We must learn nationalism from Israel
Vijay Darda : Last week I was in Israel. What an amazing country it is! I have seen many countries of the world and tried to understand them, but no other country has impressed me as much as Israel! From agriculture to country’s security and discipline to nationalism, there are many things that we can learn from Israel. It is a matter of great satisfaction that Israelis love us from the bottom of their heart. Israel has stayed with us in every difficult situation.
This time I am going to take you on journey of Israel through this column. There is no direct flight from India to Tel Aviv because the vast majority of the sky belongs to Israel’s enemy countries. They do not allow the plane going to Israel to fly over their territory. That’s why we boarded the plane of Air Turkey from India, which reaches Tel Aviv via Istanbul. As soon as I got off the flight, I got introduced to my fellow traveller Simon. He is a diamond merchant. Mumbai is the capital of diamond business, so he came here. I asked him why was he going to Israel? I was shocked to hear the answer! Simon’s answer was: “I’m going to kiss my soil. My entire family lives in America. When I will land in Israel, I will kiss my soil, I will meet my relatives and return.”
I started thinking whether Simon is really going to kiss Israel’s land? When I reached Tel Aviv, I was stunned. People were kissing their land after getting down from the plane. It turns out that whenever people go out of the country or come back, they kiss the land first.
Indeed, Israel has no competitor in terms of patriotism. Jewish people love their country intensely and this makes them one of the world’s formidable military powers. Measuring 400 kilometres in length and 100 kilometres wide, Israel is surrounded by enemies from all sides, but no one dares attack this country. Seven countries had tried together in 1967, but Israel not only taught them a lesson but also took control of Jerusalem. This whole country is equipped with anti-ballistic missile defense system. Even anti-missile guns are installed in passenger aircraft of their El Al Airlines. It has its own satellite system which it does not share with anyone. Thanks to this system, it has kept the whole country internally safe.
During my visit to different cities of Israel, I observed exceptional discipline among the people. One of the major reasons for this is the necessity of military service. After high school education, boys and girls have to serve in the army for two years. There is no other country in the world where military service is mandatory for girls. Exemption from military service is granted in just two cases: If the girl gets married or the boy or girl goes abroad for higher education. The amazing thing is that nobody even thinks about taking advantage of these two exemptions. I know a billionaire family there whose child had the option of going abroad for higher education, but he told the family clearly: I will complete the military course first, then will go anywhere! Such is the feeling among the people of Israel!
This country was born with Jewish values and it also follows them. Jews may live anywhere, be born anywhere but they get citizenship of Israel with their birth. They can come to Israel whenever they want. Interestingly, Christian and Muslim settlers still have the same rights as Jews. During my visit, I realised that there is no yawning gap between rich and poor. Charity is the amazing tradition there. According to Jewish religion, from Friday evening until Saturday night, Shabbat, the spiritual time, is observed. I also kindled a candle during Shabbat. The particular thing that I learnt was that all machines are usually closed during Shabbat. We did not even get hot coffee. During Shabbat, if a person has earned profit from business, he will donate the amount to charity.
Along with faith and honesty, their commitment to technical excellence has ensured that Israel is ahead in every field. Jewish people are making waves all over the world. They control businesses like arms, banking, agriculture, diamond, newspaper, TV, etc. The specialty of the Jews is that wherever they went they never hurt anyone. They live with love. They respond only when somebody hurts their self-esteem. When their players were killed in Munich, they killed each one of the killers by carrying out a campaign for 20-22 years. We should learn this bravery from them.
Before I conclude
Since I reached Israel on New Year’s eve, I was hoping that the New Year would be celebrated with great fanfare, like in other countries of the world. But I did not notice such celebrations. When I asked, Israeli people smiled saying that this is not our festival. Our new year is Rosh Hashanah, which was celebrated on September 21 in 2017 according to the Hebrew calendar, and in 2018 we will celebrate the New Year on September 10.