Barney Frank, US Congressman (D-MA), as quoted by Tom Lantos (D-CA) in a Jan. 3, 1996 speech titled "Democracy Reaffirmed in Israel" before the House of Representatives:
has maintained a commitment to a flourishing, vigorous democracy,
governed by leaders chosen in elections as free as those held anywhere
in the world, a midst untrammeled -- often raucous -- freespeech."
The US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, in a document titled "Country Reports on Human Rights Precatives - 2004," contained the following (accessed on the US State Department website, Feb. 28, 2005):
is a multiparty parliamentary democracy. 'Basic laws' enumerate
fundamental rights. The 120-member Knesset has the power to dissolve
the Government and mandate elections. The current Knesset and Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon were elected democratically in 2003... The
judiciary is independent and often ruled against the Executive, even in
The Israeli Democracy Institute, a self-described "independent non-partisan research institute," in a 2003 paper titled "The Democracy Index: Major Findings 2003," provided the following:
"The Democracy Index covers three aspects of democracy: the institutional aspect, rights, and the aspect of stability and social cohesion...
Major Findings The picture emerging from the various indicators shows that Israel is mainly a formal democracy that has not yet acquired the characteristics of a substantive democracy. It also suffers from great instability in comparison with other democratic countries."
Ali Labib, Founder and Former President of the Kalamazoo chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), in a Dec. 5, 2004 Kalamazoo Gazette commentary titled "Israel Not a Democracy in American Sense of the Word?" wrote:
"Israel cannot be called a democracy as long it adheres to its Jewish
character. Israel must abolish its apartheid system, which designed to
disenfranchise the Arabs just as was done to the blacks in South
William A. Cook, PhD, Professor of English at the University of La Verne, Southern California, in a Jan. 25, 2003 Counter Punch editorial titled "Israeli Democracy: Fact or Fiction?" wrote:
"Perhaps the most graphic illustration of the non-democracy that exists in Israel comes from Human Rights Watch and the US State Department reports published in Jurist Law...
The American public hears constant reference to Israel as the only democratic nation in the mid-east. They receive little or no information about the accuracy of that statement. Yet Americans accept this administration's and past administrations' support of Israel in large measure because they believe that it reflects the ideals expressed in the American Constitution and they are willing to spend their tax dollars in support of those ideals. In reality, American democracy and Israeli democracy are decidedly distinct."