Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Chris Good
What Would Change for Israel?
As a new coalition seeks to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power after 12 years, some are asking what would really change under the new arrangement.
As The New York Times’ Patrick Kingsley points out in a news story, Israel’s new potential leaders don’t see eye to eye. In the proposed deal to form a government under the new coalition, Israel’s premiership would be held first by the right-leaning Naftali Bennett, “a former settler leader who rejects the concept of a sovereign Palestinian state and champions the religious right” and then be handed over to “Yair Lapid, a former television host who is considered a voice of secular centrists,” Kingsley writes.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board writes that even if Netanyahu is driven from power, it’s not as if the country will swerve to the left—“Mr . Lapid,” it points out, “focused his campaign not on reviving the ‘land for peace’ framework but on fatigue with Mr. Netanyahu’s 12-year consecutive rule and his indictment on corruption charges”—while others have noted that the combination of leaders now engaged in power-sharing talks would offer little consensus on big-ticket issues like Palestinian statehood or settlements.
Noam Fathi argues in Israel Hayom that the so-called “unity” government is a misnomer; Ben-Dror Yemini writes for YNetNews.com (an arm of the paper Yedioth Ahronoth) that “Israel is not currently divided politically along leftist and rightist lines, nor is it split on the issues of West Bank annexation or future Palestinian statehood. The rift is not even over the independence of the judiciary or inequality in the Israeli social structure.” At issue, in the view of Yemini and others, is simply Netanyahu himself.
China’s Problems at Home
Chinese officials like to point out the fragmentation in Western society, Elizabeth Economy writes for Foreign Affairs, but things aren’t exactly serene at home, as social and economic fissures lurk beneath the country’s rise.
“China’s own society is fracturing in complex and challenging ways,” Economy writes. “Discrimination based on gender and ethnicity is rampant, reinforced by increasingly nationalistic and hate-filled online rhetoric. The creative class is at loggerheads with petty bureaucrats. And severe rural-urban inequality persists. These divides prevent the full participation of important sectors of society in China’s intellectual and political life and, if left unaddressed, have the potential to sap the country’s economic vitality. As [President] Xi [Jinping] seeks to bolster indigenous innovation and domestic consumption, his success depends on the intellectual and economic support of the very constituencies his policies are disenfranchising. And as he promotes the ‘China model’ as worthy of emulation, these same divides dim China’s appeal and undermine China’s influence. Unless Xi moves quickly to heal the rifts, his Chinese dream of the ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’ will remain just that.”
As Fareed noted on Sunday’s GPS, China’s image has suffered as its diplomats have taken a combative tone, including about the relative merits of China’s system. That posture seems to be under review: As Bloomberg reports, Xi told Communist Party officials on Monday to seek a “trustworthy, lovable and respectable” image.
The Answer to Vacant Offices: Fancier, Greener Buildings?
As office space goes unused in the potentially enduring era of remote work, The Economist writes of efforts to overcome the commercial-real-estate market dip by making structures more appealing.
“JPMorgan Chase, a bank, will reduce its overall office space while building the second-tallest skyscraper in Manhattan for its new headquarters,” the magazine writes. “… Greener workspaces are also high on the agenda. Once-overlooked attributes such as energy efficiency and air-filtration systems are now seen as essential. … Some dated offices are getting facelifts. Fabrix, a developer, is upgrading a 1960s building in London to include a rooftop forest and a glass-floored infinity pool.”
All of which sounds great, but the magazine points out that for some older buildings, such upgrades could be less feasible.
The GOP’s New Young Guns
At The New York Times, Charlotte Alter—author of “The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America”—writes that her interviews with young, rising Republican officeholders in recent years reflected a new vanguard of millennial conservatives who had turned left on issues like climate change and immigration, offering the GOP a possible opening to young voters. The tide seems to have turned dramatically, Alter writes, as some of those politicians are no longer in office or no longer with the party, after the fractious Trump presidency.
Among that original cadre was Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has since pivoted to ardently defending former President Donald Trump—a move that has “paid off,” as Alter puts it, in Stefanik’s election to the third-highest-ranking post in the House GOP leadership. The millennial and Gen-Z Republican vanguard now includes Stefanik and embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)—a pro-Trump turn that Alter suggests could alienate young voters far less likely to back the former President on his election conspiracy theories or his approach to race.