israel-46786_640Last week, Israel celebrated its 67th birthday and I am here to tell you why you should celebrate it too.

Do you ever use Apple technology? Is Google a search engine that you have utilized before? Do you like connecting with friends on Facebook?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you are benefiting from the talents and passions of various Israeli people and are thus an exhibit of why everyone on this earth should be thankful for the Jewish state of Israel.

In May of 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of a Jewish state in the holy land of Israel. This declaration finally enabled the oppressed and marginalized Jewish people to achieve self-determination and establish a country in their historic homeland after centuries of suffering expulsions and extreme anti-Semitism throughout the world.

This moment of freedom and hope for Jews, however, led to extreme reactions in the region from Israel’s neighbors. The result was unfortunate; wars were fought and people suffered, Jews and Palestinians alike. Just like at the time of its independence, today Israel faces reoccurring terrorism; and it surfaces much too often.

Celebrating Yom Ha‘atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) made me realize that it is imperative for our campus to understand all that Israel has become in its short 67 years of statehood. It is a beacon of light and freedom in a region plagued by human rights violations and oppression. It is an example of a country beaming with technology, innovation, care, and dedication to a global society that we should strive to create here. We should celebrate the existence of this incredible Middle-Eastern democracy, and its talented, passionate, intelligent and life-loving citizens.

We should celebrate Israel because “an Israeli doctor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel developed the top-selling treatment for multiple sclerosis.”

We should celebrate Israel, because “Israel is the only Middle-Eastern country to support gay rights legislation.”

We should celebrate Israel, because Israel is the nation with the highest ratio of university degrees to population in the world.

We should celebrate Israel, because a company in Haifa, Israel invented a machine called ExAblate, which is a “non-invasive, magnetic resonance- guided focused ultrasound surgery system that thermally ablates, or destroys, tumors inside the body.”

We should celebrate Israel, because Israel is the only nation whose academics produce more scientific papers per capita than anywhere else in the world.

We should celebrate Israel, because Israeli electrical engineer Dr. Amit Goffer developed a product known as ReWalk, which uses “leg braces with motorized joints and a backpack battery system, enabling paraplegics to walk and climb stairs without assistance for up to 12 hours a day.”

We should celebrate Israel, because Israeli military medic, Bernard Bar-Natan, developed the “Emergency Bandage, which can be applied with one hand and is used to stop bleeding and hemorrhaging wounds caused by injuries in the field.”

We should celebrate Israel, because its creation gave Jews around the globe a safe haven. They finally had a place to call home and a government that promised to act in their best interest. Even imagining that this could ever happen was foreign to the oppressed and persecuted Jews around the world following their treatment in ancient civilizations, enslavement in Egypt, and the Holocaust; and truly, Israel as a home is immensely appreciated and long overdue. The sentiment formulated by the declaration of Israel as the Jewish state has led the Jews to be able to begin with a fresh start, and the modern outcomes that the world has seen from Israel are spectacular.

Finally, we should celebrate Israel because as someone who was born and raised there, I am beyond proud to support my amazing, multifaceted and dynamic nation; and my people who, at the face of constant terror, fear and hatred, continue to exhume brilliance, passion and a deep love and value for human life.