My Republica

Shlomo Ben-Ami

The contributor for Republica.

Democracies are better at managing crises

Published On: May 20, 2020 02:00 PM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – The COVID-19 crisis has become the latest front in the escalating clash of ideologies that has become a central feature of geopolitics in recent years. Representing authoritarianism is China, which has touted the success of its aggressive lockdown strategy in curbing the coronavirus’s spread. Representing democracy are a broad array of countries, some of which have responded far worse than others. So, which political system is better suited to managing crises?

Why this pandemic is different

Published On: April 19, 2020 01:39 PM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – Long before people and goods were traversing the globe non-stop, pandemics were already an inescapable feature of human civilization. And the tragedy they bring has tended to have a silver lining: perceived as mysterious, meta-historical events, large-scale disease outbreaks have often shattered old beliefs and approaches, heralding major shifts in the conduct of human affairs. But the COVID-19 pandemic may break this pattern.

Netanyahu Again?

Published On: March 11, 2020 09:01 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – Israel’s third electoral showdown in a year was not kind to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Even though his right-wing bloc of ultra-Orthodox and nationalist parties won more seats in parliament than the center-left bloc headed by former army chief Benny Gantz, he still lacks the parliamentary majority required to form a government. This result does not bode well for Israeli democracy.

Paradigm Shift on Palestine

Published On: February 20, 2020 09:32 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – Nobody should be surprised that US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal is heavily tilted toward the Israelis. What is surprising is that, rather than rejecting Trump’s proposal, the world has left the Palestinians largely on their own.

What Does Suleimani’s Death Change?

Published On: January 6, 2020 08:10 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – We no longer live in an era in which wars are officially declared. The US drone strike that killed Qassem Suleimani, the charismatic commander of Iran’s Quds Force, is but one landmark event in a multiyear, multi-front war between the US and its allies and Iran and its many proxies.

Not Another Arab Spring

Published On: December 31, 2019 07:40 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV : “A specter is haunting the rich world. It is the specter of ungovernability,” began an editorial in The Economist earlier this year, paraphrasing the opening line of the Communist Manifesto. But it is not only the West that is grappling with ungovernability. Across the Arab world, protesters have been making it clear that they will be ungovernable until their leaders deliver good governance.

Russia and Middle East

Published On: December 4, 2019 11:29 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – The collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago meant that its once-formidable presence in the Middle East collapsed as well. Today, however, as the United States has withdrawn from the region, Russia has rushed to recapture the Soviet Union’s position there, through a combination of military force, arms deals, strategic partnerships, and the deployment of soft power. But its success is being significantly overestimated.

Trump’s perfidious America

Published On: October 21, 2019 01:15 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – US President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, clearing the way for a Turkish offensive against the Kurds, is an unconscionable betrayal of a strategic ally.

The last days of Netanyahu?

Published On: September 25, 2019 12:51 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

TEL AVIV – At long last, Israel has taken a step back from the religious nationalist abyss into which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had been leading it. In the September 17 parliamentary election, the country’s second in five months, the “natural coalition” of Netanyahu’s Likud party, Orthodox groups, and proto-fascist factions failed to reach the 61-seat threshold that would have enabled him to form another government.

Forgetting Palestine

Published On: August 22, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Never before in Israel’s history has it been able to develop a foreign policy so free of the Palestinian issue

No economic peace for Palestinians

Published On: July 23, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Economic development would go a long way toward stabilizing Palestinian society

Don’t feed the Donald

Published On: June 24, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

No matter how hard Abe tries, the US and Japan remain divided on the same issues as always

Resilience of Arab world

Published On: May 21, 2019 01:00 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Though militaries have often proved adept at staging coups, from Egypt to Thailand to Myanmar, they have been far less effective in securing transitions to civilian rule

Israel and illiberal democracy

Published On: April 23, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Israel’s latest parliamentary election has consolidated the country’s position within a growing bloc of illiberal democracies around the world

Maduro’s useful idiots

Published On: March 21, 2019 01:00 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Western non-intervention killed Spanish democracy in the 1930s. Venezuela must not be next

The ideology trap

Published On: February 24, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Ideology is a powerful tool for packaging a broad political agenda but faith-based fixations almost invariably lead to bad policies

Conflict in age of extremes

Published On: December 3, 2018 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

World’s major powers have largely resumed their Cold War postures preparing themselves for open conflict

Disruptive ethnic nationalism

Published On: October 23, 2018 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

The rise of radical ethnic nationalism as a response to fears of terrorism and mass migration represents a more fundamentally transformative crisis

In Israel, identity over democracy

Published On: September 26, 2018 12:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Israel has determined that its Jewish identity is more important than its democracy. This will be bad

Peace under siege

Published On: August 23, 2018 01:30 AM NPT By: Shlomo Ben-Ami

Colombia’s government has so far achieved only 18.5 percent of the reforms, laws, and promises stipulated by the peace accord