That’s right – according to a recent survey by the Gallup organization, Israel is the eighth happiest country in the world, tied with Canada, Switzerland and Australia. This came as a surprise to many what with the tent protests, the price of cottage cheese, the situation in the territories and every other thing you hear about in the media. To what do we attribute all this happiness to? I mean the US was in 14th place, the UK in 17th, Iceland in 23rd – and they have Bjork! Researchers observed that the happiest countries were Scandinavian:

“The Scandinavian countries do really well,” says Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup, which developed the poll. “One theory why is that they have their basic needs taken care of to a higher degree than other countries. When we look at all the data, those basic needs explain the relationship between income and well-being.”

I don’t have a fancy degree in economics, but there seems to be a correlation between a relatively healthy GDP in tandem with a comprehensive social welfare system and “happiness.” But still… Israel? Happy?? Economics and social policy really don’t explain the whole story. My theory? All that stuff plus chummus. Fresh, yummy chummus everywhere, That’s really why we’re so happy.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • First of all, it’s spelled hummus. Second, it’s all about the sexiness of the opposite sex. Israel is full of prize specimens. 😉

  • we do this every year and every year they get the wrong explanation – the Scandinavians are happy because they have a sense of community, that community, otherwise known as ‘Nation’ without the general sense of fault from colonialism the rest of Europe is suffering from plus military service and small populations, creates happiness of a kind. it’s not that ‘their needs are supplied’, they are but that’s not enough it’s that they take care of each other. Israel has a different sense of community which emanates from… different causes and still produce happiness.

    • So we’d rank higher in happiness if we encouraged the sad among us to kill themselves? Hmm…

  • You mean a second ‘M’? I went for the Israeli phonetic spelling. An Israeli once asked me why my last name has 2 T’s back-to-back. I laughed trying to explain why. English is dumb sometimes.

  • Well, I was concerned about it enough that I considered moving to a Scandinavian country, having a brief, uh, engagement with one of the natives so that she could register as “happy” in their next poll, and then killing myself.

    Then I realized that we can all spell hoummmus any way we like. It’s not as if it’s a word in English.

  • Sort of throws the whole base of the summer protest out the window. How can happy people come out by the millions to protest social justice? This just shows that the masses of people who came to the demonstrations were not at all sharing the ‘everything sucks’ attitude of the left-wing anti-settlement organizers.