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Jeff Jacoby

Peace process harmed Israel’s reputation

“What happened,” asks Michael Oren, “to Israel’s reputation?”

The Israeli ambassador to the United States, a noted historian, combat veteran, and bestselling author, raised that question in a Wall Street Journal essay last week. Writing on the 64th anniversary of Israeli independence, Oren began by quoting from Life magazine’s salute to the Jewish state on its 25th birthday in 1973 — a 92-page special issue that honored modern Israel, an island of enlightened democratic courage flourishing against all odds amid a sea of Arab hostility and violence. From “a tiny, parched, scarcely defensible toe-hold,” Life declared, the people of Israel had forged “a new society … in which pride and confidence have replaced the despair engendered by age-long suffering and persecution.”

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