Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Who'd Have Thought It?

From Mitchell Bard's blog:
I heard an Israeli political scientist suggest the following scenario:

A small state has been established in a region of non-democratic regimes. Surrounded by larger, hostile states it will not see one day of peace for the next 60 years.

Eight wars and chronic terrorism force it to organize as a besieged nation. The army emerges as the dominant institution, absorbing a large percentage of the GNP.

Immigrants flood in from more than 100 countries, quadrupling its population. Most have known only non-democratic regimes.

What kind of government would you predict this country to have after 60 years? A democracy, or something else?

The country, of course, is Israel (its official 60th anniversary flag shown above), and it has developed into one of the world’s most vibrant democracies.

Though lacking any natural resources, the people of Israel have turned a land of malarial swamps, desert and wasteland into one of the world’s most high-tech societies through a combination of hard work and human ingenuity.

Read the whole thing.

Must be contagious! Hillel Halkin writes in Land Without Regret:
How many people would have believed a hundred years ago, in 1908, that 40 years later, in 1948, there would be a Jewish state in Palestine? How many would have believed in 1948 that, in another two decades this state would be a military titan bestriding the Middle East, its armies triumphantly camped from the outskirts of Cairo to those of Damascus? How many would have believed in 1967 that another 40 years would pass with the titan still at war with its closest neighbours and unable to defend its population against small groups of guerrillas belonging to organizations pledged to destroy it? How many would have believed that, in 2008, it would have become trendy to talk about its demise?

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