"Your editor came to Israel intending to see some sites of archaeological, historical, and faith import. Israel has that—in fact Israel has the highest concentration of archaeological sites, often many levels deep, of any geographical region in the world. But it is also the rightful homeland of a people who have endured incredible persecution for thousands of years, but still carry on. And, contrary to every expectation, reasonable and unreasonable, they do so with far less bitterness of spirit than others have shown who have endured considerably less (including many who have made up a story out of the whole cloth). Those same people will not even let nature stop them, for when they returned to a land that had become desert, they remembered how lush and fertile it had been, and grimly decided to make it so again. And in that they have succeeded.
But Israel is important for the future of the world, as well as its present and past. Israel—and more particularly its capital city of Jerusalem—is the travel centroid of the world. That is, the sum of all the travel distances to all other land areas of the world is shorter for Jerusalem than for any other city. Israel is not a very rich land—it does not have its true equivalent of the Nile or the Amazon or the Mississippi—but it has been a commercial and military crossroads for thousands of years."