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Israel Flourishing Despite Struggles


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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Conflict is nothing new for Israel. Before it was re-established as a modern nation-state, the ingathering of the Jewish people to their biblical homeland was fraught with conflict.

Despite the struggles, the State of Israel is flourishing. And despite the world's predisposition to blame Israel for everything from the failed peace process with the Palestinian Authority, to defending itself against its enemies, to a variety of global issues worldwide, the nation continues to prosper.

In his first interview following last summer's military operation in the Gaza Strip, posted by Israel Hayom, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon quotes Dr. Moshe Beilinson, the former deputy editor of an Israeli newspaper, whose response to the question, "When will it end?" still applies: "When the last of our enemies understand that we are here forever."

That's a lesson most Israeli youth learn right out of high school when they begin their compulsory military service -- three years for men and two for women. They soon learn they're defending their own homes and families. It's a lesson they'll live out the rest of their lives, many as reservists in conflicts such as took place this past summer against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Experience has made Israeli leaders -- and the people for that matter -- very pragmatic. It's been an uphill battle from the start, which in itself has helped create a strong, determined people, a mélange of every culture, who have learned to live and work together in a country where ancient meets modern.

In his latest article, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Yoram Ettinger writes, "Israel is increasingly appreciated and embraced -- not ostracized -- by the global community." It's a perspective you'll rarely find in international media.

Ettinger quotes a recent article in Entrepreneur, describing the ingenuity of the Israeli people.

"The pool of STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] talent in Israel is huge. There are 140 scientists, technicians and engineers for every 10,000 Israeli employees, compared to 85 per 10,000 in the USA…Israel is flush with entrepreneurs…filled with people with courage, drive, creativity, boldness and tenacity, who will move mountains to achieve their goals and dreams."

Israeli innovation in medical research, agriculture, solar energy, aerospace engineering -- the list goes on and on -- has improved life for people in many countries. 

So while the world condemns Israel at every juncture, God continues to prosper and bless the nation, the people and the land itself as foretold in the Bible.

Polls continue to show that Israelis for the most part are optimistic about the future. And well they should be. The challenges of life here in Israel help people care for one another and appreciate the simple pleasures.

That camaraderie can be experienced every Friday night as families and friends gather around the table to thank God for His bountiful provision during the work week and for Shabbat (the Sabbath) and the rest it brings.

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About The Author


From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow tries to provide a bird’s eye view of events unfolding in her country. Tzippe’s parents were born to Russian Jewish immigrants, who fled the czar’s pogroms to make a new life in America. As a teenager, Tzippe wanted to spend a summer in Israel, but her parents, sensing the very real possibility that she might want to live there, sent her and her sister to Switzerland instead. Twenty years later, the Lord opened the door to visit the ancient homeland of her people.