Why is Israel allowed to be different?

Jews in Israel and across the world are about to celebrate their “New Year”. 10 days later is a fast day, the Day of Atonement. It is a period of celebration, combined with deep reflection.

The past week has seen several leaders in neighbouring areas, calling on the world to take action against Israel, including a call for economic sanctions.  So what is it about Israel, that when they do their own reflecting, gets them so bugged?

Is it because Israel has invented  so many modern technologies which billions around the world take for granted: internet chat, solar window, minute digital cameras, electric cars, disk-on-key, etc, etc, etc.

Is it because of the availability of free speech, so craved for in other countries. Last Friday, Israelis were able to see all of the verbal debate between Netanyahu and Abbas at the UN. However, the screens in Ramallah went blank when the Israeli Prime Minister spoke.

Is it because of the fact that Israel can boast 9 Nobel Laureates, including 5 successes in the past decade alone? For a country which still has officially less than 8 million people and few natural resources, that is an amazing achievement. It is just over 1% of all the awards.

And of course there is the contentious issue of Jerusalem, the centre of three great religions. Well, I ask you: Where else in the world are the praying rights of such diverse sectors maintained, protected and upheld, despite the momentous geopolitical pressures surrounding the city every day? That is some achievement in my view.

As the year 2011 begins to wind down in the econmic dumps, Jews are starting to celebrate the lunar year of 5772. Israel’s economy has had another boom year.  Next year,who knows? But I bet there will still be some jealous people out there, hiding their frustration in politically correct hate, because Jerusalem endeavours to protect its precious freedoms.

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