As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons I pay so much attention to the Israel-Palestinian region is that a lot of the trends are first proven there and then go global – airline hijackings, suicide bombings, a wall construction, challenges of pluralism and many more. It’s from Broadway to Broadway, so what’s going on there these days that could be a precursor to politics in America?
Answer: It is the most diverse national unity government in Israel’s history, spanning from Jewish settlers to an Israeli-Arab Islamist party on the right and ultra-liberals on the left. Most important, it is holding together, getting the job done and muting the hyperpolarization that was making Israel obsolete.
Is this what America needs in 2024 – the ticket for Joe Biden and Liz Cheney? Or Joe Biden and Lisa Murkowski, or Kamala Harris and Mitt Romney, or Stacy Abrams and Liz Cheney, or Amy Klobuchar and Liz Cheney? or any other such combination. Before you start yelling at me, listen to me.
In June, after a completely wild period in which Israel held four national elections in two years and failed to produce a stable regime majority, the lambs there actually lay down with the lions.
Prominent Israeli politicians swallowed their pride, softened policy edges and came together for a four-year national unity government. And for the first time, an Israeli-Arab party, the Islamic organization RAM, played a key role in strengthening Israel’s coalition.
Is everyone’s hand compelled? A broad agreement that Israeli politics was being held hostage by then-prime minister Bibi Netanyahu, who was opposed to putting together any government that he would not lead, apparently because if he did not lead, They may lose their chance at some sort of immunity from being prosecuted on multiple corruption charges that can lead to prison.
Netanyahu was just a shrewd Donald Trump, relentlessly outlawing the mainstream media and Israel’s justice system and vigorously exploiting social/religious/ethnic fault lines to divide and rule.
Could this play come to Broadway? I asked Steven Levitsky, a political scientist and co-author of “How Democracies Die,” when he presented some similar ideas to my colleague David Leonhart last week.
America is facing an existential moment, Levitsky told me, noting that the Republican Party has shown it is no longer committed to playing by democratic rules, threatening the United States uniquely among Western democracies. Is.
This means two things, he continued. First, this Trump-cult version of the GOP should not be able to retake the White House. Since Trump has embraced the Big Lie — that the 2020 election was a hoax — a prerequisite for Trump to be in the GOP, his entire cabinet will most likely have people who deny or reverse Biden’s election victory. Did. There is no reason to believe that they will give up power next time.
The best way to counter this is to create a broader national unity vehicle that enables more Republicans to leave the Trump cult.
When they created a broad national unity coalition whose main mission was to redo the basic functions of government and protect the integrity of Israel’s democracy, so did the civilian-minded Israeli elite.
Such a vehicle in America should be able to “shade a small but decisive fraction of the Republican vote away from Trump,” Levitsky said. In a tight race, Trump would only have 5-10% of Republicans left to ensure victory.
This is the democratic way of defeating the threat to democracy. Failure to do so is how democracy dies. I am well aware that this is highly unlikely; There is no modern example for such a cross-party ticket. And yet, I still think it’s worth raising. There is no example of how close we are coming to exposing our democracy.
Thomas Friedman is a columnist for the New York Times.