«Jewish Observer»
December 2002
5763 Kislev

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According to a new UN report on humanity's progress, the State of Israel ranks 22nd in the world between Spain and Hong Kong.


By the inflation level (in 1990 - 2000 - 9.7% a year) Israel leaves behind all Western countries. Only the states of the former socialist bloc are ahead of Israel in its subgroup with Argentina keeping pace with it.

Why is a monthly inflation index comparable to the one over two years in other countries? The answer is simple - the country spends much more than receives from taxes plus budget deficit, foreign debt, permanent stagnation and gigantic military expenditures (GDP 8.9%).

Besides, Israel has a high consumption pressure. Another factor of such pressure are military expenses by which the country ranks the eighth in its subgroup. Ahead are Saudi Arabia (GDP 13.2%), Jordan (10%) and Oman (10.1%).

Israel spends 29 billion shekels a year to pay interest rates on the foreign debt - the sum exceeding an education budget. The country's foreign debt constitutes 38 billion dollars - that is 6,400 dollars per each citizen. None of Western countries has such figures.

By the article "government expenses" (GDP 54.9%) the country heads the world table. Israel's taxes are somehow higher than those in the countries of the West, whereas salaries are considerably lower.

Israel is also at the top of the table of "world beggars".

After the UN data, in 2000 each Israeli had 132.4 dollars of donations, but actual figures are three times higher - if we consider American military assistance.

In 2001 the amount of American help to Israel reached 2.75 billion dollars. This figure included, we shall arrive at the sum of 458 dollars per person, and converted to as average Israeli family (nearly five persons) - 10.5 thousand shekels a year. Such a thirteenth salary - and a rather generous one. The average world index constitutes only 8.3 dollars per person.

Israelis are very proud that their teams of rescuers set out abroad for another time to save earthquake victims (of course, Israel is a "torch-bearer for peoples")! But Israel is not mentioned at all in the table of philanthropic activity. Whereas, for example, each Dane donated for charity in 2001 348 dollars, Norwegian - 276, Dutchman - 220, Japanese - 102 dollars.


Israel ranks the seventh in the world with 385 doctors per one hundred thousand of population - twice as much as in Great Britain.

But be there many doctors in the country, the government spends on medical needs only GDP 6% which makes Israel only the 14th in its subgroup - i.e. the country cedes to all developed countries. This is not sufficient. The needed remaining sum - GDP 3.6% - comes from citizens' pockets. So, by private expenses on public health Israel is, in fact, ahead of Western Europe though cedes to USA.

By the efficiency of public health system, the World Health Organization puts Israel into the 28th place though an Israeli's chance to die before 60 is the lowest in the world - somewhere on the level with Sweden (only 8%). And the chances of an Israeli-man to live up to 65 are world highest (85.1%).

The country ranks the eighth in the world by an average lifespan (78.3%) ceding quite a little to the leader Japan (80.5 years). An average Israeli lives 2 years more than an average American or European. An average lifespan in Arab countries constitutes mere 66 years.


Despite the fact Golda Meir is mentioned in the UN report (as the first woman - prime minister), Israel occupies far from a leading position with regard to woman's status. On the one hand, Israel ranks the second among West European countries with 55% of women having a profession and constant employment ceding a little to Finland. By this index Israel is followed by USA (54%) and Canada (53%). On the other hand, Israel is only... 30th in the world list (in Russia this index reaches 64%). Only 26% of Israeli women are honored to take ruling positions - by far less than in the West. Speaking about high-ranking posts and parliamentary seats we should admit Israelis are far from the model to follow - 47th in the world. The Israeli society is militarized to excess - namely on the account of army's big role many prefer to see men in commanding heights.

As for an income level, women are also not up to the mark here. As Israeli woman receives approximately as much as a Lybian man: 12.5 thousand dollars a year. As average Israeli man earns twice as much, but less than an average American woman who receives 26 thousand a year.

Israelis can only dream of an average income of American men - 42 thousand dollars a year.

One thing is comforting: not only Israel is so "chauvinistic" towards women - in the majority of European countries the ratio between men's and women's salaries is approximately the same. In Luxembourg it is yet worse - men earn thrice as much as women.


The UN report assesses a level of democracy after many criteria. By many of them - as it can be guessed considering the country's situation with safety - we are considerably lagging behind Western countries.

In the category "Freedom of press" we cede even to Estonia and Lithuania and find ourselves on the same level with Latin American countries. Regarding political stability and absence of violence our country competes with Russia, Lybia, Lebanon but even Bahrain has left us far behind.

In the sphere of human rights the position of Israel is a bit better - we have a firm 'three' here (after a five-grade scale), which equals us to Hong Kong, Greece and Croatia.


In this respect Israel is merely behind the entire planet. Israel has not yet signed a number of important ecological conventions. International ecological organizations assess us even lower than East European countries.

Our water industry is also very far from the standards of developed countries. No, we can still drink tap water - but consuming it for a long time may bring a considerable detriment to one's health.

At present, only 15% of garbage is recycled in Israel - more than twice less than in USA. But the amount of garbage produced per capita is 2.5% higher than on the average in the world.

"Ediot akhronot", Israel

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