11 May Big Seven-O – Many Millennia of Happy Returns!
Israel Turned 70!
70 years ago, a small strip of land, some of it desert, became home, in the eyes of the world, to a Jewish nation. Every miracle is an unintended consequence. This miracle grew out of the Holocaust. On one hand, out of Western European guilt for allowing or participating in it; on the other, out of marked lack of enthusiasm for welcoming its survivors. Murphy’s law at work, as Hitler would have said.
A people strewn around the globe for two millennia called their new home Israel. After two millennia in the role of pogrom targets and unwanted houseguests of fickle hosts they resolved to never again become victims. Israel, in a state of war with its neighbors every day of its existence, is the only democratic country in the region, a military, scientific and technological powerhouse, and a vegetable and flower exporter.
A short 20 years later, another unintended consequence visited this land. This miracle was the Six-Day War of 1967. Seemingly unrelated to the Soviet Jewry, it sparked our emigration. Before that war, Israel was not able to fight, not willing to work hard, much less work the land, and had two communist parties, a good and not so good one. After the war, Israel was an aggressor and knew how to fight. It was time for us to resolve not to be victims. The decision and the escape did not come easy but they did come.
Happy birthday, Israel! And thank you!