Israel: 70 Years of Success Against All Odds

In just seven decades, the Jewish people rebuilt their ancestral homeland, transforming it into a thriving democracy and thwarting the onslaught of internal and external attacks on its sovereignty.

By: Daniel Krygier

Seventy years is a blink of an eye in the long history of the Jewish people. Yet, during seven short but dramatic decades, the homeless Jewish people rebuilt its ancestral homeland Israel and turned it into a modern and thriving state defended by one of the world’s finest military forces.

Few international observers believed that the Jewish people would agree to the UN Partition plan that left the nascent Jewish state within dangerously narrow borders and detached from the ancient Jewish capital Jerusalem. Yet, the Zionist leadership led by David Ben-Gurion accepted the partition plan while the Arabs rejected it and attacked Israel with the explicit goal of wiping it off the map. Few military experts at the time believed that the Jewish state would survive the pan-Arab assault. In theory, the experts were right.

The Jews in the land of Israel were outnumbered and outgunned. US President Truman was the first international leader to recognize modern Israel. However, the United States imposed a weapon embargo on the Middle East while British officers led Transjordan’s Arab legion against Israel. Less evident but crucial was the fighting spirit of the Jewish people in Israel. Merely three years after the Holocaust, the Jews of Israel regained their national freedom through determination and ingenuity.

The Jewish people’s willpower to survive proved far stronger than the Arab determination to wipe out the Jewish state. Modern Israel is a living testimony to the fact that the forces of freedom and creation are superior to the forces of despotism and destruction. Israel has transformed dramatically from a poor and fragile state to a thriving and democratic powerhouse. Israel’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is today over $40,000, which is comparable to economic powers like Britain, Japan and France. By comparison, the GDP per capita of Egypt and Jordan are $2,500 and $4,000 respectively.

In 1948, a mere 5% of the world’s Jewish population lived in Israel. In 2018, close to 50% of the world’s Jews live in Israel. For the first time in more than 2,000 years, Israel is projected to become home to the majority of world’s Jewry.

Israel has gathered in millions of Jews from the four corners of the world and revived ancient Hebrew as a modern language in culture and science. Israel still longs for genuine peace but remains a thriving bastion of freedom in a region fractured by conflict and poverty. Only time will tell whether the Muslim Arab world will use the next 70 years for peaceful creation or continue down the road of violent destruction.