At 75, Israel remains a beacon of hope | READER COMMENTARY

Members of the Hora Entertainment dance group perform at a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Israel's founding, Sunday, April 30, 2023 at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Boynton Beach, Florida. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Thank you for the recent column by Bret Stephens, “At 75, Israel has plenty to celebrate” (May 22). Israel’s 75th birthday is a remarkable achievement.

From the ashes of the Holocaust, Jews revived a state in their ancestral homeland. Israel welcomed home the scattered remnants of a 2,000-year-old diaspora including survivors of Nazi death camps and Jewish refugees from across the Arab world, Eastern Europe, Iran, Russia and Ethiopia.


On the very day of its independence, Israel was invaded by five neighboring countries intent on annihilating it. Israel prevailed only to face four more wars for its existence in its first 25 years including a Soviet-backed 1973 invasion by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

Israel has also endured Palestinian rejection of its peace proposals and barbaric terrorism — kidnapping, castrating and killing Israeli Olympic athletes; hijacking planes; mob lynchings; massacring Israeli children in homes, schools, buses, discos, malls and pizzerias; slaughtering families at a communal Passover Seder; and firing rocket barrages at Israeli cities — that continues to this day. And Iran vows to erase Israel from the map.


Despite these challenges, Israel is thriving. It remains the Middle East’s only liberal democracy. It’s a regional model for ensuring the rights of women, LGBTQ people, and racial and ethnic minorities; as well as a world leader in technology, entrepreneurship (“startup nation”) and environmentalism. It provides medical rescue and relief services across the globe. Its “Save a Child’s Heart” program has treated more than 6,000 children from around the world, mostly from Arab countries and Africa. And through the Abraham Accords, the roster of Arab nations with whom Israel has peaceful relations is growing.

Even the recent protests against proposed judicial reforms attest to Israel’s respect for free speech. Israel deserves our admiration and support.

— Stephen A. Silver, San Francisco, California

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