*Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world. *Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin – 109 per 10,000 people – as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
*In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the US (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
*Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the US.
*Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
*Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
*With an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16s, Israel has the largest fleet of the aircraft outside of the US.
*Israel’s $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
*On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups.
*Twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees – ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland – and 12 percent hold advanced degrees.
*Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
*In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel.
In January 2010 Israel received another 800 Ethiopian Jews and another 3,000 approximately are due to arrive shortly.
*When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times.
*When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day – and saved three victims from the rubble.
*Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship – and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world.
*Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.
*Most recently Israel absorbed 1,000,000 Russian Jews seeking freedom as Jews and humans. This represented 1/5 of Israel’s population at the time.
*Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as “conflict free.”
*According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry’s most impenetrable flight security. U. S. officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.
*In 1991, during the Gulf War, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played a concert wearing gas masks as scud missiles fired by Saddam Hussein fell on Tel Aviv.
*Israel has the world’s second highest per capita of new books.
*Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.
*Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.
*Medicine… Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.
*An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper
Administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U. S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.
*Israel’s Givun imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.
*Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart’s mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.
*Technology… With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
*In response to serious water shortages, Israeli engineers and agriculturalists developed a revolutionary drip irrigation system to minimize the amount of water used to grow crops.
*Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
*Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.
*The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
*Most of the Windows NT operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel.
*The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
*Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
*Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
*The AOL Instant Messenger was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
*A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device,produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct – all without damaging surroundings skin or tissue.
*An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California’s Mojave desert.”
*All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth. This from a country just 60 years young having started off life on a very frontiers-like basis, whose population had mostly just emerged from the devastating World War II years.
*Israel’s shekel was also recently added to the short list of world currencies traded on the international markets. Only 17 national currencies belong to that prestigious group.
Israel’s developing Economy
*In addition to be reborn into a world of war fighting for its very existence just minutes after declaring independence, 60 years ago Israel was also desperately short of cash, food and trade partners.
Israeli leaders imposed a strict socialist system that helped the state to sustain itself, but also led to a bloated public sector, high unemployment and rampant inflation.
But Israel pushed forward, and in a few short decades not only brought its economy under control, but last year had the highest annual economic growth percentage (5%) of all industrialized nations for the fifth year running.
*Israel has many global achievements, but one that has history buffs glowing with particular pride is the inscription of five Israeli sites on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage List: The Old City of Acre, Massada, the White City of Tel Aviv, the Incense Route – the Desert Cities of the Negev, and the Biblical Tels – Megiddo, Hazor and Beersheba.
* Scientists in Israel, found that the brackish water,
drilled from underground desert aquifers, hundreds of feet deep, could
be used to raise warm-water fish. The geothermal water, less than
on e-tenth as saline as sea water, free of pollutants, and a toasty 98
degrees on average, proves an ideal environment.
*Israeli-developed designer-eyeglasses, promise mobile phone
and iPod users, a personalized, high-tech video display. Available to US
consumers next year, Lumus-Optical’s lightweight and fashionable video
eyeglasses, feature a large transparent screen, floating in front of the
viewer’s face, that projects their choice of movie, TV show, or video
* When Stephen Hawkins visited Israel recently, he shared his
wisdom with scientists, students, and even the Prime Minister. But the
world’s most renowned victim of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or
Lou Gehrig’s disease, also learned something, due to the Israeli
Association for ALS’ advanced work in both embryonic and adult stem cell research, as well as its proven track record with neurodegenerative
diseases. The Israeli research community is well on its way, to finding
a treatment for this fatal disease, which affects 30,000 Americans.
*Israeli start-up, Veterix, has developed an innovative new
e electronic capsule that sits in the stomach of a cow, sheep, or goat,
sending out real-time information on the health of the herd, to the
farmer via Email or cell phone. The e-capsule, which also sends out
alerts if animals are distressed, injured, or lost, is now being tested
on a herd of cows, in the hopes that the device will lead to tastier and
healthier meat and milk supplies.
*The millions of Skype users worldwide will soon have
access to the newly developed KishKish lie-detector. This free Internet
service, based on voice stress analysis (a technique, commonly used in
criminal investigations), will be able to measure just how truthful that
person on the other end of the line, really is.
*Beating cardiac tissue has been created in a lab from human
embryonic stem cells by researchers at the Rappaport Medical Faculty and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s biomedical Engineering
faculty. The work of Dr. Shulamit Levenberg and Prof. Lior Gepstein, has
also led to the creation of tiny blood vessels within the Tissue, making
possible its implantation in a human heart.
* Israel’s Magal Security Systems, is a worldwide leader in
computerized security systems, with products used in more than 70
countries around the world, protecting anything from national borders,
to nuclear facilities, refineries, and airports. The company’s latest
Product, DreamBox, a state-of-the-art security system that includes
Intelligent video, audio and sensor management, is now being used by a
major water authority on the US east coast to safeguard the utility’s
* It is common knowledge that dogs have better night vision
than humans, and a vastly superior sense of smell and hearing. Israel’s
Bio-Sense Technologies, recently delved further, and electronically
analyzed 350 different barks. Finding that dogs of all breeds and
sizes, bark the same alarm when they sense a threat, the firm has
designed the dog bark-reader, a sensor that can pick up a dog’s alarm
bark, and alert the human operators. This is just one of a batch of
innovative security systems to emerge from Israel, which Forbes calls
‘the go-to country for anti-terrorism technologies.’
*Israeli company, BioControl Medical, sold its first
electrical stimulator to treat urinary incontinence to a US company for
$50 Million. Now, it is working on CardioFit, which uses electrical
nerve stimulation to treat congestive heart failure.. With nearly five
million Americans presently affected by heart failure, and more than
400,000 new cases diagnosed yearly, the CardioFit is already generating a great deal of excitement as the first device with the potential to halt this deadly disease.
* One year after Norway’s Socialist Left Party launched its
boycott Israel campaign, the importing of Israeli goods has increased
by 15%, the strongest increase in many years, Statistics Norway reports. In contrast to the efforts of tiny Israel to make contributions to the world so as to better mankind, one has to ask what have those who have
strived to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth done other than
to create hate and bloodshed.
*Bionic noses used as bomb sniffers. Mini-medical submarines that deliver drugs to individual cancer cells in your body. Tiny chemical laboratories on a chip to monitor water pollution. Self-cleaning materials that mimic a bird’s feathers. Sunscreen that doesn’t soak into your skin: If you can dream it, don’t be surprised if Israeli nanotech scientists and engineers already have too, and are now building it.
*Today there are about 75 Israeli nanotech companies – up from 45 three years ago, and some 325 nanotech research teams (up from 210) working in the field, with new ideas spouting up all the time. Nanotech is becoming so hot in Israel in recent years, that this year, Israel will host its very own nanotech conference in Jerusalem.
*The Israeli government has made nanotech a national priority, academics are putting their teams together, and experts at the Israel National Nanotech Initiative (INNI) report a whopping 150 percent growth of Israeli nanotech compared to recent years.
*With achievements already in electronics, defense, software, communications, security and life sciences, Israel is seeing a surge in nanotechnology research and applications in many of its science labs, making it a top 10 in some fields. So says Dan Vilenski, board member of the INNI, a joint venture between the Israeli government, academia, and industry to bring Israeli nanotechnology achievements to life.
“Nano is the next wave after the semiconductor,” says Vilenski. “Nano is anything reduced to a size below 100 nanometers.” But scientists aren’t just scaling science down, they “are also changing properties, processes or the behavior of materials,” he adds
*Health care in Israel
is both universal and compulsory, and is administered by a small number of organizations with funding from the government. All Israeli citizens are entitled to the same Uniform Benefits Package, regardless of which organization they are a member of, and treatment under this package is funded for all citizens regardless of their financial means. According to a 2000 study by the World Health Organization, Israel has the 28th best health care in the world.
The National Health Insurance law of 1994 declares that equal access to health care is a right. The law guarantees every Israeli (irrespective of gender, race, religion, national cultural background etc.) a relatively broad health care basket of services. The Israeli system combines the advantages of single payer systems, with choice between different providers. In order to cover health expenditure, every citizen pays some 5 percent of his or her income as an ear-marked health-tax and the state adds monies from the general budget. Services are provided by four public, non-profit, health management organizations, with the state remaining responsible as a last resort.
Thus the country’s population is served by an extensive medical network comprising:
Centers for preventive medicine and rehabilitation
Hospital care includes highly advanced procedures and techniques such as in vitro fertilization, MRI scans, and complicated brain surgery to bone marrow and organ transplants.
Mother-and-child care centers, for women during pregnancy and children from birth to early childhood, offer prenatal examinations
Early detection of mental and physical handicaps, immunizations, regular pediatric check-ups, and health education.
Medicines and drugs.
The main sources of funding are a monthly health insurance tax of up to 4.8 percent of income, collected by the National Insurance Institute, and employer participation in the cost of insurance for their employees. The insurance schemes are reimbursed according to a weighted average number of insured persons, calculated by age, distance of home from a health facility, and other criteria determined by the Ministry of Health.
*The U.S. can learn so much about health care from Israel.
Crisis in Haiti
Over 220 IDF soldiers from the Home Front Command were sent as part of the Israeli aid delegation to Haiti. Part of the delegation is concentrating its efforts on Search and Rescue operations to try and find survivors under the rubble of earthquake stricken Haiti.
On Friday (Jan. 15) the IDF established a field hospital that is capable of treating 500 people a day. The Medical Corps has said that it has already carried out three life saving surgeries.
Israeli Defense Force’s Field Hospital in Haiti with a staff of 220
Income comparison of Israel and Arab States in Middle East
The Arab nations are represented by 21 separate countries. There is only one Jewish nation with a tiny country, Israel. The combined territories of Arab countries are 650 fold greater than. Their population is 50 fold greater than Israel. The average per capita GDP in Arab countries is $3,700 versus $18,000 for Israel. This despite the fact that many Arab countries have world’s richest oil resources.
Tzipi Livni in regard to Jewish State of Israel
These two goals of Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state must coexist and not contradict each other.
So, what does that mean, a Jewish state?
It is not only a matter of the number of Jews who live in Israel. It is not just a matter of numbers but a matter of values. The Jewish state is a matter of values, but it is not just a matter of religion, it is also a matter of nationality. And a Jewish state is not a monopoly of rabbis. It is not. It is about the nature of the State of Israel. It is about Jewish tradition. It is about Jewish history, regardless of the question of what each and every Israeli citizen does in his own home on Saturdays and what he does on the Jewish holidays. We need to maintain the nature of the State of Israel, the character of the State of Israel, because this is the raison d’etre of the State of Israel.
Sixty years have passed and unfortunately, because we did not make it clear enough in our education of the younger generation, there seems to be a new creation in the State of Israel – the new Sabra. That is a problem because being an Israeli is not only speaking Hebrew or serving in the army, which, by the way, is very important for us as a society. It is also about Jewish education and about history and tradition, because this is the common denominator, the common ground for the bonds between Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora.
The Spirit of the IDF
The Spirit of the IDF draws its values and basic principles from three traditions:
a. The tradition of the Jewish People throughout its history.
b. The tradition of the State of Israel, its democratic principles, laws and institutions.
c. The tradition of the IDF and its military heritage as the Israel Defense Forces.
4. The Spirit of the IDF is the ethical code by which all IDF enlisted personnel, officers, units and corps act. It is the norm to guide them in forming their patterns of behavior. They are expected to educate and critically evaluate themselves and others in accordance with these values and principles.
5. The complex nature of military activity in general, and combat in particular, may generate tensions with the values and basic principles of The Spirit of the IDF, and may raise problems of judgment about the proper balance needed between theory and practice.
The obligation to fulfill the mission and ensure military victory will be the compass guiding any effort to balance these values and basic principles of The Spirit of the IDF. The striving for proper balance according to this compass will make it possible to preserve the IDF as a body of high quality, imbued with values, and which fulfills its duties and missions appropriately.
Purity of Arms in the IDF
“The IDF serviceman will use force of arms only for the purpose of subduing the enemy to the necessary extent and will limit his use of force so as to prevent unnecessary harm to human life and limb, dignity and property.
The IDF servicemen’s purity of arms is their self-control in use of armed force. They will use their arms only for the purpose of achieving their mission, without inflicting unnecessary injury to human life or limb; dignity or property, of both soldiers and civilians, with special consideration for the defenseless, whether in wartime, or during routine security operations, or in the absence of combat, or times of peace. ?
Arabs in Israeli society
Israel is one of the most open societies in the world. Out of a population of 6.7 million, about 1.3 million — 20 percent of the population — are non-Jews (approximately 1.1 million Muslims, 130,000 Christians and 100,000 Druze).1
Arabs in Israel have equal voting rights; in fact, it is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Arabs currently hold 8 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Israeli Arabs have also held various government posts, including one who served as Israel’s ambassador to Finland and the current deputy mayor of Tel Aviv. Oscar Abu Razaq was appointed Director General of the Ministry of Interior, the first Arab citizen to become chief executive of a key government ministry. Ariel Sharon’s original cabinet included the first Arab minister, Salah Tarif, a Druze who served as a minister without portfolio. An Arab is also a Supreme Court justice.
Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language in Israel. More than 300,000 Arab children attend Israeli schools. At the time of Israel’s founding, there was one Arab high school in the country. Today, there are hundreds of Arab schools.2
In 2002, the Israeli Supreme Court also ruled that the government cannot allocate land based on religion or ethnicity, and may not prevent Arab citizens from living wherever they choose.2a
The sole legal distinction between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel is that the latter are not required to serve in the Israeli army. This is to spare Arab citizens the need to take up arms against their brethren. Nevertheless, Bedouins have served in paratroop units and other Arabs have volunteered for military duty. Compulsory military service is applied to the Druze and Circassian communities at their own request.
Some economic and social gaps between Israeli Jews and Arabs result from the latter not serving in the military. Veterans qualify for many benefits not available to non-veterans. Moreover, the army aids in the socialization process.
On the other hand, Arabs do have an advantage in obtaining some jobs during the years Israelis are in the military. In addition, industries like construction and trucking have come to be dominated by Israeli Arabs.
Although Israeli Arabs have occasionally been involved in terrorist activities, they have generally behaved as loyal citizens. During the 1967, 1973 and 1982 wars, none engaged in any acts of sabotage or disloyalty. Sometimes, in fact, Arabs volunteered to take over civilian functions for reservists. During the outbreak of violence in the territories that began in September 2000, Israeli Arabs for the first time engaged in widespread protests with some violence.
The United States has been independent for almost 230 years and still has not integrated all of its diverse communities. Even today, 60 years after civil rights legislation was adopted, discrimination has not been eradicated. It should not be surprising that Israel has not solved all of its social problems in only 62 years.