The State of Israel turned 65 last month. Though I may have missed the moment, it remains a fine season to pronounce loudly and proudly that I am a Zionist.
I am extraordinarily proud of the Jewish state. I believe that in the years since the land emerged from the last of a long line of invaders and colonial powers, Israel has indeed become a light to the nations—the demonstrable near-universal preference for darkness notwithstanding.
Success under ideal conditions is a noteworthy achievement. Israel has learned how to thrive under conditions as adverse as those facing any nation on the planet. The country has opened its arms to countless immigrants; developed a world-class economy; demonstrated unrivaled excellence in innovation and education; established truly liberal governance and a genuinely independent judiciary; quelled brutal ethnic uprisings with unequaled restraint; enacted a generous social safety network; and never once deviated from the state’s liberal underpinnings. It has achieved all of these goals under constant threat of annihilation, and amidst overwhelming opprobrium. Indeed, the Jewish State has become the Jew of the States—proving that the unthinkable is doable, and meeting near-universal resentment for doing so.