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Bad Israel, bad, bad, bad

Don't let the facts confuse you -- Israel just doesn't stack up

Everyone knows that Israel is a bad, bad country. But let’s take a closer look with some help from that most reliable of sources — statistics.

Everyone knows that Israeli drivers are the worst. No manners, no regard for other drivers. Overtaking, without indicating, on blind corners. Never stopping at a pedestrian crossing.

On a recent visit to Poland, I was struck by the total obedience of drivers to speed limits, often as low as 40 kph on open country roads, the absence of overtaking on all but major motorways, and absolute priority given to any pedestrian who looked as though they might want to cross the road. With almost no police presence, the Polish driver is among the most disciplined I have ever seen.

But a glance at road fatalities shows a different story: Poland with 10.3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants per year, Israel with 3.6.

Bad, bad, Israel?

Everyone knows that smoking is a big problem in Israel. (The Times of Israel: For first time in decades, number of smokers rises, June 2, 2017).

Israel would get only 40 points out of 100 for its implementation of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, compared with 81 points for Britain, 70 for Ireland, 69 for Iceland and 64 for France.

But, in Israel, the death rate per 100,000 inhabitants per year for lung cancer is 21.15, which makes us number 56 in the world, far surpassed by countries with serious smokers like Britain (# 18) Ireland (#31) Iceland (#26) and France (#16).

Bad, bad, Israel?

Everyone knows that our health system is in a terrible state. (Jerusalem Post: Health System Report Card Gets Mediocre Grades From OECD July 2, 2017).

Relatives in Britain have no problem with blood tests. With a letter from their family doctor, they make an appointment at their local hospital, queue for an hour or so, then wait two weeks for the results to reach their doctor by mail.

In Israel, I stroll, unannounced, into my local clinic, wait a few minutes for one of the very pleasant nurses to collect my blood, and get the results delivered to my computer by late afternoon. And each test result is accompanied by a full explanation — why the test is done and what the result means.

The OECD report does admit that “Israel is more efficient and has a better longevity rate than average, a lower child mortality and suicide rates and less alcoholism” but “its infrastructures leave much to be desired.”

Bad, bad, Israel?

Everyone knows that that Israel is a dangerous country, surrounded by enemies, wracked by constant war. Any tourist brave enough to visit is risking their life. Far better to seek peace and quiet in somewhere like Alaska.

Of course, in Alaska firearm-related deaths number 19.2 per 100,000 inhabitants per year while Israel only manages 2.09. Perhaps if Israel had more guns (7.3 per 100 inhabitants) than the US (112 per 100 inhabitants) we could do better.

(“Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel.” President Obama, June 21, 2015).

Bad, bad, Israel?

Everyone knows that our prime minister keeps changing his mind. (Anatomy of a crisis: The Times of Israel, March 19, 2017). This shocking behavior is totally unacceptable.

“President Trump has taken 32 new stances on 13 different issues since his election. The president’s shifting agenda has established him as one of the most unpredictable American leaders in modern history.” (NBC News: Tracking President Trump’s Flip-Flops May 12, 2017).

We should all commend President Trump on his policy of keeping America’s enemies guessing.

Bad, bad, Israel?

Recently, visitors from Britain were horrified to see my garden; green lawn and blooming flowers. Why don’t you have cactus and other desert plants? I was able to reassure them: Israel is the world’s leader in water reclamation with 87% of its wastewater undergoing purification and reuse for agriculture.

(Daily Telegraph: Homeowners warned to use dishwashers and washing machines only if full, as summer droughts loom. June 30, 2017).

(Jerusalem Post: Israel — A Regional Water Superpower May 13, 2017)

Bad, bad, Israel?

Everyone knows that housing costs in Israel are the highest in the world.

“The target price program will allow a lot of young families and not so young families who never owned a home to have a chance to acquire a home because these homes will be heavily subsidized.” (Jerusalem Post: The State of Israeli Real Estate: Problems and Solutions).

Of course, it’s much better in Britain.

Are you a waiter, receptionist or cleaner? You’ll be waiting 106 years to get on the housing ladder” (Daily Telegraph June 30, 2017).

But don’t let the facts confuse you; Israel is a bad, bad, country.

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveler, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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