Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Netanyahu’s UN speech: why Arabs should turn to Israel

The next time you see Israel demonized (Israel is a brutal oppressor) or dehumanized (Israel’s Jews are pigs and apes), take a look at what those ‘demonish’  and ‘piggish’ Israeli Jews have accomplished  during the first 66 years of modern Israel’s existence. You might discover something about Islam and the Middle East.  

The following information comes to you courtesy of the Ari Rusila’s BalkanBlog.

Israel is the world’s 100th smallest country. Nevertheless:

-It has the highest literacy rate in the Middle East.

- It has the highest ratio of university degrees to its population in the world.

-It produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world.

-It ranks third in the industrialized world—after the US and Holland—in per cent of workforce holding University degrees (24 per cent).

-It is number one in the world for the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce. It has 145 per 100,000 of population. The US has 85 per 100,000. Japan has 70+. Germany has less the 60 per 100,000.

-It is first in the world for per cent of work force (25 per cent) employed in technical professions.

- In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of start-up companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of start-up companies than any other country in the world except the US.

- On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups.

-It ranks #2 in the world (behind the US) for venture capital funds.

-It ranks number 3 in the world for rate of entrepreneurship. It is number one in the world for women entrepreneurs. It’s also number one in the world for entrepreneurs over age 55.

- Israel has the highest average living standard in the Middle East.

- Israel’s economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbours combined.

- Israel has the highest percentage of home computers per capita, in the world.

It has the world’s second highest per capita of new books.

-It has more museums per capita than any other country.

You should note that Israel has done all of these things while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and with an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth (ibid).

Note: the ranking above may not be new. Newer ranking numbers may be different. But the numbers above strongly illustrate how Israel has become an intellectual and entrepreneurial powerhouse.

But that’s not the end of the matter. In 2010, two Iranian researchers working in America created an Islamic economic religiosity index, to measure how closely Islamic countries adhere to Islamic economic teachings (An Economic Islamicity Index , Sheherazade S. Rehman and Hossein Askari, George Washington University, 2010). They examined 57 Islamic countries. They also applied their test to an additional 151 non-Muslim countries. They wanted to see if any of those countries might also adhere to Islamic economic principles.

The index looked at such factors as laws and governance, human and political rights, international relations, and economics (“ Islamicity index: 32 non-Muslim countries ahead of Malaysia”, astroawani, June 12, 2014).

The results of this study are clear—and startling: the Koran's teachings are better represented in Western societies than in Islamic countries. Islamic countries, meanwhile, have completely failed to embrace the values of their own faith in politics, business, law and society (“Ireland 'leads the world in Islamic values as Muslim states lag'”, The Telegraph, June 10, 2014). The highest ranked Muslim country is Malaysia. It ranked 33rd.

In the Middle East, the one country which most meets Islamic economic values isn’t even Islamic. It’s Israel. It’s ranked 27th in the world, ahead of Malaysia.

Yes, Israel—the Jewish State.

The country which ranks second in the Middle East for its ability to meet Islamic economic values is Kuwait. It’s ranked 42nd.

Turkey ranks 71st. Jordan ranks 74th. Lebanon ranks 87th.

Not a single majority Muslim country made the top 25 – Saudi Arabia was 91st (“LISTEN: Ireland Tops ‘Islamicity’ Index”, islamiCommentary, June 19, 2014).

One of the authors of this study, Hossein Askari, explained the study’s findings this way: the reason for the low ranking of Islamic countries is their governance.  Islamic countries, he said, “use religion as a tool of power…They don’t care about the Muslim people” (“Ireland is more faithful to the Qu’aran than Saudi Arabia”, the journal.ie, June 9, 2014)”. According to Askari, the teachings of the Koran say that economic prosperity is good for society. But prosperity rarely trickles down in Islamic countries (ibid).

Go ahead. Draw your own conclusions about Islam in the Middle East.

There’s a lesson here. Yesterday at the United Nations, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that peace would come to the Middle East when Arab countries worked with Israel, not against it.

Perhaps Arab Islamic countries could look to their Jewish neighbour for the inspiration they need to follow their own religion.

The G-d of Israel has a Jewish Story for you to see. It is the Story of Israel's Destiny, its Final Redemption. How Islam manifests itself is part of that Story.

Stay tuned. This Story is just beginning.

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