ToI podcast

What Matters Now to Haviv Rettig Gur: Reasons for optimism in Israel’s 77th year

After somber Memorial and Independence Days, ToI’s senior analyst takes a look ahead and discusses why Israel is ranked 5th in the Happiness Index – and is likely to remain so

Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World, hosted by deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “optimism” as “the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen.” Looking at war-torn Israel today, it is a quality that appears to be in short supply.

But in this week’s What Matters Now, The Times of Israel’s senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur points out that while things look bleak now, there are several reasons for optimism.

We begin the program by discussing Israel’s 5th place on the annual World Happiness Report, which, in addition to self-assessed evaluations of life satisfaction, is also based on GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and corruption. Incredibly, the self-reported Israeli data was collected following the October 7 massacre of 1,200 individuals and hostage-taking of 252 by Hamas terrorists and the resultant, ongoing war in Gaza.

Even faced with a “negative outlook” by ratings agency S&P Global and Moody’s Investors Service on the Israeli economy, Rettig Gur finds signs of economic optimism — stemming from the Haredi community.

So this memorial week, we ask Haviv Rettig Gur, what matters now?

What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

Check out the previous What Matters Now episode:

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