Let me preface this article with the following personal note.
I post a lot of what appears to be, ‘Pro Israel’ material on this site. I wouldn’t bother if Muslims and leftists didn’t irrationally attack that one tiny country which actually reflects in it’s actions, the values claimed by that very left and even Islam (when speaking to a non-Arabic audience) as their own, using it as a totem for what is often mere antisemitism. The notion that, for Muslims at least, it is intolerable to them that even a tiny patch of ground could be ruled by other than Muslims.
Israel is a country like many others. Better than some and worse than others. There is always room for improvement in any nations bureaucracy as well as its institutions and culture. Israel is no exception. But the criticisms leveled at Israel usually have nothing to do with any of it, or if it does, the facts are manufactured and when they are not, they are out of context and certainly there are other nations so vastly worse in the same aspect that there is no other explanation for singling out Israel other than antisemitism.
As a result, from time to time, it feels necessary to point out what Israel achieves. A nation less than 100 years old, that has not, until very recently at least, been exploiting vast strategic resources such as petrochemicals, and one with the most diverse cultures and peoples on earth.
By Barry Rubin
An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report just released says:
–Israeli life expectancy is among the highest in the world (81.6 years in 2009) and fifth among OECD countries
–The infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the world (3.8 deaths per 1,000 births);
—A significant improvement has been recorded in the treatment of chronic diseases.
– A significant drop has been seen in mortality rates from heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
– At the same time, healthcare spending per capita is 30% lower than the OECD average.
In short, the world’s most demonized country has a lot to teach the world and especially the Middle East. But instead we are seeing movements and regimes that are economically and socially disastrous being glorified.
Incidentally, if you had any illusions about the “moderation” of the Palestinian Authority–and the meaning of recognizing “Palestine” as a state–note that its diplomatic mission to the United Kingdom has been censured for having a map of Palestine on its website that includes all of Israel as a Palestinian state.