The delicate edifice of Israel’s Jewish democratic state is about to be torched to the ground, and the pushback will be furious.
In Israel, raging opposition to the government has been a thing of the Right. Even when the Left held mass protests and were very cross indeed, they remained relatively well-behaved. This may be about to change, because the incoming government seems set to cross a very dangerous line.
It is not that previous Likud-led governments did not do horrible damage. Menachem Begin, for example, brought 400 percent inflation and a pointless occupation of Lebanon which gave birth to Hezbollah (but also peace with Egypt). Yitzhak Shamir scuttled a mature effort to hand the West Bank problem to Jordan, leading to the first Intifada. Benjamin Netanyahu, with the generous help of Palestinian terrorists, helped ruin the Oslo Accords. But still, the basic compact enabling a diverse nation to somehow coexist was sufficiently preserved.
I urge those inclined to dismiss such warnings as hysteria or bad sportsmanship to calmly read on, and to put aside the knee-jerk talking points. And you will need some patience too, for the pending crimes against democracy and Zionism are broad and deep.
The override clause will make Israel a fake democracy
To begin with, the incoming coalition appears determined to enact something called an “override clause,” which would enable any Knesset majority of 61 out of 120 to cancel rulings of the Supreme Court. The hare-brained argument for this rests on the notion that the majority must be allowed to govern – as if no limits whatsoever should ever be set on Knesset coalitions.
It is no coincidence that almost no democracies on earth have any such thing (Canada is the sole exception,
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