Foreign Policy has just released its annual ranking of the world’s most failed states and there is good news and bad news for Israel. The good news is that it is one of the less failed of the failed states. The bad news is that it IS a failed state (using the terms adopted by Foreign Policy) ranked 58th out of a total of 177 states with a score of 84.6. The most failed state, Somalia, scored 114. The least failed, Norway, scored 18. It is listed as more failed than some fairly troubled countries like Papua New Guinea, Belarus, Madagascar, Fiji and Saudi Arabia, Armenia and Albania. Out of a color-coded five categories, Israel/West Bank ranked in the second most extreme category, “In Danger.”
The categories used to determine how failed a state was are demographic pressures, refugees, group grievance, human flight, uneven development, economic decline, state delegitimization, public services, human rights, security apparatus, factionalized elites, and (level of) external intervention. The issues Israel scored the highest (most troubled) on were external intervention (8), factionalized elites (8), human rights (8), group grievance (9.3), and refugees (8).
Israel’s champions may try to point out that Israel’s ranking included the West Bank and thus the problems facing the Palestinians became Israel’s albatross in its ranking. But that is precisely the point that the Magazine wished to make–that without solving the Occupation Israel will continue being a failed state. Neither Foreign Policy nor the world will continue accepting Israel’s claim that disarray among Palestinians is their own fault. Societal chaos in Palestine can be directly attributed to a conflict in which Israel is at least an equal partner.
This news will make the Israeli foreign minstry gnash its teeth. It’s been spending millions on marketing smoke and mirrors to make the world forget the simple fact of 42 years of Occupation and millions of subjugated Palestinians. Here Foreign Policy goes and undoes all that money and effort with a single article. How frustrating. Now the hasbara effort will have to pick up the pieces and start over again.