Palestinians want democracy "like Israel"

London - published on 4 July 2004
Beyond Images Ref: 99

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According to a recent survey, West Bank Palestinians view Israel as their preferred democratic model.

A forward-thinking Palestinian think-tank has just published a survey which explores the type of democratic system under which Palestinians wish to live.

According to the survey (reported in the Jerusalem Post on 5 June 2004), Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza view Israeli democracy as their preferred model for a future Palestinian state. They rank the Israeli democratic system ahead of that of France, Germany, the US and others.

The survey was conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (, which is based in Ramallah in the West Bank. The Centre is politically independent, and has a strong reputation for high-quality, non-partisan analysis of public opinion. The latest results were announced at a conference in May 2004 for professional analysts of democratic systems.

The Centre’s latest survey findings follow a trend. Director of the Centre, Dr Khalil Shikaki, was quoted as saying that surveys conducted by the Centre since 1996 “consistently show” that a majority of Palestinians view the structure of Israel’s democratic regime as “a model” for their own country in the future.

Our comment: Israel is widely demonised….. but not, it seems, by Palestinians looking for guidance on how to build their society.

Related resources: Briefing 82: Living in Israel or a Palestinian state?