As Israel celebrates its 63rd Independence Day this week, Jews and Christians around the world join in jubilee for the resilience it took the tiny nation to reach this point. Surrounded by bigger, better-funded enemies, some say every year of independence is a milestone to commemorate.
Columnist David Harris with the secular Huffington Post recently wrote an editorial praising the nation for its accomplishments and notes that their resliance in the face of severe opposition could be attributed to their "deeply-rooted and pervasive national spirit."
Harris then rattles off Israel's unprecedented accomplishments. Starting with Israel's 2010 UN Human Development Report ranking Israel No. 15 among the world's nations in terms of education, health and other indices of an advanced nation—surpassing established countries such as the United Kingdom and Denmark. Also highlighted was the Israelis' numerous Nobel Peace Prizes—summing more than its surrounding neighbors combined. AndIsraeli high-tech companies are ranked second after the U.S. on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Harris sums up his praises with a an age old story: "There's a story that God became so furious with the sorry state of the world that he announced a new flood would engulf the planet in two weeks. In response, the French president told the nation that, as the end was near, there'd be no more work and everyone was encouraged to enjoy la joie de vivre. The Italian prime minister announced that, with only 14 days left, all Italians should take full advantage of la dolce vita. Meanwhile, the Israeli prime minister informed the Israeli people: 'We have exactly two weeks to learn how to live underwater.'"
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