The high poverty rate and other Israeli myths

Ascribing complex problems to simplistic causes exaggerates their scope and makes them harder to fix.

October 27, 2014 17:22
Ultra-Orthodox Jews

Ultra-Orthodox Jews are taught in school.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Three news items over the last two weeks highlight the degree to which real problems, like poverty and discrimination, are often wrongly exaggerated by lumping several unrelated issues together. The well-meaning may hope to draw more attention to these problems by magnifying them; the malicious simply seek to make Israel look worse. But regardless of the motive, it’s deeply counterproductive.

Take, for instance, a Central Bureau of Statistics survey published last week which found that 14.5 percent of adult Israelis subjectively felt poor last year. That’s significantly less than the official poverty rate – 19.4% of families and 23.5% of individuals, the highest in the Western world.  


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