Israel is one of the world’s most influential and powerful countries according to an annual US News World Report survey.
The Most Influential Countries ranking is based on a survey of influence in a variety of spheres, including connections to the rest of the world, culture, politics, strong international alliances, strong military and having an important impact on the global stage.
The report points out that in spite of being a small country and the only Jewish nation in the world, Israel plays a larger than life role in global affairs. The nation of Israel has excelled in producing far more innovations in medicine, hi-tech, security, business startups, literature and philosophy than countries with populations and economies ten times her size.
The world’s most influential countries are those that consistently dominate news headlines, preoccupy policymakers and shape global economic patterns. Their foreign policies, scientific innovations and military strategies are closely followed by the world’s community. When they make a commitment and pledge to act, the international community will generally trust that they will follow through.
In spite of its tiny size, Israel ranked number eight among the world’s most powerful nations. The United States is considered to be the most influential country and has the world’s largest economy with an annual $19.4 trillion GDP and a population of 326 million. China, with a $12.2 trillion GDP and a population of 1.4 billion persons, is now considered the third most powerful country.
How do we explain that Israel, with an annual GDP of just $351 billion and population of only around 8 million people, becoming one of the world’s most influential and powerful nations?
Most small nations with medium-sized economies are far less influential than Israel. Estonia, a small country in Northern Europe with a similar size and economy as the Jewish nation, ranks as the least powerful nation in the report. Similarly, Estonia’s Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania remain at the bottom.
There are probably many factors that contribute to making Israel a global powerhouse in so many areas, but perhaps the most significant of all is the sense that we hold a common heritage going all the way back to our Bible. It is the Word of God that called us out to be a “chosen people,” and “a light to the nations,” and it is He who has chosen this people to be an eternal witness to His faithfulness.
In the face of never-ending wars, antisemitic hatred, deadly terrorism, fake news propaganda and ongoing concerted efforts to wipe Israel of the map, the Jewish people living on their small sliver of land along the western coast of the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by mortal enemies continue to surprise by making crucial contributions in health, technology, security, sciences, literature and more to the nations of the world.
The only way to understand this is to recognize that the nation of Israel is God’s sign to the world that He will never forsake his people, nor will He ever forget you and me who believe in Him. As the New Testament promises, in Romans chap. 11:29, “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” May God continue to bless Israel and bless all the nations of the earth.
PHOTO: Mendy Hechtman Flash90