Yuval Noah Harari: Netanyahu's Government Threatens Foundations of Israel's Liberal Democracy

Historians in the News
tags: Israel, Netanyahu, Yuval Noah Harari

Best-selling Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari sharply criticized the Israeli government, saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government threatens the foundations of Israel's liberal democracy. 

The cover story of France's respected weekly Le Point entitled "The world's most important thinker" profiles Harari, interviewing him in Tel Aviv to mark the coming publication in France of his new book, "21 Lessons for the 21st Century."

Harari's new book is expected to soar to the top of local best-seller lists like the author's previous two books. In the interview Harari told the magazine's correspondent Thomas Mahler why he had rejected a recent invitation from the Israeli consulate to an event in Los Angeles.

"I don't want to be an official representative of the Israeli government because I have an issue with its current politics," he said. "My work as a scientist is based on freedom of thought and freedom of expression, while Netanyahu's government represents a threat to fundamental freedoms. He made Israel into a close ally of Orban's, with the same nationalist, authoritarian worldview. Under these circumstances, I have no other choice but to keep my distance."

Asked about the nation-state law and the processes jeopardizing Israeli and global democracy, Harari said that beyond the nation-state law, there's a trend in Israel and the world to renounce the basic values of liberal democracy. "States that had been liberal democracies are no longer so, like Turkey, Hungary and Russia. They are now illiberal democracies or even dictatorships,” he said. ...

Read entire article at Haaretz

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