Trump in the White House means no democracy for us

The citizens of Israel and their voting plans are currently of less interest to Netanyahu. Before the prime minister’s eyes stands a target audience of only six people – Ben Gvir, Smotrich, Deri, Gafni, Goldknopf and Donald Trump! He needs those politicians in the Israeli coalition who will allow him to continue in office, and a candidate for the US presidency who will remember him kindly if he wins the elections in November, as Netanyahu hopes.

Netanyahu has realized that his standing in the polls is not going to change significantly. He understood that the electorate has no reason to let him stay in power following the greatest disaster in the history of the State of Israel, which occurred on his watch. He comprehends that the only political card up his sleeve is the return of Trump to the White House and followed by embraces of two dictators in the making.

True, ever since Netanyahu, even if somewhat belatedly, recognized reality and congratulated Joe Biden on his election victory, Bibi and Donald are no longer the best friends they used to be. So, Netanyahu understands that in addition to preserving his coalition, he must prove to Trump that he has “repented” and returned to the bosom of his long-time friend, and his base of MAGA Republicans and evangelical Christians who believe that Netanyahu will lead to Armageddon and the Resurrection.

Netanyahu too sees the polls in the US, and the harm to President Biden’s status as a result of the war and is apparently pleased. He understands that the continuation of the war means not only less political discourse in Israel, and less internal accountability, but also less support for Biden whose sincere concern for the citizens of Israel brought him to stand by our side and now feels the sting of the scorpion Netanyahu. But the danger is not only the continuation of the fighting.

Netanyahu is interested in the uncertainty, interested in treading water which, even if it alienates voters (Netanyahu has always built on the short memory of his voters), brings Ben Gvir and Smotrich closer, those who do not want to see an exit from Gaza, and certainly not the advancement of plans for Palestinian civil control in the Strip. American assistance of some 14 billion dollars continues to be delayed as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s refusal to listen to President Biden’s advice on the war’s conduct makes it harder and harder for his administration to fight for it, and where political dysfunction continues to stymie support for partners like Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

So, what if soldiers continue to be killed when the fighting has no clear purpose, what if the abductees are still in captivity, what if the Israeli economy, which is desperate for oxygen, is left without the promised American billions.

Netanyahu believes that after November, everything will look different. He sees Trump’s victories in the primaries and is relying on the restoration of friendship between them. He hopes that Trump is grateful for his contribution to the deterioration of Biden’s status.

And what is our lesson, citizens of Israel? Apparently, the elections in the United States are not only about the future of the American nation, but also about our future. We must realize that soon we will see an American distancing from the Netanyahu government, and accept that this is the only way for President Biden to try to bring back to him the voters who have had reservations about the unequivocal American support for Israel, and now, in view given the cold shoulder he is receiving from Netanyahu, he really has no good reason to continue.

Remember that if Biden is not in the White House, we probably won’t have a democracy here. Netanyahu will feel strong again, and will once again promote the regime coup, if through legislation or simply by taking steps on the ground, which may be encouraged and cheered by the supporter of dictatorship who may return to the White House. We will be left with the trauma of October 7th and with a country that has nothing to do with the Zionist vision of a democratic national home for the Jewish people.

About the Author
Nadav Tamir is the executive director of J Street Israel, a member of the board of the Mitvim think-tank, adviser for international affairs at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, and member of the steering committee of the Geneva Initiative. He was an adviser of President Shimon Peres and served in the Israel embassy in Washington and as consul general to New England.
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