Israeli settlers in from of Knesset Thomas Coex/Getty Images

Illibéral Israël

NEW YORK – Après un demi-siècle d’occupation des territoires palestiniens, Israël succombe à ses plus intenses pulsions ethnocentristes et remet en cause, de plus en plus ouvertement, des frontières reconnues. Israël est aujourd’hui sur le point de rejoindre le club des démocraties illibérales, qui va s’élargissant, et il doit en remercier le Premier ministre Benyamin Netanyahou.

Au cours de ses onze années de mandat à la tête d’Israël, Netanyahou en a transformé la psyché collective. Il a élevé le « Juif » isolé et traumatisé – toujours en conflit avec les « gentils », sans parler des « Arabes » – au-dessus de l’« Israélien » laïc, libéral et mondialisé qu’avaient imaginé les pères fondateurs du pays.

Netanyahou lui-même est un hédoniste, laïc et cynique, qui fait l’objet d’une enquête sur de généreux et illégaux présents qu’il aurait acceptés d’un magnat d’Hollywood. Mais il a choisi de jouer la « carte juive », dont il entend tirer bénéfice. En 1996, le slogan qui promettait qu’il serait « bon pour les Juifs » lui avait gagné le pouvoir. En 2015, ses admonestations aux électeurs juifs, sommés de choisir entre lui et les « hordes » d’Arabes déferlant sur les urnes pour les déposséder de leur destin, ont eu le même résultat.

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