28 April 2008

Israel Is Strong - Really

When you, an avid reader of Jerusalem Post, go through another editorial by Caroline Glick (to take one, but outstanding, example), the customary feeling of gloom and doom sinks its talons into your sensitive soul. It makes your morning pita taste just the same as that highly hygienic sliced white bread you get from a plastic bag. Syrians are already climbing the fence, Hezbollah is horribly bemissiled, Hamas is finishing a burrow to get to the Prime Minister's office and Mahmoud the Mad is priming the warhead on the doomsday machine.

If you read it here in Israel, your pita still retains a bit of its taste. After all, we all know that our Caroline is, how to say it gently, a bit too overexcited. Just because a certain knight in his slightly tattered armor has not yet unseated that weasel who somehow insinuated himself in the PM's chair and who doesn't show any signs of getting off. Anyhow, we understand her bitterness.

But if you are Jooish abroad, your pita's taste is definitely off. Your day is destroyed, your digestion is ruined and, short of running to the airport to take the first flight to Ben Gurion and start saving us the moment you step of the plane, a fat check to AJC or JNF is your only recourse to some semblance of healing.

And if you are a non-Jooish sympathizer, you just wonder what keeps IDF from tearing all these vicious enemies to bits in one mighty swoop. And your conclusion is that these commie peaceniks at the helm are too impotent to do anything useful and thus condemn the country to speedy demise.

Well, I think that there is something in the way of relief. It is not that Syrians don't have a look now and then at the fence or that Hezbollah is not horribly bemissiled. It is just that we need to step back from the hype from time to time to get some sense of proportion. Which is hard to do if you are an avid reader... but this is how I have started this post. In any case, the article Israel Is Strong - Really by professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center does exactly this.

Let's face it: after almost 2,000 years in exile and only 60 years of Israel as a sovereign nation, it still feels funny for Jews, especially those outside of Israel, to have a state.

That, along with other factors, makes it easy to underestimate Israel's success and security. However, though at first glance it might seem counter-intuitive to say so, Israel today is stronger, more secure and in a better strategic position than at just about any time in its history.
Read the whole article before you go for that pita. And Bon Appetit!

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.