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How far Israel has come in a generation

Reader comment on item: Happy Israel

Submitted by Josiah Rotenberg (United Kingdom), Jun 6, 2013 at 03:07

Dear Dr. Pipes,

I just finished Hillel Halkin's book, "Letters to an American Zionist Friend" written in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, when the economy was in shambles, the country remained on war footing with reserve duty running two months a year or more, and the entire country being demoralized. This was the period in which people would joke that the last one to leave Ben Gurion Aiport should turn off the lights, as indeed emigration or the desire to emigrate was a huge problem.

Who could have foreseen that a generation later, Israeli Jews would have the highest birthrate in the western world, the massive immigration of Soviet Jewry, the booming high tech sector and the wealth that has been created. Certainly, Israel does not lack for problems and material wealth does not make one happy (although, as my father would say, it doesn't hurt), but it is refreshing to be reminded that we have come a long way.


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