Despite War, Majority of Israelis are Happy

August 20, 2014

2 min read

Despite continued security and economic stressors in Israel the majority of Israelis are satisfied with their lives, according to a survey published yesterday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

In the official survey, 86 percent of Israelis, or about 4.3 million citizens, reported that they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” of their lives, while only 14 percent reported that they were unsatisfied by their lives.

The survey on the personal well-being of Israel’s citizens was conducted throughout 2013, based on responses from 4,700 residents aged 20 and over.

According to the findings, 53 percent of respondents, corresponding to some 2.6 million Israelis, were satisfied with their financial state. This represents a drop of 3 percent from the previous year, with men slightly more satisfied with their finances than women. 39 percent of respondents said that they expected their financial state to improve. In addition, 65 percent said that they were able to cover their monthly household expenses.

27 percent of respondents reported feeling constant or frequent stress, and 19 percent percent said that their sleep is always or frequently affected by worry. The survey found that an additional 34 percent experienced sleeping problems “frequently” or “sometimes.”

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Despite this, 39 percent responded that they always or often felt full of energy, while an equal number said that they felt energetic “sometimes” or “occasionally.”

In mid-2014, the public mood remains mixed. Moshe Halfon, a native Israeli and resident of Jerusalem, expressed frustration at the culture in Israel. “Many things need to change,” he said.

Referring to the recent conflict with Hamas, he noted that “war is supposed to unite us.” He believes, however, that whatever gains in societal unity and behavior that we may have experienced during the conflict have been frittered away during the relative calm. “Even with war, we don’t adjust and draw conclusions,” he lamented, referring to the way people act towards each other in daily public contexts, such as waiting in line or driving on the roads.

Nonetheless, said Halfon, “We have big potential. The better we behave towards each other, the more we can accomplish. It’s just a shame that we kill the opportunity each time.”

An aggressive culture is also a concern for Eitan Divinsky, a returning immigrant. He added that financial concerns, as well as having his family overseas, were also significant sources of stress.

However, Divinsky rated his overall life satisfaction in Israel as 9 out of 10. He noted that one of the factors contributing to his positive outlook was the mutual support and unity that he feels among people here.  “I love living on my own land, in a place that I can call mine,” he added.

Tel Aviv is “Happy”!

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