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Like the left, the Muslim world believes that Israel’s success and its failure is proof of guilt. But even out of the Muslim world come glimpses of the basic truth.
Khalaf Al-Harbi, a Saudi columnist, wrote, “The secret to Israel’s survival, despite all the great challenges it has faced, lies in democracy and respect for the worth of the [Israeli] individual… The secret to the collapse of the Arab countries, one after another, lies in dictatorship and in the oppression of the individual… [Israel] drew its power from the honor it granted to its citizens, while its Arab neighbors trampled the [poor] creatures known as their citizens.”
Al-Harbi, no friend of Israel, went further than Mitt Romney did. If Mitt Romney crediting freedom and democracy as the ingredients that make for Israel’s culture of success is racist, then the Democrats must also charge Al-Harbi with racism.
Mitt Romney came to Israel to try and explain Israel’s success in the same terms that he has explained the success of the American businessman, by crediting the labor and dedication of the free individual in a culture that values freedom and accomplishment.
Every Israeli, like every American, who set foot in a new land, had to start all over again. They had to build houses, plant fields and raise cattle. They had to learn how to build armies and run institutions. And they had to do all those things while surrounded by enemies. They had to learn to sink or swim.
While the Muslim world wails over Palestinian refugees, the Jewish State is a nation of refugees populated by refugees from Czarism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Nasserism and Islamism. And each of those refugees had to begin a new life. The process wasn’t easy and Israel is still struggling with the challenges of absorbing millions of people from cultures as far apart as Russia, Yemen and France. But the refugee camps where they once lived, the tents and shacks, are a distant memory.
The survivors of the Holocaust are not still living in DP camps in Europe and Iraqi Jews aren’t living in tents in Israel. The last DP camp in Europe closed in 1959. The last of Israel’s refugee camps shut down in 1963. Meanwhile the Shatila refugee camp for Palestinian Arabs has been an ongoing concern in Beirut since 1949 making it older than many Israeli towns.
In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt addressed the Cambridge Union and told them, “Success, the real success, does not depend upon the position you hold but upon how you carry yourself in that position.” That assessment is the final rebuttal to the class warfare worldview of the left. Success is not in what you have, but in what you make of it.
A culture of free men and women who believe that they are here to build rather than destroy is able to do great things. And a culture of slaves of Allah who believe that they are here to destroy what others build and who prefer the public martyrdom of the suicide bomb and the refugee camp cannot hope to equal their accomplishments.
When the individual has the power to build then he is living in a “You built it” society. But when he only has the power to complain or destroy, then he is living in the Islamic or leftist “You didn’t build that” society.
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