In no way is a figure of contentment of 89 percent credible. It's nothing but the usual Israeli bravado. Everybody's satisfied? Did they ask the po-faced miseries working in government offices? Did they ask the bus passengers cramped and tired from the battle getting to and from work every day? Did they ask people waiting in long queues while every miserable looking cashier takes 20 minutes per customer, or the patients in the 6-7 hour waits in the hospitals?
From what I see, everyone complains incessantly, people look old before their time; their stress levels are through the roof. At least 75 percent of the people I meet every day take antidepressants yet less than 30 percent admit they need them to get through a day in one piece?
Only the young - say, under 25 - are, by nature having fun, not yet having gone through 30, 40, 50 years of never ending bureaucracy and obstacles, as well as a constant struggle to make ends meet in one of the highest costs of living on the planet and among the lowest salaries in the civilized worlds (unless you're in management).
Do these statistics agree with even the young expressing that they don't see a future here and are planning to leave - or have already left. The number of Israelis now happy to be living outside could make up another Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
Not possible. Most questionnaires are limited or ambiguous, and I would suggest they go ask people both waiting for service, or working, at any Bituach Leumi office, or some of the state assisted old age homes and the answers will be very different. Certainly the po- faces I encounter from shopkeepers, bus drivers and hospital clerical staff are anything but "contented."
Hakol yihyeh beseder..... (everything will be alright) is the refrain, said with a fatalistic shrug and a grimace.