On the occasion of Israel’s 57th birthday, it is time for us to celebrate how far our nation has come in just over half a century. 57 years ago, we were struggling to keep our young nation alive. Today, we are thriving as a global leader in science, technology, medicine, culture, and much more.

In honor of 57 years, I wanted to share with you 57 of the many contributions that Israel and Israelis have made to the world.

The 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population, can lay claim to the following:

  1. The cell phone was first developed at the Motorola plant in Israel.
  2. Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
  3. The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
  4. Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor for desktop computers and the Centrino processor for laptops were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.
  5. Voice mail technology was developed in Israel. The Israeli company Amdocs is the largest company in the world in this field.
  6. Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only foreign-based research and development facilities in Israel.
  7. The program ICQ, which is the technological basis for AOL Instant Messenger, was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
  8. Disk on Key — a portable, virtual hard disk — was developed by the Israeli company M-Systems.
  9. Israel has the highest number of personal computers per capita in the world.
  10. Israel has the highest number of university degrees per capita in the world.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world — apart from Silicon Valley.
  14. Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the United States.
  15. Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of companies listed on NASDAQ.
  16. 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 United Kingdom.
  17. On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.
  18. 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.
  19. Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship — and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 in the world.
  20. Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth.
  21. Israel has the world’s second highest supply of new books per capita.
  22. Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.
  23. Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.
  24. 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.
  25. Israel’s Given Imaging developed the PillCam — the first ingestible video camera, which is 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.
  26. Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood. The new device is synchronized with the heart’s mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.
  27. 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.
  28. A new acne treatment developed in Israel causes acne bacteria to self-destruct — all without damaging surroundings skin or tissue.
  29. 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.
  30. The first computer anti-virus software package was developed in Israel back in the 1970’s.
  31. Major law enforcement agencies use Israeli technologies to monitor voices and messages on conventional phones, mobile phones and e-mails.
  32. An Israeli company, Teva, is the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical company.
  33. A new brain implant has been developed in Israel that can lower the risk of stroke by diverting blood clots away from sensitive areas of the brain.
  34. IBM scientists in Israel are playing a vital role in a massive project of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to discover the origins of life on earth.
  35. Israeli software company Check Point is the global leader in Virtual Private Network (VPN) and firewall technologies.
  36. Israeli company Elta is responsible for the world’s first civilian aircraft equipped with technology designed to protect airliners from a missile attack.
  37. Mashav, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Center for International Cooperation has trained over 200,000 international aid workers that have traveled to dozens of countries to help with medicine, agriculture, disaster relief, and many other issues.
  38. Israel has, for many years, held the world record in milk production.
  39. Rummikub, the third highest selling board game in the world, is manufactured in a family-run plant in the small southern Israeli town of Arad.
  40. Drip irrigation — the system that is based on using plastic pipes that release small amounts of water next to crops or plants — was developed by the Israeli engineer Simcha Blas in the 1970’s. The invention caused a revolution in agriculture.
  41. A design submitted by Israeli-born Michael Arad has been chosen for the World Trade Center Memorial, from amongst 5,000 entries from around the world.
  42. Israeli company Retalix created the grocery scanners used at such stores as Costco, Albertson’s, and 7-11, as well as 25,000 additional stores and quick-service restaurants throughout the United States.
  43. Primate research at Hebrew University is leading to the development of a robotic arm that can respond to the brain commands of a paralyzed person.
  44. Two Israeli researchers are generating cancer-killing molecules that will recognize cancerous cells and target them aggressively, while not affecting normal cells.
  45. Israeli researchers developed a novel stem cell therapy to treat Parkinson’s Disease — using a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells to produce the missing chemical that enables restoration of motor movement.
  46. Israeli company Silent Communications has developed a type of silent conversation system for cell phones, so users can carry on conversations without saying a word.
  47. The Israeli company Wondernet is currently dominating the world market in document signature authentication, with its unique scientific method of verifying handwritten signatures.
  48. Israeli Professor Yehuda Finkelstein has discovered the cause of and cure for halitosis (bad breath).
  49. Cherry tomatoes were originally supposed to be a snack when they were designed by a group of scientists led by professor Nahum Keidar from the agriculture faculty at the Weizmann Institute of Science, with the cooperation of the Israeli company Zera.
  50. The Quicktionary, a pen size scanner that scans a word or a sentence and translates it to a different language, was developed by the Wizcom Company, based in Jerusalem.
  51. Professor Ehud Keinan from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology developed a pen that identifies an improvised explosive.
  52. The Israeli company Insightec developed an ultrasound system for removing tumors without surgery.
  53. Researchers at the Technion have developed an antibiotic that destroys anthrax bacteria as well as the toxins it secretes into the bloodstream of the infected body.
  54. Epilady, an electric hair removal system, was developed by Yair Dar and Shimon Yahav from the Goshrim Kibbutz.
  55. The sun-heated water tank, a device that converts solar energy into thermal energy and that saves about 4% of the national energy supply, was developed by an engineer from Jerusalem.
  56. Dr. Gal Yadid, Dr. Rachel Mayan, and Professor Abraham Weizmann from Bar Ilan University developed a form of drug rehabilitation using a natural steroid that is inserted into the brain and develops a resistance for the drugs.
  57. Alon Moses from Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and Imanuel Hensky and Carlos Hidelgo-Grass from Hebrew University decoded the mechanism for Streptococcus A.