Tuesday, May 2, 2017

ISRAEL: "Israel Prepares To Celebrate Independence Day"

Ezekiel's Bones Live - Israel Prepares To Celebrate Independence Day

Israel has approximately 8.68 million residents, more than 10 times the population at its founding in 1948, and is on track to reach more than 15.2 million residents by 2048, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday ahead of the country's 69th Independence Day.

Currently, there are 6.48 million Jewish residents in Israel, accounting for 74.7 percent of the population, and 1.81 million Arab residents, comprising 20.8 percent.

Permanent residents who, according to the Interior Ministry's Population Registry, are neither Jewish nor Arab--including most non-Jewish immigrants, many of whom are non-Arab Christians or have no religious affiliation--make up 4.5 percent of the Israeli population. The figures do not take into account foreign workers and others not considered permanent residents.

Israel's population has grown by 159,000 residents since Independence Day 2016, an increase of about 2 percent. The past year saw the birth of 174,000 babies and the arrival of some 30,000 new immigrants, while about 44,000 Israeli residents died.

Almost 35 percent of Israel's residents are under age 18, while about 54 percent are ages 19-64. Slightly more than 11 percent of Israelis are 65 and older.

The overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews take pride in their country and identify with the State of Israel, a new survey released ahead of Independence Day shows.

According to the Peace Index survey conducted jointly by the Israel Democracy Institute s Guttman Center and Tel Aviv University, while Israelis are critical of certain perceived failings of state policy, the vast majority of Jewish citizens identify with the state and its problems and are optimistic about the future.

In addition, a majority of Arab Israelis also take pride in being part of the State of Israel, identify with the state and its problems, and in many areas are more likely to approve of the state s policies than their Jewish peers.

While 43.9% of Jewish Israelis rated Israel s overall situation as good, compared to 39.2% who rated it as okay, and 15.8% who said its bad, nearly two-thirds (66.0%) of Israeli Arabs rated Israel s situation as good, 19.% said it was okay, and just 12.4% rated it as bad.

Seventy-four percent of Jews and 56.7% of Arabs also said they rated their own personal situation as good, compared to 23.8% of Jews and 31.3% of Arabs who said their own prospects were so-so, and 1.3% of Jews and 7.9% of Arabs who said their situations were not good.

Jews, were more likely to say they were proud of being Israeli, though a majority of Arabs also expressed this sentiment. Among Israeli Jews, 86.1% said they were proud of being a part of Israel, compared to 51.1% of Israeli Arabs. Just 13% of Israeli Jews said they were not proud, compared to 39.9% of Israeli Arabs.

More than four-fifths (82.0%) of Jews and 57.5% of Arabs said they identify with the State of Israel and its problems to a large or moderate extent, while 13.4% of Jews and 16.6% of Arabs said they identified with Israel only slightly, and 2.5% of Jews and 21.9% of Arabs said they did not identify with Israel at all.

Both Israeli Jews and Arabs tended to said they were optimistic both about the future of Israel. Nearly three-quarters (73.4%) of Jews said they were optimistic about the future of the State of Israel, compared to 60.8% of Arabs, while 22.2% of Jews and 32.1% of Arabs said they were not.

In certain specific areas, Israeli Arabs were more likely to regard Israel s efforts as successful.

While just 18.6% of Jews said Israel was succeeding in reducing social gaps, 49.3% of Israeli Arabs said Israel was succeeding.

Nearly three-quarters (74.5%) of Arab said Israel was doing a good job maintaining economic stability, compared to 59.8% of Jews who expressed the same opinion.

Close to half (45.9%) of Arabs said Israel was attentive to what citizens want, while just 22.1% of Jews agreed.

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