Israel is 60

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“Israel for ever” Magnificent Photos

Israel through my lens: Sixty Years As a Photojournalist
by Shimon Peres (Foreword), Ruth Corman (Contributor),
David Rubinger (Photographer)

The June 10, 1967 iconic David Rubinger photo above of three Israeli paratroopers who had reached the Western Wall has very special significance to us. David gave us a signed copy which hangs in our dining room. We were delighted to learn that David’s work was featured by the 92nd Street Y in February at a special exhibit and enjoyed the memories of his visits to Wednesday Night that were provoked by the mention that he would “return to the Y to share some of the stories behind his photographs in an informal Friday evening salon”.

May 19
Obama and the Jews, Thomas Friedman
(NYT) … America, whether under a Republican or Democratic administration, is now committed to a two-state solution in which the Palestinians get back the West Bank, Gaza and Arab parts of East Jerusalem, and Israel gives back most of the settlements in the West Bank, offsetting those it does not evacuate with land from Israel.
I don’t doubt for a second President Bush’s gut support for Israel, and I think it comes from his gut. He views Israel as a country that shares America’s core democratic and free-market values. That is not unimportant.
But what matters a lot more is that under Mr. Bush, America today is neither feared nor respected nor liked in the Middle East, and that his lack of an energy policy for seven years has left Israel’s enemies and America’s enemies — the petro-dictators and the terrorists they support — stronger than ever. The rise of Iran as a threat to Israel today is directly related to Mr. Bush’s failure to succeed in Iraq and to develop alternatives to oil.
May 16
Bush hails Israelis as ‘chosen people’ but ignores Palestinians on ‘catastrophe’ day
President George Bush lavished anniversary praise on Israel yesterday, as Palestinians commemorated the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” when 700,000 were forced from or fled their homes 60 years ago.
In a special address to the Israeli Knesset, Mr Bush declared that the US was proud to be the “closest ally and best friend in the world” of a nation that was a “homeland for the chosen people” and had “worked tirelessly for peace and… fought valiantly for freedom.”
May 10
Israel at 60: born in war, still living by the sword
By Shlomo Ben-Ami
(The Daily Star, Lebanon) Israel is one of the biggest success stories of modern times. A nation was reborn out of Holocaust survivors and uprooted Jewish communities who, mostly through the quality of their human capital, built a booming economy, created one of the world’s most innovative agricultures, and revived a dead language. They also sustained, against all odds, a democracy that, however imperfect and dysfunctional, is nonetheless amazingly vibrant.
And yet, at its 60th anniversary, Israel stands at a crossroads. Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned of “the end of the Jewish state” if the country remains bogged down in the Occupied Territories and a Palestinian state is not established.
May 8 2008
Ambassador Marc Ginsberg:Israel at 60: A Gift That Keeps on Giving
There are few issues more imperative to Israel’s secure future than redressing the day-to-day humanitarian plight of Palestinians nominally under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Fireworks and flypast celebrate 60 years of Israel
(The Independent) Israel’s military took the lead in official commemoration of the country’s foundation 60 years ago as hundreds of thousands of private citizens took to the parks and streets for traditional Independence Day barbecues.
BBC News Special Israel at 60
At 60, Israel Redefines Roles for Itself and for Jews Elsewhere
(NYT) …
there is another form of celebration planned, and its sponsors believe it says something about the national character: a three-day conference of some of the best minds from around the world on some of the biggest challenges facing humankind — and especially the Jews — in the coming decades.
“The brain enriches the pocket, not the other way around,” Shimon Peres, Israel’s president and the patron of the conference, said in an interview. “We are a small land and a small people, but we can become a daring world laboratory, and that is our desire and plan.”
Nearly 700 guests are expected to take part next week in 35 discussion groups. They include statesmen like Henry A. Kissinger, Vaclav Havel, Tony Blair and Joschka Fischer, but also Sergey Brin of Google, Terry Semel of Yahoo and Rupert Murdoch, along with seven Jewish Nobel laureates and President Bush.
Given the guest list, the topics are naturally big and ambitious, including the shift in global power from West to East (and south), nuclear proliferation and climate change. But much of the focus will also be on topics closer to home like Islamic extremism, the rise of Iran and sovereignty in Jerusalem.
The special edition of The Suburban celebrating the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel has an impressive roster of columnists led by Beryl Wajsman’s passionate “Masada shall not fall again!” and including R. James Woolsey, a former Director of Central Intelligence and Freddy Eytan, head of the Israel-Europe project at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, who offers a rather grim appraisal of Israel at 60.
Foreign Policy May-June 2008
Photo Essay: Israel at 60
“Israel Is a Successful Democracy”
Sort of. From what began as an impoverished and war-ravaged country flooded with Jewish refugees from Europe and the Arab world, Israel has grown into a regional military power with a per capita GDP that exceeds all its neighbors. Unusual among post-World War II states, it has also managed to maintain an uninterrupted parliamentary regime for 60 years. Israel’s status as the Middle East’s only credible democracy plays a major role in its close alliance with the United States and its generally warm relations with Europe.
But how well is that democracy working? Israel elects its leaders, and its vigorous free press sometimes publishes criticism that might be considered anti-Israel elsewhere. Much of that criticism is aimed at the undemocratic regime in the West Bank: Jewish settlers enjoy the full rights of Israeli citizens, while Palestinian self-rule is limited to enclaves.
Within Israel proper, democracy is functioning but fragile. The lack of a written constitution has left the creation of civil rights to an activist Supreme Court—from a landmark 1953 decision that kept the government from closing newspapers, to last year’s ruling that enshrines the right of same-sex couples to adopt children. But the court’s position is tenuous. More
April 9 2008
(NYT) Memo From Jerusalem
60 Years After Israel’s Founding, Many Are Not in the Mood for a Party

April 20 1998
Israel at 50

(BBC News – History) The return of the Jews to the promised land

One Comment on "Israel is 60"

  1. Diana Thébaud Nicholson May 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm ·

    Ron Robertson sends this timely history lesson:
    Battles with Richard the Lionheart
    The Battle of Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem prompted the Third Crusade, financed in England by a special “Saladin tithe”. Richard I of England led the siege of Acre, conquered the city and executed 3,000 Muslim prisoners including women and children. Saladin retaliated by killing all Franks captured from August 28 – September 10. Bahà’ al-Dïn writes: “Whilst we were there they brought two Franks to the Sultan (Saladin) who had been made prisoners by the advance guard. He had them beheaded on the spot.”
    The armies of Saladin engaged in combat with the rival armies of King Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf on September 7, 1191, at which Saladin was defeated. Saladin’s relationship with Richard was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry; both were celebrated in courtly romances. When Richard became ill with fever, Saladin offered the services of his personal physician. Saladin also sent him fresh fruit with snow, to chill the drink, as treatment. At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Saladin sent him two replacements. Richard had suggested to Saladin that his sister could marry Saladin’s brother – and Jerusalem could be their wedding gift.
    The two came to an agreement over Jerusalem in the Treaty of Ramla in 1192, whereby the city would remain in Muslim hands but would be open to Christian pilgrimages; the treaty reduced the Latin Kingdom to a strip along the coast from Tyre to Jaffa.

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