The news of the last few weeks hasn’t exactly been encouraging. The interim agreement with Iran has given it major sanctions relief in exchange for minuscule concessions that delay its nuclear breakout time by at most a month. Rocket attacks are once again occurring almost daily, which, as one analyst noted, means another military operation in Gaza probably isn’t far off. America is demanding dangerous concessions to the Palestinian Authority, while Europe is threatening boycotts.

Yet looking around the world, my overwhelming feeling these past few weeks has been one of gratitude. For many problems now bedeviling other countries could easily have been Israel’s as well, had certain Israelis not made different choices at critical junctures.
Take, for instance, the three-year-old nation of South Sudan, where bitter political rivals who cooperated uneasily to win independence have now turned on each other, killing thousands and displacing over half a million. Such a civil war could easily have erupted in Israel, too: Barely a month after declaring independence, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion ordered his Haganah militia to fire on an arms ship belonging to the rival Irgun militia, killing 16 people.

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