Israel’s West Bank rule also shown to be the most severe case of institutional discrimination in the democratic and quasi-democratic world

Research conducted by the Rabbis for Human Rights research department and was based on dozens of sources.

Jerusalem, 29 January 2019: The 27 page in depth study, released in Hebrew today, is based on dozens of sources and analyzes cases of institutional discrimination in ten case studies from nine countries. By analyzing and comparing several core areas of discrimination *, the study established a compelling way of ranking various forms of discrimination and political marginalization based on ethnicity and nationality. Findings revealed that Israel’s rule over the West Bank is a unique and severely discriminatory regime, which conditions citizenship and basic political rights including the right of freedom of movement, and access to land allocation on ethno-national grounds.

The research ranked major discriminatory regimes as follows: Israel’s rule over the West Bank is the most severe case of institutional discrimination in the democratic and quasi-democratic world, and the third most discriminatory regime in the world. Myanmar constitutes the worst case of discrimination globally (even if the atrocities committed by the country against the Rohingya in recent years are left aside) and Lebanon (which also discriminates against Palestinians) is the second worst in terms of discrimination, bypassing Israeli discrimination against Palestinians in the West Bank since Lebanon prevents Palestinians from entering certain professions. Israel’s rule over the West Bank was found to be more discriminatory than Morocco’s treatment of the Sahrawis; Russia’s treatment of the Chechens and the Crimean Tatars; Pakistan’s treatment of the Pashtuns; China’s treatment of Tibetans; Turkey’s treatment of the Kurds, and India’s treatment of the Kashmiris. Yet, it is important to note that this study does not deal with level of oppression (which may be harsher in some of the places mentioned than in the West Bank), but examines institutional discrimination. From this global perspective Israel’s rule over the West Bank is, unfortunately, revealed to be exceptionally discriminatory.

* The areas of discrimination included: The treatment of minorities’ legal status, political opportunities, the right to vote and get elected or be appointed to serve in public office (in the case of states without voting rights), the right to freedom of movement and the freedom to live anywhere in the country; allocation of resources,  and other forms of discrimination. The number and severity of the areas of discrimination were both taken into account for the sake of ranking the different regimes.


The study was conducted by Yariv Mohar, researcher at Rabbis for Human Rights, and a PhD student in the department of sociology at Ben Gurion University.

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