Dateline Jerusalem — What country was ranked the seventh happiest in the world? (Not the U.S. or Britain.)
- What country was ranked third best to raise a family? (The U.S. was 32nd.)
- What country could claim only 10 percent of its citizens were crime victims last year? (An estimated 14-19 percent of U.S. citizens were victims.)
- What country had half the number of homicides per 100,000 people as the U.S.?
- What country had 300 percent fewer robberies than the U.S.?
- What country has 93 percent of its men and 77 percent of its women feeling safe walking around alone in their neighborhoods at night? (Not the U.S., which leads in number of rapes.)
There is one answer to all these questions, Israel.
Israel has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. No wonder 90 percent of Israelis are proud to be Israeli.
During 2016, the most common crime in Israel was theft, but it was a mere 4.4 percent of the crimes reported. Violence or threat of violence occurred in only 3.1 percent of the crimes reported.
No wonder Israeli parents are so relaxed about allowing their children to roam the streets and local parks without constant supervision. Children of Israel seem happy and carefree as a result.
In a comparison with the U.S., Israel seems pretty safe. Perhaps it is because Israel has 36 percent more police officers per capita than the U.S.
With respect to gun crimes, the U.S. ranked first, Israel 78th.
Perhaps it is because in Israel there are soldiers walking the streets and many citizens have their weapons visible on their hips in holsters.
It makes one think of the Wild West, but statistically, violent gun crimes are minimal here. Yet, Israel had three times the number of burglaries and 20 percent more auto thefts than the U.S.
Statistics regarding illegal drug use surprised me. Depending on the type of drug, the U.S. had between 54 and 90 percent more drug use than Israel.
The U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of cocaine and heroin from Mexico and Colombia, and a major consumer of ecstasy and methamphetamine.
Israel, however, is only concerned about ecstasy, cocaine and heroin abuse becoming a major problem. Drugs arrive in Israel via Lebanon and Jordan.
Although Israel faces terrorism, and some people refer to it as a war zone, Israel is pretty safe compared to the terrorism in Europe and the U.S. today.
The entire world is a war zone but Israel is relatively safe.
Even though the media paints Israel in a bad light, people are visiting Israel in great numbers, a record 2.9 million last year.
Half were repeat tourists. Eighty percent said they wanted to return. Not bad for an alleged war zone.
Interesting that half the tourists were Christian, mostly Catholic. Surprisingly, only 24 percent of tourists were Jewish. Perhaps that is because Jews like me visited Israel on several occasions and decided to make Israel their home, thus reducing the number of Jewish tourists and increasing the number of residents.