Widely reported in the press is that President Joe Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express his concern about judicial reforms that are currently being considered in Israel.
We must wonder why Biden, who demonstrably cannot run our own country, feels behooved to tell others, particularly one as successful as Israel, how to run theirs.
Looking into Biden’s own backyard, per latest Gallup polling, a paltry 20% of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of their country.
The White House reported that Biden told the Israeli prime minister that “democratic values” are “a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship, that democratic societies are strengthened by genuine checks and balances, and that fundamental changes should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support.”
But Israel is governed under a parliamentary system that ties the government, on a day-to-day basis, to popular sentiment more closely than our own system.
On any given day, in Israel’s parliamentary system, a vote of no-confidence can bring down the government.
And, indeed, as a result of a deeply divided electorate, Israel has had five elections within four years. As the only democracy in their part of the world, it doesn’t seem like democracy and elections are subjects on which Israel needs tutorials from Biden.
Really what is going on is not a problem with democracy but a problem with those who are unhappy with the results that democracy produces. It happens that Israelis, in their last election, returned to power Netanyahu, who has put together a right-of-center government that does not please Israel’s left or America’s left-wing president, who has been recruited to put in his two cents.
Biden touting the importance of democracy and checks and balances is more than a little ironic as he waits for the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of his unilateral move to wipe out $400 billion of student loans. Most assessments point to the likelihood that Biden’s move will be found unconstitutional.
Regarding the importance of the “broadest base of popular support,” the U.S. banking system is now teetering, already with several bank failures, with others looking for support. Banks have been ravaged by interest rate increases, the direct result of inflation caused by trillions spent by Biden’s administration.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and the $735 billion Inflation Reduction Act both passed the House and Senate without a single Republican vote and were signed into law by Biden.
We might recall that the U.S. health care system was overhauled when Biden was vice president. The Affordable Health Care Act — “Obamacare” — was passed in the House and the Senate without a single Republican vote and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Despite the love affair with political systems, we must appreciate that human beings ultimately produce the realities under which we live, not any system. Well-designed systems are important, but the outcome of words on a page are the result of what human being reads, interprets and carries out those words.
The founders of our country, and the drafters of our Constitution, would never believe that the beautiful system they designed, conceived to limit government and protect individual liberty, would someday see government at all levels taking almost half our gross national product, generating massive deficits and national debt larger than our nation’s entire economy.
Nor would they believe that the courts have been used to remove all vestige of religion from public life or that Supreme Court justices felt it was their job to redefine marriage.
The percentage of Americans that have a “great deal/quite a lot” of confidence in their major institutions, reported by Gallup last July, are as follows: the presidency 23%; U.S. Supreme Court 25%; Congress 7%; public schools 28%; newspapers 16%; criminal justice system 14%; television news 11%.
Please, Mr. Biden, do your own job and let Israelis run their own country.
Star Parker is President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “CURE America with Star Parker.”