The recent elections in Brazil and Israel brought a change of government in each country. Lula’s win in Brazil was greeted with enthusiasm by Brussels and Washington. Neither hid their satisfaction at the defeat of Jair Bolsonaro, who for them is a climate and Covid-19 denier; he is also a staunch supporter of the free market and demanded the right to develop areas of the Amazon rainforest. U.S. President Joe Biden even lectured Bolsonaro on how he should not challenge the result of the election.
The reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu’s nationalist, right-wing coalition in Israel, however, was viewed as catastrophic by the very same people drooling over Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Every liberal establishment newspaper focused on the figure of the religious right, Ben Gvir, and even before the official results were known, the U.S. was warning that to allow the right-winger into the government would mean deteriorating relations with the United States.
Both Lula and Netanyahu have been in power before and have both faced charges of corruption. The charges against Lula were serious charges of systemic bribery. Netanyahu, on the other hand, was accused of doing favors for the media that supported his government. By those standards, most of Poland’s prime ministers and cultural ministers would be in jail. But if you read the Western media, you get a picture of Lula having been wronged by the judicial system, whereas Israel is facing the return of the depraved father of Jewish corruption.
These are just two more examples of how in the last few years the EU and U.S. establishment have become increasingly intolerant of any victory by the political right, regardless of the country in which it happens.
This intolerance is evidenced via threatening, bullying, and attempting to isolate countries that dare to elect right-wing governments. This all began back in 2000 when the Freedom Party entered a coalition government in Austria. The EU attempted to ostracize it, but that went nowhere. However, since then the world has changed radically and right-wing governments are increasingly being blackmailed, pressured, and even sanctioned.
There are two possibilities as to the direction in which this will now move. The first is that support for the right will be strong enough for it to cope with the pressure. The second is that the pressure will be so brutal that right-wing parties will be pushed out of the electoral spectrum across the free world; but then, we will be witnessing the atrophy of democracy and its transformation into a soft tyranny, featuring a tacit ban on using nationalist and religious ideas in public life and political discourse.