Dr. Michael Oren’s splendid book, “2048, The Rejuvenated State,” is 104 pages in English, with a complete translation in Arabic and Hebrew. Oren is a statesman, historian, and parliamentarian. He served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States, a member of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament), and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.  He was a visiting professor at Harvard University, Yale, and Georgetown. His last three books were New York Times bestsellers. The President of Israel praised this book. He, in short, knows what he is talking about. “2048” offers valuable suggestions on how the State of Israel can improve. Readers will find that much of his advice can also enhance other nations.

Oren points out the remarkable successes of Israel but warns that the country “faces challenges that threaten much of its success if not its long-term survival.” He identifies the most critical issues.

One is the “absurdity – indeed, the obscenity” in Israel. The office of the Chief Rabbis and some Israeli ministers refuse to accept, respect, and help non-Orthodox Jews. When the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue was viciously attacked, and worshipers were murdered, they “refused to call the Tree of Life a synagogue.” “Israel in 2048 must have a radically different relationship with World Jewry. It must define Jewish identity in national terms, emphasizing peoplehood over observance.”

Another serious problem involves the Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel. They have, but should not have, control over Jewish holy places. Most Ultra-Orthodox men “do not work or serve in the army. Instead, they receive subsidies – paid by Israeli taxes – to continue studying Torah.” The exponential expansion of this population has “produced nothing materially but only drained the state.” They “shared none of the liberal and democratic values and denied children the most basic modern education.” It is necessary to insist that their schools “provide a core curriculum of English, science, and math. A class in civics, inculcating democratic ideas and familiarity with the state, is also critical.”

Additional situations that need improvement include the Jewish relationship with the Arab population in Israel. Arabs comprise 21 percent of Israel’s population. There is also a tax problem. “A mere 20% of the population now pay 92% of the country’s taxes, and that percentage is dwindling. Another issue is that nearly a million and a half Israeli children live beneath the poverty line. Likewise, Israel’s education system is failing to keep pace with the state’s expansion and falling below many of the standards of developing countries despite being the third-most educated state in the world. Additionally, although Israel is the only country that drafts women, it improperly limits them to non-combat roles.

Israelis must pay attention to these and other problems that Dr. Oren identifies.