Today is Israel’s Independence Day. Israel was born sixty-four years ago.
Like the Beatles, I used to think that 64 is very old.
But the years and experience have given me some measure of wisdom and I know that for a nation state sixty-four is just out of infancy.
From the moment Israel was born she was invaded by five Arab Muslim armies—Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria, Holy Warrior Army—whose stated intent was to annihilate the fledgling state and finish the job of genocide begun by Hitler’s Third Reich and her collaborators.
But Israel survived and will continue to survive and thrive because the land was promised to the Jewish people by G-d in a sacred and eternal covenant.
Here’s a fine history of modern Israel by the eminent historian Sir Martin Gilbert.
Jewish Trivia Quiz: Which Diaspora community contributed the most volunteers per capita during the Israeli War of Independence?
The answer is:
During Israel’s War of Independence , the 29 Finnish volunteers constituted the highest per capita contribution from any Diaspora community, according to Finland’s office of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
After the State of Israel was born, Finland had a high rate of aliyah, which reduced Finland’s Jewish population considerably. As a result, the country’s third-largest Jewish community, in the city of Tampere, ceased operations in 1981.
A Short But Convoluted History of the Jews of Finland by Matt Siegel:
H/T to the splendid Tundra Tabloids for this and several other enlightening articles about Finland, Finnish movies, and the Jews of Finland.