At 67, Israel Has Surpassed All Expectations

April 23, 2015  

At 67, Israel exudes long-term optimism
Sixty-seven years ago, upon Israel’s declaration of independence, Life magazine noted (May ‎‎31, 1948) the odds facing the 600,000 Jews of the newly born economy-‎starved and militarily embargoed Jewish state: “King Abdullah of Transjordan sent ‎his Arab Legion against Jerusalem. … Egypt’s planes repeatedly bombed Tel Aviv. ‎Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia pitched in. … The Arabs cut off Jerusalem from ‎the coast by blocking the road to Tel Aviv. … The old walled city came under artillery ‎fire. … A three-pronged attack was compressing the [Jewish] defenders into the ‎Jewish Quarter of the Old City. … King Abdullah’s Arab Legion was spearheading ‎the Arabs’ land offensive. … The Jews had little but light anti-aircraft to fight off these ‎attacks. … A country the size of Connecticut is ringed by hostile neighbors. … Time and ‎geography favor the Arabs, and England, which does not recognize Israel, is sending ‎the Arab states arms, [while] Israel’s friends in the U.S. aim to lift our embargo on ‎arms. … Can Israel survive?” ‎

In defiance of the jagged cutting edge of the Middle East and the world at large, and ‎in spite of boycotts, sanctions, embargoes, condemnations, wars, terrorism and ‎diplomatic adversity, the Jewish state has catapulted from the Holocaust, ‎and the near-destruction during its War of Independence, to world-class ‎stellar performance in the areas of economy, technology, science, medicine, health, ‎agriculture, irrigation, first responding, military and counterterrorism, and sharing ‎its exceptional achievements with the Third World, the West, and especially with the ‎U.S. ‎

At 67, Israel reaffirms a historic fact: Pressuring the Jewish olive produces superb oil.‎

At 67, against all odds, and beyond the wildest expectations, Israel demonstrates that ‎principle-driven, highly motivated and defiant societies are capable of transforming ‎tough times into challenges and opportunities, while surging to new heights. ‎

At 67, Israel enjoys splendid integration into the global economy and Israel’s ‎economy is praised by the International Monetary Fund and the three leading rating ‎companies, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings. Israel’s gross domestic product and industrial ‎exports total $300 billion and $47 billion, respectively, compared to $1.5 billion and $5 million, ‎respectively, in 1948. Israel’s GDP growth (3%) is similar to the U.S. and higher than ‎Canada (1.9%), Britain (1.6%), Germany (1.1%) and the OECD average (1.3%). ‎Israel’s unemployment rate (6%) is lower than the OECD average (7.5%). Israel’s ‎debt-to-GDP ratio (67% and declining) is lower than the U.S. (106%), the Euro bloc ‎‎(108%), the G-20 (97%), Britain (92%) and Germany (75%). Israel has the largest (per ‎capita) number of startup companies in the world, the highest (per capita) ratio of ‎university degrees, the highest ratio of research and development personnel (140 per ‎‎10,000 workers), and is a research and development hub of some 250 U.S. high ‎technology companies. Overseas investment in Israel is at a record level and trade ‎with India and China is skyrocketing. ‎

At 67, Israel is facing a potential wave of aliyah (Jewish immigration), which could be ‎the most effective engine of growth, attracting more investment to Israel, enhancing ‎Israel’s Jewish demography, and bolstering Israel’s posture of deterrence in a ‎dramatic manner. A proactive aliyah policy could generate 500,000 immigrants — in the next five years — from France, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Britain, Argentina and ‎the U.S., due to the relative strength of Israel’s economy, the rise of global anti-‎Semitism, the gradual Islamification of Europe, and the expansion of Jewish/Zionist ‎education in major Jewish communities. ‎

‎At 67, Israel is — in contrast to the tumultuous, unpredictable, unreliable, violent and ‎generally anti-U.S. Arab street — the only stable, predictable, reliable, capable, willing, ‎democratic and unconditional ally of the U.S., regionally and globally. In 1969 and ‎‎1978, the revolutions that installed Muammar Gadhafi ‎and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini transformed Libya and Iran, respectively, from pro- ‎to anti-U.S. regimes. In 2003, the rise of Erdoğan changed Turkey from a pro-U.S. to ‎an anti-U.S. Islamic orientation. In 2012, the pro-U.S. Egyptian military regime was ‎replaced by the anti-U.S. Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization. A regime change ‎in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States would trigger a similar anti-U.S. shift. On ‎the other hand, Israel’s Right and Left, hawks and doves are inherent and unfailing ‎allies of the U.S. ‎

‎At 67, Israel is increasingly involved in mutually beneficial, two-way street, win-‎win ties with the U.S., providing the U.S. with critical intelligence on Islamic terrorism, ‎exceeding intelligence received by the U.S. from all NATO countries combined. ‎Moreover, Israel is the most battle-tested, cost-effective laboratory of the U.S. defense ‎industries, sharing with U.S. manufacturers thousands of upgrades and modifications, ‎enhancing the U.S. global competitiveness, exports, research and development and ‎employment. Israel is to the U.S. defense industry what triple-A tenants are to ‎shopping malls: increasing value and drawing clients — a mega-billion dollar bonanza. ‎

At 67, Israel’s robust demography leads birth rates in the free world with more than three births ‎per Jewish woman, providing a tailwind to Israel’s economy and national security. In ‎‎1995, there were 2.3 Jewish births per each Arab birth; in 2014 — 3.4 Jewish births. ‎The number of Jewish births surged from 80,400 in 1995 to 136,000 in 2014 — a 69% ‎increase — while the annual number of Arab births has stabilized over the years. ‎From 600,000 Jews in 1948, Israel’s Jewish population has grown to 6.5 million, ‎benefitting from a robust tailwind of fertility (especially among secular Jewish ‎women!) and net immigration, while Arabs have experienced an unprecedented ‎modernity-driven decline in fertility, in addition to net emigration.‎

Against the backdrop of the last stormy 67 years, one may conclude that the ‎sustained wars, terrorism and diplomatic adversity have been merely bumps on the ‎road of unprecedented growth and development, benefitting the Jewish state, the ‎U.S. and the rest of the world.‎
By: Yoram Ettinger


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1 COMMENT

  1. By heyjules, May 6, 2015

    Interesting Article.

    Reply

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