Whatever is being sought in Israel is not only an Israeli thing. It is also Hungarian, American, Russian, international in a word, because behind this attempt to replace the irremovable Benjamin Netanyahu with a “coalition of change” bringing together all the parties except his own, there is the indispensable quest for renewal demanded by the general disruption of political boundaries.
Let’s take Hungary. In Budapest and in Tel Aviv, authoritarian prime ministers have reigned for more than a decade and, incidentally, are very close to each other, having based their longevity on the dispersion of opposition forces and the affirmation of a figure of the father of the nation. Viktor Orbán thought he was as invincible as Benjamin Netanyahu, but twenty months before the Israelis, the Hungarians invented the “all against one”, all united against Orbán, and won the 2019 municipal elections by taking the country’s ten largest cities. From the far left to the far right, this success has united the opponents so well that it is no longer impossible that they will retire Viktor Orbán in next year’s legislative elections and who in the United States beat Donald Trump?
It is not a man but the common will of all the defenders of democracy, from the new lefts to the centre-right, to close ranks behind Joe Biden and to say: let’s see what happens once Trump is expelled. This coalition was unlikely too, but the weapon of “all against one” is also Russian because why did Vladimir Putin have Alexei Navalny poisoned and then imprisoned?
The reason is that this man had conceived the idea of the “useful vote”, a call to give one’s vote to any party, communist, nationalist or other, as long as it was not the President’s. The aim was to weaken and humiliate Vladimir Putin in the legislative elections next September, and the question of the programme was no more relevant to the Russian democrats than to the Hungarian and American democrats.
All in good time: Yair Lapid, the designer of the Israeli “all against one”, began to theorize this approach by explaining that his country needed “a government showing that we do not all hate each other and in which left, right and centre wings work together to solve our economic and security challenges. Leader of the left of the left, Mossi Raz added that the coalition of change “would do many good things” but that he was not sure that “peace would be one of them”.
In other words, the Israeli coalition would consider tackling first what unites and not what divides. This same idea of seeking a national consensus can be found among Joe Biden, Alexei Navalny and the Hungarian opponents. There is an ambition in this zeitgeist to rebuild the foundations of a national unity and a free political debate between parties that all contribute to democracy. The rest will follow and it is striking that the Israeli “change” involves the integration of Arab parties in the parliamentary game since two of them would bring their votes to the new government. This would be unprecedented, the indispensable normalisation of minds that is the sine qua non of peace.