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Israel’s Government is Precisely What You Heard

Smotrich has no intention of “bringing Israel more closely in line with the liberal American model” but is looking to craft a new and distinctly Israeli model.
Eitan Fold via Wikipedia
Eitan Fold via Wikipedia
Michael Koplow is a Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and the Chief Policy Officer of the Israel Policy Forum. Before coming to Israel Policy Forum, he was the founding Program Director of the Israel Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, where he specialized in political development and ideology, and the politics of Middle Eastern states. He writes Israel Policy Forum’s weekly

“A couple of days before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began his third stint as prime minister last week, his new double-hatted finance minister and minister in the Defense Ministry Bezalel Smotrich penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal purporting to explain the new government’s motivations. Entitled “Israel’s New Government Isn’t What You’ve Heard,” Smotrich’s aim was to disabuse Americans of the notion that the new Israeli government is out to fundamentally transform the state and its institutions in ways that may look nefarious from this side of the ocean. In fact, according to Smotrich, the intention of the new government is not to scare Americans, but to emulate them by pursuing a classically liberal agenda of freedom of conscience, free markets, individual rights, and checks and balances directly drawn from the liberal American model. For years, Israelis have told Americans that we have unrealistic expectations that they conform to our democratic model and liberal practices, and lo and behold the paragon of religious nationalist Israeli politics is apparently now on our side!”

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