Some time back, a friend of mine was urging diaspora Jews to visit Israel a.s.a.p. for, according to her lights, the future for the Jewish state was foreclosing fast. In five more years, she feared, Israel would no longer be here. More than five years have passed since that dire prophecy and Israel is not only still among the living but is experiencing a surge of technological and entrepreneurial prosperity that few other countries in the West can lay claim to.
More recently, Henry Kissinger, whose putative wisdom can scarcely be differentiated from advancing senility, opined that “In ten years, there will be no more Israel.” It is far more likely that in ten years, there may be no more Henry Kissinger.
This is not to suggest that Israel does not have powerful and dedicated enemies. Practically every Muslim state or entity on the planet harbors a deep, ineradicable desire for Israel’s destruction—with the exception of those whose survival, despite their revanchist rhetoric, depends on Israeli vigilance, such as Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. It is no secret that Iran is racing toward its own version of the “final solution” as it spins both the centrifuges and the narrative that nuclear enrichment is intended for peaceful purposes. It is also no secret that President Barack Obama wishes to see Israel reduced to its indefensible pre-1967 borders—which diplomat Abba Eban correctly dubbed the “Auschwitz borders”—in which case Israel might realistically cease to exist in less than five years.
Moreover, the international Left has long had it in for what it regards as a Zionist gadfly that has the temerity to assert a strong sense of national purpose in opposition to the post-democratic utopian doctrine of transnational progressivism and the chutzpah to resist the encroachment of the Left’s Islamic friends and allies. Many of the Protestant churches are busy divesting from companies that do business with Israel on the meretricious grounds that it is an apartheid state; indeed, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has added his authority to this latest cargo of anti-Israeli archrubbish, asserting that the Israeli security fence, built “ostensibly for keeping out the terrorists,” is contributing to the decline of the Christian community in the Holy Land” (italics mine). The mainstream media have done their utmost to render Israel a pariah state—“render” in both senses of the term—as has the corrupt and partisan United Nations. And then, of course, there is the rump Israeli Left, the so-called “peace parties,” the foreign funded NGOs, the activist Supreme Court, and the brain-dead academics that inhabit the festering swamps of institutional decrepitude like Ben-Gurion University, all of whom will not rest content until Henry Kissinger is proven right.
This is a formidable axis of annihilationist forces that even a superpower might regard with trepidation. Additionally, Israel has made many crucial mistakes, such as being signatory to the Oslo Accords, which led to the repatriation and the terrorist initiatives of Yasser Arafat, the surrendering of the oil-rich and buffering Sinai Peninsula in the interests of a cold peace with Egypt that is now being piecemeal abrogated, and the disengagement from Lebanon and Gaza which resulted in over 10,000 rockets being launched against its civilian communities.
Nevertheless, Israel is a tough, resilient and indefatigable little nation, able to withstand adversity and capable of triumphing in the long run. Admittedly, it must show more resolve in countering the subversive elements within its own population, for the gravest threat to the integrity of the Jewish state is its own fifth column. Israel’s democracy has been remarkably flexible in accommodating those who work against its sovereignty and strength; yet the political direction of the country has been gradually but tenaciously shifting toward a more realistic stance regarding the dissident agenda of its internal assailants. Indeed, Israel has the extraordinary capacity to survive itself, a considerable accomplishment when compared to the interior divisions afflicting most Western nations whose geopolitical situations are far less critical.
Given its miraculous survival against all the odds since it first came into existence in 1948, one might almost believe that it is presided over by the God of the Old Testament, as in fact many do. This may or may not be the case—one can never rule out the sporadic and unpredictable intervention of Hashem in the affairs of man—but the country’s perdurance is clearly owing to the sacrificial courage, devotion and intelligence of the majority of its people: a community that, for all its backsliders, credentialed imbeciles and manifest traitors, is like none other on earth.
For it is almost inconceivable that a few million citizens of a newly established nation could successfully resist the military onslaught of vastly larger armies time and again. It must also contend against the enmity of its nominal allies in the West, the propaganda campaigns of the world’s major NGOs and opinion-forming bodies, the lies and slanders of the political and media elites, the ignorance of multitudes, and the specter of daily terror. It is equally inconceivable that this same beleaguered nation could at the same time become one of the world’s leading innovators in science, technology, medicine and agriculture, offering benefits to mankind out of all proportion to its numbers and circumstances—while reaping, for the most part, resentment, envy and violence.
For some, the continued existence of Israel is a sign of divine solicitude; for others, of human fortitude, hope and commitment at its most incandescent. But whatever the reason for this rarest of phenomena, the emergence of the theoretically impossible, it is a safe bet that Israel will still be around when its adversaries and detractors have succumbed to their own contradictions and dilemmas. Get used to it. Israel is here to stay.
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