No, Benny Morris. Israel will be blooming 40 years from now

Revisionist historian Benny Morris' pessimism about Israel's future is misplaced. He should start worrying about Europe.

Giulio Meotti, | updated: 09:22

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giulio meott
צילום: עצמי

“This place will decline like a Middle Eastern state with an Arab majority”, Israeli historian Benny Morris said to Haaretz recently:

“The violence between the different populations, within the state, will increase. The Arabs will demand the return of the refugees. The Jews will remain a small minority within a large Arab sea of Palestinians, a persecuted or slaughtered minority, as they were when they lived in Arab countries. Those among the Jews who can, will flee to America and the West."

“The Palestinians look at everything from a broad, long-term perspective. They see that at the moment, there are five-six-seven million Jews here, surrounded by hundreds of millions of Arabs. They have no reason to give in, because the Jewish state can’t last. They are bound to win. In another 30 to 50 years they will overcome us, come what may.”

That kind of pessimism - the idea that the Israeli Jews will meet the same terrible fate of Hevron's Jews in 1929 - might have had some basis in the '90s, when the Israeli economy was declining along with the Jewish fertility, and the political leadership gambled with Israel's security by adopting the suicidal policy of “land for peace”. Today, Morris' dark mood is totally unreasonable. Israel today only transmits optimism.

The country has just been named the third most innovative in the world by the World Economic Forum. Israel gathers venture capital per capita to a thirty-times-faster rythm than Europe. Israel has recently become the third country in the world for number of start-ups on artificial intelligence, second only to the United States and China, while Tel Aviv is the third major hub after San Francisco and London.

Alvaro Pereira, chief economist of the OECD, said that in the last fifteen years the Israeli economy has grown faster and more coherently than almost any other country. A report by Deloitte & Touche has shown that in six major fields - telecommunications, microchips, software, biopharmaceutical, medical devices and clean energy - Israel is second only to the United States for innovation. As reported by the Financial Times, Israel spends more on research and development of any other developed country and it has also surpassed South Korea, transforming the Jewish State into a “Hong Kong of the Middle East.”


Israel has a good deal to teach many Western countries: Israel, the country of checkpoints, gas masks, anti-missile batteries, shelters, stabbings, Intifadas, closed borders, syringes of atropine in case of chemical war, reservists and mandatory service? Yes, that country.
It seems that Israel has a good deal to teach many Western countries: Israel, the country of checkpoints, gas masks, anti-missile batteries, shelters, stabbings, Intifadas, closed borders, syringes of atropine in case of chemical war, reservists and mandatory service? Yes, that country.

Don't be fooled. Israel is not only the “innovation nation”. Think about demography. Israel has the highest fertility rate in the Western world and the birth rate is growing at more than 3 children per family among the secular Israelis, not only the religious ones.

Israel is probably the only Western country which has been able to merge a democratic system and a nationalistic set of values, which you can measure by the respect for tradition, national unity in the moments of crisis and collective cultural belonging.

Israel doesn't refuse to defend itself against terror, Jihad, evil and the century old Arab war to destroy it.

So Mr. Morris' apocalyptic prediction will not become true. The opposite. In 2048, the Israeli economy will bloom, its army and security apparatus will be stronger than today and the country will have a population of at least 15 million people, like a medium sized European country.

What I fear most, actually, is the fall of an aging, declining and pacifist Europe. 

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