Like most people around the world, Israelis couldn’t wait to ring in the New Year and put 2020 behind them.
Speaking with members of the Israel Today staff who have already been inoculated against COVID-19, there was an air of optimism about 2021. Israel is on pace to vaccinate a full quarter of its population within the next month. Anyone who has lived in Israel for any period of time will know that that is an unprecedented level of efficiency.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been personally talking to the heads of both Pfizer and Moderna to make sure the Jewish state has enough vaccine doses to put the Corona crisis behind us.
And, of course, there’s a lot more to look forward to in the coming year. Israel is finally at peace with a number of Arab countries, and there are many more reportedly lining up to do the same. For average Israelis, that means a lot of new business partners as well as new places to visit and vacation in. Most of all, it marks the beginning of the end of perpetual conflict.
The coming year will also see a new president in the White House, and Israelis are hoping he’ll continue down the unreservedly pro-Israel path of his predecessor.
Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that Israel will be holding its fourth national election in less than two years. A month ago it looked inevitable that the outcome would resemble the previous three elections, and that Netanyahu would once again be crowned prime minister. But with recent shifts in the local political scene, such an outcome is now by no means guaranteed.
What will the year to come hold for all of us? Only God knows. But Israelis are, as always, cautiously optimistic. It’s one of their more endearing traits.