An international survey suggests that, far from the conventional view of Israelis as inveterate complainers, they are highly contented.
In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index, rating aspects of quality of life in member and affiliate countries, Israel came eighth out of 36 in the category of “satisfaction.”
Asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Israelis responded with 7.4, higher than the OECD average of 6.7 (Brits’ 6.9 mark placed the UK 20th).
Israel, which boasts high life expectancy, performed well in terms of health. But in other categories Israel performed badly: it came 28th in housing; 32nd in assault rates — 6.5 per cent of people reported falling victim to assault over the previous 12 months (the OECD average is 4 per cent.
Haifa University sociologist Sammy Smooha, said that Israelis tend to take domestic problems and security threats in their stride: “Israeli Jews are proud of their country and feel it’s the country they most want to be in, so while there are a lot of problems, including the cost of living, low wages and the security situation, they take these for granted.”