Trump Isn’t the Only Would-Be Dictator in Trouble

In the United States, House Democrats are rallying around the impeachment of Donald Trump. But he isn’t the only would-be dictator who is in trouble.

Anshel Pfeffer writes that, following the recent election in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer that country’s indispensable leader.

Netanyahu will not be representing Israel at the United Nations General Assembly this week, nor will he be meeting with Trump, seeking to play up his role as Israel’s essential leader. In fact, that strategy—pushing his indispensability and his relationship with Trump, in particular—is a principal reason he just lost the most important election of his life…

[On election night, Netanyahu] refused to concede defeat and instead called to form “a strong Zionist government, invoking “my friend, President [Donald] Trump,” whose “plan of the century will be presented soon.” Netanyahu, having lost an election, was still arguing he was Israel’s indispensable statesman.

Trump did not call this time, and Netanyahu’s office announced he would not be attending the UN General Assembly. Hours later, Trump told reporters in Los Angeles, “Look, our relationship is with Israel. We’ll see what happens.”

Of all people, Trump had dumped Netanyahu’s brand of personal politics. No more gestures would be coming.

Moreover, as Martin Longman pointed out, when Netanyahu no longer holds office, he could face jail time. In other words, he risks not only becoming dispensable, but also a felon.

Karla Adam and William Booth report that, in the U.K., things aren’t going much better for Prime Minster Boris Johnson.

Britain’s highest court dealt a serious blow Tuesday to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ruling that his controversial decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful, in a landmark judgment that could have implications for Johnson’s future and the country’s departure from the European Union.

Opposition politicians immediately called on Johnson to quit. Johnson indicated no intention to do so…

Johnson has maintained that lawmakers — and now the courts — are trying to block Brexit and undermine him in withdrawal negotiations with the European Union. “Let’s be in no doubt, there are a lot of people who want to frustrate Brexit,” he said. “There are a lot of people who want to stop this country coming out of the E.U.”

But in one of the most high-profile cases to come before Britain’s Supreme Court, 11 justices ruled unanimously that it was Johnson who was obstructing democracy.

Netanyahu has served as Israel’s prime minister for almost ten years, after previously holding the office from 1996-1999. On the other hand, Trump was elected almost three years ago and Johnson is the new comer, having been elected this past July. So the issue these three men are facing is not time in office.

While there are other differences, Trump, Netanyahu, and Johnson all share one thing in common: they assumed that they were above the law and abused the power of their office in ways that undermine democracy. What we are witnessing is that the people and institutions in their countries are beginning to assert themselves against that kind of abuse. There is a glimmer of hope in all of that.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.