While I would be a complete liar to say I do my best work at 3 AM, I do sometimes get random ideas/questions in my head. I noticed that someone else in the class made a post about Israel making an app to track the coronavirus, and that reminded me of something we discussed in my security class, which got me thinking: how free is Israel? This is a pretty vague question, but to give it a half-done middle of the night kind of answer, I decided to see how the Freedom House’s Index rates Israel. While various organizations each have their own “Freedom Index”, this is the one I am most familiar with because we used it in my AP Comparative Government class last year. I also wanted to see if they considered Palestine to be a state.
On the Freedom House’s Freedom Index, Israel scored a 76/100, which is down two points from their score last year. Though 76/100 might not seem very high, it’s actually a pretty good score compared to other countries worldwide, and it is the only “green” country in the Middle East. In terms of political rights, it scored a 33/40, while for civil liberties, it only scored 43/60. In comparison, the United States also scored 33/40 for political rights, but it scored 53/60 in terms of civil liberties.
While the Freedom House, which is based in Washington D.C., does not have Palestine listed as a state, it did include a grey area for the West Bank and included the “Gaza Strip” as its own territory. The Gaza Strip got a score of 11/100, which is not surprising, especially considering Hamas’ takeover in 2007.
The Freedom House’s website says: “The political rights and civil liberties of Gaza Strip residents are severely constrained. Israel’s de facto blockade of the territory, along with its periodic military incursions and rule of law violations, has imposed serious hardship on the civilian population, as has Egypt’s tight control over the southern border. The Islamist political and militant group Hamas gained control of Gaza in 2007, following its victory in the preceding year’s legislative elections and a subsequent conflict with Fatah, the ruling party in the West Bank. The unresolved schism between Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) has contributed to legal confusion and repeated postponement of elections, which have not been held in Gaza since 2006.”
To conclude, Israel scored pretty well on the Freedom Index, and if you’re interested in learning more, check out the website here.
Gaza Strip: https://freedomhouse.org/country/gaza-strip/freedom-world/2020. https://freedomhouse.org/country/gaza-strip.
United States: https://freedomhouse.org/country/united-states/freedom-world/2020.