Only 67 years old, no other country attracts such world attention, than tiny Israel, no bigger then Lake Michigan and sandwiched between hostile neighbors that still deny its right to exist.
As a witness to the anti-Semitic Dreyfus Affair, in France 1894, where Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer in the French army, was falsely accused of treason, Theodore Herzl, a journalist, ignited the modern Zionist movement and led a revolution, by daring to START-UP the Jewish people’s oldest dream – the return to their homeland, following 3500 years of exile, after the destruction of the second temple and expulsion of the Jews, by the Roman Empire.
And it happened!
Today, Israel is a beacon of light in an increasingly dark region. One of the freest democracies in the world, certainly in the Middle-East, it has survived over 5 existential wars and build a thriving economy, society, culture and military. It absorbed immigrants from every corner of the earth and grants full rights to all its citizens, including the Arab population who are fully represented in government, business, academics and all facets of life. It has a superb record on religious freedoms, woman rights, journalistic freedom, gay rights, environmental protection and many more rights. Short on natural resources, it relies on ‘Human Capitol’ and has become a world leader in technological, scientific and medical innovation.
Certainly not an overnight success and far from perfect, Israel’s accomplishments come with many hardships and it, like all other countries, face challenges, both internally due to growing socia-economic gaps, immigrant absorption, political tensions etc. and externally, from the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians; the threat of Islamic terror on all fronts and a totalitarian Iranian regime, with nuclear aspirations, who repeatedly threaten to “Wipe Israel off the map.”
Imbued with Herzl’s “against all odds” vision, Israeli’s, inherently take on this reality with a resilience and energy that keeps your heart beating at a fast pace. The country is growing quick and what was five years ago, is no longer today…
and perhaps, somewhere in the above, exists a message or two, for anyone looking to turn his or her dreams into a reality…??