Israel at 70

by Yohai Gross

In a few weeks the State of Israel will celebrate 70 years as an independent nation.It’s hard to believe how much this young state has accomplished in such a short
period of time, but I think that the more interesting thing is what awaits in the future.

Israel has been constantly changing for the last 70 years. Our culture, society, and our political life are changing rapidly. Israel’s population today is 8,796,200 (and that is without Alon who still doesn’t have an Israeli ID). The population 70 years ago was only 806,000. If you came to Israel in the early 1960s and told people that Israel would double her size or that in the early 1970s that Israel would have peace with Egypt, no one would have believed you! If you would have told people in the early 1990s that our prime minister would be murdered or that in the early 2000s, Ariel Sharon would order the removal of Israeli citizens from Gush Katif, no one would have believed you. This is Israel: the reality in this country is changing so fast and in such a radical way
that no one can predict the future. The one thing that remains steady in Israel is that we argue about everything; it can be about politics or Judaism or the environment, it doesn’t really matter. We argue because we care, and that is why I am positive about our future. A society that cares is a society that will advance and improve. It may take some time, but the short history of Israel is telling us that the unimagineable can indeed become the reality.

Just before the Israel at 70 celebration, comes Yom Ha’Zikaron, the Israel remembrance day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror. It’s a sad day and reminds us of the heavy price
we pay for having the right to have a Jewish state. Come be part of a special memorial ceremony followed by our guest speaker, Shosh Turjeman, MSW, Director Haruv-USA,
whose topic is “Trauma and Loss”, based on her decades of experience as a social worker and mental health officer in the IDF. Jewish Tulsa’s celebration will be held on April 18 at 7 p.m. at the flagpoles on Zarrow Campus.

The culmination of our Israel at 70 events will be on Sunday, April 22 from 4:30–7:30 p.m. Come celebrate Israel with live Israeli music from a variety of local music groups, Israeli food and the famous mentalist from Israel, Ran Gafner, who will amaze you!

See you all soon.

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