Azrieli Towers, Tel Aviv (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
Azrieli Towers, Tel Aviv

Israel is a remarkable testament to what the human spirit can accomplish in even the harshest of environments.

By Daniel Krygier, United with Israel

For reasons unknown to the Israeli public, the Israeli government reluctantly accepted another “ceasefire” with Gaza’s Islamist terrorist organization Hamas.

After nearly 500 rockets from Gaza hit southern Israel, another tense calm set in on Israel’s exposed Gaza border communities. Yet while a sustainable solution to the Gaza problem is repeatedly postponed, daily life in Israel just keeps getting better. In fact, Israel has emerged as a first-world island of success and freedom against all odds in the world’s toughest neighborhood.

Many who have never visited Israel wrongly believe that the Jewish state is one large and dangerous shooting range. The reality is very different. Despite the abnormal challenges and threats, daily life in Israel is resilient and remarkably normal.

The lifestyles of most Israeli families are quite similar to those in Europe and America. Many would even argue that despite external threats, people often feel safer in the streets of Israel than in the streets of Paris, London, Los Angeles and Chicago. Israel is a tiny country where citizens frequently look out for each other and help their neighbors.

Nowhere is the vast contrast between Israel and its despotic neighbors more evident than on the border between Israel and Gaza. While Gaza’s Hamas rulers embrace death and destruction, Israeli border communities embrace life and creativity.

The southern town of Sderot has sustained more Gaza rocket attacks than any other Israeli community. Despite its nickname as the “kassam capital of Israel,” Sderot refuses to give up on life. The town’s proud residents have displayed a remarkable resilience and an embrace of everything that symbolizes life.

A disproportionate number of Israeli musicians, artists and poets hail from this small town. Local artists have even created beautiful art from old kassam rockets. In addition, Sderot has a thriving academic college and hosts an annual film festival with Israeli and foreign visitors. Sderot also hosts a large annual food and wine festival that attracts an increasing number of people.

While Israel yearns for genuine peace, few Israelis believe that it will happen any time soon. This does not mean that the country suffers from chronic depression. Quite the opposite. Israel ranks among the happiest nations in the world and among the leading countries in terms of human development index and life expectancy.

Israel’s enemies do not understand its national strength. The more Israelis are threatened, the more they defiantly embrace life. This is true not only in Israel’s main population centers, like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but also a few hundred meters from Hamas’s factory of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip.

Israel is a remarkable testament to what the human spirit can accomplish in even the harshest of environments.

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