- Politics and Social Issues»
- Middle East Political & Social Issues
My Case for Israel
Since its inception, the modern State of Israel has been villainized by many media channels and punished by the international community, even though it has a right to exist and has done absolutely nothing wrong. Such Israel-bashing is not based on a concern for human rights, as so many anti-Israel individuals and groups allege they fight for (after all, Israel is the only country in that region of the world with any respect for democracy and human rights), rather anti-Israel sentiment is anti-Semitism disguised as something else. I think this is an especially important issue to bring up here because the Internet, this website included, is home to much of the world’s current anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. Just type “Israel” into the search engine and see what I mean.
To begin with, there are many claims that Jews who appear to be of European ancestry do not belong in a place originally populated by Arab-Muslims. The thing is, though, Arab-Muslims are not the original inhabitants of Israel. Ethnic Jews have been the indigenous people in what we now as Israel for over three-thousand years. This has been proven by archaeological and historical evidence found in Israel. Ethnic Jews have had a continuous presence in Israel, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions being when they were exiled by empires. When those empires fell or changed leadership, they returned. So-called Palestinians, for the most part, are citizens of Syria and speak the Syrian dialect of Arabic. There are also Lebanese, Jordanian, and Egyptian minorities in Israel that help constitute what are known as Palestinians (a made-up ethnic group/nationality invented by the British when they colonized Israel, calling it the British Mandate of Palestine). European (Ashkenazi) Jews that people generally associate as comprising the majority of the Israeli population (Israel is actually an extremely diverse country) are the descendants of the original inhabitants of Israel. This has been proven by biological studies. After analyzing DNA samples from thousands of Jews in Europe, Africa, and Asia, researchers determined that they all shared Y-chromosomes that were not present in any other group of people, proving that they all shared a common male ancestor that no other group was descended from. Although different populations of Jews appear physically different when found in different geographic corners of the world, it has been proven that when different groups descended from the same ancestors are geographically isolated, they do end up differing in their respective physical appearances. Anthropologists have gathered large amounts of evidence that show virtually no one converted to Judaism or intermarried with Jews until the second half of the 20th Century. Jews originally came to Europe in different waves – some were brought over from the Middle East as slaves, while others immigrated when foreign conquerors took control of their land and expelled them.
In 1948, the British Mandate of Palestine (Israel) was universally recognized, even by the Arab countries, as a possession of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom returned control of that territory (which had had a continuous Jewish majority since 1854. They acquired land not through bloodshed, but because they, albeit economically impoverished, were able to collectively purchase plots of land) to the Jews in 1948, both as a refuge for Jewish Holocaust survivors from Europe (anti-Semitism was rampant in Europe following World War II. The United States and Canada had limits on how many Jewish Holocaust survivors they would allow into their countries) and because the end of the Second World War coincided with over 850,000 Arab Jews being expelled from Arab-Muslim countries, where many had had communities for over 2,000 years, just as Jews in Europe did prior to the Holocaust. The idea behind the United Kingdom officially handing that land back to the Jews was to ensure that another Holocaust would never happen again.
In all their military conflicts and wars, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has never acted offensively, only in defense. While “Palestinian” civilians have died, the Israel Defense Forces has never intentionally aimed at them, only at those who were aiming at their civilians. Israel has never lost a war. However, they have peacefully given parts of their country to their hostile neighbors in exchange for ceasefire agreements, which their neighbors always end up violating, striking at Israel and its people time and time again, while keeping the land they were given. Numerous Arab-Muslim paramilitary organizations and countries have called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Israel is the only country on Earth that gets criticized for firing back when their cities are being destroyed by enemy rocket fire and innocent people are being killed. If any other country tried to defend themselves in such a situation, the whole world would be behind them.
Contrary to the claims made by Israel’s detractors, who go as far to compare Israel to Nazi Germany, which the modern State of Israel’s founders escaped from, Israel actually has an outstanding human rights record – one that beats all of its neighbors, bar-none, and beats or rivals the human rights records of countries which are traditionally thought of as being free. All faiths are free to practice as they wish. Religious liberty is legally protected under Israeli law. LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination and hate crimes. Israel’s laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination are far stricter and more widely enforced than what we have in the United States (in fact, the United States has no Federal laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ people. Israel has many). Men and women have equal access to education in Israel. Forty-five percent of Israeli women are in the workforce, the same percentage as in the United States. Israel is a democratic country. Just like the United States, Israel enjoys free speech, free assembly, open elections, and fair trials. The 100,000 “Palestinians” that lived within Israel’s borders in 1948 automatically became full-fledged Israeli citizens. Today, 1.3 million Arab-Muslims living in Israel hold Israeli citizenship. There are many Arab-Muslim members of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. They have had representation in the Knesset since 1948. Arabic is one of Israel’s official languages, on par with Hebrew. Israel has anti-discrimination laws and affirmative action policies that protect all minority groups in Israel, including the Arab-Muslims, and does everything it can to help them achieve full economic and social equality. Israeli airlifts rescued 28,000 Ethiopians during Ethiopia’s Civil War. Israel is one of the biggest donators of earthquake assistance after major earthquakes. The Israeli government sponsors the largest program in the world for children from poor nations who need heart surgery (even helping children in Arab-Muslim countries that hate Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip). Israel was one of the few countries to open its door to Vietnamese “boat people”. Israel has trained over 200,000 people in 130 countries in desert agriculture, water management, desertification prevention, emergency and disaster medicine, refugee absorption, and employment programs – all of which Israelis are particularly skilled at due to Israel’s unique geographic, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic situations.
Israel is a country of innovations. There have been so many technological, medical, and intellectual strides to come out of Israel since the founding of the modern State of Israel, strides that have definitely improved the world around us. We can be certain that the world would be much different without Israel’s existence. Some of Israel’s advances include:
- Israel has the highest per capita rate of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree holders.
- Israel has the highest rate of scientists in the workforce. There are 135 scientists per 1,000 citizens, compared with just 85 per 1,000 citizens in the United States.
- More scientific publications have come out of Israel than from any other nation.
- Israel produces the world’s second highest number of new books.
- Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.
- Israel has the third-largest number of companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, just behind the United States and Canada.
- Text messaging, the camera phone, voicemail, and the videophone were also invented in Israel.
- The Windows NT, Windows XP, and Windows Vista operating systems, as well as the newest edition of Microsoft Office, were all developed by Microsoft Israel.
- Instant messaging was invented in Israel.
- The first anti-virus software was invented in Israel, as was the first firewall (both were invented by the Israeli military).
- Electro-optic chips were invented in Israel.
- Nanotechnology was invented in Israel.
- The Pentium 4 microprocessor was invented in Israel.
- The Centrino processor was invented in Israel.
- Google runs on a search algorithm created in Israel.
- Drip irrigation was invented in Israel.
- The camera pill was invented in Israel.
- Software that ensures the proper distribution of pharmaceuticals to patients was invented in Israel.
- Baby monitors were invented in Israel.
- Copaxone, a drug that mitigates the effects of multiple sclerosis, was invented in Israel. Rasagaline, a drug that treats Parkinson’s Disease, was also invented in Israel.
- A radiation-free device that helps doctors detect breast cancer was invented in Israel.
- Cardiac stents were invented in Israel.
- Israel was the first nation to adopt the Kimberly Process, which ensures diamonds do not come from conflict regions or places where the miners are exploited and their working conditions are unsafe.
- Israel is the only country on Earth that entered the 21st Century with more trees than it had in the 20th Century.
- Israel has had 179 Nobel Prize winners.
20% of the world’s total Nobel Prizes in Chemistry have gone to Israelis.
42% of the world’s total Nobel Prizes in Economics have gone to Israelis.
28% of the world’s total Nobel Prizes in Medicine have gone to Israelis.
26% of the world’s total Nobel Prizes in Physics have gone to Israelis.
12% of the world’s total Nobel Prizes in Literature have gone to Israelis.
5 of the Nobel Peace Prizes have gone to Israelis.
Despite the claims of Israel-bashing protesters, student organizations and professors at colleges and universities across the United States, governments, supranational organizations, so-called journalists, and terrorist organizations, Israel has every right to exist and every right to defend its territorial integrity and people. The modern State of Israel was founded by moral people with strong ties to that land, with every right to occupy that land. They did not just get off a boat from Europe and decide to invent a homeland, as so many detractors have claimed. Those founders in 1948 sought to start a peaceful society and a just nation, which the Israeli government of today continues to embody and aspire to at the same time. Since Israelis live in a land that is rightfully theirs, far more rightfully theirs than the United States belongs to non-Native American Americans, they also have the right to defend themselves, just as any other commonwealth would. When rocket fire from the Gaza Strip blows Israeli cities to smithereens, Israel has a right to, and should, fire back at their attackers. When bullets from Lebanon kill innocent Israeli civilians, Israel has a right to, and should, fire back at their attackers. Any other country would respond in such a manner, and they would be met with strong support from the international community for doing so. Israel ends up taking a lot of criticism instead, which is rooted in closeted anti-Semitism. There is no logic to being anti-Israel. Israel’s detractors say they want human rights, but looking at their literature, one finds quite the opposite. In respect to human rights, freedom, and democracy, Israel is a shining beacon of hope, not only for the region it lies in, but for the entire world. Israel is an excellent model for most countries to follow. Some of the greatest advances and innovations of the 20th and 21st centuries have emerged out of Israel, which is the all the more incredible when one considers how small of a country it is and how it is under the threat of attack, even annihilation, constantly. One would think they would devote all of their energy and resources solely to military defense, but so much technological innovation and intellectual breakthroughs have emerged from this desert oasis, which have benefitted people the world over. Israel is not a villain. Israel is a hero.