda has led to a decline in Netanyahu’s popularity and raised questions about the character of the country.

Battle Over Israel’s Character

The current battle in Israel is not just about Netanyahu’s survival; it is about the character of the nation. Will Israel remain a modern, pluralist democracy or become a nationalist religious country with less respect for pluralism and individual rights? The decisions made now will shape the future of the country and its relationship with the international community.

International Perspectives and Biden’s Role

As Israel’s indispensable ally, President Joe Biden has urged Netanyahu to safeguard Israeli democracy and build consensus for changes. While some argue for the US to distance itself from Israel’s internal deliberations, Biden’s call for a middle path reflects the importance of US support and influence. Netanyahu’s actions have not only undermined bipartisanship in the US but also threatened the social fabric and cohesion of Israel itself.

Netanyahu’s Legacy

Netanyahu’s legacy is being shaped by his actions in recent months. While he has achieved significant economic and diplomatic successes for Israel, his undermining of democracy and failure to pursue a meaningful resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians are tarnishing his reputation. Unless he changes course, history is likely to judge Netanyahu harshly for jeopardizing the democratic values and social fabric of the nation he led for so long.


About Thaddeus Tran

Meet the incredible Thaddeus Tran, an esteemed author on our blog with a passion for history and heritage. Thaddeus delivers captivating posts that take readers on a journey through time. With his wealth of knowledge and impressive research skills, he offers valuable insights and fascinating stories that shed light on the past and inspire a deeper appreciation for our shared heritage. Follow him to discover the secrets and treasures of history!

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