Global index: Israel falls out of liberal democracy category for first time in over 50 years

File - Protesters rally against the coalition's judicial overhaul legislation, in Tel Aviv, September 2, 2023. (Gitai Palti)
File - Protesters rally against the coalition's judicial overhaul legislation, in Tel Aviv, September 2, 2023. (Gitai Palti)

In an annual report published by V-Dem, a leading global democracy index, Israel falls out of the liberal democracy category for the first time in over 50 years.

The index attributes the decline, with Israel now classed as an electoral democracy, to the government’s efforts to pass the contentious judicial overhaul last year.

“Notably, Israel lost its long-time status as a liberal democracy in 2023. It is now classified as an electoral democracy – for the first time in over 50 years. This is primarily due to substantial declines in the indicators measuring the transparency and predictability of the law, and government attacks on the judiciary,” the report says.

“Among other things, Israel’s Knesset passed a bill in 2023 stripping
the Supreme Court of the power to invalidate laws, thus undermining checks on executive power. Indicators that are in substantive decline also include freedom from torture,” the report finds.

The government has largely suspended efforts to pass the overhaul, which sparked widespread public protests, in the wake of the war with Hamas that erupted on October 7.

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