“The Jewish State in the early years had no monetary reserves, little economic infrastructure, and few public services.” Joseph Puder
“Israel has come a long way from exporting oranges and phosphates, to becoming a leading high-tech exporter, including water technology, medical devices, and sophisticated arms.” Ibid
“Israel’s infrastructure has undergone tremendous expansion, with four lane highways across the country, and a comfortable rail service.” Ibid
From a relatively poor country to one of the 25 richest in the world.
To many, Israel today is the Start Up nation, a wealthy, and a militarily powerful state. It did not become that overnight. Some radicals anti-Israel voices describe Israel erroneously as “white.” The facts however are different. There are over one hundred thousand immigrants from Ethiopia, African economic migrants in the thousands, and Mizrahi Jews from the Arab Middle East, who comprise about half the population. Israelis of all colors and creeds made the desert bloom, overcoming the hardships of wars, terror, and absorbing millions of Jewish refugees without any natural resources.
Known today for its unique entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, Israel started its independence in 1948 as a country bereft of natural and financial resources. A pervasive joke in the country went like this… “Moses made a mistake in direction. Instead of leading the Israelites from the Sinai to the Land of Milk and Honey northeast of the Sinai, he should have gone East across the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. That way, we would have oil and wealth.”
Joking aside, the Jewish State in the early years had no monetary reserves, little economic infrastructure, and few public services. In the 1950’s the government instituted rations known as the “Tzena” (austerity) era. Families were allocated food stamps that allowed them to buy limited amounts of sugar, flour, and oil, as well as eggs a month. Meat was rationed as well, and red meat was rare and expensive to serve at the time. As a small child in the 1950’s and early teenager in the 1960’s, I remember the paucity of toys available for children. This reporter played with matchboxes which became imaginary Israeli tanks that liberated Auschwitz and saved the Jews. I grew up with families of Holocaust survivors including my own. Their ordeals shaped the minds of children, including this reporter. Continue reading