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June 20, 2012 7:15 am

Global Peace Index: Syria and Iran Rank Ahead of Israel

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Israeli soldier voting in March 2006 legislative elections. Photo: wiki commons.

While Syria’s death toll has topped 14,000 since the revolt against Bashar al-Assad began, and the growth of Iran’s nuclear program continues, the recently released 2012 “Global Peace Index” ranks Israel behind both of those countries.

Israel came in 150th out of 158 countries on a list—produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP)—which measures peace according to 23 factors. Iran was ranked 128th, and Syria was tied with Libya at 147th.

The most basic forum of peace, according to IEP, is “harmony achieved by the absence of war or conflict.” Iceland topped the rankings, and Somalia came in last. A number of military-related factors work against countries in the index—including “military expenditure,” “armed services personnel,” “heavy weapons,” “weapons exports,” “weapons imports,” and “military capability”—perhaps explaining Israel’s low ranking.

“If you live in a lousy neighborhood like the Middle East, a strong military is actually essential to preserve peace,” wrote Evelyn Gordon of Commentary Magazine in reaction to the rankings.

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