Tags: Israel | Middle East | Religion | democracy | election | india | china

Israel's Compelling Story Inspires Globally

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(Anke Van Wyk/Dreamstime)

By Thursday, 26 September 2019 02:41 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Ever wonder why a subject or event is newsworthy?

Israeli elections were front page news in papers, news programs, and news sites across the United States and also globally.

Now, in the aftermath of that election, as decisions are being made about what the new government should, could, or will look like, Israeli goings-on are still occupying coveted news spaces. It would only be natural to ask (beyond academic curiosity) why the Israeli elections are globally in the news cycle. 

And it's not just Western news outlets who are interested. It's not solely news sites and shows, and papers, in the U.S. and Europe.

India, China, and even Arab news sources are covering the Israeli elections.

Again. Why?

How many people outside of the respective counties even know that there is an election in Austria on Sept. 29, and an election in Poland on Oct. 13?

I'm fairly confident that those elections will not capture the attention of international media nor the interest of the world.

There was just about no mention of Denmark's June 5 general election or the Australian elections held in March. In April, India held a general election that took almost one month to complete, it began on April 11, ending May 19.

That alone was noteworthy, but it barely generated a blip in news cycles.

Think about it.

There are almost 1 billion 500 million, people living in India. That is 1 billion 200 million more than live in the United States. The official population of the United States, until the next census figures are  released, is, by comparison, a mere 327 million.

Continuing with comparisons, Israel is only 71 years old and has approximately 9 million people. In land size, Israel is comparable to the small-sized state of New Jersey.

Israeli elections and post-game coalition building is completely foreign to Americans.

And yet, Americans are treated to updates in the intricacies of Israeli political party sharing and power building on an almost daily basis. Americans hear about it, read about it, talk about it — and still don't understand the intricacies of coalition building. It's so confusing that many people throw up their hands, concluding that Israel is just a banana republic.

It is not. Israel is a stable democracy.

The nation is a stable parliamentary democracy. And in the United States we have had no experience with parliamentary democracies because the U.S. is a democratic republic.

In point of fact, most democracies are parliamentary — not republics.

The reason Israeli elections are so newsworthy is because Israel is special, and special in so many ways.

Israel stands alone as a democracy in the Mideast. The country is the one and only Western society in the region. Israel is cutting edge in technology, science, bio tech, and computers.

Israel is also center stage in art, music, theater, culinary arts, academics, economics, and business startups.

Significanly, Israel is also a strategic ally of and for the United States, as well as large swaths of the world. Not simply a recipient of aid, Israel is a country giving a return on the investment of aid it receives.

And I still haven't gotten to the most significant reason the eyes of the world are so often focused on the Jewish state. Israel is the religious nexus of much of the world.

It's the center from which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam emerged.

All three faiths follow in the footsteps of Abraham, the progenitor of these three religions. Abraham's monotheistic revolution took place in Israel. For those who care, who take religion seriously, that is a profound link.

Abraham revolutionized the world as he, simply and innocently, made real — monotheism.

Modern Israel had a chance to create a state elsewhere in the world but declined the offers.

Modern Israel is built on ancient Israel.

Even the most secular Israeli understands this, appreciating the significance of Israel's geography.

The early history of the country is a story of romance and all those who connect with Israel are smitten by that romance. The fact that modern Israel is such a contributing force of energy globally is further proof that it is special.

Israelis definitely prefer that the media discusses their election and their creativity, rather than focusing on their blemishes and the tensions of their everyday lives.

The world is interested in both the good and the bad of Israel. You cannot cherry pick when you are part of the vortex of international creativity and excitement. And when people are looking at you, they will find flaws.

At least they're looking.

This Israeli election is another step in the path towards understanding Israel.

The more one learns about Israel, the more one loves Israel. It's inevitable.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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Americans are treated to updates in the intricacies of Israeli political party sharing and power building on an almost daily basis. Americans hear about it, read about it, talk about it, and still don't understand.
democracy, election, india, china
Thursday, 26 September 2019 02:41 PM
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