No, Israeli Democracy Is Not ‘Fine’

Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Benny Gantz at their respective campaign headquarters on Election Day (Photo: AFP)
Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Benny Gantz at their respective campaign headquarters on Election Day. (photo: AFP)
Creating a coalition with Palestinians is the long term solution to true democracy.

By Peter Beinart | Forward | Sept 26, 2019

The deeper malady is that Palestinians — even Palestinians who live inside the green line and can thus vote in Israeli elections — aren’t considered equal citizens.

Last week, Bret Stephens penned a New York Times column entitled, “Israel’s democracy is doing just fine.” With their “rebuke” of Benjamin Netanyahu at the polls, Stephens declared, “Israelis showed that demagogy doesn’t work.”

This week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gave Netanyahu the opportunity to form Israel’s next government. Netanyahu could fail to do so, in which case his center-right rival, Benny Gantz, would likely get the chance. But there’s a real possibility that Netanyahu — a man so racist that Facebook shut down one of his chatbots for violating its hate speech rules this month, and so authoritarian that the president of Israel’s supreme court this spring compared his attacks on judicial independence to the Nazi era — will remain Israel’s leader well into the future.

Israeli democracy is not doing fine.

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