Israel at 70 - AJC eBook - Page 15

can, by sheer ingenuity, will, courage, and commitment, defend itself against those who would destroy it through conventional armies or armies of suicide bombers. And it has done all this while striving to adhere to a strict code of military conduct that has few rivals in the democratic world, much less elsewhere — and confronted by an enemy prepared to send children to the front lines and seek cover in mosques, schools, and hospitals. Apropos, faced with the spread of terrorism, many countries are seeking to learn from Israel’s response strategies and national resilience models. It has achieved a quality of life that ranks it among the world’s healthiest nations and with a particularly high life expectancy, indeed higher than that of the U.S., not to mention a consistently high ranking in the annual “happiness index” for countries. It has forged a thriving culture, whose musicians, writers, artists, and, most recently, television fare, are admired far beyond Israel’s borders. In doing so, it has lovingly taken an ancient language, Hebrew, the language of the prophets, and rendered it modern to accommodate the vocabulary of the contemporary world. Notwithstanding a few extremist voices of intolerance that deserve unalloyed condemnation, it has built a climate of respect for other faith groups, including Baha’i, Christianity, and Islam, and their places of worship. Can any other nation in the area even begin to make the same claim? It has built an agricultural sector that has had much to teach developing nations about turning an arid soil into fields of fruits, vegetables, cotton, and flowers. Step back from the twists and turns of the daily information overload coming from the Middle East and consider the sweep of the last 70 years. Look at the light- V'2G&fVVB66RFPF&W72bFR6W7BB'fVBFR֗&6Rb