“Democracies turn into dictatorships,” the mayor of Tel Aviv told a TV interviewer just now during the demonstration here, “using democracy.  Dictatorships turn into democracies only using blood.”

The parallels between Trump and Netanyahu, both determined to avoid prison, are real.

Tom Friedman explains what’s going on:  In 46 Words, Biden Sends a Clear Message to Israel.

. . . This is the first time I can recall a U.S. president has ever weighed in on an internal Israeli debate about the very character of the country’s democracy. And although it’s only 46 words, Biden’s statement comes at a crucial time in this wrenching Israeli internal discussion and could well energize and expand the already significant opposition to what Netanyahu’s opponents are calling a legal coup that would move Israel into the camp of countries that have been drifting away from democracy, like Turkey, Hungary and Poland. . . .

→ Worth reading in full.

The biggest threat to our democracy, argues Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations,, comes not from Russia or China but from within.  Our liberties are protected by The Bill of Rights — we have rights! — but protecting those rights requires something from us as well.  He offers The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens.  Starting with Be Informed.  So obvious — but how many young friends do we have who just aren’t?  Or contemporaries do we know who listen only to FOX — or, for that matter, only to MSNBC?

You will almost surely agree with all ten — Remain Civil . . . Reject Violence . . . Stay Open To Compromise . . . Put Country First — so in that sense, we learn nothing new.  But in fact, in reading Haass, who worked for three Republican presidents, we learn a great deal.

Here’s how democracy should work — New Jersey’s Democratic governor Phil Murphy and Utah’s Republican governor Spencer Cox working together.

Hurray to them both.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



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