Israel Slips Slightly in Global Democracy Index

By Yisrael Price

Ra’am party leader Mansour Abbas and party members at campaign headquarters in Tamra, on election night, March 23, 2021. (Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – Israel has slipped in The Economist’s Democracy Index—but not due to fears about the government’s proposals for judicial reform, which opponents claim will harm the country’s democracy.

The researchers at the prestigious British magazine ranked Israel 29th in the 2022 index, down from 23rd among the 165 countries on the list.

The reason for the lower ranking: “Israel’s slippage…is primarily attributable to the end of the brief stint in government of the Ra’am Party, the first Arab party to form part of a governing coalition in the country, after the November 2022 parliamentary election. Ra’am’s inclusion in the coalition government formed in mid-2021 led to an improvement in the indicator score for citizen control in that year.

“However, the formation in December of a government led by the conservative, right-wing Likud party and including a number of far-right, ethno-religious nationalist parties has put an end to this level of representation for the country’s Arab community,” they wrote.

The judicial reform issue apparently came too late to be included in the 2022 calculations.

The index is based on data compiled in five areas: election processes and pluralism; human rights; governance; political participation; and political culture.

Norway took first place honors, followed by New Zealand, Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The countries found to have the least democratic assets were Syria, the Central African Republic, North Korea, Myanmar, and Afghanistan.

The United States came in just after Israel, in 30th place.

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