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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Israel at 60

Happy Birthday, Israel.

As journalist Allison Kaplan Sommer wrote today at Pajamas Media, "Today, is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of the country which has been my home for 15 years. First and foremost, the fact that it is here at all, is , in itself, its greatest accomplishment. The country has fulfilled its basic purpose as providing a haven for the Jewish people in the traumatic aftermath of the Holocaust, a safe place for Jews to live, grow and prosper."

"The state's humble goal was at first and foremost merely to exist - and that is still here is probably what its founders would be most proud of if they could see it today. What would most devastate them is that a substantial part of the world still questions its right to exist, and the fact that so much of the country's time and energy must still be spent trying to counter these existential threats."

The truly amazing and miraculous part of the story is that in the face of its struggles against its enemies, Israel has not only survived, but thrived. The Israeli economy is thriving and robust, that the level of high-tech development in such a tiny country and that we produce not only a record number of new inventions and research papers to the world, and world-class scientists - along with supermodels, soccer coaches, and Olympic wind-surfing champions. Along with prestigious universities and holy places, a thriving nightlife and a fun-loving and youth culture."

President Bush will travel to Israel next week for the birthday celebrations. A White House aide said Bush will "reaffirm his personal commitment to peace." Israel has had no better friend than President George W. Bush, that is a fact.

Iran remains the major threat to Israel's survival. It is the expressed goal of Amadidijad to push Israel off into the sea.

Author and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident scholar Michael Ledeen advocates discussion not bombs with Iranian leadership. He believes moral, logistical and material support for Iranian dissidents will bring about the change needed for terrorism to stop driving the country's agenda. Ledeen is of the group of scholars that believe the population of Iran has a dissident majority.

I don't necessarily buy that thought. Yes, there are always young people, university students, who will speak to reporters about their hopes of living in freedom. They desire a way out of the grip of the Ayatollah. I am not at all sure that this is how the rest of the country's population feels.

John Bolton, a senior fellow at AEI and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has recently published his opinion that the terrorist training camps must be bombed in Iran sooner rather than later. He believes the camps should be taken out now.

General Petraeus has verified Iranian-made rockets and bombs have been launched into Iraq to be used against American soldiers and the Iraqi people, too.

I'm not certain what the correct next step is, but I do know it is not to just go have tea and chat with the Mad Man in Tehran as Barack Obama claims he will do. The current administration has begun quiet diplomacy with Tehran and so far nothing has come of it. That's the problem when you expect terrorists to think as rational people.

Ledeen writes he is pleased that John Bolton has made public his thoughts on Iran. He wants action against a country that has been waging a war using terror against us for thirty years now. We have another chatty Democrat to thank for that, you may remember.

Happy Birthday, Israel.

Shalom.

5 comments:

Incognito said...

It truly is amazing how they have thrived in spite of being surrounded by countries that wish them ill. that wish them dead.

God Bless Israel! without them there as a stabilizing factor, the middle east would be a nest of Islamic radicalism, and Europe would probably already be gone.

Nikki said...

Shalom is right...I spent 6 months in Israel with BYU in 1987 study abroad. The University has a campus there overlooking the city on The Mt. of Olives...it was one of the most spectacular times of my life. I lived in Arizona for 6 years and loved it because it reminded me of Israel. So many great experiences happened while I was there. I have a special place in my heart for that country...and a special spot in my stomach for felefel. hahaha :)N

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Happy Birthday, Israel!

Paul is a Hermit said...

All they've ever wanted to do is live in peace with their neighbors, even help them. That Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan still exist is statement to that truth.

Jaakonpoika said...

Could you comment, whether my details are correct in my essay in
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Expelled-Jews-statistics.htm ?

E.g.
It is USA that profits from Israel, rather than the opposite. Israel gets nearly 2 billion euros from USA almost every year, that is true. But. US demands that Israel is not allowed to stop BRAIN DRAIN from Eretz israel to USA. Before the Second Intifada, there were 200 Israeli companies listed in the US High Tech Nasdaq, after the Intifaca the count had dropped to 70. At the moment, the number is back in 100, which is still greater than from all the European countries combined. Dollars are green since the yankees pull the down from the tree when still raw and fresh. Israel has not been allowed to let any of its companies to be scaled up in their homeland but most are imported straight from the garage. The scaling up of industrial production would mean jobs, to both Jews, Arabs and other ethnic groups. Israel is ordered to stay as some kind of innovation laboratory only, as the 51. state.

Astonishing number of 25% of the Israeli researchers have moved from Israel to the United States - and this figure does not yet even include the people with double citizenship! The next largest brain drain of researchers to US are 12.2% from Canada, 4.3% from Netherlands, and 4.2% from Italy.

One of the secrets of innovative success in Israel is the fact that cheating is minimized in the public funding: Money is not delivered according to research plans but steady income and thus the market analysis is emphasized. The support is designed so that the first 2-10 years a startup company does not have to pay taxes. But no direct funding without compensation is offered. Today, Israel draws Venture Capital (VC) more than the Europe.

A novel phenomenon is the strategy by which Israel has been able to claim victory over China and other Far-East countries regarding the most modern High Tech factories: As an example, the supranational Intel transferred the mass production of Centricon-processors to Israel, where 25% of citizens possess a higher decree from the university but where people respect patents and are not plagiating every item they produce for others. (China is a great country of thieves. The Empire of Pirates steals every moving article in your machine.) Intel was also offered an overall tax rate of 10%, which is about three times lower than that of US.

Also, the biggest generic drug factory in the world was recently established in Israel. Over half of the export from Israel are High tech products, compared to the 25% which is the average in the OECD countries.

Although the export of the agriculture has remained constant past the last 30 years, its relative amount has dropped from 70% to 3%. Out of the 3000 companies in Israel 80% are less than ten years old, and the average failure rate of these start ups is very low, less than 50%. In biotechnology and drug development, about 400 experimental drugs have been approved or accepted in clinical phases. The greatest portion of funding of research per capita is found in Israel. Israel also has the greatest ratio of researchers per square meter or population in the face of the world, far exceeding I.e. Japan: http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Indicator.htm

Pauli Ojala
Biochemist, drop-out (MSci-Master of Sciing)