Israel is often seen as some kind of exceptional country in U.S. discourse. And, for the Middle East, it is. But not for Europe, even Southern Europe.

Israel’s 2012 PISA score is a mere 454, 483 for Hebrew speakers and 350 (lower than in Qatar) for Arabic speakers. This makes Israeli Hebrew-speakers about equivalent in school-related test performance to Italians, Spanish, and Portuguese. Considering the fact the Jews are the most (on average) intelligent race of man, and continue to wield disproportionate influence in the West, I can only conclude that the vast majority of Jews deciding to raise their children in Israel are solidly on the left side of the Jewish IQ bell curve.

Israel’s economic performance since 1950 is also unexceptional for Southern Europe. Before 2005, it was somewhat worse than that of Greece and Portugal (though after the crash, it was clearly quite a bit better). Perhaps this is misleading, as Israel is a much more fertile country in people than either Greece and Portugal, and contains a sizeable population of comparably unproductive Arabs, but, even after the crash, Israel’s economic performance is clearly no better than that of, say, Italy, and is comparable to that of Spain. Germany it isn’t, in any respect. However, its economic leadership was clearly wise in its avoidance of the Southern European post-Great-Recession supply-side economic stagnation.