Monday, April 19, 2010

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu at Israel National News summed it up best:

Modern Israel, only 62 years old Monday night, is a world leader in society, technology medicine and dozens of other fields. National-religious Rabbi Shlomo Aviner says, “Think what we could do if the world were not against us.”

Israel as a country dates back to the time of King Saul, and its ancient success is recorded in the Bible with the compilation of the Book of Psalms by his successor King David, whose son King Solomon built the First Temple.

Following the Destruction of the Second Temple and the subsequent end of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel for 2000 years, the modern State of Israel has astonished the world with its achievements since it was established in 1948.

Israel, only a fraction of one percent of the Middle East land mass and 2 percent of its population, Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees per capita in the world. The country, by a large margin, produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world and has the highest number of scientists and technicians per capita in the world.

With those achievements, it is not surprising that Israel has the highest number of PhD's and the highest number of physicians per capita in the world.

Israel also is the only nation in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.

Taking care of Jews around the world, the nation is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on Earth while respecting other religions. It is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population has grown over the last 50 years and is the only country in the Middle East where Christians, Muslims and Jews are all free to vote.

In spite of all that, Israel also leads the country in United Nations Security Council resolutions against the Jewish State. Of the 175 U.N. Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel. Of the 690 U.N. General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

Nevertheless, Israel remains undeterred. Critics of anti-Israeli boycotts often point out that those supporting sanctions of Israeli products and inventions would have to live without cellular phones, which were developed in Israel, and would gave to forego many life-saving drugs that were discovered and made in Israel.

Anti-Zionists also would have to do without anti-virus program for their computers because there were first developed in Israel, as was voice technology and instant messaging. In the early 1980's, IBM chose an Israeli-designed computer chip as the brains for its first personal computers.

In the field of economics, Israel hosts the world's largest wholesale diamond center and is responsible for most of the cut and polished diamonds in the world. It also has the largest number of companies on the NASDAQ stock exchange, outside of the United States and Canada.

Another modern marvel is the revival of the Hebrew language, the only dead language that ever was revived.

The ”People of the Book,” as Jews are known, publishes in Israel more books per capita than any other country and has the most independent and free Arabic press in the Middle East.

(Read the whole piece here:

And on a very contemporary note, it’s been interesting to watch the extreme lengths to which Israel has gone to bring Israelis home from abroad for Independence Day.

As volcanic ash stranded some 30,000 Israelis abroad, and while hundreds of thousands of other world travelers were stranded, many without resources, Israel was the only country in the world to make special efforts to being its citizens home.

El Al, Israel’s national airline (and two other Israeli airlines, Sun D’Or and Arkia) sent more than two dozen planes Sunday morning to airports in Italy, Greece and Spain which had remained open. El Al arranged for overland travel -- Israelis renting cars to drive 18 to 24 hours overland – to reach these terminals from which they could be flown home.

That’s interesting for two reasons: first that these individual Israelis abroad believed it was so important to be back home for our National Birthday Party, and second, that the airlines themselves would go to these lengths. El Al had originally planned on sending smaller planes to some locations then revised their plans and sent jumbo airliners when they realized the demand.

What can you say? There’s no place in the world like Israel! Period.

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