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Jewish World Review
July 19, 2004
/ 1 Menachem-Av, 5764
Why the world hates Israel
Israel is a tiny nation, roughly half the size of Lake Michigan. Its population is roughly half the size of the New York metropolitan area. Despite being a Jewish state, more than twenty percent of its residents are Arab and most Jews in Israel describe themselves as secular rather than religious.
Yet if one were to read world press accounts or daily condemnations from the United Nations or the recent decision of the ICJ criticizing the construction of the fence, you might conclude that Israel is a world power intent on destabilizing Middle East affairs.
Why, it might well be postulated, does the world resent this speck of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean?
Although my comments are speculative, I suspect they could be borne out empirically if historical accounts were fair and objective.
Israel is a thorn in the side of the Arab world because it is a remarkable technological phantasmagoria. Almost every Israeli is engaged in a software scheme. The Jews in this arid nation have made the deserts bloom; they have converted brain power into technical marvels and consequent wealth.
By contrast every nearby Arab nation is dysfunctional. Their governments are tyrannical; the people are poor and uneducated and local officials have been unwilling to convert oil revenue into social benefits.
Resentment is the natural result of this contrast. Afterall, Israel has all of the geographic disadvantages of its neighbors and it doesn't have any oil fields. Yet it prospers, while others falter.
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Herbert London is president of Hudson Institute and the John M. Olin Professor of Humanities at New York University. He is publisher of American Outlook magazine and author of the recently published book, Decade of Denial (Lexington Books) and is reachable through www.benadorassociates.com. Comment by clicking here.
© 2004, Herbert London