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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q: Why is Jerusalem regarded as Israel's capital?
A: Israel declares Jerusalem to be its capital, just like any other nation state sets their capital. Israel's seat of government is in Jerusalem. However, the lack of international recognition is notable, hence the subtext was added "(limited recognition)" as the result of this RfC. For further information see Status of Jerusalem.
Former featured articleIsrael is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 8, 2008.
Article milestones
February 16, 2007Good article nomineeNot listed
May 25, 2007Good article nomineeListed
September 4, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
September 30, 2007Featured article candidatePromoted
June 23, 2010Featured article reviewDemoted
April 20, 2012Peer reviewReviewed
Current status: Former featured article

GINI Number[edit]

Currently the GINI index shown in from 2012. There is an updated one for 2017 on the OECD database: which is 34.

“David’s Sling” not mentioned[edit]

This missile system partially defends Israel – I think this info shouldn’t miss there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 18 October 2019[edit]

This country does not exist (talk) 08:10, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Please provide reliable sources for this WP:EXCEPTIONAL claim. WarKosign 08:46, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

UN resolutions and occupied territories[edit]

An editor added "claimed to be" to a sentence in United Nations General Assembly making it read "The two most recent, in 1982 and 1997–2017, were about the status of the territories claimed to be occupied[31] by the State of Israel." Is this in line with NPOV? Doug Weller talk 08:27, 26 October 2019 (UTC)

Of course not. If they are not occupied then what are they?--SharabSalam (talk) 09:00, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
I have reverted. Took me sometime because I don't have good internet connection right now. The editor marked his edit as minor lol. That is definitely not a minor edit.--SharabSalam (talk) 09:10, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. Doug Weller talk 16:08, 26 October 2019 (UTC)

Suggested edits to "liberal democracy" section--need for a more balanced assessment in accordance w/Wikipedia's Five Pillars to describe "multiple points of view"[edit]

I recommend the following edits to the Israel page on Wikipedia to provide "multiple points of view" in regards to the characterization of Israel as a "liberal democracy." While I realize this site is "protected" to avoid sparring, it's a disservice to readers of Wikipedia and a departure from the Five Pillars to posit a controversial claim as fact. Please see my suggested edits below. Thank you.

Debate over Israel as a DemocracyBold text

In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state and the nation state of the Jewish people.[55], a US government-funded agency, describes Israel as a liberal democracy (one of only two in the Middle East and North Africa region, the other being Tunisia),[56][57] with a parliamentary system, proportional representation in the Knesset, the Israeli legislature, and an elected prime minister.[58][59]

Critics argue, however, that Israel fails to meet three essential criteria for a democracy: universal suffrage, equal rights under the law and freedom to dissent.

Lack of Universal Suffrage

Over two million Palestinians live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and though some may vote in elections held by the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians cannot vote cannot vote over how they are ruled by Israel, leaving occupied Palestinians with no control over Israeli checkpoints, home demolitions, Israeli settlement expansion and indefinite detentions of Palestinians, including Palestinian children.

While Palestinian citizens of Israel can vote to elect representatives to the Knesset, their right to universal suffrage can be nullified under a 2016 legislative amendment that allows the Knesset to expel any popularly elected member, including a Palestinian critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians, whose political views are considered unacceptable.

Differentiation in Civil Rights

Israel, its defenders argue, must protect the right of Jews for self-determination and can only do so through legislation, such as the Law of Return, that encourages diaspora Jews to seek sanctuary in their biblical homeland.

As a result, Jewish Israelis enjoy superior rights to Arab Israelis or Palestinian Israelis under The Law of Return, passed by the Israeli Knesset in 1950. The Law of Return bestows automatic citizenship rights to Jews who immigrate to Israel while denying citizenship rights to exiled and barred Palestinians who fled their homes in 1947-48. Furthermore, under the Citizenship and Entry Law, passed in 2003, extended in 2016, an Arab Israeli living in Israel is prohibited from living with their spouse in Israel if that spouse is a resident of the West Bank or Gaza Strip, thereby making family unification impossible.

Palestinians or Arab Israeli who are citizens of Israel and live inside the Green Line or '67 borders, do not enjoy equal civil rights as Jewish Israelis. Israeli citizens are classified as holding different nationalities, with Jewish Israelis awarded "national" rights but Arab Israelis only "citizenship" rights. If there is a legal dispute between a Palestinian and a Jewish Israeli, the courts and government officials favor those with national rights.

The Basic Law, passed in 2018, stipulates that Hebrew is the official language of Israel, while Arabic, the language spoken by Palestinian Israelis, is downgraded to "special status."

Restrictions on Dissent

Freedom House, a US government-funded think tank, writes Israel "hosts a lively pluralistic media environment in which press freedom is generally respected." Still, the organization noted in 2017 the Israeli military censor requires bloggers and social media administrators to submit reports for pre-publication review.

In March, the Knesset passed Amendment No.28, giving the Minister of the Interior the authority to prohibit entry to foreigners who publicly call for boycotting Israel or its settlements. As a result, Israel restricts freedom of speech and dissent by invoking the law to deny entry to members of Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Center for Constitutional Rights, among others. The Guardian, in referencing the Israeli press, reports the law could be used to chill speech among Palestinians living as temporary residents in Israel proper while waiting for their applications for permanent residence to be approved.

In the latest move to restrict dissent and robust debate, the Israeli government deported Omar Shakir, a Human Rights Watch researcher who defended the right to publicly call for the boycott of Israel.

Marcywinograd (talk) 23:49, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

I suggest we cover this in a separate article called “Israel and the democracy debate” or similar. Then we bring a short summary into this article.
There are dozens of excellent sources summarizing the topic, many of which have been discussed on these talk pages. For example Prof Martin Beck’s recent summary: Israel: A Democratic State?. Onceinawhile (talk) 18:35, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
There is already one such article. Any reason to create more? WarKosign 20:34, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I don’t think so. The relevant points raised here are addressed in that section, and an article specifically about that would likely invite a Pandora’s Box of unreliable sources and SPAs. Israel is a liberal democracy, obviously, though those under occupation have no representation at a macro level, beyond their municipal governance, which is mostly under the purview of the PA. It’s clearly information that’s due, but I think it’s adequately covered there. If reliable sources talk about this beyond the scope of what’s covered there, then it could be expanded. Symmachus Auxiliarus (talk) 22:58, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
     Beyond the issue of limited voting rights for Palestinians under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 
     there are the other issues involving different rights afforded to Jewish Israelis (Law of Return; national versus 
     citizenship rights) and Palestinian Israelis, as well as the
     restrictions on dissent, with prohibitions on those who want to visit Israel or remain in Israel but cannot because of 
     their public criticism or support for BDS, as well as the military censor requirements that blogs be presubmitted for 
     approval before publication. The latter was not my personal assertion but one referenced by Freedom House, the original 
     source posted on Wikipedia. Attributes of a democratic society include majority rule with consideration of the
     minority's rights; equal rights; freedom of speech and right to dissent.Marcywinograd (talk) 01:21, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
We need a summary of this issue in this article, given the high profile nature of the dispute. Onceinawhile (talk) 23:35, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

Then this is a weight issue, and due per the lede. I’m not so sure about the latter, but like I said, if you’re looking for prose, a one sentence addition is appropriate. It needs to reflect RS, and that likely does. I think it’s appropriate for a lede sentence.Go ahead and add it, as long as it’s phrased per NPOV. Symmachus Auxiliarus (talk) 00:31, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
Symmachus Auxiliarus, why is it a weight issue? Something that is very controversial about a country should be in the lead. That's because the reader most likely will be searching about it.--SharabSalam (talk) 00:52, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
No worries. Weight is determined by not just RS, but a preponderance of such sources. No one reasonably disputes that Israel is a liberal democracy. It’s a matter of weight due to paucity and subjectivity. It’s certainly due to state as much, and I never said I disputed that. Disenfranchisement is an issue reliable sources have commented on. Most opinion interpretation though, in that Israel is not a democracy, is most definitely not backed by reliable sources. Hence: factual statement, weight against commentary. Articles on Israel tend to become POV coatracks, and we should avoid that, especially on a top-level article. As I said, an addition can be made in the appropriate section. But this isn’t something that’s questioned enough for the lede. Symmachus Auxiliarus (talk) 01:02, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

I agree that, at the very least, the Israel page should provide a summary of the issue/debate over Israel as a democracy. While it's true that there are other pages elsewhere on Wikipedia that explore the issue, it is this page, the Israel page, that has been featured on Wikipedia, that had, as I recall, over 700,000 page views in the last 60 days, 90,000 internal linkage and over 700 external linkages. This is the first page that comes up when someone googles Israel on Wikipedia. Marcywinograd (talk) 01:07, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

In its current form, this proposal is completely non-NPOV and therefore I oppose it. Your interpretation of the recent Basic law is, in my legal opinion, wrong and in any case primary research and therefore shouldn't be included. Secondly, I might add that a law cannot stipulate. Parties to a contract stipulate but a law doesn't. I took a glance at your profile and honestly it really doesn't look like you're approaching this matter from a neutral perspective, but rather you're trying to further an anti-Israel agenda. Île flottante (talk) 18:23, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

I included the reference to the Basic Law that is already posted on the Wikipedia Israel page, and the Freedom House footnote that is there, as well; in other words, that is not my interpretation but what is already there. For the record, here is a link to the Basic Law: which says (if stipulate is a problem) that a)Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people b) Hebrew is the state language; Arabic has special status c) Jewish settlement is a national value d) Jerusalem is the capital of Israel In terms of neutral POV, I would assert that stating as fact that Israel is a liberal democracy is hardly a neutral POV, particularly since it departs, as I mentioned earlier, from Wikipedia's Five Pillars which call for "multiple points of view" on subjects/statements that are subject to debate. As for my own political opinions, those are just that. I respect Wikipedia's commitment to a neutral approach and tried my best to include multiple perspectives on the statement "Israel is a liberal democracy." I understand, however, that more experienced editors might have a better handle on wording. In general, however, it's problematic to limit a writer's jurisdiction to matters in which they are devoid of opinions. If that were the case, Wikipedia would have few writers and editors. I am transparent. Unlike others who may use aliases or handles and leave a blank on their bio pages, I use my real name and my bio.Marcywinograd (talk) 01:07, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Saying that Israel is not a democracy is a fringe theory - there are sources showing that some people make this claim, but it's far too obscure to be mentioned as part of a neutral point of view. WarKosign 08:03, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
I agree with WarKosign with regards to the fringe theory qualification. Moreover the issue with your proposal is that you’re using terms that are indeterminate legal terms for which there has yet to be case law. Even if Freedom house had its articles written by leading Israeli jurists, the fact of the matter remains that as long as there isn’t Israeli case law telling us, for example, what the centrality of Jewish settlement means, any interpretation of it is pointless moot. Additionally, facts like Jerusalem being the capital of Hebrew being the official language are simply the concretisation of Israeli policy into law. Each State is free to determine its capital city and its official language as it likes, without that having any bearing on the qualification of that State being a liberal democracy or not. Île flottante (talk) 10:53, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
Israeli Supreme Court deliberations, dissents and prevailing decisions constitute legitimate material for an amplified discussion or clarification on this page's assertion that "Israel is a liberal democracy ..." I reference the 

Oxford Academic International Journal on Constitutional Law article (Dec., 2007): titled "Israel: Citizenship and immigration law in the vise of security, nationality, and human rights."

From the article: "An amendment to Israel's citizenship law sweepingly banned Palestinians residing in the occupied territories from entering the country for the purpose of residence and naturalization, even in the context of family unification with (usually Arab) Israeli citizens.1 This note analyzes the constitutional implications of the amendment and the 2006 decision of the Israeli Supreme Court that, after painful deliberation and disagreement, upheld it by a thin majority.2"

The article explains how various justices wrestled with whether the Law of Return (automatic citizenship for Jews in the diaspora) and 2003 Amendment to the Law of Return (denial of family reunification rights to Palestinian Israelis who marry a spouse from the occupied territories) constitute a violation of equal rights. The plaintiff argued restrictions on immigrationMarcywinograd (talk) 19:08, 8 December 2019 (UTC) "violated two rights of Israeli citizens—namely, the right to family life, infringed for those with Palestinian spouses, and the right to equality before the law, infringed by the amendment's disproportionate effect on Israeli Arabs.8" Ultimately, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled: "The decision of the Israeli Supreme Court in this matter reflects both the tensions connected with the amendment to the citizenship law and the split in public opinion. The majority opinion (six out of eleven justices in the panel) held that the amendment did infringe the constitutionally protected rights of Arab Israeli citizens,10 yet they were reluctant to intervene."

Though the Israeli Supreme Court did not side with the plaintiff (Adalah), it did acknowledge the level of controversy and debate , and did not assign that debate to fringe theory.Marcywinograd (talk) 18:30, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what you're trying to convey with that article. All States being free to set their own immigration policies within the parameters of international and domestic human rights law, family reunification can be limited provided the measure is proportionate. The test for the proportionality of a restriction is tripartite: aptitude, necessity and proportionality in the strict sense of the term. This analysis is only able to be made by the competent judicial authority. In the case your article mentions, this test was done and the conclusion was that the measure preventing foreign nationals from enemy states (to which the West Bank belongs as per Israeli jurisprudence) from entering Israel by means of family reunification is proportionate. That this measure would prevent an enemy national married to an Israeli of any religious appartenance from entering Israel does not, prima facie, appear to contradict the qualification of Israel as a liberal democracy. Moreover, if one were to admit that this situation renders the State of Israel an illiberal democracy, one would therefore have to apply the same logic to any country which restricts (or has restricted in a time of war, like the one in which Israel has found itself since its invasion by Arab armies in 1948) in some way or another the possibility of its nationals to have their family members join them, thereby rendering almost all Western countries illiberal democracies because such measures had been in force during times of war. The United States under Trump would therefore also certainly be classified as an illiberal democracy not only because of historical policies of exclusion during war but also due to the administration's policy of refusing entry to foreign nationals based on their country of origin. Were this excessive means of categorisation applied, it would be applicable to so many jurisdictions as to render the appellation liberal democracy almost universally inapplicable. Île flottante (talk) 23:18, 8 December 2019 (UTC)
This thread consists mostly of foruming and original research. We go by the sources, and vast majority of reliable sources define Israel as democracy. WarKosign 05:16, 9 December 2019 (UTC)