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Israeli paratroopers in a parachute excerise (photo: Boaz Guttman)

There is an ancient maxim from the Babylonian Talmud that reads: “The Land of Israel is acquired through hardships.” The closing months of 2012 once again attest to the veracity of this statement.

Just as a child cannot choose his or her parents, neither can a nation choose its neighbours. We live in a tough neighbourhood, one in which there is no second chance for those who are unable to defend themselves. A neighbourhood which is characterised…

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