Welcome to the blog that highlights the achievements of the Jewish State. In reviewing this week’s good news, my constant thoughts were ‘who wouldn’t want to come to Israel?’ Unemployment has just reached an all-time low at 5.8% so there are plenty of opportunities, especially in the hi-tech industry. Business is booming, with International giant companies purchasing, merging with or investing in successful Israeli operations and start-ups. The ‘Israeli Silicon Valley’ has certainly taken off, thanks to its unique business model and Israel’s determination to overcome adversity. And the rest of the world is unable to ignore it any longer.
Israel has suddenly become a beacon of light and energy in the region. Almost simultaneously, as despotic dictatorships implode in the Arab world and their fossil fuel reserves start to dry up, Israel has uncovered more oil and natural gas deposits than in Saudi Arabia. Another two fields containing an estimated six and a half trillion cubic feet of gas were announced last week. The old joke used to be that if Moses had only turned right instead of left, Israel would have been rich in natural resources. Well now we know that Moses was being guided in the right direction after all.
While we were busy discovering more wealth underground, Israeli archaeologists announced that they have unearthed priceless historical artifacts, including part of a letter from the King of Jerusalem to the King of Egypt written over 3400 years ago. Perhaps to warn him that he should check facebook more regularly! Another find, this time a 2000 year-old Jewish burial container, is yet another confirmation of our biblical links to the land and our right to all buried treasure uncovered within our borders and territorial waters.
From the distant past, our people have never forgotten Jerusalem and the land that was given to us for an inheritance. The message ‘Our exiles will return’ has kept them together over the millennia. This week, Israel agreed to bring to the Jewish State over 7,300 members of the Bnei Menashe “lost tribe” from North Eastern India. Please also watch this 2008 video of their amazing history. You may also recall that a few decades ago Ethiopian Jewry was transported across tens of centuries, on the wings of eagles, to the Jewish State. Recently, Israel was proud to honor the 108 young Ethiopian students at Tel Aviv University.
Many parents were proud last week to see sons and daughters becoming crack pilots and IDF officers before they graduate from our universities. From there, they may become professors developing modular orbiting satellites or discover cures for diabetic pain or obesity. They may start a network for encouraging social responsibility in Tel Aviv or spearhead Israel’s humanitarian missions to Japan or other disaster areas. There are so many opportunities in this amazing country.
So what can I highlight here to our hesitant friends and family members and those living abroad in order to persuade them to come here? The terrific beaches ranked top in this year’s Environmental Protection Ministry''s Blue-Green Flag beach rankings? The international award-winning coffee shops? The new gourmet low-fat goats-milk ice cream? Perhaps you fancy partying all night at Tel Aviv’s ‘White Night’ annual festival to celebrate the recognition of Tel Aviv being declared a White City by UNESCO in 2003? Or pick up a performance of a famous string quartet at the Jerusalem Season of Culture?
Or how about a musical? The lyricist Oscar Hammerstein wrote Carousel, which was staged in Jerusalem and Ra’anana. In the Jerusalem audience was his granddaughter who has just made Aliyah. Welcome home!
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel. www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com