Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Asia Times Ranks Israel as the Happiest Country!

Woo Hoo!

It couldn't possibly be any more official; the Asia Times has definitively ranked Israel as the world's happiest country. This shouldn't come as a surprise to the Muqata readership -- where the ubiquitous smiley face appears on almost every photo.

I will admit, I don't fully understand how their research determines the "happiness quotient" using graphs that plot fertility rate versus the suicide rate of 35 industrial countries (the proportion of people who choose to create new life against the proportion who choose to destroy their own.)

However, they conclude Israel stands alone, positioned in the upper-left-hand-quadrant, or life-loving, portion of the chart. עם לבדד ישכון -- Am Livadad Yiskon; Israel dwells alone among the nations....

Explaining their rationale, the Asia Times states:
In a world given over to morbidity, the state of Israel still teaches the world love of life, not in the trivial sense of joie de vivre, but rather as a solemn celebration of life. In another location, I argued, "It's easy for the Jews to talk about delighting in life. 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 conventional life that proceeds uninterrupted through the generations." Still, it is remarkable to observe by what wide a margin the Israelis win the global happiness sweepstakes.
The funny thing is, if you would tell this to any Israeli on the street, they would laugh in your face (but at least they would laugh). In the proper tradition of Jewish humor deep-rooted in cynicism, we may not be the happiest country, but we're definitely one of the most cynical (we'd still give you the the shirt off our back)

Enclosed is a photo montage of some 60 years of Israeli cynicism...

60...barely passing.

Am Yisrael Lives...in fantasy-land [in a movie]

To the plant thief...please return my favorite cactus...I promise to water it more often!

Weather and Earthquake Prediction Rock.


We have terror attacks every other day. Yesterday we had one [today should be safe]


Be careful who you copy from.


Warning: Baby on board [intel inside?]


Finally...request for mercy from parking police that the car is a loaner,
and the original car (getting fixed) is permitted to park here.
Before...
After...


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

2 comments:

Lurker said...

It couldn't possibly be any more official; the Asia Times has definitively ranked Israel as the world's happiest country.

Kudos to Ehud Olmert! He has evidently fulfilled his promise to transform Israel into "a country that is fun to live in".

Lurker said...

"It's easy for the Jews to talk about delighting in life. 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 conventional life that proceeds uninterrupted through the generations."

In spite of your comment regarding Israeli cynicism (which is also true), the attitude described by the author in the Asia Times is nonetheless true for many Israeli Jews - I'd even say most of them. It is a pretty good description of the outlook of Jews who feel connected with their past, and who take pride in their traditions. Ironically, however, our political leadership is thoroughly dominated by people whose attitude is the exact opposite of this: They have nothing but contempt for their own national heritage and history. If you put this fact together with the author's theory regarding the reason why Jews are "happy", then it follows that our leaders are the biggest obstacles to our happiness.

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