Hey, we’re alive
Reports of Israel’s pending death are highly exaggerated.
That should be obvious given the source of those reports — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — but we thought we’d say so anyhow.
In his scathing anti-Zionist speech to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, the highly obsessed
Ahmadinejad predicted Israel’s eventual demise, among his many other anti-Semitic ramblings.
“The regime resembles an airplane that has lost its engine and is kind of going down. And no one can help it,” he said of Israel, “This will benefit everyone.”
Too bad for Ahmadinejad that his annual hate address to the world body came less than 24 hours before the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics released its annual census. Unhappily for the Iranian leader, the numbers show Israel is doing quite well.
According to the census, Jews comprise 75.6 percent of Israel’s 7.2 million residents — a healthy share of the population. The Arab community comprises 20 percent of the population, which is largely unchanged.
Israel’s total population is up 1.8 percent, which is steady, controlled growth, and the population is fairly young compared to other Western countries — 28 percent of its population is under the age of 14.
Best of all, the report also found growth in Israel’s economy and an increase in exports — pretty neat considering the dire collapse of banking institutions in the United States and the free fall of share markets around the globe.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism expects a record 2.8 million visitors to the Jewish state this year, while its business sector continues to attract investment from heavy hitters, such as Warren Buffett’s $4 billion acquisition of Iscar Metalworking Cos. in 2006.
This is hardly a country on its last legs.
All of this is not to make light of Israel’s serious security crises — rocket attacks from Gaza, this new wave of car and heavy equipment crashes by Palestinian drivers in Jerusalem, not to mention threats of annihilation from Ahmadinejad himself.
But even here, Israel shows vitality. Despite the threats against it, the country’s democracy continues to work; there will be a peaceful transfer of power in the coming weeks. The peace process is still being explored, yet the Israeli army continues to be among the best trained and best equipped in the Middle East.
Iran under Ahmadinejad poses a serious threat to Israel and the entire world. Sooner or later, something will have to be done about him. Meanwhile, take his rhetoric for its worth — rubbish. Israel is alive and well.