A few interesting facts contained in an article arguing that Israel isn’t the cause of the Middle East’s problems:
Consider some of the important findings in the Arab Human Development Report and related studies:
• The total number of books translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years is fewer than those translated in Spain in one year.
• Greece, with a population of fewer than 11 million, translates five times as many books from abroad into Greek annually as the 22 Arab countries combined, with a total population of more than 300 million, translate into Arabic.
• According to a 2002 Council on Foreign Relations report, “In the 1950s, per-capita income in Egypt was similar to South Korea, whereas Egypt’s per-capita income today is less than 20 percent of South Korea’s. Saudi Arabia had a higher gross domestic product than Taiwan in the 1950s; today it is about 50 percent of Taiwan’s.”
As Dr. A.B. Zahlan, a Palestinian physicist has noted, “a regressive political culture is at the root of the Arab world’s failure to fund scientific research or to sustain a vibrant, innovative community of scientists.” He further asserted that “Egypt, in 1950, had more engineers than all of China.” That is hardly the case today.
According to the 2005 UN Human Development Report, only two Egyptians per million people were granted patents (and for Syria the figure was zero), compared to 30 in Greece and 35 in Israel.
In the 2005 UN report the adult literacy rate for women aged 15 and older was 43.6 percent in Egypt and 74 percent in Syria, while for the world’s top 20 countries it was nearly 100 percent.
And finally, according to the current Freedom House rankings, the only country in the Middle East that is listed as “free” is Israel. Every Arab country is at best “partly free” or, worse, “not free.”