The great Blogger crash of earlier this week delayed my posting of this little greeting to Israel.
I am a big fan of Israel and wish that country all the best. I am sorry to say that I have visited Israel only once, in 1974, and, although, I vowed over the years to return, and tried throughout my Foreign Service career to be assigned there, it never worked out--one of my big regrets.
Israel came into being on May 14, 1948, with all the odds against it. It was at war against an invading and vastly superior enemy within less than 24 hours, and won. It has been in the forefront of the fight against terror and Islamic jihadism ever since. Despite the wars and the terror directed against it, Israel is a thriving democracy with a booming high-tech sector. It is also a close ally of the United States and our friend. We can count on Israel and until the Obama administration, Israel could count on the United States.
Contrast Israel with Pakistan, which came into existence not quite one year before on August 14, 1947, and which, incidentally, voted against creation of the State of Israel during the vote at the UN. For the Muslims, it was OK to have a Muslim homeland in the Indian subcontinent, where Islam was introduced from the outside and via the sword, but not a Jewish one in the birthplace of Judaism. By the way, I can't help but notice that the West Bank only became Occupied Palestine once Israel took it from Jordan. Prior to 1967, the West Bank was just Jordan; now it's Palestine, and the people who used to be Jordanians, are now Palestinians.
Anyhow, Israel is a prosperous and free success; Pakistan is the typical Islamic repressive mess, and getting worse. We have so-called Palestinian refugees after 60 years still being feted and fed by the UN (in large part by the US taxpayer) and supplying a steady stream of bombers and killers. I don't see the same concern for the millions of Hindu, Sikh, Bahai, Zoroastrian, and Christian refugees who fled Pakistan, or for that matter for the Jews and Christians who have had to flee the Muslim world. But, that is the world in which we live.
Happy birthday Israel, and many more in the future.