It May Not Be a Land Flowing with Oil--But it Always Rises to the Top!©
Warren Buffett once stated, “If you are going to the Middle East for oil, then don’t stop in Israel. But if you are going for brains, energy, and integrity, then it is the ONLY place to stop.” And indeed in the Middle East, a region known primarily for its oil and violence, it is Israel alone that regularly rises to the top. Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East, one with a free and open press, one that protects the rights of women, minorities, homosexuals and all faiths unlike their surrounding neighbors who beat women into submission, stone adulterers, kill gays and burn down churches and oppress Christians. Did you know that Israel is the only country in the world that will try a soldier mid-operation to ensure that no excessive use of force was used? Did you know that the Israeli army is among the first responders post natural disasters around the globe, including after the earthquake in Haiti where their assistance was indispensable? Did you know that on a daily basis Israeli innovations are helping millions of people around the globe, from medicine to technology to agriculture and beyond? ICQ was invented in Israel; the stent was invented in Israel; the firewall was invented in Israel; the endoscopy pill, PillCam, was invented in Israel. Both Checkpoint, the leading firewall Internet security system, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world, are Israeli companies. The list is immensely long and impressive. Israel has more university graduates per capita—and particularly more engineers—than any other country on earth. It also has the highest rate of research and development investment per GDP in the world. As a consequence, it has the largest concentration of high-tech companies outside the United States’ famed Silicon Valley. It has more companies listed on NASDAQ than any country outside North America. Every day new, world changing discoveries are coming out of Israel. In this week’s Bible reading we learn how spies were sent into Israel to scout out the Promised Land and its inhabitants and bring back reports to Moses. There were those who came back and said the land was unconquerable and that it consumes its inhabitants. And then there were others who said, “We shall surely ascend and conquer it, for we surely can do it.” All the spies observed the same reality on the ground--they all saw that the “the land was good, very, very much so” but also that it had challenges. The singular difference between the naysayers and optimists was faith. Caleb and Joshua had faith in God and believed in the land’s “exceptionalism” and that is was worth fighting for. A few years ago I started a group called Ga-Ga for Israel to fight all bias against the Jewish Homeland and to show all the great things coming out of Israel. I was nervous that I would run out of things to post on our Facebook page, but this land flowing with milk and honey has truly kept us so busy. Every single day Israel is literally changing the world and every day we have much to boast and post about. So I hope when people spy out the Promised Land in order to bring charges against it and vilify it, that we will act as Joshua and Caleb and vocally and powerfully remind the world that “the land is good, very, very much so,” and though it may not be perfect it is nowhere near deserving of being singled out for CONDEMNATION, but rather should be singled out for COMMENDATION. For the sake of Zion I will not remain silent and I'll be repetitive—How about you?