Wednesday, September 07, 2005



Israel in 1946 was in that strange state between World War II and statehood. It was still unclear if the world would allow the Jews to establish their own sovereign nation. Jews and Arabs still lived under occupation, and the British had control over both groups in practical day-to-day matters.

But the Jews were always looking towards building their own country, their own infrastructure, their own future - no matter what the politicians or generals or bureaucrats did.

Here is one small example that is not so small.

The Jews realized that they live in a tiny area with practically no natural resources. Anything they would create would have to be made from only the crudest of ingredients together with brainpower. And in the 1940s, twenty years before Mr. Mcguire was to give his famous advice to Benjamin Braddock in "The Graduate", one of the brightest areas of research and manufacturing growth was in...plastics.

The amount of planning necessary to build an entire industry from scratch is immense. To even think of doing it during a time of terror and war could almost be thought of as foolhardy. Yet the Weizmann Institute continued on in its plastics research throughout the decade, as partition and war loomed, threatening the Jewish state before it could even have a chance:

The foresight that a few Palestinian Jews had in 1946, that they kept planning and laying the groundwork for during the War of Independence, allowed them to move from R&D to actual products very soon afterwards:

Two groups of people, both with ostensibly the same aims of their own independent country - yet how they went about actually building it could not be more different. One group chooses terror and hate, while the other just quietly builds what has to be built - no excuses, no whining, just results.

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