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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why is Israel the 14th happiest country in the world?

A recent survey called the Global Happiness Report ranked Israel the 14th happiest country in the world. We trail Scandinavia, Holland, the US (which is 11th) and a few others.

With all our 'security problems, the surprising thing is that we rank so high. Giulio Meotti tries to explain why.
Despite Jewish heroism and Israeli collectivism giving way to Western individualism, self-criticism and frivolous hedonism, Israeli happiness is much more than the American dream of a large house and a nice car. It lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning, “a nation like all other nations” but also “a light unto the nations.”


Israelis, which have one of the longest life expectancies of any nation in the world, are happy because their country has a history of scintillating enlightenment, with the highest production of scientific publications per capita in the world, more museums per capita and the highest worldwide publication of new books. In a war-ravaged country like Israel, the past few years saw five Israeli Nobel Prize winners.

Another reason is economic success. No other industrialized country does it better, especially for a nation that doesn’t have natural resources and has a population roughly half of Belgium’s. Israel’s high-tech industry is flourishing, making the country known as “start-up nation.”

While Israel’s social fabric is deeply divided between ultra-Orthodox Jews and “Hellenistic” Israelis, nationalists and leftists, two-thirds of Israelis believe in God, therefore maintaining the hope and feeling that there is higher meaning and purpose to their lives. There is also the attachment to the Jewish land, while love for one’s land is a nationalistic taboo in the West.

Overall, Israel’s population is very resilient. A new governmental study just found that Intifada-era violence did nothing to affect Israel’s national morale. Israelis are also happy because they know that Dimona and the IDF are there to protect them, even if the army lost some of its famous deterrence.

Finally, there is the most important reason why Israeli happiness is an enchanting and heartening mystery for all free men. When comparing the fertility rate to the suicide rate, one can see the proportion of people who choose to create new life against the proportion who choose to destroy their own. This is why the Jews will ultimately win a centennial war against an enemy ready to sacrifice all of its children in order to throw all Israelis into the sea.
Read it all.

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At 9:38 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

These silly surveys typically paint the Nordic states as the best happiest most wonderful places on earth too. It's obligatory. But they have higher than average suicide rates. And while they may happily kill themselves for all the best reasons one can find in a socialist paradise, still, they do it. So I wouldn't worry too much about climbing up that list.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Himalaya said...

Tou're ignoring the Jewish sense of humor.


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