Israel is a democracy [View all]
It conducts elections on a regular basis where many parties are on the ballot.
According to The Economist Group's Democracy Index 2022 study, Israel is the only democratic country in the region, qualified as a "flawed democracy" (#29 worldwide) and ranked as "Free" by Freedom House. in the Middle East and North Africa. The level of democracy in nations throughout the world published by various democracy indices, report the Middle Eastern and North African countries with the highest scores are Israel, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan and Kuwait.
Since not one party gets a majority, as in other countries, the one with the most votes gets to form a coalition. This is a horse race. There may be small parties with unique demands but as long as they agree with the ideas of the major one, they will contribute one or two votes to reach a majority.
This is what happened last January. Netanyahu's Likud party won only 26% of the votes, but it had more than the rest and he got to form a government. The result has been the most right wing government in the history of the country. Some members are racists, homophobic, anti women....
Imagine, elected officials who are racist, homophobic.. Unique to Israel?
(As an aside, Israel has a vibrant LGBT community and Pride is celebrated everywhere).
Commenting on there results were reported in the Israeli media and, all of a sudden, posters here started posting about "a new Israeli government which is anti gay.." These were stories from January! but some here decided to use them now.
I have observed this during all the years (almost 20) that I have been here. Posters find articles criticizing Israel in... Israeli newspapers and post them here.
I can assure you that no other country in the Middle East, in Muslim countries, tolerate articles that criticize its rulers.
Israel is the highest-ranked country in the Middle East and North Africa region in the RSFs 2023 Press Freedom Index. Its position dropped 11 ranks since last year, placing it at 97 out of 180 countries. Qatar is shortly below Israel at 105. Of the 10 countries that rank lowest on the index, four belong to the region: Saudi Arabia at 170, Bahrain at 171, Syria at 175, and Iran fourth lowest on the list at 177.
Back to the recent elections. As soon as the new government was formed and its plans to "reform" the judicial system became known, on every singe Saturday ten of thousands of Israelis went to the streets to protest, and it was reported on "60 Minutes." These protesters included many who voted for Netanyhau and now regretted their votes
On the day that the parliament was going to vote on the "reform," about 100,000 protesters marched to Jerusalem. On their way they met with local residents who built them tents and provided food and drink.
I have recently read that a factor of 36 should be used in comparing Israeli and U.S. populations. Thus, 100,000 Israeli marchers would equal 3.6 million marching on D.C. When has such a crowd marched here?
I have searched for famous marches on D.C and applied a population factor. The 250,000 that listened to MLK in 1963 would equal 460,000 today. The Million Men march with the higher estimation of 837,000 (some estimate 400,000) would equal 1,050,000.
I don't think that this post will stop many here to bash Israel, citing Israeli sources, but I hope that you will appreciate the freedom of the press and free elections that make Israel unique in the region.
Two post scripts:
The protesters that included many reservists and who were referred to as "traitors" have, in the past six weeks were fighting for Israel.
The "Brothers and Sisters in Arm" profiled in the 60 minutes story have now organized help for the ones who had to flee their homes with nothing left. They have been collecting donations, food, clothes trying to ease the trauma and distributing them.