The 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence is a time to celebrate the incredible achievements of the Jewish State in such a short period, and also to reflect on the challenges ahead.
Having survived its troubled genesis, being invaded from all sides, much subsequent violence and diplomatic adversity, and, until recently, a lack of natural resources, Israel nonetheless thrives and prospers.
What has not wavered, however, is Israel’s commitment to being a haven for all Jews, and its commitment to genuine democracy for all its people, serving as an example for all those in the Middle East and beyond who aspire to a free, inclusive and open society.
Today, in many ways, Israel is stronger than ever. After struggling for 40 years, its start up economy is now admired by so many nations. It leads in numerous fields, including water and irrigation, medical research and technology. Meanwhile, Israeli relief teams are often among the first assisting at disasters around the world. Diplomatically, Israel’s reach is stronger and more expansive than ever. Even countries that formerly reflexively opposed and ostracized the Jewish State are adopting more nuanced positions, most notably with several of its Arab neighbours today establishing firm ties with Jerusalem.
While there are challenges ahead, most notably from its recalcitrant Palestinian neighbours, from belligerent Iran and its allies, and others who still question the Jewish State’s right to exist, we have no doubt that Israel will prevail over these hostile forces, showing the same courage, determination and ingenuity that have characterised its remarkable 70 years so far.