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2012 Democracy Index Ranks Israel 37th

democracy index 2012The Economist’s 2012 Democracy Index (access may require site registration, which is free) ranks Israel 37th among 167 countries.  It gets reasonably high marks in most political categories.  But Israel falls down severely in the civil liberties category, where it receives a 5.9 ranking out of 10.  Its overall placement puts it in the category of “flawed democracies.”  Within that category, it placed 12th.

To be forthright, Israel does rank higher than other MENA countries, including the most arguably democratic country in the region (aside from Israel), Turkey.  But compared to western or Asian democracies and the U.S., to which Israel traditionally likens itself, it falls distinctly short.

One of my readers tells me that in French Wikipedia the hasbarafia have falsified the reporting of this Index and moved Israel up to 16th place.  I find it amazing that someone would find there was any value in doing such a thing.

 

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{ 32 comments… add one }

  • Deïr Yassin May 19, 2013, 12:32 AM

    @ Richard
    Thank you so much for mentionning the hasbara on French wikipedia: it really tells us something about hasbara …and wikipedia. I just checked and the manipulation is still there. On the “Indice de Démocratie”-page, the 2011 ranking is published entirely, translated from English (4. Classement), and Israel has clearly been moved from the 36th to the 16th place thus from a “flawed democracy” to a “democracy”. The original The Economic Intelligence Unit source is available in the “Notes et Références”, point 6.
    Various countries have been moved down the ranking in order to advance Israel’s ranking: the Czech Republic (from 16th in the real ranking to 17th), Uruguay (17th>23rd), Belgium (23rd>26th) and Cap Verde (26 >36/Israel real place in the Index). The scores of these countries, Israel’s included of course, have all been manipulated too.
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indice_de_démocratie
    Concerning the value of doing such a thing: I read somewhere that Wikipedia has become the first source of ‘knowledge’. Sad world we’re living in….

  • dickerson3870 May 19, 2013, 1:58 AM

    RE: “One of my readers tells me that in French Wikipedia the hasbarafia have falsified the reporting of this Index and moved Israel up to 16th place.” ~ R.S.

    VERY STALE JOKE: How do you know when the hasbarafia is lying? [A cacophony ensues.] OK, OK, OK, I figured you guys would know the answer: the hasbarafia is always lying! ! !

  • William Burns May 19, 2013, 4:41 AM

    It’s odd that Cyprus, a democratic country, never figures in these “Middle Eastern democracy” discussions, despite its geographical position clearly placing it in the region.

    • Richard Silverstein May 19, 2013, 6:16 PM

      Cyprus is more European than Middle Eastern. But it certainly has very close ME ties. It’s ranked a bit lower than Israel in the listings, around 41 if I recall.

  • David Adiv May 19, 2013, 2:16 PM

    Dear sir, in my opinion maybe there is a misunderstanding. Whoever added Israel to 16th place perhaps counted 16 places from the USA, which was in 21st place, maybe that is what they meant. Unless the USA still in the 21st place and Israel in 16th that would be wrong. Is there an exact link to check your reader’s source, as I could not find it. I would like to send them the correct list. According to your chart, Israel is in 37th place and in my opinion out of 167 counties, it is not bad at all. Looking at the whole picture and considering all the issues Israel has to deal with from Asia to the Mediterranean, if Israel had friendlier neighbors like USA and other countries have, it would be in at the top 10 for sure.

    • Deïr Yassin May 20, 2013, 11:37 AM

      The link to the French wikipedia -page is embedded in the article and I also posted it in my comment. I assure you that this is not a “misunderstanding” as four other countries have been lowered to put Israel in the 16th place, the scores of these countries and Israel’s have been manipulated in order to make the false ranking plausible.

  • The Mighty Cynic May 19, 2013, 9:34 PM

    Did this index take into account the millions of Palestinians imprisoned in their own land by the usurpers masquerading as a self-proclaimed Democracy?

    Obviously not. Israel is as democratic as it is legitimate or a land stolen by God for the chosen.

    • dos737 May 20, 2013, 2:20 AM

      It probably doesn’t take into account the palestinians, as the occupied territories are not part of the State of Israel, and I hope they never become one.

      On the other hand, at least the palestinians in Gaza can already enjoy a high level of democracy provided with the courtesy of Hamas , and I’m certain that once the Economist starts rating them, they will get scores as high as all the other arab and muslim countries in the middle east and surroundings, which are beacons of democracy and human rights.

      • Richard Silverstein May 20, 2013, 2:23 PM

        @dos737: The Palestinian Territories are indeed ranked in the survey. You might want to research before you open your mouth. It will make you look less foolish. Palestine’s ranking is below Israel’s, but then again much of the reason for that is of Israel’s doing since it has prevented Palestine’s duly elected government from functioning for years.

        • dos737 May 20, 2013, 2:52 PM

          First of all, I assume the Israeli ranking doesn’t include palestinian, which is what the other poster complained about.

          Not that big of an error though that I didn’t check that the Palestinian Territories is ranked, surely not enough to call someone a fool. You for example, would ban someone from your blog for doing that. But it’s your blog.
          I do agree that the conditions in most of the territories would not allow for a normal democracy.

          Funny thing though that you also might blame Israel for the level of Democracy and Human Rights in Gaza. The ways of Hamas there have absolutely nothing to do with Israel.

          • Richard Silverstein May 21, 2013, 3:08 AM

            @dos737: Conditions in Palestine, including Gaza, have EVERYTHING to do with Israel. Especially political conditions. Israel & the U.S. are responsible for the putative putsch by Fatah which led to the Gaza bloodbath. That in turn destroyed the democratic electoral process in Palestine which began in 2006. Not to mention the arrests of most of the elected Palestinian officials (especially in Gaza) at one time or another by Israel.

          • dos737 May 21, 2013, 3:34 AM

            The political conditions in Gaza have NOTHING to do with Israel. Nothing.

            Hamas is an extremist-religious anti-democratic movement, the like of whom you can find all
            over the middle east, and many other places.

          • Richard Silverstein May 21, 2013, 2:00 PM

            @dos737: Either you’re a liar or ignorant or both. Political conditions in Gaza and the West Bank have EVERYTHING to do with Israel. Israel, as defined under international law is not just laying siege to Gaza, but occupies it. It has arrested well over half those democratically elected members of Hamas & Fatah. It provoked the Fatah putsch that led to the division of the W Bank & Gaza. It desperately seeks to maintain that split. This is a direct intervention in the political affairs of Palestine.

            Hamas engaged in an election it won. It took control of Gaza after a U.S. & Israel-inspired putsch. Hamas isn’t a movement I endorse. But it’s hardly worse than many extremist religious parties & movements inside Israel which, if they had power, would behave just as reprehensibly as Hamas sometimes does.

  • Igor May 20, 2013, 1:48 AM

    The “error” in the French wiki has been corrected (Israel is at 37th place), but 16th entry is now missing :)

    • Deïr Yassin May 20, 2013, 11:27 AM

      Yes, amazing. Maybe someone reading this blog :-D
      Richard posted the latest, 2012 Index, where Israel is 37th, but the Index used on the French wikipedia is the 2011 ranking where Israel was 36th.
      Now there is no 16th, two 37th (but not with the same score), and all the other countries (Czech Republic, Uruguay, Belgium and Cap Verde) that had been lowered in the ranking to advance Israel have still not been put back in their right place.

      • Richard Silverstein May 20, 2013, 2:26 PM

        @Deir Yassin: That’s funny! Still a mess. But at least one part of the falsification has been corrected.

    • Richard Silverstein May 20, 2013, 2:24 PM

      @Igor: Maybe we had an impact here on this. Though it could just as easily be falsified again unless the editors take action to stop it.

      • Deïr Yassin May 20, 2013, 3:30 PM

        @ Richard
        I’m sure it has been ‘corrected’ by someone reading this blog (since they ranked Israel 37th, and not 36th as it should be in the 2011 Index). And even if the Index gets falsified again, your article and the comments testifying the manipulation still stand, proving what hasbara – whether organized or private – is capable of doing. I think that’s much more important than the actual ‘mistake’ being corrected.
        On a side-note: the State of Israel has just published a 40-page report whitewashing the army in the Muhammad al-Durah killing (Barak Ravid has a good article in Haaretz). In three days another major court ruling is coming up in Paris, it’s probably the final one, from the Court of Cassation. What a coincidence.

        • Richard Silverstein May 21, 2013, 3:06 AM

          I think that’s much more important than the actual ‘mistake’ being corrected.

          Thanks very much.

  • Joseph May 20, 2013, 11:41 AM

    May I ask how you know someone who works for Hasbara is responsible for this error?

    • Richard Silverstein May 20, 2013, 2:26 PM

      @Joseph: There is an organized effort by pro-Israel advocates to doctor Wikipedia articles in Israel’s favor. This is part of that campaign.

      • Joseph May 20, 2013, 8:40 PM

        Does that mean that there is no proof? In your mind, any wikipedia error which casts Israel in a favorable light is part of a campaign?

  • dos737 May 21, 2013, 11:05 PM

    Richard: you have already called me a fool, a liar and an ignorant. What is it with this name calling?
    Can I also do that without being banned from this blog, or is this your exclusive right?

    Wouldn’t have imagined this is your style

    • Richard Silverstein May 22, 2013, 12:58 AM

      @dos737: This seems typical. Instead of focusing on the content of my criticism you focus on names. If you write inane hasbara here you may be called worse.

      • dos737 May 22, 2013, 1:45 AM

        I did focus on replying on the content of your criticism. Every time I do so, you reply to me calling me something.

        There are in Israel some despicable religious parties and extremists movements. Even some of them had made some
        terrorist attacks, but not of the level and cruelty of Hamas. I don’t see these extremists go and blow themselves in a shopping mall.

        Hamas (hypothetically) could have had implemented a full democracy in Gaza. They didn’t, and that is the essence of the discussion of this particular blog.

        • Richard Silverstein May 22, 2013, 1:36 PM

          @dos737: You & I both know that if the tables were turned & Israelis had the power & status Palestinians have now that Israeli tactics would be almost the same. Of course Israelis don’t blow themselves up in shopping malls. Because they have the 5th most powerful army in the world. But if they instead had nothing but explosive vests they’d use those. Don’t kid yourself.

          And the hate & violence of Israelis settler groups & political parties is equal to whatever exists on the Palestinian side. The only difference is that Israeli political parties have much more at stake & therefore don’t directly sponsor terror attacks. But they know there are price taggers & settler thugs who will do it for them.

          You’re afflicted with a very bad case of myopia.

          I’m afraid the “essence of discussion here” is something far less convenient for you to deal with. Hamas could not have implemented full democracy because it could not rule all of Palestine due to Israel’s siege. If you lift the siege & allow full elections & democracy in Palestine & don’t interfere, Hamas will become a full-fledge political party instead of an ugly hybrid. It’s really up to you & your government as to what happens.

          • dos737 May 22, 2013, 2:57 PM

            Aside of your hatred of Israel, you have nothing to validate your hypothesis that if things were the opposite, israelis would act as palestinians.

            I don’t recall any other people in a struggle who would blow themselves up, trying only to kill civilians. This is an extremist muslim thing only.

            Hamas suicide bombers didn’t blow themselves to advance their struggle for independence. They mostly did this to stop any chance of reaching an agreement by means of negotiation, that would have created a two state solution.

            You can say whatever you want, Hamas is a terrorist group, anti-democratic, extremist religious, and the first ones to being harmed by them, is their own people in Gaza. The blockade could be lifted, that will not change the essence of Hamas.

            What amazes me is that, reading in between the lines, you kind of justify suicide bombings, and the killing of civilians.

            (And Israel also did so. Just not in intention and purpose as Hamas, regardless of whatever claim you will have)

            As per what you say, I might be myopic, but you are blind, by your own extremist beliefs.

          • Richard Silverstein May 22, 2013, 11:47 PM

            @dos737:

            Aside of your hatred of Israel

            BIG comment rule violation. That earns you immediate moderation.

            This is an extremist muslim thing only.

            And that’s not only patently false. It’s Islamophobic or racist (whichever you prefer). Another comment rule violation.

            You can say whatever you want, Hamas is a terrorist group, anti-democratic, extremist religious

            And that’s another comment rule violation. You’re repeating yourself.

            reading in between the lines, you kind of justify suicide bombings, and the killing of civilians.

            Mischaracterizing my views is also another comment rule violation. Absolutely unacceptable.

            It’s funny but I have this ongoing joke about hasbarists lining up to comment here like jets preparing for landing at Ben Gurion Airport. I noted the “737″ in your nickname & thought it most appropriate.

            You’ve been warned. Your next violation will cause you to lose your privileges.

          • Deïr Yassin May 23, 2013, 1:30 AM

            Haha, I missed that: Boeing 737, that’s a very old model, isn’t it ? That’s maybe why dos737′s explanations all seem so déjà-vu

          • Richard Silverstein May 23, 2013, 2:18 PM

            @Deir Yassin: The newest models are 777 and 787. 737 is still around though, obviously!

  • dos737 May 23, 2013, 12:21 AM

    Hey Richard, was not expecting a different reaction on your side.

    It’s your blog, and you freely apply your own written rules, but not on yourself, and mostly only against those with ideas different than your own, and mostly, those who are not completely against Israel. The level of moderation that you apply to these, is much more strict, than to others, those with much more “progressive” ideas.

    You define the mission of your blog to “promoting israeli democracy”. I don’t want to say about yourself, but many of the people posting here, not only don’t want to promote israeli democracy, they want to have israel eliminated of the map. They are rabid anti-israelis, antisemits, holocaust deniers, etc.

    I remember the joy one poster expressed, in one of the several Ben Ziegler posts, when he said that the Mossad must have imprisoned Ziegler because he probably was about to blow the whistle on the 9/11 Israeli conspiracy.
    There was another guy that replied, harshly, against that comment. You moderated him, but not the one who wrote about the Israeli 9/11 conspiracy.
    Hints about an Israeli 9/11 conspiracy are not more than poorly disguised antisemitism – or racism.

    And what is with calling everybody that shows a hint of not being totally against israel an Hasbarist?

    I’m not part of any conspiracy or organized propaganda effort, or worldwide conspiration to build a new world order.
    (They never call me for these things).

    I doubt it that your blog is also the target of these “propaganda” efforts. You know, you have an average of what,
    20-30 comments on article, and it’s mostly, always the same people commenting, plus the now and then shmuck like myself, who feels compelled to react to the slanders you sometimes see here.

    Sir, you can take the commenting “privileges”. They are not that important.

    • Richard Silverstein May 23, 2013, 2:22 PM

      @dos737: That is false. I exercise editorial oversight over comments from the far-right and far-left. You are new to this site and do not know what or how I conduct the comment threads here. Those here longer can attest to the many times I’ve moderated & banned anti-Semites from a far-left perspective.

      No one posting here wants Israel eliminated. THey only want Israel to be a state based on justice. They may want to eliminate Jewish superiority or privilege in terms of how the State operates, they may want it to be a state which offers every citizen equal rights, but that is NOT the same as eliminating Israel.

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