Friday, May 13, 2016

68 Reasons To Respect, If Not Love, Israel On Its 68th Birthday

Robert Sarner Jewish Daily Forward

This week, as Israel celebrates the 68th anniversary of its hard-won independence, it’s worth celebrating the unlikely success story of this embattled little country, amid all its imperfections.

Like other countries, Israel is a work in progress. Blemishes abound and Israelis are the first to criticize and question their own shortcomings: political corruption, a dysfunctional electoral system, the extortion and blackmail of the ultra-Orthodox parties, the rampant economic iniquities, the status of Israeli Arabs, the treatment of Ethiopian immigrants, the situation of Palestinians in the West Bank, the plight of African refugees. The problems are longstanding and a searing indictment of Israeli leadership.

But show me another country on the planet that, within such a relatively short time and against such daunting odds, has done what Israel has achieved since its inception in 1948. So, in honor of its birthday, here are 68 reasons to respect, if not always love, the world’s one and only Jewish country.

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