Despite All Odds, Israel Flourishing

Israel’s population has increased tenfold in the 68 years since its reestablishment on May 14, 1948, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics’ latest report released Monday.

Nearly three-quarters of Israel’s 8,522,000 residents (6,337 million or 74.8 percent) are Jews, more than half at least second generation Israeli-born; 20.8 percent (1.771 million) are Arab; and 4.4 percent (roughly 374,000) are Christians and non-affiliated people groups.

This past year, 36,000 Jews immigrated to Israel, some, like French and Ukrainian Jews, convinced the situation in their countries of birth was no longer safe or conducive to a Jewish lifestyle.

With 195,000 Jewish babies born since Independence Day last year and 47,000 passing away, the total population increased by 2.2 percent or 182,000.

If that growth rate continues, Israel will be home to 11.3 million people by 2035, close to the 11.5 million worldwide Jewish population in 1948. At that time, only 6 percent of world Jewry lived in Israel.

It has never been easy.

War and terrorism have claimed the lives of 23,447 Israeli soldiers, whose memories will be honored on Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron), which begins at sundown on Tuesday and ends with the heralding of Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut), when the nation literally turns from mourning to joy.

Many scriptures foretell the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. Here is just one example:

Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.’

Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes?’ says the Lord of hosts.

Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; I will bring them back and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.’ – Zechariah 8:4-8

Despite all odds, am Yisrael chai – the people of Israel live!

This article originally appeared on CBN News, May 10, 2016 and reposted with permission.