BOOK SERIES

HUMAN RIGHTS

In the Middle East

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Israel represents justice, resilience, and hope. It is a nation of indigenous people who overcame 1,900 years of oppression to achieve freedom in their ancestral home. Despite its flaws and conflicts, Israel upholds human rights and is the only proven democracy in the Middle East.

RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE IN ARAB COUNTRIES

Declining Populations

Jewish Population in Arab Countries

1948: 856,000
2015: 3,880

Christian Population in Arab Countries

1909: 20%
2015: 3%

Christian Population
in West Bank and Gaza

1950: 15%
2016: 1%

Rising Populations

Christians in Israel

1949: 34,000
2015: 163,000

Muslims in Israel

1949: 111,500
2015: 1.4 million

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE IN ISRAEL

As a Jewish and democratic state, Israel protects religious freedom for all and officially recognizes 15 different religions.

Political Rights

Government Free and Fair Elections Opposition Parties Legal Minority Participation Freedom House Rating* (Scale 1-7)
Egypt
Limited
YES
Limited
6
Iran
Very Limited
Very Limited
Very Limited
6
Jordan
Limited
Limited
Limited
6
Lebanon
Limited
Limited
Limited
5
Gaza
NO
NO
NO
7
West Bank
Limited
Limited
Limited
6
Saudia Arabia
NO
NO
Very Limited
7
Sudan
NO
Very Limited
NO
7
Syria
NO
NO
Limited
7
Israel
YES
YES
YES
1

* Freedom House, founded in 1940, is a nonpartisan, broad-based, nonprofit organization that monitors and evaluates democracy and freedom around the world. It ranks nations on a scale of 1 to 7.

See the 2015 Freedom House “Freedom in the World” report at www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2015

LGBTQ Rights

Government Homesexuality Legal Legal Protection Honor Killings** Punished
Egypt
YES (But LGBTQ people are
prosecuted under lewd conduct laws.)
NO
NO
Iran
NO (Gay men are put to death.)
NO
NO
Jordan
YES (But reports of honor killings and
gay men seeking asylum elsewhere)
NO
NO
Lebanon
NO*
NO
NO
Gaza
NO
NO
NO
West Bank
YES (But no protection from hate crimes)
NO
Minimal
Saudia Arabia
NO (Gay men are put to death.)
NO
NO
Syria
NO (3 years’ imprisonment)
NO
Minimal
Israel
YES
YES
YES

* Freedom House, founded in 1940, is a nonpartisan, broad-based, nonprofit organization that monitors and evaluates democracy and freedom around the world. It ranks nations on a scale of 1 to 7.
**An “honor killing” occurs when a male kills a female family member who has had sex – or is rumored to have had sex – outside of marriage, either by choice or because she was raped. Some countries have no penalties or only light penalties for this kind of killing.

Women's Rights

Government Percentage of Women Who Are Illiterate (Age 15 and Older) Travel Restrictions (Husband’s or Male Relative’s Consent Required) Percentage of Women in Labor Force
Egypt
31.9%
YES
24%
Iran
16.8%
YES
16%
Jordon
2.6%
YES
15%
Libya
14.2%
YES (In practice)
30%
Palestinian Authority
5.59%
YES (In Practice)
15%
Saudia Arabia
8.2%
YES
17%
Syria
19%
YES
13%
Israel
3.9%
NO
57% (similar to U.S./U.K.)

Civil Rights

Government Free Speech & Assembly Fair & Open Trials Religious Freedom Protected Freedom House Rating* (Scale 1-7)
Egypt
Limited
NO
NO
5
Iran
NO
NO
NO
6
Jordan
Minimal
Limited
Limited
5
Lebanon
Limited
NO
Limited
4
Gaza
NO
NO
NO
6
West Bank
Limited
NO
Limited
5
Saudia Arabia
NO
NO
NO
7
Sudan
NO
NO
NO
7
Syria
NO
NO
Limited
7
Israel
YES
YES
YES
2

* Freedom House, founded in 1940, is a nonpartisan, broad-based, nonprofit organization that monitors and evaluates democracy and freedom around the world. It ranks nations on a scale of 1 to 7.

Freedom of Ideas

Government Free Media (Uncensored) Freedom to Criticize Religion Academic Freedom Free Artistic Expression Free Entry/Foreign Arts/Books/Press
Egypt
NO
NO
NO
NO
Partial
Iran
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
Jordan
NO
NO
Partial
Partial
Partial
Palestinian Authority
NO
NO
Partial
Partial
N/A
Saudia Arabia
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
Syria
NO
N/A
NO
NO
NO
Israel
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES

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