This is a letter submitted to The Hartford Courant by Professor Joe Behar. It was not published by The Courant, but is posted here with the permission of the writer.
In a few days the modern state of Israel will celebrate its 62nd anniversary.
Established in 1948, any objective evaluation with numerous criteria will show Israel to be a success story. This is especially so when compared to some of its adversaries established in a similar time frame, Jordan (1946), Lebanon (1943), Syria (1946), Saudi Arabia (1932).
This beleaguered nation of eight million citizens has survived numerous attacks by neighboring nations, with their intention of destroying it.
Yet Israel has more Nobel Prize winners than the sum of their attackers. Israel's students consistently score very high in the international exams in science and mathematics.
Israel's GNP per capita is more than the combined total of their neighbors. So is their total economic production.
Their scientific advances have significantly aided us to live more comfortable and healthy lives. The cell phone, voice mail technology, most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems, synthetic vaccines and the first ingestible video camera inside a pill were all the product of Israeli scientists.
These accomplishments are in spite of having to spend more money per capita on defense, than any country in the world!
Religious pluralism, women's rights, a Western legal system and a dedication to democracy and liberty, are some of the reasons over 80% of Americans support and admire the State of Israel.
"Third world" nations attempting to advance their citizens lives should take Israel as an example to emulate.
It is no wonder that successive American administrations continue to declare " Israel is Americas strongest ally in the Middle East."
Congratulations Israel on your 62nd Anniversary.