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Yom Ha’atsma-oot: Israel Independence Day, 2014

By Tuvia Brodie
5/6/2014, 9:05 AM

Today, ancient Israel celebrates a modern-day rebirth anniversary: we begin our 67th year since the nations of the world united to accept this modern version of Israel as a ‘State’.

Jews have lived on this land of Israel for more than 3,000 years. We were building homes and communities here when most nations were still forests--or empty, wind-swept landscapes. We had national kings when many others had scattered, struggling tribes. We were a ‘somebody’ when Europe and America were ‘nobody’.

We have an ancient history on this land. We have a staying power no one else can match. We have been conquered, beaten, enslaved and exiled. The world’s most powerful nations—Assyria, Babylonia, Rome—have tried to destroy us. But we have always survived. We have always had Jewish feet on this Jewish land.

We attract a lot of attention. Apparently, nations love to hate us. They can’t stop trying to kill us.

That tells us something. It suggests that we have something the nations want but cannot get. They seem to hate us because of it. What do you think it is?

Israel is a nation crowned with distinction. We are the only nation in history which can produce a 3,000+ year old deed to its homeland. We are the only nation in history whose story has been told and retold before billions upon billions of people for more than 2,000 years. We are the only nation in history whose land-deed appears as a public record in the best-selling book of all time—the Bible. We are the only nation in history whose land is proclaimed to be ours by nothing less than the world’s greatest religions.

The Jewish Tanach proclaims Israel to be the land of the Jews. The Christian Bible shows Israel to be the home of the Jewish people. The Muslim Koran declares that the land of Israel was given to the Jews as a gift from G-d.

We are the only nation in history whose homeland has been so endorsed. We are the only nation in history whose title to land ownership is so distinctive, it’s been validated by foreign gods.

Nevertheless, despite the power of our deed and the universal acknowledgement of our right to ownership, our rights to this land have never been more in question. In 1948, Arabs alone rejected our right to ownership. The nations accepted our rights. But today, it isn’t just Arabs who reject our deed and our rights to that deed.

Today, Jihadi Muslims reject their own Koran to promote their call to destroy Israel. Christian denominations reject their own Bible to demonize Israel. Unbelieving Jews reject their own historic narrative to demand that Israel abandon portions of its ancient national homeland.

The most widely-read book in history—and what are called the world’s greatest religions—may indeed proclaim Israel to belong to the Jews. But today, after 66 years of extraordinary success and miraculous achievements, Jewish Israel stands isolated and demonized.

‘It’s not yours,’ the world says of Israel’s ancient, Biblical national homeland;  ‘give it up!’

The nations reject their own religions. They become apostate against their own beliefs. They become hypocrites in order to attack the land of the Jews. They do this because their hate is stronger than their religion.

Today, as we begin our 66th year of modern life, we appear increasingly to be surrounded by enemies. We seem to hang on for dear life—literally.

It doesn’t matter. Our enemies will not control us.

They can try. Jews will even help them. But they will all fail because we have become distinct, separated from the world of lies that surrounds us.

We cherish life. We honour liberty to honourable men. We stand up for what is right. We serve the G-d of Israel.

Others can do as they please. We will stand firm—and we will celebrate.

We have good reason to celebrate. The G-d of Israel has shone His favour to us. He has blessed us—just as He said he would in the 3,000 year-old Jewish Bible.

Look it up. It’s a public record. G-d made promises to Israel. G-d has fulfilled those promises.

The nations of the world may attempt to criminalize us—and unbelieving Jews may join in that attack—but this Jewish nation of Israel is stronger than them all. We are stronger because G-d has given us a crown. He has made us distinct among the nations.  

Our Tanach says that in the days of Redemption (or, perhaps, in the days just before Redemption), Israel will stand like a lion before its enemies. Today, as we look at how the nations  treat us, we know exactly what that means.

Happy birthday, lion of Zion.