Secular and Religious Israelis Both Account for the Country’s Demographic Miracle

March 6 2023

At 2.9, the Jewish state’s fertility rate is far greater than that of any other economically advanced country. While this is in part due to the high birthrates of religious Jews and Muslims, Israeli fecundity can only be explained by the fact that the secular and moderately religious also have more children on average than their counterparts elsewhere. Danielle Kubes, a Canadian journalist, seeks the reason why:

The real secret to Israel’s fertility rates appears to be cultural. The family is at the absolute center of Israeli life. Getting married and having kids is the highest cultural value. . . . And Israel puts its money where its pronatalist mouth is—it’s the only country fully to subsidize unlimited in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments for all women until they are 45 or have two children. The policy receives little criticism, despite the expense.

But most importantly, children are seen as a blessing instead of a burden. While I often hear my Canadian friends lament the cost of having children and the impact more humans will have on climate change, I have never heard an Israeli do the same.

Israelis simply lack the kind of nihilism seen amongst young Canadians today about the future. Despite the fact that they live in a land where they know they will have to send their children into the army at eighteen, they aren’t afraid to bring children into the world. Rather, they believe the only way to make a better world is to have children. To many Israelis, children represent life—and only life brings hope.

Read more at National Post

More about: Canada, Demography, Fertility, Israeli society

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan