There are now 180 families living in Halutza (Hebrew for “pioneer”). They pipe in desalinated water from the Mediterranean coast, fertilize the sand, and grow produce. Today, five years after being evacuated from Gaza, they are exporting $50 million dollars a year of organic potatoes, carrots, and peppers from their new community.
Art Linkletter would call this, “making the best of the way things turn out.”
Halutza is the history of Israel in microcosm. Taking difficult and unfortunate circumstances and building anew.
Only 62 years after its founding in the ashes of the Holocaust, Israel has a per capita GDP almost on par with industrialized European nations, has the highest per capita venture capital investment in the world, and has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any non-US country.
Intel Corporation’s facility in Israel is its only microchip design facility outside the US and is responsible for the design of most Intel chips powering our personal computers today.
All this accomplished under constant siege and war because the Palestinians have rejected every proposal to live side by side since they first rejected the state they were offered by the United Nations in 1947, which gave them more territory than they claim would satisfy them today.
A culture of blame, entitlement, and hate is a path to nowhere. This is as true in the Middle East as it is in America’s inner cities, put on the government plantation years ago.
In 1957, Golda Meir, a future prime minister of Israel, spoke at the National Press Club in Washington. She said, unfortunately prophetically, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
The world is still waiting.