To mark the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding this week, National Review Online asked a group of experts: Where is Israel going to?
Caroline B. Glick
At 60, many claim that the best of Israel is behind it. They look nostalgically at the past and claim that back then, things were better than they are now. But this is not true.
By almost every measure, Israel today is better off than it ever was at any time in its past and its prospects for the next 60 years are encouraging. Israel’s economy is strong and growing.
Militarily, Israel has the means and the will to defend itself and emerge victorious against both conventional and non-conventional threats simultaneously and without significant foreign assistance.
Demographically, Israel continues to confound expectations by maintaining its solid Jewish majority. Its fertility rates are the highest in the Western world. With rising immigration rates, it is clear that Israel does not need to worry about losing its identity as a Jewish democratic state in the foreseeable future.
Diplomatically, Israel’s great challenge in the near term is to recognize that its task is not to seek approval from other countries for the actions it takes to defend itself, but to demand recognition from other nations that the steps it takes to defend itself advance global security. For Israel is the frontline state in the global jihad.
Politically, Israel’s great challenge is to quickly replace its current leaders who have failed to recognize Israel’s great strengths or meet Israel’s security and diplomatic challenges, with better ones.
Many argue that Israel was established by the United Nations. But this is false. Israel was established by the Jewish people who transformed swampland and desert into farmland and forests, and naked fields into modern metropolises. The U.N. merely acknowledged a well-founded reality.
So too, Israel’s future survival, strength, and prosperity will be guaranteed not by international good will but by the ingenuity, strength, creativity, and courage of the Jewish people.
Given Israel’s extraordinary accomplishments in its first 60 years, once it solves its leadership crisis, there will be little reason to look to its next 60 years with anything but optimism and anticipation.
– Caroline B. Glick is the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and senior Middle East fellow for the Center for Security Policy. Her book Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad was released in the U.S. this month.
Civilization, as we know it, depends on the survival and well-being of the state of Israel. It is a nexus which many, if not most, would deny; this mistake is one of the central tragedies of our age, for we may learn too late that the welfare of the Jewish homeland is a litmus test for the welfare of freedom and justice wherever they may be.
The effort to demonize and destroy the Jewish state – the embodiment of the self-determination of the Jewish people — is the face of modern anti-Semitism.
The corrosive effect of this anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on the central tenets of international law and order is clearest at the United Nations — the organization founded on the ashes of the Jewish people.
The U.N. Charter declares the equality of all nations large and small; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, insists upon the equality of all races and religions. And yet, responsibility for the globalization of anti-Semitism lies with the U.N. itself. Through the U.N., the enemies of Israel have corrupted the system of the international protection of human rights, the principles of combating racism and xenophobia, and the elementary laws of self-defense.
Let us hope that we recognize in time that those who aim first to justify Israel’s annihilation, aim second at the remainder of the free world.
– Anne Bayefsky is senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. She also serves as the director of the Touro Institute for Human Rights and the Holocaust and as the editor of EYEontheUN.org.