By Shmuel Sackett
Newspapers thrive on violence, scandals, airplane crashes and wars. All of these are good for business and the more the merrier! The media loves divorces, custody battles, fires, robberies and crooked politicians. After all, think about how thin the morning paper would be if Congress did what they promised, people were happy, the Yankees won all the time and there was world peace. We would read the entire daily newspaper in under 3 minutes!
This fascination by the media for blood and conflict is multiplied 1,000 times (at least) when they report about Israel. If you based your entire view of Israel from the NY Times, CNN and the BBC, you would think that Israel is involved 24/7 with wars, is hated by the entire world and is made up of a bunch of overcrowded refugee camps. As you know, nothing could be farther from the truth. While we certainly have our issues, Israel is a modern day "Garden of Eden", is helping the entire world and – Baruch Hashem – is a very wealthy country. Allow me to focus on just a few of these points:
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, is an expert on Israel and her relationship with the world. According to Pipes, the international BDS boycott that we hear and read about all the time is virtually ineffective. Of the 193 members of the United Nations, Israel has full diplomatic relations with 156 of them! This doesn't mean that these 156 countries love us but at least there exists a solid line of communications. Just like in the important world of "shalom bayis" – the most important thing is keeping those lines of communication open and as long as they stay open – with mutual respect – things will work out most of the time.
Another fact that Daniel Pipes points out is Israel's standing in the world economy. Since 2008, the entire world experienced a recession, yet during the years of 2008-2012, Israel's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) INCREASED 14.5%!!! How many times have you read about that in the NY Times?
Another great source of positive news for Israel is the fantastic website: www.Israel21c.com
I strongly advise checking into the latest news from this website at least once each week. It reports on good news from Israel… something not readily available on most other media sources. According to this source, Google is developing a special technology for blind people for their new "Google Glass" product. Once ready, this will help millions of people across the globe and Google chose their Israeli division to create, design and implement this technology. While I do not know any details, I can assure you that Google did not select Israel to work on this project because of their love of Ben Gurion or Shimon Peres. Israel was selected because of the Yiddishe minds that are working on this and they know this team will produce the product they are looking for.
Have you heard about researchers in the Technion who have begun testing non-invasive brain surgery? Do you realize what that means? How helpful would it be if brain tumors (G-d forbid) can be removed in under an hour with the patient returning to normal life the next day? How's THAT for modern medicine?
Did you know that little, tiny Israel exports over 2 Billion dollars each year in produce??? That's not just a lot of money, that's a lot of Terumot and Ma'asrot! Baruch Hashem!
Did you know that little, tiny Israel exported over 30 Million flowers to Europe for Valentine's Day a few months ago? I love when the Jewish state manages to make money on non-Jewish holidays. Why not?
Did you know that, last week, an Israeli olive oil company located in Shilo – where the Mishkan stood for 369 years – won First Place in an international olive oil competition?
I could go on and on with good news like this but I think you get my point. Our little Israel isn't that poor, broken, impoverished, antiquated, blood-filled, bankrupt, corrupt society that the general media would like you to think. Like I said before, we certainly have our challenges and I have dedicated my life to try to fix them, but overall we are healthy, happy, prosperous and overjoyed at the future that Hashem has in store for us. We thank our Father in Heaven for the wonderful opportunities He has given us and for the guidance and partnership He has provided us. With His help we will solve our problems, grow our economy, have lots of babies and increase the level of Torah study and observance which we already have.
I guess there are just three words left for me to write: COME JOIN US!!!