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Modern Israel at 62: Tiny Country and Huge Success

Modern Israel, only 62 years old Monday night, is a world leader. Rabbi Aviner says, “Imagine what we could do if the world were not against us.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/19/2010, 8:29 PM

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Modern Israel, only 62 years old Monday night, is a world leader in society, technology medicine and dozens of other fields. National-religious Rabbi Shlomo Aviner says, “TImagine what we could do if the world were not against us.” 

Israel as a country dates back to the time of King Saul, although the Jewish tribes settled there in the days of Joshua, Moses' successor. Its ancient success is recorded in the Bible with the compilation of the Book of Psalms by his successor King David, whose son King Solomon built the First Temple.

Following the Destruction of the Second Temple and the subsequent end of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel for 2000 years, the modern State of Israel has astonished the world with its achievements since it was established in 1948.

Israel, only a fraction of one percent of the Middle East land mass and 2 percent of its population, Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees per capita in the world. The country, by a large margin, produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world and has the highest number of scientists and technicians per capita in the world.

With those achievements, it is not surprising that Israel has the highest number of PhD's and the highest number of physicians per capita in the world.

Israel also is the only nation in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.

Taking care of Jews around the world, the nation is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on Earth while respecting other religions. It is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population has grown over the last 50 years and is the only country in the Middle East where Christians, Muslims and Jews are all free to vote.

Despite all its success, Israel also leads the country in United Nations Security Council resolutions against the Jewish State. Of the 175 U.N. Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel. Of the 690 U.N. General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

Nevertheless, Israel is undeterred. Critics of anti-Israeli boycotts often point out that those supporting sanctions of Israeli products and inventions would have to live without cellular phones, which were developed in Israel, and would gave to forego many life-saving drugs that were discovered and made in Israel.

Anti-Zionists also would have to do without anti-virus program for their computers because there were first developed in Israel, as was voice technology and instant messaging. In the early 1980's, IBM chose an Israeli-designed computer chip as the brains for its first personal computers.

In the field of economics, Israel hosts the world's largest wholesale diamond center and is responsible for most of the cut and polished diamonds in the world. It also has the largest number of companies on the NASDAQ stock exchange, outside of the United States and Canada.

Another modern marvel is the revival of the Hebrew language, the only dead language that ever was revived.

The revival of Torah learning is no less marvelous after the Holocaust, and the number of yeshivas, Torah scholars and Torah publications is astounding.

The ”People of the Book,” as Jews are known, publishes in Israel more books per capita than any other country and has the most independent and free Arabic press in the Middle East.