Blind criticism of other countries often ignores the facts
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 22:10
The nation I will describe in this article exists, but I will leave it unnamed as long as possible because names convey strong feelings based on a person’s previous experience. A “new first impression” is only really possible through anonymity.
In the United States, we happily enjoy protected natural rights thanks to the Constitution and those who have sworn an oath in its defense. However, we often turn a lens of judgment on other nations without fully understanding the situation. Even worse, sometimes our judgment is tainted by an ignorance resulting from biased reporting in the news, or even outright lies.
The nation in question is a republic with a functional parliament, and it is fortunate not to be restricted by the simplistic two party system that we have in the U.S. This nation has a Supreme Court that is very active, hearing a variety of cases. This nation has produced some of the most amazing and innovative technology; it was there that voice mail and the cellular telephone were invented. This nation invented drip irrigation, saving water that is often in short supply. This nation saves massive amounts of energy through the use of solar water heaters. It has brought green to the desert, by annually net adding trees, while so many other nations clear, cut and destroy. This nation has the second-most companies listed on the tech-heavy NASDAQ, behind only the United States. This is of particular note, since this technological powerhouse has about two percent of the population of the United States.
This nation highly values human rights. Religious freedom exists, with Islam, Christianity and Judaism practiced freely. Women enjoy legal equality with men, where both genders serve in the military, and a female Prime Minister even served from 1969 to 1974. This nation values life so highly that the death penalty is only permitted during a time of war, and only for the gravest of crimes for which guilt is absolutely known. This nation has had nine of its citizens be awarded the Nobel Prize, again very notable due to its small population size.
Military service is compulsory in this nation, however young adults go off to college at a slightly older age, often with good contacts and a more clear idea of their educational goal. The book “Startup Nation” by Dan Senor and Saul Singer describes a correlation between military service and success in business, particularly with start-ups.
As the United States continues to wrestle with our quest to improve health care, this nation has had mandatory participation in a Health Maintenance Organization for the past 18 years, and is ranked 7th for Life Expectancy according to the Happy Planet Index, with a life expectancy of 81.6 years (higher than the United States at 78.5 years).
On January 12, 2010, when the massive 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, the nation being described was on-scene with a completed field hospital and actively helping the victims by the January 16, 2010. Many of its neighbors never arrived to offer similar aid.
Of course the nation in question isn’t perfect. However, not many nations would respond to attacks from outside its border by dropping fliers and calling phones before striking a target, to make sure civilians are evacuated, although this nation does. Not many nations will abort strikes when they observe civilians in harm’s way, although this nation does. Not many nations need to build a wall for security, yet still allow in food, medicine and other necessities through, all while living under perpetual threat.
I’m sure by now, you’ve guessed that the nation being discussed here is the State of Israel. Simply reading that name likely evokes powerful opinions. It is my honest appeal to the reader that you take some time to look further into Israel. Educate yourself, and read accounts from multiple perspectives. If all your referenced sources paint a singular and consistent picture, you’re probably not looking at enough varied sources. In a university setting in particular, we should always strive to attain well-informed opinions.