Israel is one of the few countries in the world that entered the 21st century with more trees than it had 100 years ago.
Today its forests have more than 200,000,000 trees - in a country that is 60% desert!
One of Judaism’s central themes is a story of national liberation in the face of imperial powers. Israel is a place where an indigenous people have reclaimed their land and revived their ancient language, despite being surrounded by hostile neighbours and hounded by radicalized Arab nationalists who cannot tolerate any political entity in the region other than their own. Jews that were expelled from nations across the Middle East, who sacrificed all they had, have been crucial in building and defending the Jewish state since its outset.
Without a doubt, the creation of Israel provided a haven for Jews who survived the Holocaust and extreme oppression in Europe. However, we cannot acknowledge that history at the expense of Mizrahi Jews, who with so many others, regardless of skin color, shared the desire for a Jewish state long before the establishment of Israel.
The post-Holocaust years have been a historical blip in which the world eased off a bit, & let Jews believe
they were equal in the eyes of the nations.
The honeymoon is over. The snarled contempt & rolled eyes are back. It’s bitter gruel, but it is what it is.
Thank God for Israel.