INTO THE FRAY: In Israel & America – Choreographed coups with the law as a prop

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column

In Israel & America – Choreographed coups with the law as a prop

(Kindly consider “liking”, sharing, tweeting – please use hash-tag ‪#‎IntoFray)

Despite the dramatic physical, societal and political differences between Israel and the US, in both countries a very similar—and disturbing—assault on the fabric of democracy is taking place


It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):



Several short excerpts:    

We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems. – Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Dec. 11, 2019, on the need to impeach President Donald Trump. 

Every legal precedent must begin at some point…So, just because it involves the prime minister, we should delay the precedent for another time? – Shai Nitzan, Israel’s State Prosecutor, May 8, 2019, on the decision to indict PM Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, on grounds unprecedented in any Western democracy.


Israel’s Knesset (L) and the US Congress (R)

srael and the US are very different in many ways. Geographically, they are separated by the width of an ocean and the breadth of a continent. The population of the US is almost 40 times that of Israel’s and its land mass over 450 times bigger than that of the Jewish state. Israel was founded on an ethos of socialist collectivism; the US on an ethos of capitalist individualism…

There are also wide differences in the political systems of the two countries. The US has a bicameral legislature (the Senate and the House) while Israel has a uni-cameral one (the Knesset)…

Clearly contrived and contorted

[D]espite the dramatic physical, societal and political differences between the two countries, a very similar—and disturbing—process is taking place in the polities of each of them…In both countries, we are witnessing a blatant, thinly veiled attempt by a frustrated Left-of-Center opposition, fearing itself unable to unseat a duly elected Right-of-Center head of the executive branch via the polls, resorting to clearly contrived and contorted legal machinations to do so…In Israel, the head of the executive branch, Prime Minister Netanyahu, has been submitted to an unrelenting drive to bring an indictment — any indictment — against him that has long exceeded the bounds of reasonable law enforcement.

Dogged for decades

Prominent legal expert, Prof. Alan Dershowitz, calls for indictments against Netanyahu to be dropped

Ever since his unexpected, razor-thin 1996 victory over Shimon Peres (then the left-leaning liberal establishment candidate for the premiership), Netanyahu has been hounded and harassed by his political rivals within Israel’s entrenched civil society elites—and subjected to a maelstrom of allegations that range from the petty to the preposterous… Finally, in November of this year, Netanyahu was indicted on three counts of breach of trust and one count of bribery. As I have pointed out elsewhere, prima facie, the charges seem anything but compelling and…have been excoriated by an impressive array of internationally renowned legal experts

Impeachment preordained

On the other side of the Atlantic, a very similar farcical fiasco has been unfolding…In the US, the duly elected Right-of Center head of the executive branch, President Donald Trump, has also been under sustained assault by his Left-of-Center opposition, which is attempting to remove him from office by means other than the ballot box…since Trump has not been involved in politics as long as Netanyahu, he has not been hounded and harassed for decades as has the Israeli prime minister. However, he has had the specter of impeachment brandished at him almost from the moment he stepped into the political arena. 

Rashida’s “refined” rhetoric 

The premature pursuit of impeachment continued virtually unabated thereafter.

For example, just two weeks after Trump taking office, Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters tweeted: “Today, I told @cheddar [a video news service] that my greatest desire was to lead @realDonaldTrump right into impeachment.”

Then there was radical freshman, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who shortly after being sworn in to the House of Representatives following the November 2018 elections, set out the mission to which she had dedicated herself. With her uniquely “refined” rhetoric, she told a cheering crowd: “… we’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherfucker.”

“…compelling, overwhelming and bipartisan”???

The radical “Squad of Four”

To be fair to the Democrats, initially, the party’s mainstream establishment was loath to pursue impeachment—as illustrated by the reluctance of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca). In a wide-ranging Washington Post interview…headlined, “Nancy Pelosi on Impeaching Trump: ‘He’s Just Not Worth It’, she excoriated Trump…However…she shied away from endorsing impeachment as being too divisive. She stated explicitly: “…Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path…”,adding dismissively: “And he’s just not worth it.”…In this regard, it is intriguing to compare Rep. Jerold Nadler’s (D-N.Y.) reticence regarding the prudence of impeachment prior to his selection as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee with his current zeal in pursing it (see opening excerpt). Thus, in December 2017, Nadler warned against doing precisely what he later embraced with such partisan fervor: “There’s not much point in impeaching a president and having him acquitted in the Senate as happened with Clinton.”

Uncompelling, underwhelming, and partisan

Head of House Judiciary Committee Nadler & Speaker of the House Pelosi

However, with the passage of time and the accumulation of Trump’s policy successes, the Democrats began to despair—and, the more sober elements began to cave into pressure from the more radical ones in the party—eventually adopting the very path they advocated avoiding…Thus, Pelosi embraced an impeachment endeavor that was anything but “compelling, overwhelming and bipartisan” as she prescribed, while Nadler rode roughshod over the very caveats he himself articulated…


Accordingly, any fair-minded analysis of the motivations behind the Netanyahu indictment and the Trump impeachment will swiftly reveal them to be far more a pursuit of power rather than a pursuit of justice –in which political rivals, frustrated by a recalcitrant electorate, turn to the disingenuous and manipulative use of the law to achieve what their political platforms, personalities and performance could not.

In this sense, both are little more than a blatant attempt to choreograph a coup, with the law as no more than a prop on their political stage.


As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,

Best wishes,







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *