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Facts and Logic About the Middle East

December 29, 2015

A New Study Ranks Israel High in Quality of Life Among World's Nations—Great Reason to Celebrate!

Dear Friend of Israel:

Before I share with you some truly inspiring news about Israel, I want to first share some great news about supporters of Israel: Over the past four weeks, more than 1,000 people like you have made donations to FLAME during our big end-of-year fundraising push. That's a record!

If you were one of those people, please accept heartfelt thanks from our founder, Gerardo Joffe (who at 95 years young still comes to the FLAME office every day), myself and our small, but fiercely dedicated staff.

Your contributions will enable us to expand our placement of paid editorial messages in media nationwide, including college newspapers, which makes us very happy—and which I'm sure will make you happy—but which will mightily discomfort the enemies of Israel.

Now on with that good news about Israel: As you'll read in this week's FLAME Hotline featured article, the Jewish state now ranks eighteen of 188 nations in terms of quality of life. Wait until you see all the countries it beat out—it will put a smile on your face!

Here's the background: Every year, the U.N. Human Development Program releases the results of its Human Development Index (HDI), which holds that "people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone."

As such, the HDI measures key dimensions of human development: "A long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and having a decent standard of living." Thus the HDI quantifies life expectancy at birth, years of schooling for adults 25 years and older and expected years of schooling for school-aged children. Standard of living is measured by gross national income per capita.

As the article below outlines, Israel was bested by several (but not all) nations in Europe, as well as by the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. By the same token, Israel ranked higher than Belgium, Austria, Finland and a few others you'll be delighted to hear about. Of course, no other Middle East nations were even close to Israel in the rankings.

What's most gratifying about this year's HDI is that it confirms the miracle of Israel—the achievement that inspires us to support the Jewish state. No other country—let alone one so young, let alone one created in the desert by an ingathering of persecuted remnants of the Holocaust who in the process also revitalized the almost-dead Hebrew language—no other country in the world has been so beset by attacks by its neighbors, so discriminated against by the United Nations, so unfairly criticized by the world media.

Yet in just 68 years, tiny Israel has struggled and overcome unprecedented adversity to become one of the most successful nations—not just economically, not just a leader in technology, medicine and culture, but also a nation whose people, both Jews and Arabs, thrive more happily and completely than most of the world's peoples.

Please take a minute to review this brief, uplifting op-ed (below) from the Jerusalem Post. Then pass it on to your friends and colleagues who may benefit from it.

Even as we approach the New Year, let me remind you that our mission must continue to be to convince every American of the nobility of the Jewish state and the justice of Israel's cause. I hope you'll also review the P.S. immediately below, which describes FLAME's hasbarah campaign to explain why U.S. foreign aid to Israel is one of the best investments our country makes in the terms of our own—and the world's—security.

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
Executive Vice President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)


Every year, the U.S. allocates $3 billion in military aid to Israel. Enemies of Israel often criticize this investment, arguing that it's a waste of taxpayer money. Though nothing could be further from the truth, too many Western media, including a recent op-ed in the New York Times, are buying this lie! That's why FLAME is publishing a new position paper in media nationwide—which explains the inestimable strategic value the United States receives from this support of the Jewish state. I urge you to review this outspoken hasbarah message: "Why Does Israel Matter?" This inspirational piece has just begun appearing in magazines and newspapers, including college newspapers, with a combined readership of some 10 million people. In addition, it is being sent to every member of the U.S. Congress and President Obama. If you agree that this kind of public relations effort on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's powerful ability to influence public opinion—and U.S. aid to Israel—comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able—with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to donate now. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the financial and political support it needs—from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.

As of today, more than 15,000 Israel supporters receive the FLAME Hotline at no charge every week. If you're not yet a subscriber, won't you join us in receiving these timely updates, so you can more effectively tell the truth about Israel? Just go to free subscription.

New U.N. Study Offers More Reasons to Celebrate Israel

Editorial Staff, Jerusalem Post, December 17, 2015

There is no shortage of negative news about Israel. Every once in a while we Israelis should remember there is much for which to be proud.

In large part due to slanted media reports, propaganda and downright lies, impressions of Israel worldwide tend to be negative—particularly among those who have never visited the country.

But according to the UN Human Development Index released this week, things in the Jewish state are not so bad. In fact, they are pretty good.

The index, which takes into consideration income, life expectancy and education for a combined development score, ranks Israel 18 out of 188 countries in human development. Not only did Israel's score surpass by far all of its neighbors (Qatar is the highest ranked Arab state at No. 32; Saudi Arabia, 36; Lebanon 67; Jordan 80; Egypt, 108; and war-torn Syria at 134), but it outscored the EU and OECD averages as well. Countries such as France, Spain, Italy and even Japan scored lower than Israel. Sub-Saharan Africa scored the lowest.

A number of factors come together to give Israel one of the highest scores in the world. For instance, Israel has the second lowest rate of maternal mortality in the world with just two deaths for every 100,000 births. And at 2.9 births per woman, the Jewish state manages to maintain such a low mortality rate while having the highest fertility rate of any country in the "Very High Human Development" category (those countries ranked in the top 49). For the sake of comparison, the US has 28 maternal deaths per 100,000 births at a two-births-per-woman average.

Though one could easily get the impression from the news media that it is dangerous to live in Israel, the reality is much different. Homicides, or unlawful deaths purposely inflicted by one person on another in Israel from 2008 to 2012 were 1.8 per 100,000 people.

In the US the rate was 4.7 per 100,000. Still, Israel's homicide rate is higher than in most EU countries.

For instance, in the UK and France the rate was 1 per 100,000.

Israel's suicide rate was relatively low at 9.8 male suicides per 100,000—the ninth lowest—and 2.2 female suicides per 100,000 females—the eighth lowest.

And, finally, with regard to overall life satisfaction, only the happy residents of Switzerland, Denmark and Iceland registered greater satisfaction with their lives, on a scale of 0-10, than Israelis.

What makes Israel's ranking so impressive is that it was managed while facing nearly insurmountable challenges. Israel has managed to build a successful nation and society within an incredibly short time while waging wars with its neighbors and incorporating a large Arab minority that is at best indifferent to the Zionist enterprise.

Since its establishment the State of Israel has absorbed millions of immigrants, more than half of them from underdeveloped Muslim countries or Ethiopia.

Many of the others came from Eastern European countries that lacked a culture of democracy and liberal capitalism.

And while many of the countries that ranked highest on the UN list had the privilege of taking several centuries to build the institutions and develop the sorts of habits that characterize successful societies—a political culture based on compromise and tolerance and a business culture based on trust, cooperation and optimism—Israel had to hit the ground running.

Industrial and social revolutions happened suddenly.

The consequences of several technological revolutions had to be digested all at once. Though young Israel is far from perfect—economic inequality is too high, rent-seeking elites have too much economic power—the Zionist state has fared pretty well considering everything.

Publication of the UN Human Development Index presents a unique opportunity to celebrate Israel's astounding achievements. This is not say that there is no room for improvement. But sometimes taking the time to appreciate all that has been accomplished provides the strength to face future challenges with courage and optimism. There is no shortage of negative news about Israel. Every once in a while we Israelis should remember there is much for which to be proud.






FLAME is the only organization that defends Israel with paid editorial hasbarah messages placed in media nationwide every month: The dire threats from Iran, Hamas and Hizbollah, the injustice of BDS, Palestinian anti-Semitism and more. If you support a bold voice that tells the truth about Israel in American media, please donate now.





FLAME's Hotline e-newsletter keeps you up to date on the most important pro-Israel advocacy issues and features our choice of the week's most informative and thought-provoking article on Israel and the Middle East. If you only subscribe to one pro-Israel news service, make it the FLAME Hotline.


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