Israel is a country that has a long host of record-breaking statistics. Ever since the beginning of the modern State of Israel in 1948, this young country has been an immigrant nation. Most normal countries would never consider absorbing more than 5 or 10% of their population on any given year. Not only did Israel do the impossible of absorbing 100% of their size in one year. They did it nearly 3 years in a row. So, between the years 1949-1951, Israel rose in numbers from around 600,000 to 2 million people.
How did Israel achieve the impossible?
The most reasonable explanation for what the State of Israel achieved is that necessity is the mother of invention. Israel did not merely absorb 1.5 million immigrants in around 3 years because they needed more manpower. They did indeed need more soldiers and more farm hands to work the fields. But, it is much deeper than that. The real need was for a refuge for the 1.5 million Jews who were partially kicked out of their countries. Jews from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, and Lebanon were always treated as second-class citizens. But they manged somehow to survive under Arab domination for centuries. But once the State of Israel was formed, a mixture of age-old Zionism and a new wave of anti-semitism in their host countries drove the mass Aliyah of Jews from Arab lands to the State of Israel. These Jews were refugees in the fullest sense of the word. More than a million Jews, mainly children, came with very little outside of what they were able to carry onto a boat. They did not know much about the State of Israel – they just knew that it was the fulfillment of their prayers for thousands of years.
Today, most of the Jews who move to the Land of Israel are looking for a better life. Israel is a thriving democracy with wonderful health care and a truly democratic system of government. The vestiges of socialism from the early days become less and less dominant each and every year. What was once a weak country that had to ration food in order to make sure that all refugees survived is now a country that offers nearly any young person with dreams a vast array of ways of achieving them. Whether or not one wants to use the word miracle or not to describe the achievements of the young State, what is clear is that the growth of this young country has been remarkable in the last 6 decades.