Today, Israel celebrates her 67th year of independence. Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, comes after yesterday’s day of mourning for the nation’s fallen soldiers and terror victims. Writing at The Jerusalem Post, Isi Leibler says that while Israel is the only nation in the world whose right to exist and defend itself is constantly questioned, the Jewish state has overcome great challenges and is stronger than ever today, at age 67:
The Bible quotes Balaam describing the Jews as “a people that dwells alone and is not counted among the nations.” Alas, that aptly describes the status of the Jewish state on the 67th anniversary of its rebirth. Yet despite enormous challenges confronting us, we have every reason to celebrate.
Yes, Israel is the only country in the world whose right to exist and defend itself is continuously challenged.
We have neighbors who still dream of driving us into the sea; we face an ongoing global tsunami of anti-Semitism; the world judges us by double standards; Israel is an oasis in a region in which primitive barbarism reigns as hundreds of thousands of people are butchered as a matter of routine.
But despite this, by any benchmark Israel unquestionably represents the greatest national success story of all time.
Exiled and scattered throughout the world for 2,000 years and suffering endless cycles of persecution and mass murder climaxing with the Shoah, the Jews miraculously resurrected a nation state…
Today, on our 67th anniversary, we should give thanks to the Almighty for enabling us to be the blessed Jewish generation, privileged to live in freedom in our resurrected ancient homeland. We should continually remind ourselves that our success defies rationality and by any benchmark must be deemed miraculous.