Happy 76th birthday, Israel*

It doesn't make any difference whether you are pro-Israel or not. If another holocaust looms, it leaves Israel with no alternatives but to lash out without pause or restraint at those who wish to destroy the Jewish State.

Happy 76th birthday, Israel*

* Amil Imani, 14 May 2024

[With thanks to Avinoam Ben Dor]

This week, Israel celebrates its 76th birthday. Seventy-six years ago, May 14, 1948, was the rebirth of one of the oldest cultures and nations in history, the State of Israel. With Judaism as its religion, Israel has a historical continuity spanning over 4,000 years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions and the oldest to survive into the present day. Israel today is a unique and diverse Jewish state with a young, viable democracy in an unstable region. In 2010, the Jewish population was estimated at 13.4 million, or roughly 0.2% of the world population.

The circumstances surrounding Israel's rebirth were anything but easy. Regrettably, Israel’s journey from her early beginning to the present has been fraught with great suffering. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people that they persisted in their valiant struggle to re-gather again in the land of their birth. Some even go as far as saying that Israel's renaissance – after 4,000 years or so– was nothing short of miraculous.

The re-birth of Israel, in reality, is a culmination of thousands of years of gestation during which the Jewish people, dispersed throughout much of the world, endured immense degrees and varieties of suffering. The Nazi murderers and their collaborators capped the crimes committed against the Jewish people by brutally slaughtering six million innocent men, women and children.

We can hardly find countries that have gone out of existence for as long as 4,000 years and then reappeared and been reborn. Thus, the rebirth of this magnificent culture, people, and land was truly a miracle.

In ancient times, a noble and just Persian king, Cyrus the Great, rescued tens of thousands of Jewish people from captivity in a foreign land, empowering them to return home and build their sacred temple. By his action of freeing an entire people from captivity and restoring their rightful dignity, Cyrus the Great, the author of the first code of Human Rights, cemented a bond of friendship between the Jews and the Persians. It was the Just King’s way of setting the world on a course of freedom, equality, and justice for all people, irrespective of any considerations.

Israel has welcomed many Jews across the world, including the Iranian Jews who could no longer tolerate the rule of the oppressive venomous mullahs. These mullahs are indeed traitors to the lofty, long-standing tradition and values championed by Cyrus the Great and revered by Persians throughout the ages. Israel also must be commended for affording millions of Israeli Arabs opportunities denied to them in many other lands.

Regrettably, the sworn enemy of the Iranian people and the Persian heritage (the Islamic Republic) also supports terrorism abroad. The Islamic regime has increased its support for groups that seek the destruction of Israel. These include the Lebanese Hezbollah and such Palestinian groups as Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Israel has the right to defend herself from these brewing factions who want nothing short of obliteration of the Jewish state.

We should consider the rebirth of the Jewish State to be a blessing for the Muslims. Israel has provided the opportunity to show the world the results of the Jewish state of mind in action...a mind that yearns to be free and a mind that longs to see that all humanity enjoys life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, said Tashbih Sayyed.

Israel’s fair treatment of the Iranian Baha’is in Israel is praiseworthy. This further demonstrates their ability and willingness to live in harmony with others. In Iran, the birthplace of the Baha’i faith, Baha’is are ruthlessly subjected to a form of gradual genocide by the cruel mullahs. Some Baha’is are executed for their faith, Baha’i children are denied university studies, Baha’i holy places are destroyed, and even their cemeteries are bulldozed, to cite a few examples. By contrast, Israel has provided the Baha’is freedom to care for their holy places, which were established in the Holy Land during the 19th century, long before Israel’s rebirth.

The Jewish community of Iran is one of the oldest in the Diaspora, and its historical roots reach back to the 6th century B.C.E., the time of the First Temple. Their history in the pre-Islamic period is intertwined with that of the Jews of neighbouring Babylon. The Jewish colonies were scattered from centres in Babylon to Persian provinces and cities such as Hamadan and Susa. The books of Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel give a favourable description of the relationship of the Jews to the court of the Achaemids at Susa.

To this day, traditional Jews pray three times a day for the Temple's restoration. During the centuries, the Muslims controlled Palestine, and two mosques were built on the site of the Jewish Temple. (This was no coincidence; it is a common Islamic custom to build mosques on the sites of other people's holy places.) Since any attempt to level these mosques would lead to an international Muslim holy war (jihad) against Israel, the Temple cannot be rebuilt in the foreseeable future.
“Next year in Jerusalem being the wish of Diaspora Jews, dispersed from their homeland yet acknowledging their spiritual and historical home is Israel, specifically, Jerusalem. Psalm 137 is referred to as the well-known lament of the Babylonian Jews who wept 'by the rivers of Babylon' and declared, 'If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.”

The perennial prayer, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” has finally been answered. We, the spiritual children of Cyrus the Great, pray that Israel succeeds in taking the steps necessary to make the New Jerusalem a place of hope and lasting safety for the Jewish people, people of all religions, and those with no religion at all.
Although Israel was reborn in 1948, the Israelis were unable to settle down for long in their own homeland, to worship their God as they wished, and to live in peace. They were assaulted once again by the forces of destruction that sent them scurrying for the relative safety of other lands. These challenges continue to this day.

Now, Israel is a sovereign state but hardly safe. She is surrounded by nations and peoples who are bent on her destruction. Tragically, she and her neighbours have been unable to find an equitable way of living side-by-side with mutual respect and peace. I earnestly hope that ways can be found to resolve this destructive impasse peacefully.

A thorny issue of great concern to Israel is the Mullahs’ gallop to join the nuclear club and use the bomb as a club over the head of any nation, near or far, that stands in their way or does not accede to their demands. And it is here that some advocated a pre-emptive action by Israel, the U.S., or both to postpone, if not prevent, the Mullahs from achieving their objective.

For example, attacking the Bushehr nuclear facility alone would be a nightmare, releasing radiation into the atmosphere. To attack Iran's nuclear facilities will not only provoke unnecessary war, but it could also unleash clouds of radiation far beyond the targets and the borders of Iran. In addition, it is almost a certainty that the Islamic Republic would retaliate by hitting Israel's Dimona nuclear complex. Everyone loses.

The best strategy with the greatest chance of success and the least risk of starting a cataclysmic chain reaction is for a “coalition of the willing,” to borrow a phrase, to rally behind the Iranian opposition. Democracy-seeking secular Iranians are thoroughly capable of dislodging the tyrannical Mullahs.

We should also remember that Iran sits on many large, active fault lines. Of the major earthquakes that do occur in Iran, many are stronger than magnitude six on the Richter scale. Should, say, the Bushehr plant be hit by an earthquake, it would be catastrophic, not only to the entire region but beyond.

Today, Israel has reunited Jerusalem and provided unrestricted freedom of religion. Access of all faiths to the Holy Places in the unified City of Peace is assured. The story of Israel's rebirth is indeed a miracle, yet challenges have remained, threatening the existence of this tiny ancient country filled with a rich culture.

As we watch, we pray for Israel and the Jewish people for everlasting peace and prosperity.

It doesn't make any difference whether you are pro-Israel or not. If another holocaust looms, it leaves Israel with no alternatives but to lash out without pause or restraint at those who wish to destroy the Jewish State.

Happy 76th Birthday, Israel

Posted with kind permission of the author.

Picture credits:

ariely - The Temple Institute, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3078706

“The Provisional Council of State Proclamation of the Flag of the State of Israel” of 25 Tishrei 5709 (28 October 1948) provides the official specification for the design of the Israeli flag.The color of the Magen David and the stripes of the Israeli flag is not precisely specified by the above legislation. The color depicted in the current version of the image is typical of flags used in Israel today, although individual flags can and do vary.The flag legislation officially specifies dimensions of 220 cm × 160 cm. However, the sizes of actual flags vary (although the aspect ratio is usually retained). - http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutIsrael/IsraelAt50/Pages/The Flag and the Emblem.aspx, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=343614