David McWilliams: Our children won't be able to pay cost of our debt folly
Published 21/12/2011 | 05:00
If any country embodies the notion that demographics are destiny, it is Israel. So it seems appropriate to be writing about how demographics will shape the world in the next few years from a small terrace overlooking Deizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv. The street is teeming with life, the liberal, tolerant life that has made this city almost a state within a state.
While much of the rest of Israel has become increasingly religious, zealous, intolerant and atavistic, Tel Aviv remains open and tolerant. The headlines in the paper today are condemning religious Jewish settler youths for terrorising Arabs in the West Bank. But the tone of the article is admonishing ordinary concerned Israelis for only paying attention to these youths when they injure a member of the Israeli army, as happened on Monday, rather than when they attack defenceless Arabs, which is a daily occurrence. The debate rages with most in this city embarrassed by, and fed up with, the settlers.
In the street, the shops and malls, you regularly hear Arabic but you also hear Russian, French and English -- evidence of the extraordinary diversity in this city. Far from being a dull uni-dimensional, conformist place, the city is full of all sorts -- Jews who have come from as diverse places as Yemen and Somalia, Lublin and Dublin.