Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Standing Erect In The Storm: Reflections On Israel's 61st Birthday..
Today is Yom Ha'atzmaot, celebrating the miracle of Israel's rebirth.
Notice the name on the masthead ( click to enlarge) of what today is the Jerusalem Post.The term 'Palestine' always referred to the Jewish homeland, even when the British held the mandate...until Egyptian Yasir Arafat appropriated it.
With every decade Israel logs, the same question gets asked - will Israel be around for the next one?
I admit, it's surprising that a small nation surrounded by vicious enemies with genocidal intentions over its entire short life has managed to hang on, but whatever else you can say about Israel, not only is it surviving, it is thriving.
The day it was born, six Arab armies invaded and tried to wipe it out. They failed, and with the current exception of Egypt and Jordan, the Arab and Muslim world has been trying to finish the job ever since.
Israel is the only country whose creation was approved by the UN, as well as the only country whose legitimacy is constantly attacked by the same body.Half Israel’s population was created by Jews driven out of their ancient homes in the Arab world, yet it's the only country called on to make concessions and give up territory to solve a refugee problem it had no part in causing.
It's the only country in the Middle East where Jews and Arabs actually co-exist as equals under the law, yet it's demonized as practicing 'apartheid' by the very same people who would not suffer a Jew to live among them under any circumstances, let alone equality.
Singled out for threats and vilification like no other country, Israel literally has become the Jew among nations.
Yet with all that, Israel is prospering.It's a world leader in high tech, agri-business, bio-science and irrigation technology, and a list of the inventions and patents by Israelis would fill a small book.It's fertility rate is one of the highest in the western world, a sign of how hopefully Israelis view the future. And even more importantly, while Israelis tend to disagree and pick dogfights on even the most trivial matters among themselves, the country as a whole knows exactly what they're fighting for and what they have to lose. And because of that, they're unified like few other nations when it counts.
Unlike some other nations in the West, Israel already knows it has to fight to survive. Which is exactly why it will still be there sixty years from now and longer.
Happy birthday Israel..and many happy returns.