Benjamin Netanyahu Was No Autocrat

Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with his Likud party in the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 14, 2021. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
He pushed limits to protect his power. But he didn’t turn Israel into a dictatorship; he helped it become a modern, free, and prosperous society.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O ne of the lessons we can take away from Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent loss in Israel, writes former Obama strategist Ben Rhodes, is that “to defeat an autocrat who attacks democratic norms and institutions, oppositions need to unify under a big tent. In Israel’s case, that even led [Yair] Lapid to compromise on who would start as PM, but he understood the imperative of getting Bibi out first.”

It’s weird, is it not, that this “autocrat” lost his election in a nation that features an antagonistic press, an independent (and often zealously partisan) judiciary, full voting rights for all citizens, and numerous

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