Freedom House also reports on freedom of the press. Of 18 countries in the Middle Eastern/North African area, they report only one country with a free press. Israel. Eleven of these countries have no free press, including Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Egypt and Lebanon are rated partly free.
Despite being the youngest country in the region, Israel's per capita gross domestic product is five times higher than the average of all its neighbors. Also, despite having no great endowment of natural resources, its GDP per capita, at $24,097, is higher than Saudi Arabia's, $22, 296, which has, by far, the world's largest oil production and reserves.
The great American writer Mark Twain visited the Holy Land in 1867 before Jews made their miraculous return to their ancient homeland. He reported that there was nothing there. "Palestine is desolate and unlovely."
You have to be either blind or have a political agenda to refuse to see the incredible miracle that has occurred in the re-birth of the Jewish nation.
Of course, there is a special relationship between the United States and Israel. The same values and traditions have produced in both places freedom and prosperity from nothing.
Should we denigrate Arabs and Muslims? Certainly not. But anyone who thinks that peace and prosperity will come from abandoning those very values that got us to where we are, and along with this our friends who share those values, is deeply misguided.
Unfortunately, today we have an American president who is set on doing just that. Principled Americans and Israelis should tighten seatbelts and prepare to defend the truths we hold dear.