The June issue of the American Spectator carries a “Special Report” by George Gilder on “The Arab Debt to Jewish Settlement” that pokes a very large and new hole in the foreign policy of the Obama Administration. I think that even those familiar with Israel and its history will be surprised at the historical information our Discovery Sr. Fellow (and institute co-founder) has assembled to show how a sparsely populated part of the world—”the Palestine Mandate” of the British, post World War I—became an agricultural and economic success thanks to the painstaking sacrifice and enterprise of Jewish settlers.
Some readers may remember an account of “the Holy Land” from the 19th century visit of Mark Twain, reported in Innocents Abroad, 1869. There wasn’t much there then—including people. Wrote Twain:
“Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village.”
Then came Jewish settlers, who figured out how to make the desert bloom. Their prosperity enticed more immigrants, not only Jews, but also Arabs—who went on to call themselves Palestinians.
It’s a key essay that will repay your attention.