What Are We Celebrating This Yom Ha’Atzmaut?
Today is Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 73rd Day of Independence. Here are three takes on what Israel is celebrating this year:
Over the course of 73 years, Israel has accomplished far more than even its most optimistic founders could have dreamed. In 1948, we had 800,000 citizens; today, there are well over nine million Israelis, comprising about half of the world’s Jewish population. Out of the ashes of the Shoah, Israel has nourished the revival of Jewish culture and, through the restoration of the Hebrew language, has made its vast library accessible to everyone.
Israel’s overall performance during the pandemic creates, in some ways, a portrait of the country, complete with outsized wins, persistent fractures and ever-present chaos. The notable failure in imposing social distancing or otherwise curbing the spread of the disease prior to vaccine distribution, for instance, highlights the country’s tendency to bounce between headshaking disaster and eyebrow-raising success.
Anyone who is willing to look up for a moment from the hardships of politics and the coronavirus and examine the success of the project called the State of Israel from a broad historical perspective knows that it deserves to be crowned a resounding success.