Is Israel Abandoning the Liberal Order? Robert Kagan Says Yes. He's Wrong about Israel, and Wrong about the Liberal Order

The Jewish state has little choice but to adapt to a world shaped by forces greater than its own. That doesn’t make it illiberal, no matter what esteemed foreign-policy types think.

Israeli soldiers overlooking the Jordan Valley in June 2019. Abir Sultan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Israeli soldiers overlooking the Jordan Valley in June 2019. Abir Sultan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Observation
Sept. 19 2019
About the author

Hillel Fradkin is a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, director of its Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World, and co-editor of the journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. He is currently at work simultaneously on one book about the conflict between Sunni and Shiite Islam and another on the literary unity of the Pentateuch.


Late last week, with a view to the then-upcoming Israeli elections, a very long, 7,000-word essay appeared in the Washington Post under the portentous and ominous-sounding title “Israel and the Decline of the Liberal Order.” Its author, Robert Kagan, is a distinguished historian and analyst of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution and a regular writer for the Post. Given the essay’s unusual length, and the high reputation of its author, one had reason to harbor hopes of an objective, in-depth look at Israel’s geopolitical situation, its choices, and its strategic outlook at this critical moment in time.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Robert Kagan