The Gallup map posted below is fascinating for many reasons - what's up with Turkmenistan? - but two things leap out at me. The Dutch and the Scandinavians have something sorted out. And look at Israel and her neighbors. The contrast is staggering. Israelis are thriving at a 62 percent margin - Canadian levels (above the US and UK). Right next door in one of the less hideous autocracies is Jordan, with an index of 30 percent. Egypt and Iraq clock in around 10 percent - Zimbabwe levels.

Israel is a beacon in the region - and the world. Which is why it is so worth saving from itself and some of its neighboring regimes. (Yes, Iran is 19 percent - below Saudi Arabia).

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