Why Israelis Love Life
An Asia Times article, explaining why Israel is the "world's happiest country," cites statistics showing that Israel leads the world in the national gap between fertility and suicide rates.
The author, identified only as Spengler, compiled and compared the fertility rates and suicide rates of 35 industrial countries, and found that Israelis "appear to love life and hate death more than any other nation."
Spengler explained that he compared "the proportion of people who choose to create new life, against the proportion who choose to destroy their own. Israel stands alone, positioned in the upper-left-hand-quadrant, or life-loving, portion of the chart."
Israel's fertility rate (births per woman) is 2.77, according to Spengler, while its suicide rate is 6.2 per 100,000 people. In the U.S., however, the numbers are only 2.1 and 11, respectively, and in France they are 1.98 and 18. The gaps in the numbers of many of the other countries are on the chart are even wider.
"It's easy for the Jews to talk about delighting in life," Spengler wrote in another Asia Times article, because "they are quite sure that they are eternal, while other peoples tremble at the prospect impending extinction. It is not their individual lives that the Jews find so pleasant, but rather the notion of a covenantal life that proceeds uninterrupted through the generations."
"Israel is surrounded by neighbors willing to kill themselves in order to destroy it," Spengler writes. He notes that Muslims teach, "As much as you love life, we love death" - a formula found in a Palestinian Authority textbook for second graders as well.
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia ranks 171st on an international quality of life index, Spengler writes, while "Israel is tied with Singapore on this index, although it should be observed that Israel ranks a runaway first on my life-preference index, whereas Singapore comes in dead last."
Spengler suggests traditional Jewish faith in G-d as the reason for Jewish joy. Muslim faith, however, is of the type that encourages a form of fatalism, he feels: "Arabs did not invent suicide attacks, but they have produced a population pool willing to die in order to inflict damage greater than any in history. One cannot help but conclude that Muslim clerics do not exaggerate when they express contempt for life."