After the exodus from Egypt and on the way to the promised land, Moses faced the doubts of the Jewish people about the actual habitability of Israel. He then commissioned twelve explorers to go to the land of Canaan, to prove that it really was the place described by God. Upon arrival, however, the sight of a land “dominated by giants” made almost all except Joshua and Kalev desist. These two were the only ones to reaffirm the word of God. But why? What could have convinced them?
Turning their eyes, the Jews could still hear the suffering of slavery in Egypt, the abuses of Pharaoh, the idolatry that had forced them to repeatedly hide their religion. The one in front of them, instead, was indeed a small and insidious land, but with great opportunities. Not an oasis in the desert, but the opportunity to create one that in the future could have flowed “milk and honey”. Everything, only through willpower. The same willpower that, five thousand years later, the ideological father of the State of Israel, Theodor Herzl, reaffirmed saying: “If you want it, it won’t be a dream.”
Perhaps, then, what distinguished the two explorers from the others was their excellent foresight in understanding the importance of having one’s own home in the world. A place to heal all the wounds that the Jewish people have suffered throughout history. And just as Jeoshua and Kalev didn’t listen to the other explorers, so too, on Independence Day – 14 May 1948 – the Israeli leaders didn’t listen to the detractors who tried to dissuade them from founding the State for fear of impending wars. Either in that moment or never again: the teaching of the two explorers was the compass that led to the proclamation of Israel. Either a land of its own, or a life in eternal diaspora, without a home or an identity, without a place in the world in which to assert their rights.
Thus was born the State of Israel, with the intuition of what it would become: the certainty for life that no Jew could die under the indifferent eyes of all, the only democracy of the Middle East, leader of startups and the scientific vanguard, safe place in the world for all the people of Israel.
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