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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

AP Questions Israel’s Democracy: Associated Press's Dan Perry questions whether Israel is a democracy, failing

Israeli voters have spoken but the Associated Press’s Dan Perry still can’t get to grips with the outcome. He appears to be upset that Palestinians only vote in their own elections and not in Israeli ones as well. His analysis, gratingly headlined “Is Israel Democratic? Not So Clear,” states:

But among Israelis themselves, there is increasing angst over the fact that their country of 8 million people also controls some 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians who have no voting rights for its parliament.


If the 2 million Palestinians of Gaza — a territory dominated indirectly by Israel — were added to the equation, then together with the 2 million Arab citizens of “Israel proper” the Holy Land would be home to a population of some 12 million, equally divided between Arabs and Jews.


Of the Arabs, only a third have voting rights. These are the “Israeli Arabs” who live in the areas that became Israel in the 1948-49 war, which established the country’s borders.

Perry is correct – both Gaza and West Bank Palestinians have no voting rights for the Israeli parliament. Palestinians in those areas are not Israeli citizens and therefore should not have the right to vote in Israeli elections. In fact, they are supposed to have the right to vote for their own parliament and president.

But Perry doesn’t mention this anywhere in the article. Nor does he mention that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is currently in his eleventh year of a four year term in office. Nor does he mention that Palestinian legislative elections last took place in 2006 and elections scheduled for 2010 have yet to take place. Indeed, Palestinians are demanding their own democratic elections.

So Dan Perry, is it really Israel that is denying the Palestinians the right to vote in elections? Is it really Israel whose democratic credentials should be questioned? Or is the AP moving towards advocating for a one-state solution where Palestinians are given the means to simply vote Israel out of existence?

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