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The Middle East’s only pretend democracy

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Haaretz notes a recent survey, revealing the hollowness of Israel’s claim to be a democracy:

A comprehensive survey compiled by the Israel Democracy Institute and reported in yesterday’s Haaretz paints a gloomy, worrisome picture…

…Only 17% of the public believes the state’s self-definition as a democracy should take precedence over its self-definition as Jewish; an absolute majority believes that only Jews should be involved in decisions crucial to the state; a majority supports allocating more resources to Jews than Arabs; a third of Jewish citizens support putting Arab citizens in detention camps in wartime; and about two-thirds think Arabs should not become ministers.

…At the root [of the survey’s results] lies the twisted belief that democracy means the tyranny of the majority, and that equal rights for all the state’s citizens is not an integral part of the democratic system.

…A democracy cannot have two classes of citizens, first-class and second-class.

Really? Israel can’t both be a democracy, and have second-class citizens? Hmm. What a brilliant revelation, if 60 years too late. Despite liberal Zionist delusions to the contrary, Israel has always been a pretend democracy since the founding of the state.

Although I can’t find the link, I remember that even the Palestinians inside Israel who weren’t expelled in 1948 lived under discriminatory military rule from day one, and have never had equal rights. For example, see the Association of 40 Palestinian villages that Israel refuses to recognize. They don’t even get basic garbage service.

Matthew Taylor
About Matthew Taylor

Matthew A. Taylor is co-founder of PeacePower magazine, and author of "The Road to Nonviolent Coexistence in Palestine/Israel," a chapter in the book Nonviolent Coexistence.

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