Israel: Triumph of Resilience

Israel, having attained its 65th anniversary, resists easy definition.  Sixty-five years ago, on May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion, its first prime minister, declared independence, to which American and Soviet recognition was forthcoming the next day, following the expiration of British rule.  Any reckoning on Israel, its successes and failures, is also inescapably interwoven with the verdict one gives on the animating philosophy of the state, Zionism, which itself will celebrate later this year its 116th anniversary.  Zionism foresaw a collectivity of Jewish labor redeeming a patrimony lost in antiquity.  It envisioned a national solution to that age-old disease, anti-Semitism, conscious of the fact that time was running out for Jews in Europe.  Theodor Herzl, political Zionism's founder, even thought it might prove the antidote to anti-Semitism, though he doubted the possibility of reviving ancient Hebrew as a spoken language.  He once asked...(Read Full Article)