Israelis 'choose life'
Israel's Arab/Muslim enemies are constantly promising not to compromise or live in peace with their neighbor but rather eliminate it, backing up their threats with deadly action; incessant bombardment of deadly rockets and missiles, promising more terror and destruction with upgraded weapons of all types including nuclear ones aimed at Israel and hate, hate and more hate at all levels of Arab society all aimed at Israel.
So how does Israel respond? Writing in the Israeli liberal newspaper Ha'aretz (The Land), new father Ari Shavit celebrates.
On the surface, the birth rate in Israel is supposed to be among the lowest in the world. Wars, mortgages, the gruff disposition, the constant carping. But the reality is to the contrary. Israel is a child-bearing superpower. We Israelis have babies and cherish our children more than any other Western society. Europeans, whose lives are immeasurably more comfortable, safe and pampered than ours, long ago ceased to bring children into the world. The same applies to the Japanese and to Jews in the United States.
Israel, on the other hand, has been and remains a fertile society. A society that loves children, a society that is driven insane by children.
A society of fertility and multiplicity, a society that requires that its labor and delivery nurses at Ichilov be among the best in the world. A society that floods its maternity wards with more and more children on a nightly basis.
Indeed the Israeli birthrate is an anomaly compared to its cohort in Europe and the US; Israeli women of all backgrounds have on average nearly three children each regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status, religious commitment, educational or professional achievements or place of residence. Meanwhile, in Russia and most of the former Communist world, as well as most of Europe and Japan, the population is aging with a birthrate short of the minimum replacement level of two children per women while in Israel the median age is dropping.
And although most Israelis Jews are not religious they are very consciously, very proudly and very deliberately fulfilling the biblical commandment "Choose life so others may live." So Mr. Shavit, enjoy your new son--he will grow up with lots of playmates.