Israel at 62
Israelis are increasingly unhappy with a political system that seems to deliver nothing but strife and division.
Independence Day in Israel is always marked by a news media outpouring of reviews of the year. It is a reliably upbeat affair replete with heartening economic statistics and the good deeds of upstanding citizens. The 62nd anniversary of Israel’s founding this past April was in many ways no different. Certainly there was much to celebrate. Compared with previous years, this one was relatively quiet. Only two Israeli civilians (and one foreign worker) were killed by terrorists, and, thanks to Israel’s incursion—amid international condemnation—into the Gaza Strip little more than a year earlier, residents in nearby communities were no longer forced to sleep in shelters to avoid the steady rain of rockets once launched by Hamas militants. The northern Galilee was teeming with tourists, the cafés and cinemas were packed with customers, and many establishments no longer bothered to employ security guards to check entering patrons.
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Yoram Peri is the Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies and director of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland. A political adviser to the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and former editor in chief of Israel’s daily newspaper Davar, he is the author most recently of Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy (2006).more from this author >>