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It is the most enlightened country in the region, thanks to the Arabs.
It is a country where all the capital is concentrated in Jewish hands--and there is much grumbling because of this.
It is a country where one can buy anything in the world for his money--except an apartment, which is very expensive.
It is a country where any babe in arms may contradict his papa's political views.
It is a country of elections, but no choice.
It is a country which is an organic part of its trade unions.
It is a country where nobody wants to work, so they build a new town in three days' time and go idle the rest of the week.
It is a country where a slip of paper can move mountains, but all the mountains beget is speeches.
It is a country which produces less than it eats, and yet, of all places, it is here that nobody has ever died of hunger.
It is a country where nobody expects miracles, but everybody takes them for granted.
It is a country where one calls ministers simply "Moishe"--and then almost dies with the excitement of it.
It is the only country in the region whose political regime is the bus cooperative.
It is a country whose survival is permanently endangered, and yet its inhabitants' ulcers are caused by the neighbors from above.
It is a country where every human being is a soldier, and every soldier is a human being.
It is the only country in which I could live. It is my country.
Copyright © 1961 by Ephraim Kishon. All rights reserved.
"Happy Birthday to the State of Israel" The Atlantic Monthly, November, 1961, issue. Vol. 208, No. 5 (p.92-93).