Israel ranked 11th happiest country in the world
The annual World Happiness Report published on Thursday by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has ranked Israel as the 11th happiest country in the world in 2014 for the second year in a row.Why Progressives Should Celebrate Israel’s 67th Birthday
Switzerland was the happiest country on earth in 2014, followed closely by Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Canada. Rounding out the top 10 are Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. The United States trailed behind, coming in at number 15.
The World Happiness Report is a survey of global societal well-being that ranks 158 countries by happiness levels using variables such as GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy. The report also includes extra factors such as social support, generosity, freedom to make life choices, and perceived absence of corruption.
When the publication first launched in 2012, Israel was ranked at number 14 our of 156 countries.
The goal of the report is to guide progress toward social, economic and environmental development.
Israel has a lot of problems, but its functioning democracy and liberal heritage means they can be fixed. Those on the Left should help it.Richard Falk defends Palestinian resort to violence, praises Hamas for pursuing “peaceful co-existence,” attacks UN Watch for “defamatory campaign”
Israel turns 67 today. The “old” Israel of the Kibbutz, the farming commune, and the Histadrut, the almighty labor union, the Israel of plucky pioneers and Holocaust survivor-socialists, used to be the Left’s darling, toasted at the Socialist International. If Israel was once unduly romanticized, with no flaws acknowledged, Israel today is unduly demonized, with few virtues recognized by too many critics. Can progressives transcend the politics of the moment today and toast Israel’s historic, liberal, achievements?
Lately, liberals have mourned that “Bibi Netanyahu’s Israel” is no longer their “grandfather’s Israel.” Overlooking such ridiculous reductionism defining 8.35 million free Jewish and Arab citizens by one leader who only earned 1 in 4 votes, let’s admit: nostalgia is a mind-numbing drug. Israel of the 1950s was a tougher, unhappier place, filled with refugees traumatized by the European Holocaust and the Arab expulsion of 800,000 Jews. Until 1966, Israelis Arabs lived under military rule without the democratic rights they exercise today; demonstrated in March when 63.5 percent of eligible Israeli Arabs voted. Unlike today, there was no Palestinian Authority, and, Israel’s consensus did not acknowledge the Palestinians as a people with legitimate rights.
Nevertheless, Israel then was the model developing democracy, epitomizing the best of the post-World War II Asian and African nations. In an age of national liberation, with each new country on its own peculiar nation-building path, the Jewish people’s resurgence through the State of Israel stood out. The story predated the Holocaust, reaching back millennia to the Bible, then jumpstarted in the 1800s when Zionism, meaning Jewish nationalism, was one of many national movements forming, churning, yearning for statehood.
Former U.N. investigator Richard Falk hails Hamas’ “spirit of resistance,” justifies the Palestinian use of violence, says Hamas aims for “long-term peaceful co-existence,” and attacks UN Watch for ruining his 6-year term as Special Rapporteur on Palestine.Richard Falk defends Palestinian violence, praises "peaceful" Hamas, attacks UN Watch
“I was very much attacked in a kind of defamatory way by UN Watch and other very extreme Zionist organizations. Wherever I went, anywhere in the world, they would try to prevent me from speaking, mounted a defamatory campaign, called me an antisemite, a leading antisemite. The Wiesenthal Center in LA listed me as the third most dangerous antisemite in the world, which made feel I must be doing something right, in this role…”