This annual update of the Social Report appears at the height of the Israeli election season, held early because of government fears that it would not be able to mobilize a majority to pass a budget bill that
called for harsh cuts in the social services.
Election campaigns tend to highlight the issues that capture media headlines. This annual Social Report, on the other hand, looks at longterm socio-economic processes: economic instability, one of whose
sources is the absence of a political agreement with the Palestinians; the growth of financial capital, which serves the interests of a small minority; reduced investment in the real economy, in which most
Israelis are employed, relative to other developed countries; deepening inequality between the income brackets, with a surge ahead by the highest percentile, the top one percent of earners; the inability to break the 50% barrier with regard to successful high school matriculation rates; greater household spending on health; and wide gaps in the standard of living for retired persons.
Most of the figures that appear in Israel: A Social Report are published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (hereinafter CBS) at a delay of one year; hence, the picture presented here relates primarily to 2011.
However, most of the tables and figures also provide data for the previous decade, 2001-2011, which allows for the identification of long-range processes.