Today is yom ha’atzmaut, the Day of Independence, celebrating 58 years of the modern State of Israel. Contrary to what those on the left may say or believe (the two are not necessarily at all the same things), Jews have always lived in the Holy Land, and have for 3,000 and more years. That Israel has not been a distinctive nation-state for most of those years is neither here nor there.
The modern Israel may have been created out of a sense of European guilt for the nearly-successful genocide of the Jewish people. So, a national home was necessary to help assuage that guilt. But guilt alone can’t explain the rightness of restoring Israel as a nation among nations. Nor can it explain how a geographically tiny nation has been able to survive while surrounded by Arab populations who have been trying to kill them from the first day. And who, incidentally, turned down an independent Palestinian Arab state at the Partition.
Part of the rightness of modern Israel is that it sits on land that had been promised by God to the Jews. Given that the victor nations in World War II were predominantly Christian (even Soviet Russia, albeit not officially), this was not unimportant. Quite the opposite. For unbelievers among the victorious Allies, they could simply accept that there was secular justice in providing a safe haven for persecuted Jews.
So, today we are 58 years into what some might say presages the Second Coming of Christ, or, for some observant Jews, the first coming of the messiah. Other, highly pious Jews, think that modern Israel has no right to exist without the messiah first coming. And a pretty large majority of the world’s Muslims would be just as happy if there were no Jews in the Middle East whatsoever. They just disagree among themselves as how best to achieve that goal.
I’m not an objective observer, of course, being born Jewish, and being a Zionist. But I’d like to share what one of my favorite goyim has to say about Israel today. From Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus:
A lot of people—particularly on the extreme left and the extreme right—lament that the U.S. is yoked to Israel. I thought of this when Iran announced that, if America acts against it, it will respond by attacking Israel. Whether we like it or not, we are yoked to Israel. We are also yoked to decency, liberty, and the survival of humanity. A country that will turn its back on Israel in these times—in any time since 1948, really—is a country that, in a way, has decided against humanity.
Happy anniversary, Israel. May you have many more; at least until Yehoshua the Nazarene returns to claim what is his. That’s Jesus Christ, my brothers and sisters.