Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu condemned The New York Times on Sunday for an editorial characterizing his incoming government as “a significant threat to the future of Israel.”
In the Dec. 17 editorial titled, “The Ideal of Democracy in a Jewish State Is in Jeopardy,” the Times argues that Netanyahu is risking “the future of Israel—its direction, its security and even the idea of a Jewish homeland,” and calls for the U.S. administration to do more to show its disapproval.
Netanyahu tweeted in response, “After burying the Holocaust for years on its back pages and demonizing Israel for decades on its front pages, the New York Times now shamefully calls for undermining Israel’s elected incoming government.
“While the NYT continues to delegitimize the one true democracy in the Middle East and America’s best ally in the region, I will continue to ignore its ill-founded advice and instead focus on building a stronger and more prosperous country, strengthening ties with America, expanding peace with our neighbors, and securing the future of the one and only Jewish state,” Netanyahu added.
According to the editorial, Netanyahu is making too many “concessions to ultrareligious and ultranationalist parties,” something that he has no mandate to do.
“Radical far-right parties” are demanding expanding settlements, extending Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and reforming the Israeli judicial system, the Times bemoaned.
These actions would render a Palestinian state moot, risk renewed Arab-Israeli violence and allow Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to do what it wants without judicial restraint, the editorial claimed.
The editorial argued for the U.S. administration to speak out more forcibly against such moves, including apparently interfering in Israel’s domestic policy.
“Moderating forces in Israeli politics and civil society are already planning energetic resistance to legislation that would curtail the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court or the rights of the Arab minority or the L.G.B.T.Q. community. They deserve support from the American public and from the Biden administration,” the editorial reads.