Netanyahu out of time; Scottish independence; Facebook on Trump ban
Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:
No more Netanyahu? Is Israel on the verge of new leadership?
Oh, we've seen this story before. I saw one commenter from the Israeli press saying, "Even a magician eventually runs out of rabbits to pull out of hats," but I'm not sure. Assuming that Netanyahu can't get this government together and it'd be knife-edge if he can and it won't last very long, the idea that the opposition could pull it together is also pretty low. It would be like seven parties together in a coalition, incredibly hard to do, which means Israel may be heading for a fifth election, which would be a problem except for the fact that their economy is doing pretty well right now and their vaccinations are fantastic. So, no, he might still be there for a bit.
Is Scotland moving toward independence?
I do think that it's becoming a much bigger risk. Remember, when the Scots voted against independence, it was because they wanted to stay in the EU. Now, if they want to stay in the EU, they have to leave the United Kingdom. Big elections coming up, also knife-edge in terms of what the outcome is going to be. But eventually the percentages in Scotland are for a referendum. The question is how they can have one legally and whether the Supreme Court in the UK would vote in favor of that, would allow them to do it. If they don't, would they have some kind of a rogue referendum that doesn't have the agreement of the UK and therefore it wouldn't have full legitimacy? How does Boris Johnson respond in the next couple of years? Does he provide more home rule, more decentralization of power? Brexit just keeps on giving, including the potential unwind of the UK, and don't even get me started long-term about potential Ireland reunification.
Do you expect Trump to be allowed back on Facebook?
So, here's the thing, if you look at the cases that this compliance board has reviewed so far, the orientation has been overwhelmingly towards liberal interpretations of free speech and the impact of the punishment meted out. That implies that Trump would be allowed back. Having said that, if you look at who these people are, not a lot of folks that are very oriented towards Trump, and they understand the direct impact that having Trump be reinstated would have for the US politics. And do they really want to be responsible for that? If you asked me on the basis of values and consistency and rule of law, I would say he'll be reinstated. Having said that, on the back of pragmatic implications and what this means for all these people and for the company and for the country, I would say he probably isn't. So, I really don't know. But my God, it is really important, and of course, These are a bunch of well-respected, but nonetheless random people that have been appointed without any particular governance implied, by a privately held corporation, one of the most impactful decisions, politically, for the United States right now with of course, zero representative governance or democracy behind it. That is a sign of our times.