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According to Freedom House and most trustworthy well respected institutions, Israel is considered a democracy. There are regular free and fair elections and the rule of law is enforced. Nevertheless, there seem to be a school of thought that whilst the state's nature is democratic, it cannot be considered a liberal democracy.

My question is to what extent is Israel (mainland not referring to occupied disputed territories) a liberal democracy?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Denis de Bernardy, Avi, Glorfindel, Philipp May 7 '18 at 19:27

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Can you quote any a source that claims the contrary (and not about the occupied territories or a generic "Israel is the devil" site)? – ugoren May 7 '18 at 18:54
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    This is a little broad, and kind of unclear what you're asking. What do you mean by "liberal democracy"? Would a citation to another source, like the Democracy Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, be a sufficient response to this question, or are you looking for some other kind of analysis? – Avi May 7 '18 at 19:05
  • Wikipedia includes Israel within the list of countries with liberal democracy: "There is agreement amongst several intellectuals and organisations such as Freedom House that (...) Israel (...) are liberal democracies". – Alexei May 7 '18 at 22:12
  • I think you really need to specify exactly what you mean by "liberal" in this context, as there are several different meanings, some of which are fairly contradictory. – jamesqf May 8 '18 at 4:13
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    @Alexei OP already references Freedom House in the question. I think a quote from that wiki article on what a "liberal democracy" is + naming and quoting this "school of thought" which disagrees might improve the question though. And then OP might want to ask "What are the arguments brought forth by group X and Y for their point" instead of asking "Is it or is it not" (which seems more opinion-based). – tim May 8 '18 at 7:11
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One organisation that does analysis of different democratic states is the Economic Intelligence Unit (within the Economist Newspaper group), as described by the wikipeida overview

They rank Israel as a "flawed democracy", noting its high levels of pluralism and political engagement, but giving it a relatively low score for "civil liberties".

For comparison France, Belgium and the USA are also classed as flawed democracies, but for different reasons. Norway is the most highly ranked democracy in this index. This is only one way of measuring the democratic nature of a state, and as such should be considered an expert opinion rather than authoritative fact.

Others following similar analysis done by the journalists for the Economist could conclude that Israel is a democracy but not a liberal democracy. It is a matter of interpretation, and therefore a matter of opinion if this interpretation is correct.

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    since this is tagged "Israel", a polite reminder that if you want to discuss the politics of Palestine, please don't use my comment thread to do so you can use Politics Chat instead. – James K May 7 '18 at 19:07
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    To get an idea of what the index shows and how it compares to other countries, it might be helpful to link to the wikipedia overview. Other flawed democracy are eg the US, France, or Belgium. If you have access to their full report, it might also be good to include a couple of short quotes of what civil liberties are violated. – tim May 7 '18 at 19:47

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