By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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State of Israel
|Social and Moral Index||38th best|
|Land Area1||21 640 km2|
|Location||Asia, Mediterranean, Middle East|
|Life Expectancy3||81.869yrs (2012)|
|ISO3166-1 Codes4||IL, ISR, 376|
“Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. (The territories Israel occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.) On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement. Israel and Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993 a Declaration of Principles (also known as the "Oslo Accords") guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace. Progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between September 2003 and February 2005. Israel in 2005 unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Gaza Strip. The election of HAMAS to head the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). In 2006 Israel engaged in a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon in June-August 2006 and a 23-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip during December 2008 and January 2009. Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU formed a coalition in March 2009 following a February 2009 general election. Direct talks with the PA launched in September 2010 collapsed following the expiration of Israel's 10-month partial settlement construction moratorium in the West Bank.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8
|UN's Human Development Index|
|Social and Moral Development|
|35||Antigua & Barbuda||69.9|
|42||St Kitts & Nevis||68.1|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
|Life Expectancy (at birth)|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
|116||Bosnia & Herzegovina||1.1|
|100||Papua New Guinea||7.17m||16|
Israel's population is predicted to rise to 9.816 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 2.91.
The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
|80||Bosnia & Herzegovina||1949|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
Israel is on the way towards ending gender inequality.
|Disbelief In God|
|How Many Are Religious?|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:
By adding up the Pew Forum data for the major monotheistic religions we can see that these make up 96.2% of the population. Yet there are simply too many who disbelieve in God for this to be true (15%). This is due to the so-called 'Census Effect', whereby many put down a religion for cultural reasons rather than because it reflects their beliefs. In highly Christian countries, as many as half of those who say they're a Christian lack any connection to a Church, and do not hold Christian beliefs (such as believing in God!).
It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 96.8% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 51% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".
For more on this phenomenon, see:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Jewish 75.6%, Muslim 16.9%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.7%, other 3.8% (2008)10.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Israel states:
“While there is no formal constitution, Israel's Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty protects freedom of religion or belief. The Basic Law describes the country as a "Jewish and democratic state" and references the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, which promises religious freedom and full social and political equality, regardless of religious affiliation. However, governmental and legal discrimination against non-Jews, and non-Orthodox streams of Judaism including Secular Humanistic Judaism, continued. As a "Jewish State" some laws and policies promote certain Orthodox Jewish values over those of other religious beliefs.
Each officially recognized religious community has legal authority over its members in matters of marriage, divorce, and burial, limiting the freedom of many individuals who may not otherwise subject themselves to the authority of those religious communities. Orthodox control of Jewish family law continues to create problems for non-Orthodox Jewish families; for example practicing Jews who are not Orthodox must leave the country to marry. The government does not allow civil marriages, such as secular ceremonies performed by state or municipal authorities, or marriages performed by non-Orthodox rabbis. Secular marriages, non-Orthodox marriages of Jews, or interfaith marriages must take place abroad to be recognized by the government. As a result, several hundred thousand citizens cannot marry within their own country due to either a lack of eligibility or their desire to wed outside of the rabbinic system. In 2010, a bill was passed that allows a limited right to an alternative form of civil marriage ("couplehood union" status) for Israelis who declare a non-religious status.
The religious freedom Article 173 of the country's penal code allows for one year imprisonment if "One publishes a publication that is liable to crudely offend the religious faith or sentiment of others," or if "One voices in a public place and in the hearing of another person any word or sound that is liable to crudely offend the religious faith or sentiment of others."”
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)11
|IT Security Risks|
|Internet Users in Population|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
(World Position, 2013-2016)12
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom13|
|54||Bosnia & Herzegovina||54|
|Global Peace Index|
|150||Central African Rep.||2.87|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|137||Central African Rep.||12|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income|
|27||Korea, S.||$28 231|
|32||New Zealand||$24 358|
Conflicts between Arabs and Jews in Israel and Palestine are one of the world's worst causes of violence and sectarianism, stemming from the creation of Israel after World War 2. There have been many attempts to normalize relations, but so far all have failed.
“The fact that the Arabs rejected the UN's partition plan of 60 years ago has long given ideological comfort to Israel and its supporters. Abba Eban, an Israeli foreign minister, quipped that the Palestinians 'never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity'. Israel's story is that the Arabs have missed at least four chances to have a Palestinian state. They could have said yes to partition in 1947. They could have made peace after the war of 1947-48.They had another chance after Israel routed its neighbours in 1967 ('We are just waiting for a telephone call,' said Moshoe Dayan [...]). They had yet another in 2000 when Ehud Barak, now Israel's defence minister and then its prime minister, offered the Palestinians a state at Bill Clinton's fateful summit at Camp David. [...]
This is the Israel side of the argument - that the Palestinians have rejected all chances at peace, which Israel keeps offering. The other side is that when Israel's population was 600,000 Jews of Palestine, and the Arabs of Palestine almost twice that, an offer of partition didn't seem fair. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Israel wanted all of the West Bank, and 'Israeli prime ministers such as Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir asserted a God-given right to a 'greater Israel' that included the West Bank and Gaza Strip [...].
If rejection of the other side's national claims is one of the things that make this conflict so hard to end, the other is religion. The two are tied together. Hamas is a religious movement, and its formal creed is to reject the possibility of Jewish statehood not only because of Israel's alleged sins but also because there is no place for a Jewish state in a Muslim land.”
“Discussion of the Jerusalem issue continued in the Iraeli-Palestinian talks held in the United States under American auspices in late 2000. In his last meeting with the negotiators from both sides, on 26 December, President Clinton proposed the 'general principal' that .”
"Israel & Palestine" by Bernard Wasserstein (2003)20
Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians their own state in 2000 at Camp David in a prolonged meeting with leaders of both sides (which they rejected, again), orchestrated by American president Bill Clinton19. He himself also proposed that in Jerusalem 'Arab areas are Palestinian and Jewish ones are Israeli', 20. It may seem wise on the surface, but, the ramifications and symbolism is dark. The president of the USA, the "leader of the free world" is recommending a solution that divides up a city into respective parts based on the religion of most of the inhabitants of each part. The best improvements in the human condition across the world have occurred when we stop dividing people up according to their beliefs. When faiths intermingle, it is hard to maintain hatred.
The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source..
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Feb 28.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2003) Israel & Palestine. Published by Profile Books Ltd, London, UK. Wasserstein is Professor of History at Glasgow University.
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