Jerusalem Report: Reach for the Top

An interview with founder and president of the Reut Institute Gidi Grinstein focused on the question of how Israel can 'leapfrog' and become a world leader in quality of life.

Eetta Prince-Gibson, The Jerusalem Report, 07/07/08.

Gidi Grinstein is confident that withhin 15 years, Israel can become one of the 15 leading countries in the world in terms of quality of life.

"Sure, this is an ambitious goal," Grinstein tells the Jersualem Report "but it's achievable. Zionism is an amazing success story and I am convinced that we can write another chapter in this story."

In order to achieve this impressive goal and close the gap between this country and the wealthiest nations, he explains, Israel must socioeconomically "leapfrog" from its current low-ranking position among developed nations, grow by at least 4 percent per capita per annum for a period of up to 20 years, and transform many of the parameters of public life.

"Leapfrogging is rare," Grinstein says. "Only about 15 countries have ever done it. But in the 1950s and 70s, Israel doubled its standard of living in comparison to the United States. Just because I'm an optimist doesn't mean that I am ignoring the problems along the way. I'll paraphrase a quote I once heard: 'Optimists are usually wrong, and pessimists are often right, but nothing good ever came out of pessimism.'"

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