Given the amount of news print, UN resolutions, radio and television air time spent commenting, discussing, attacking, challenging and reviling Israel, an alien dropping down to Earth from another planet would have to think that Israel is one of the largest, most populous and powerful countries in the world. Instead, Israel is one of the tiniest countries in the world, no bigger that the state of New Jersey. In fact it is the 100th smallest country on the planet with less than 1/1000th of the world's population.
There are 2 billion Christians in the world; 1.5 billion Muslims and only 14 million Jews. Christians and Muslims together make up about ½ the entire world's population and the Jews constitute just two tenths of one percent of the people of the world. And Israel is their only homeland. There are 56 countries with Islamic majorities, 49 countries with Roman Catholic majorities, 20 countries with Protestant majorities, 12 countries with Eastern Orthodox majorities, 4 countries with Hindu majorities and one country with a Jewish majority.
THE LAND OF ISRAEL has been sacred to the Jewish people since Biblical times. From the time of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs around 2000 BCE. The first kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BCE and a series of Israelite kingdoms ruled for the next 1,000 years. That is why all the holy sites of Judaism are found within Israel.
Between the time of the Israelite kingdoms and the 7th century Muslim conquest of Israel the Land of Israel fell under the rule of the Assyrians (and the Jews were there), the Babylonians (and the Jews were there), the Persians (and the Jews were there), the Greeks (and the Jews were there), the Romans (and the Jews were there), the Sassanians (and the Jews were there) and then the Byzantine Empire around 636 during the initial Muslim conquests of the Middle East (and the Jews were still there).
Control of the region then transferred between the Umayyads, the Abbasids, and the Crusaders over the next six centuries before falling in the hands of the Mamluk Sultanate in 1260 who ruled for 300 years. In 1516 the Land of Israel was once again conquered, this time by the Ottoman Empire which ruled the region until the 20th century and its defeat in World War I. And through it all there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land of Israel for the past 3,300 years. And yet, if the dreams of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Ayatollahs of Iran and others, all of whom openly call for the destruction of Israel and death to its Jewish population were to have come true, think about these realities of Israel that are just some of the reasons I am always proud to be one of its strongest supporters and champions:
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that allows women to travel freely without a male guardian's permission.
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that treats "honor killings" as harshly as all other murder crimes.
Hebrew and Arabic are Israel's two official languages.
There are five official Arab political parties in Israel.
Israeli Arabs have held as many as 12 of the 120 seats in the Israeli Parliament at one time.
One of Israel's Supreme Court Judges is a Palestinian Arab.
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country where Christianity is growing.
In spite of how tiny Israel is as a country, here are just some of the remarkable advances it has contributed to the world:
1. Intel's multi-core processor was completely developed in Israel.
2. The cell phone technology was created in Israel by Motorola.
3. Voice Over Internet Protocal (COIP) technology was pioneered in Israel.
4. Most of the Windows NT and XP operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel.
5. The Pentium MMX Chip was designed in Israel at Intel.
6. Israel has the highest concentration of high tech companies in the world outside of Silicon Valley.
7. Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce.
8. Israelis discovered the molecular trigger that causes psoriasis.
9. Developed the Ex-Press shunt to provide relief for glaucoma sufferers.
10. Unveiled a blood test that diagnoses heart attacks ... by telephone!
11. Designed the first flight system to protect passenger and freighter aircraft against missile attack.
12. Developed the first ingestible video camera so small it fits inside a pill used to view the small intestine from the inside, enabling doctors to diagnose cancer and digestive disorders!
13. Perfected a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with congestive heart failure, synchronizing the heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.
14. Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin;
15. Israel has the largest number of startup companies globally, second only to the U.S.;
16. Israel is No. 2 in the world for venture capital funds, right behind the United States;
17. Two Israelis won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2004.
18. An Israeli-made device helps restore the use of paralyzed hands.
19. Israel is developing a nose drop that will provide a five-year flu vaccine.
20. The technology of AOL instant messenger was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
21. Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
22. Israel has one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
23. Israel has more museums per capita than any country in the world.
24. Israel has the 2nd highest publication of new books per capita.
25. Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in the number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mostly desert.
26. Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.
27. A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct -- all without damaging surroundings skin or tissue.
28. An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave Desert.
29. Israel is one of the world's leading innovators in producing fresh water from desalinization.
So imagine a world without Israel, and remember all the innovation, technology, creativity, medical advances that have already been gifted to the world, and all the remarkable contributions yet to come that would simply never be, if there truly was a world without Israel.