The Wall Street Journal

Netanyahu’s Bid for a Role in Zionist History

Amid foreign crises, Israel’s leader must satisfy religious and secular Jews at home. His judicial reform is the crucial test.

Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship
ben gurion
David Ben-Gurion. (Wikimedia Commons)

“He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,” says the 121st Psalm. That was certainly true for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week. At home, resistance to his coalition’s proposed judicial reforms ignited a firestorm of protest across the country even as Palestinian terrorists stepped up their campaign of violence. Abroad, while Russia’s ties with Iran continued to deepen, the Saudis agreed to resume diplomatic relations with Tehran after several days of meetings in Beijing.

Both sets of problems are existential. The combination of Iran’s nuclear program nearing its goal, Tehran’s deepening relations with an activist Russia, and China’s commitment to attacking American preponderance in the Middle East threatens Israel. Crises are erupting both in its American alliance and its new security partnerships with key Arab states.

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