Monday, November 08, 2010

Poverty in Israel

Every November in Israel the government publishes a report on poverty and the press makes a big deal about how people are becoming poorer and poorer and more children are falling under the poverty line.

What everyone forgets to mention is that a large percentage of the poor people in Israel are Haredim and Arabs who are poor by choice.

The numbers show that 70% of large families (5 or more kids) are poor. Guess what, families with 5 or more kids are overwhelmingly Haredi or Arab.

The fact is that the Haredi population is poor by choice, large families and little or no secular education means that there is little chance of not being poor. Because of this, there is very little that the government can do to help them.

If you exclude the Haredim and the Arabs the poverty numbers in Israel are not bad. I understand that these groups need to be dealt with as well, but they need to be dealt with differently since they are poor by choice.


Larry Lennhoff said...

In what way are the Arabs poor by choice? Just by virtue of having many children? Or because they do not choose to enlist in the Army? Or something else?

bluke said...

I can't comment specifically about the Arabs but there is no question that the situation is much more then straight poverty and in many ways brought on by their actions.