For a long time now, the world has kept up with the democratic backsliding happening in Israel. Now the United States is following in their footsteps.
Not only are the people of Israel in an ongoing conflict, but its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has undergone multiple accusations of corruption. He has been accused of voter fraud and taking bribes. He has had a history of abusing government power and is refusing to follow through a new election so that he can remain Prime Minister. Since the Covid-19 pandemic Israel’s democracy is eroding more than ever. Because Israel has been deemed as one of the better and safer countries during the pandemic, Netanyahu has been looked at almost as a savior and a role model. Citizens and other parties who were against him before have had an even harder time getting the Prime Minister to leave office. In relation to the pandemic Israel has declared to be in a state of emergency like many other countries around the world. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his appointees have successfully suspended the judicial and legislative branch. With the judicial branch being suspended, all of the Prime Minister’s court hearing have been put on hold until further notice. Prime Minister also “introduced a new emergency measure that would allow the government to.. track Israelis in quarantine, using their cell..” (April 5, 2020). The legislative branch was to have no say in the matter and were forcefully suspended as well. With all that is happening in Israel it is easy to recognize the democratic backsliding that is Executive Aggrandizement. This is when elected officials like the Prime Minister of Israel weaken other parts of the government so that they withhold the most authority.
The United States is going through something a little different, but similar enough to raise concern. Many Americans would look at what is happening in Israel and think that it could never happen here because we are such a great democracy. However with the recent 2020 election President Donald Trump is refusing to start the transfer of power process to President-Elect Joe Biden. Donald Trump is showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tendencies by refusing to let go of his power. However he is doing it differently by accusing Joe Biden of voter fraud. Although Trump has not reached extreme measures like suspending other government branches, it is to wonder what else he will do to stay in power.
Work Cited: Bjoernstad, Martine. (April 5, 2020). COVID-19 Enables Netanyahu’s Continued Deterioration of Israeli Democracy. Retrieved from https://democraticeros.wpengine.com/2020/04/05/covid-19-enables-netanyahus-continued-deterioration-of-israeli-democracy/
It’s interesting how something like government tracking of those in quarantine is at once a useful tactic for mitigating the spread, and a surveillance tactic that could be weaponized in the future.
Thus far, Donald Trump’s lawsuits have been fruitless, yet it is immensely concerning to hear him continue to speak in the future tense: “We’re going to win this election,” after recounts in several states, and even multiple recounts in some, all of which have only further verified Biden’s victory.
Only yesterday, the very conservative Supreme Court rejected Trump’s bid attempting to block millions of ballots in battleground states, which is heartening, given that the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett was certainly an attempt to create a Court that would decide in Trump’s favor.