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After Celebrating 74 Years of Independence, Israel Says They ‘Are Stronger Than Ever’

"Estamos más fuertes que nunca", El American

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Immediately after Yom HaShoah where fallen soldiers in the defense of the country and victims of terrorism are honored, Israel began its independence celebrations.

“Seventy-four years have taught us that when the people of Israel are united no one can defeat us,” said Premier Naftali Bennett at the official ceremony. “Dear citizens, Independence Day is a day of great pride for all of us. National pride for what we have gone through together and for what we have achieved here together.”

Naftali Bennett: “We are stronger than ever”

Bennett highlighted the technological advances, the nation’s health care system, and the opportunity for life that the country provides to anyone who is seeking it. On national security, always a key issue, Bennett said that “although our enemies do not rest for a moment from trying to harm us, the state of Israel is stronger than ever.”

The last 12 months were full of surprises. No one imagined a summit between Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, the United States, and Israel, precisely in Sdé Boker, the kibbutz where David Ben-Gurion, the first ruler of the Jewish State, lived out his last years. Or that Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan would listen to the national anthem in his palace in Istanbul, welcoming President Isaac Herzog. No one guessed that an Islamic political party would be part of the Israeli ruling coalition, which includes right, center, and left-wing groups. All this, which was difficult to foresee a few years ago, happened.

More light than shadow

Of course, not everything was positive. Hamas terrorists fired rockets at Jerusalem, which could have destroyed the famous Al Aqsa mosque they claim to defend. Threats from the Iranian regime and its ayatollahs were reiterated. The internal political tension—despite the democratic solidity—is high and could lead to violence. However, the positive outweighed the negative.

The country continues to grow and is moving fast. Independence Day is for society a welcome respite from routine. A day of going out to the parks, to the beach, making carne asada South American style, filled with upbeat music on the radio and stories about Israeli achievements in the press. You look at the nation from a higher vantage point, with perspective. This means putting the country in the framework of Jewish history, for its rebirth after 2,000 years is a modern miracle. It also means calibrating the 74 years of the state. Comparing the reality of 1948 with that of today. And the progress has been astonishing.

The population reached 9.5 million, of which seven million are Jews. Freedom of worship is total, as it should be. Israelis take pride in how vibrant national life is, and how well these once persecuted people are defending themselves. They also note how more and more countries are seeking close relations, because of what Israel can offer.

Israel’s people, in an unstable and complex area, have a relatively normal life. It is no accident that Israel has ranked as the ninth-happiest country in the world. It remains a nation of hope.

Eduardo Zalovich, Uruguayan-Israeli, is a history professor and journalist. He has written for several media, such as La Vanguardia, El Confidencial, Vozpopuli, Búsqueda and Correo de los Viernes. Zalovich analyzes, from the Middle East, the reality of the region and international politics. // Eduardo Zalovich, uruguayo-israelí, es profesor de Historia y periodista. Ha escrito para varios medios, como La Vanguardia, El Confidencial, Vozpopuli, Búsqueda y Correo de los Viernes. Analiza, desde el Medio Oriente, la realidad de la zona y la política internacional.

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