Happy 60th birthday, Israel: well done for surviving

By Melanie Phillips
April 30, 2008
URL: http://www.spectator.co.uk/print/the-magazine/features/643426/happy-60th-birthday-israel-well-done-for-surviving.thtml

First, despite entering its seventh decade of living under existential siege, Israel is prospering. Its economy is booming, it leads the world in high-tech, and property prices in Tel Aviv rival those in London. Second, having stared over the edge of the cultural abyss it has started to realise the danger. It is beginning to turn education round, with a new awareness dawning among high school principals of the need to teach Jewish history, identity and values. And although unprecedented numbers of mainly secular Israelis now choose to live abroad, there are rapidly growing numbers of the religiously orthodox who know exactly what they are fighting for and are prepared to die for it — as do the majority of middle-of-the-road Israeli citizens.