Israel at 60: The Long View

At 60, Israel has established itself as a vibrant democracy in a hostile neighborhood. So why are its people so divided about its future?

Tivadar Domaniczky / VII Network for TIME

An Israeli solider patrols near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

As Israel marks its 60th birthday, its citizens would seem to have plenty to celebrate. Situated on a patch of stony land, democratic Israel has endured the ravages of war and terrorism and an assortment of enemies sworn to destroy it. Israelis have managed to revive Hebrew, a 4,000-year-old language, and turn it into a vibrant instrument of elegant novelists and growling rappers. In cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa, the high-tech industry has produced years of robust growth and fostered a culture of creativity and inventiveness that is the envy of the Middle East.

But the mood in Israel today...