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(photo credit: AP)
For the third year in a row, Israel fared very poorly in the Global Peace Index, being placed just 141 out of 144 countries, and ranked more peaceful than only Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
Published by the "Vision of Humanity" organization, the index has a stated aim of measuring peace through the "absence of violence." To do this, the group employs 23 different indicators which are then modified by various variables to produce a final score.
In a breakdown of the Israeli score, which is based on the indicator results from the past five years, Israel is seen to maintain a very high level of "organized conflict," and a very low respect for "human rights." In addition, the Jewish state is deemed to have very poor relations with its regional neighbors.
On a domestic level, Israel is given relatively moderate marks for its political stability and criminal violence, yet high marks for civil liberties enjoyed in the state, funding provided to United Nations missions, and hospitality to foreigners. However, Israelis are given a bad grade for their "perception of criminality in society," which is defined as the "level of distrust in other citizens."
Countries which were considered more peaceful than Israel in 2009 included Sudan (140), Pakistan (137), Lebanon (132), North Korea (131), and Iran (99).
While the 2009 ranking represents a slight drop from 2008, in which Israel was the fifth from the bottom, it is also a slight improvement from 2007, when Israel was ranked the third least peaceful nation in the world.