Happy Birthday, Israel

If countries were people and Israel was an American, it would begin to collect Social Security in nine months. It would be eligible for a reverse mortgage and only a few years from mandatory withdrawals from its 401k. We'd be talking retirement and watching the grass and the grandchildren grow. In national terms, Israel is much older, first sovereign in 1020 BCE. It is there with Iran (3200 BCE), Egypt (3100 BCE), Vietnam (2790 BCE), China (221 BCE), and Korea (300 BCE). [Middle aged national groups include Japan (first sovereign in 400 CE), Cambodia (802 CE), Bulgaria (681) and Turkey (1037 CE).] Israel is also very young, establishing its current form of government in the post-WWII round of decolonization that ran through the 1960s in the Middle East, and parts of Africa, the Caribbean and South America -- and Israel is one of few in that group to have sustained multiparty democratic institutions and a free press. No matter which way you count the birthdays, Israel is...(Read Full Post)