Celebrating the 69th Independence Day is not something, that all Israelis take for granted. Israel is the third expression of Jewish national sovereignty in the ancient historic homeland of the Jewish people, and that in itself is an indication of the specialty of Israel’s renewed independence and amazing history. Add up to this, that it is coming as it is, after the largest ever attempt to destroy the entire Jewish people, the Holocaust of 1939-1945, and it happens in the most unstable, volatile region of the world, the Middle East, where there are those, too many of them, who want Israel to simply disappear from the face of the Earth.
It is stability which is the first point to be discussed here. Anti Zionists of all stripes, but also sheer ignorant observers of the modern history of the Middle East, connect the entire climate of near political implosion of the region, to the very existence of Israel, its conflict with the Palestinian National Movement and the Arab world in general. In short, get rid of Israel and you get Shangri La. What the Middle East is supposed to be without Israel.
Tell that to Sunnis and Shi’is in Iraq, tell that to Alawites and Sunnis in Syria, tell that to Christian Copts and Sunnis in Egypt, tell that to Berbers and Arabs in Northern Africa. Endless more examples can be provided here to the strength and longevity of primordial hatreds and conflicts which have beset the Middle East for so many centuries, and which have nothing none whatsoever to do with the role of Israel in Middle East politics.
Some of the die hard ideological Anti Zionist scholars and activists connect Israel’s role in the region to the overall Western invasion, and the events of the First World War, the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration. Well, history and truth defy that as well. If Sykes-Picot was the initiator of artificial political entities in the Middle East, then the ONE state which has betrayed all the odds and remained stable, is Israel.
Can it be said about Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan? The on-going stability of Israel, contrasted with the chronic instability of the neighbors is the best indication that Marxist or other so-called “anti colonial” theories are not relevant in the case of Israel. Jews simply are NOT colonialists in their homeland.
Stability is also about sound economy, and here the achievements of Israel loom large, as in the end of 2016, the reputable Bloomberg rated Israel’s economy as the third most stable in the world. Here is the most dramatic evidence of the colossal failure of the not-so-recent BDS campaign to boycott Israel. For a boycott to be effective, it has to erode, if not completely destroy, the confidence and trust of foreigners, be it investors and/or governments in the country which is boycotted.
The opposite is happening with Israel, with its economy flourishing, with Per Capita income almost parallel to that of France and Great Britain, the two signers of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. Economic success is also the result of the type of goods which are produced in a country, and whose importance and vitality to so many other countries is such, that they cannot do without them. This is where the success of the Start-Up Nation is-what is produced in Israel is simply too essential for too many in the world to gloss over.
Political stability and economic success existing in a democratic system, are magnified and become unassailable, when backed by military prowess and diplomatic outreach. Israel is strong militarily, as it has no other choice, but be strong in a neighborhood where to be weak is NOT to be at all. It has a wide-range network of international relations, and as we count the tremendous achievements of this state , no one can also ignore the enormous challenges facing a state and a people which still have to explain what otherwise no other people have to do, and this is that they have a right to exist in their historic homeland .
Yes, this is where the conflict with many Arabs and Palestinians continue to cast a shadow over one of the greatest success stories of the last 100 years in the world, the reestablishment of Jewish national sovereignty in the land of the Jews. Just a day after the anniversary day, Mr.Abbas visited President Trump-an interesting coincidence.Those who support Israel are entitled to celebrate in this one particular day, but they are also reminded that the celebration is far from being universal and uncontested. Seventy is a symbolic number in Jewish tradition , and hopefully , the celebrations next year, the 70th anniversary, will be also about major progress, if not outright peace with the Arab neighbors. Not at all only Israel to do, also the responsibility of the other side.