I started to write about Israel and her neighbors... I wrote of statistics in the surrounding countries, including literacy rates, infant mortality rates, etc... all of which point to Israel as a beacon of light in an area that is insufferably dark. Then I realized that it was just too boring to read - and so I start again.
Israel is a tiny country (smaller than the state of New Jersey) surrounded by countries and people who hate her. Israel has normalized relations with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan. As of January of this year, those normalized relations with Jordan were under some pretty severe fire.
Syria is a real threat to Israel. They have been spending billions of dollars on weapons - and even while engaging Israel in "peace talks," the "Syrian Defense Minister was in Iran discussing Strengthening military ties." Hassan Turkmani was reported as saying, "Iran and Syria share the same viewpoint regarding regional issues and efforts will be made to strenthen our shared interests and bilateral relations."
Iran's leadership has a hatred for Israel that cannot be overstated. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has publicly made the following statements:
"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."
"No doubt the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world."
"They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets."
"We ask the West to remove what they created sixty years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them."
"Remove Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."
"Israel is a tyrannical regime that will one day be destroyed."
"Israel is a rotten, dried tree that will be annihilated in one storm."
Israel is a true democracy. She is a strong supporter of human rights. She is the kind of country that values her people to the point of making concessions with an enemy in order to retrieve the body of a murdered soldier. She is a country which desires peace. She has been attacked from all sides, both militarily and psychologically... and when struck militarily she has proven that she can kick some serious butt. She stands for freedom in a region where the word barely exists.
Israel is surrounded by Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, Chad, Algeria, Niger, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Somalia - as well as a number of smaller countries in Africa. These are all Muslim countries. Grab a copy of the Koran and see what the Muslim religion has to say about Jews.
And yet - in spite of all this - Israel stands. And that is why I love her.