Reality contradicts media bias

I’m not prejudiced.  I’m a realist. Israel is a place like no other on the face of the earth.  While most of the world continues to bash Israel, it never ceases to amaze me how the people living on this tiny piece of real estate in the Middle East, surrounded by enemies on every side, continue to purr along as though at peace with the entire world.
Recently I sat on a bench across from the open-air market known as the souk along with my wife and partner Kathleen. I could not help but admire the Israeli gusto for life.  Instead of playing the victim card by whining and complaining about how they are so unfairly persecuted, I saw in these people the value they place on working together not only to improve their own lives but to contribute to making life better for others.  In Hebrew this is known as Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.
Sunday is the first day of the week for Jewish people here in Israel. From sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, the streets of Jerusalem are silent as these people put time aside to honor God and family by gathering together for a Shabbat meal and weekly blessing.  The Shabbat meal begins with each family giving thanks to God for His many blessings and with the father placing his hands on the head of his children blessing them and also blessing his wife.  In this ceremony there is true honor, respect and love which permeates from the father out to the entire family. As I meditate on the value these people place on God and family, I find myself wishing I had done these things as my family was growing up.  But hind-sight is always 20/20. I have been broadcasting and penning articles in this land for almost 18 years and the value these people put on family and on life, all life, has been, from my perspective, unwavering in spite of being constantly attacked by their neighbors and condemned by the world.
Despite false media reports of danger in Israel, when in Jerusalem I try to walk to all of my meetings and while enjoying the exercise, I also enjoy observing the people.  Young and old alike share a few common attributes; a certain toughness and resilience, a genuine joy for living coupled with a sense of gratitude, a deep love for family, and a healthy respect for God. Almost without exception, when I ask a Jewish Israeli how they and their family are doing the reply is, “Thank God, we are all fine.”
On this particular trip my observations began at the JFK airport in New York.  A relatively young Jewish man was working hard at getting his seven young children, a couple of strollers, bags of baby items and carry on suitcases through security.  Each of the children had their own passports which someone had neglected to sign.  As this young father was scrambling to get things in order, his wife was working hard at calming the children and keeping them together. Walking by to board the plane and about to reach for my Alka-Seltzer I half-jokingly said, “Oh my! You certainly have your hands full.”  Without any hint of frustration or sarcasm the father replied, “Yes, and thanks be to God.”  With a grateful heart he was truly appreciative to God for his large family despite the many challenges and obstacles.  This was evident by the gentle look on his face despite the turmoil all around and the pressure of knowing that he was holding up the boarding process. From his attitude I learned a lesson.  How to be more thankful for what God has given to me and to hopefully lower the level at which I become frustrated.
I thought about this young man’s attitude on the flight over and his kind response stayed with me.  I’ve lived in Israel and have been traveling back and forth to the Holy Land for more than two decades. I’ve always appreciated the Jewish people for their many contributions to the world (expounded upon below) but now I find myself also appreciating them for being the standard bearers of all civilized humanity. By this I mean the Jews value freedom and democracy, uphold the rule of law, love family, respect all life, believe in education and the need to contribute to the betterment of the world, and most Jews, even secular Jews, respect and honor the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 
Yes, the Jews are an amazing people.  When you stop to consider that only 0.2% of 1% of the world’s population is Jewish yet, as of 2017, 902 individuals have been awarded the Nobel Prize of which a whopping 203 (or 22.5%) were Jewish.  This means that the percentage of Jewish Nobel laureates is 11,250% above average!
For good reason, Israel is known as “The Start-Up Nation.” Over 1000 new start-up companies are produced each year in Israel.  These companies are responsible for inventing many products and technologies which have served to make life better for the entire world.  Drip irrigation has made it possible for drought-stricken countries to grow food crops while at the same time conserving precious water.  Inventions such as “ReWalk,” a bionic walking assistance system, is making it possible for paraplegics to stand upright, walk and climb stairs. The development of a robotic guidance system for spine surgery was first developed in Israel as was the Pillcam - a small pill with a tiny camera that takes images of the digestive tract as it travels through the intestines.  Next time your doctor suggests a colonoscopy, ask about the Pillcam as an alternative. The USB flash drive, the laser keyboard and the first VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) PC to phone software were all developed in Israel.  Mobileye, a vision-based advance driver assistance system in use by many auto companies such as BMW, is an Israeli invention as is WAZE, the popular and very accurate GPS system.  In the defense industry Israel developed the Uzi submachine gun, the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems, Wall Radar which enables its users to see through walls, and WeCU (we see you) which is a technology able to pick up, analyze and identify terrorists in real time. The list of inventions developed in Israel could fill many books and each invention is a book in and of itself.  Most major corporations in the world have their R&D (Research and Development) branches located in Israel.
In the Bible it says the Lord Himself has placed watchmen upon the walls of Jerusalem and that He will make Israel the praise of all the earth.  Despite media reports to the contrary, Israel’s military is the most just and moral in the world.  I know this because I have personally been on the front lines with IDF troops during three wars and know first-hand the efforts they put forth to avoid harming civilians even if it means risking their own safety.  In addition, Israel’s many inventions and contributions have made life on this planet a better and safer place for us all. God is indeed fulfilling His promises … Israel is a praise in all the earth.