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March 10, 2005

Freedom in the Middle East?

The March 14 issue of Newsweek has an informative and compelling graphic spanning the bottom of pages 24 and 25 which compares Israel to its neighbors... But first some context:

In a Dec. 17-20, 2004 poll, Britons ranked Israel as one of the least democratic countries from a list of 23 countries—it ranked worse even than Egypt in this category.

View image

Ironically, on the last day of polling (Dec. 20), the human rights group Freedom House released a major survey of global freedom, aptly entitled "Freedom in the World," which rated 119 countries on two criteria: political rights and civil liberties. Here is what Freedom House said, as seen in Newsweek (lower numbers are better):

   Israel Jordan Kuwait Morocco Bahrain    Egypt Lebanon Qatar Iran U.A.E    Syria

Click here for close-up.

So, did the Freedom House survey disabuse Britons of their misconception about Israel? Don't be so sure. A search by CAMERA suggested that none of the major British newspapers reported on the survey.

The report wasn't widely publicized in the U.S. either. Those in the media who did mention Israel's high rankings—including the Miami Herald, Associated Press, and National Review—deserve credit.

Posted by GI at March 10, 2005 04:55 PM