It feels like a tough life sometimes! On the one hand Hamas are firing rockets at us in the South, on the other Hezbollah seem to be preparing the next big threat in the North and Iran is always there in the background with their ambitions to build a nuclear weapon. Add to those things the threats to our democracy coming from our own politicians and you have a real reason to feel depressed while reading your morning paper and eating your breakfast.

So allow me, if I may to put some things into perspective. This time 10 years ago the Al Aqsa Intifada was in full swing with suicide bombers seeming to come out of every corner. 20 years ago the Gulf War was going on and the first Intifada was still simmering away, not to mention Scuds falling all over Israel. 30 years ago there were deluges of Katyusha Rockets coming from the PLO based in Southern Lebanon that were destroying homes non stop in the North of the country. At the same time the international terror attacks that were causing pain and misery to Jews everywhere were continuing apace. Rewind further back to 50 years ago and roving bands of Fedayeen were attacking isolated Israeli towns and villages as well as roads and other targets ensuring that travelling around Israel could be a fatal business. Even further back to 70 years ago and you are at the dark days of the Holocaust, 100 years ago and Jews were suffering through pogroms in Eastern Europe, it was the Pogroms in Poland at exactly this time that forced my family move to London.

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Every decade further back you go you see the pain that was being suffered by Jews everywhere because of who we are. Before there was a state of Israel things were worst of all for the Jews. Every year since 1948, when we literally rose from the ashes our lives have gotten a little better.


Sure there have been specific events that have bucked the upward trend but even these have become less severe than they used to be, whereas several decades ago we fought the Yom kippur war which threatened our very existence as a soveriegn nation more recently we faced the Al Aqsa Intifada which despite causing massive tragedy was never going to be an existential threat. Every year we face a weakened enemy, one that is no less determined to destroy us but that has had its ability to do so significantly diminished. Every year the lives of Israelis get ever so slightly better.

It may seem like we take a great deal of flack in the world we live in but this also isn''t the case. Once there was a blow by blow attack on Jewish Societies in British universities due to them being deemed as racist for being Zionist. In the 1980''s Jews were afraid of bands of Nazi thugs on the one hand and left wing supporters of the PLO on the other. Such fears today are almost unheard of and when it does seem that there may be the chance that this happened there is a strong Union of Jewish Students ready to campaign politically for the rights of Jewish students across universities across the United Kingdom and the Community Security Trust to protect them.

All of us should stand up with our heads held high. The leaps that have been made in the lives of Jews over the preceding decades are nothing short of incredible and each one of us has helped in our own way to make it possible. Whereas once we were the downtrodden, the persecuted and the hated we are now the envy of the world when it comes to the sciences, agriculture, literature and our military forces. We are so quick to condemn ourselves for our failures and altogether too slow to remember our successes. At this time in the wake of bumbling advertising campaigns and inept politicians it''s worth taking a good look in the mirror and remembering just how impressive our accomplishments truly are.


 

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