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P. David Hornik

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August 4, 2013 - 9:00 am

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Is Israel an isolated country? Many think so. The Israeli left regularly warns that, if Israel doesn’t somehow “make peace” and clear out of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), its isolation will only worsen until it truly becomes a leper.

Recently Efraim Inbar, head of the Begin-Sadat Center think tank at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, published an article challenging that view. Inbar begins by acknowledging that:

The bad news is clear. Israel’s right to exist is questioned by many, and its ancient and present capital, Jerusalem, is unrecognized by all but a few states. Israeli leaders are sometimes compared to leaders of Nazi Germany, and Israeli actions against the Palestinians are described as Nazi-like policies…. Opponents and critics portray the Jewish state as the world’s worst violator of human rights, United Nations resolutions, and international law.

And with Jews “historically conditioned to sense isolation and delegitimization,” it all has a clear effect on Israelis:

An August 2010 poll showed that 56 percent of Jewish Israelis subscribed to the view that the “whole world is against us.” Even a larger majority, 77 percent, thought that it made no difference what the Israeli government did and how far it might go on the Palestinian issue: The world would continue to be critical regardless of the facts.

And yet, says Inbar, the situation on the ground has actually changed dramatically for the better.

Since 1991, Israel’s international status has greatly improved as many states decided to upgrade or to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, partly due to the emergence of [Israel’s foremost ally] the United States as a hegemonic global power…. [A]ll former states of the Soviet bloc and most Afro-Asian states have opted for diplomatic relations and have maintained them ever since.

Inbar also cites

a high level of friendly relations toward Israel and the Jewish people within the two most populous and dynamic states on the world scene: India and China, rising powers in every sense of the word. Both are old civilizations that have not been burdened by anti-Semitic baggage as has Europe.

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Top Rated Comments   
One aspect of life in Israel you omitted was the amount of integration of Israeli Arabs into Israeli society. I believe the driving force towards integration has been the relative prosperity in Israel. Go to any hospital and you will find a completely integrated staff. Shopping centers and recreational areas you will find Jews and Arabs. You may have trouble getting into some of the Arab villages because of the Jewish shoppers clogging the roads trying to to do their shopping there. There are some areas such as high tech where there too is a start towards integration. The media doesnt report any of this since it doesnt fit their agenda.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (10)
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50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Western ethics are the modern manifestation of the ancient moral prescriptions originally recorded in the Torah. Is it really a coincidence if those most in rebellion against these ancient moral prescriptions are precisely those who hate the people who managed to convey them all the way into the present?

The modern state of Israel as a miracle in our time. If we take history as a guide, should we expect miracles to be universally recognized, let alone celebrated? Let's be realistic, and recognize the hard facts: Just as an example, the Saudi monarchy is so afraid of the Bible, it has banned it in its land! This is the kind of reality we live in. The nation of Israel is doing a darn good job of dealing with it, but the hate is ultimately the haters' problem.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I support Israel 100% as an ally and pretty much sole rational actor in an irrational, dangerous part of the world. I am not so naive to not believe that ultimately Israel acts in Israel's own self-perceived best interests. Articles that portray that "Real Politic" in self-referencing religiosity make me more than a little nervous. The differnce one might suppose in Americas' "Manifest Destiny" to ultimately expand to the Pacific as opposed to a "Divine Destiny" used to justify it. The former represents geographic rationality, the latter more on the order of mystic moralization.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
As an American Jew all I can say is when 89% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 63% of Democrats support Israel, Israel will never have to worry, We are hear to back you up, no matter what Obama does. And Canada also has high support for Israel and lately has been Israels best friend in the UN, so our norther neighbors are on your side too and 75% of columbians support Israel, so you have some support in central america and many of the pacific island nations back you up too.

Israel, you've got friends. God be with the only democracy in the region with no state religion and guaranteed religious freedoms for all, free speech and equality for all
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
One aspect of life in Israel you omitted was the amount of integration of Israeli Arabs into Israeli society. I believe the driving force towards integration has been the relative prosperity in Israel. Go to any hospital and you will find a completely integrated staff. Shopping centers and recreational areas you will find Jews and Arabs. You may have trouble getting into some of the Arab villages because of the Jewish shoppers clogging the roads trying to to do their shopping there. There are some areas such as high tech where there too is a start towards integration. The media doesnt report any of this since it doesnt fit their agenda.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
to 99.9% of the MSM, facts are such inconvenient things! Thanks for posting this important information.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Really wonderful article. I had of course been aware of the "light onto the nations" phrase, but not the "dwelling alone." It brings a certain solace to know that the Torah foresaw this (in some broad way).

An original and insightful piece. Very well done.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The kind words are much appreciated.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
You write as a man of immense integrity. Beautiful article; sobering, but beautiful. Thank you.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
And thank you very much.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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