By Yoram Ettinger, www.YNetNews.com

‘War-torn’ land is in fact an economic, scientific, cultural powerhouse

1. Bankruptcy rate in Israel is one of the lowest in the world (19% increase during the first half of 2009), compared with the US – 45% increase, Spain – 58%, Spain – 75% and Switzerland – 15% (Yedioth Ahronoth, July 27, 2009).

2. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has rebounded to its September 10, 2008 (meltdown) level, scoring a 50% surge (Yedioth Ahronoth, July 27).

3. Sequoia Capital and Tanya Capital led a $15.5MN round of private placement by Israel’s Kontera (Globes, July 24). Intel Capital, Cisco, Greylock Ventures and Menlo Ventures participated in a $13MN round by Israel’s AeroScout (Globes, June 29). The Boston-based media giant, Medtronics, invested over $10MN in the Israeli VC fund, TriVentures (Globes, June 23). Motorola Ventures, Stata Venture Partners, Argonaut and Walden participated in a $10MN 4th round by Israel’s Amimon (Globes, July 15). Arts Alliance Digital Ventures invested $9MN in Israel’ YCD Multimedia (Globes, June 23). Innogest, Italy’s largest venture capital fund, invested $8MN in the Israeli-Italian company, beeTV (Globes, June 4). The Boston-based Globespan Capital and Spark Capital invested $7.5MN in Israel’s 5min, their 3rd investment in Israel (Globes, July 24).

4. Intel Vice President for Technology and Manufacturing Group and General Manager of Intel Israel (6 plants, 6,500 employees!), Maxine Fassberg: “We have developed breakthroughs in Israel that have changed the face of computerization…In Israel, we are developing and manufacturing network and communication products as well as microprocessors – in parallel to spearheading the mobile domain in Intel Corp. Among the technologies developed here are MMX, which constitutes the basis of the Pentium processor, platforms for Intel Centrino mobile computers and the Intel Core 2Duo processor. In addition, the first fast Ethernet and first wireless LAN (Local Area Network) were developed here…(Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2009).

5. The Med’s best-kept secret (excerpts of Willy Stern, The Weekly Standard, July 27, 2009):

“Perhaps nowhere else on the globe does there exist a greater discrepancy between perception and reality than Israel. The press portrays the country as a savage land racked by war and terrorism… The reality, though, is a country of 7.4 million people whose stock market and economy are humming along quite nicely (at least in contrast to the rest of the globe) and whose citizens revel in their chic Mediterranean lifestyle…

“In Israel, life goes on. The Western newspapers just don’t notice… Israel today has become a vibrant, functioning jewel of a nation tucked into the eastern flank of the Mediterranean. Tel Aviv looks more like San Diego or Barcelona than Baghdad or Kabul. On a recent five-mile run along Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach, I saw Israeli yuppies cycling the boardwalk on $1,500 Italian mountain bikes, teenagers in full-body wetsuits surfing the breakers, a deep-cleavaged Russian model (nobody seemed to know her name) doing a photo shoot in a skimpy bikini whilst middle-aged Israeli men with potbellies and hairy chests shamelessly gawked, rows of high-priced yachts docked at the Tel Aviv marina, an endless stream of private planes on final approach to small Sde Dov Airport, and two Israeli soldiers in drab green uniforms making out in the sand and drinking Heineken. A nation at war? It seemed more like high season at Coney Island…

“Israel has a world class cultural scene. Want to see Franco Zeffirelli and Daniel Barenboim? No problem. The Alvin Ailey Dance Company visits. The opera plays to audiences at 97 percent capacity. Even at lower pay, (Israel) attracts the best talents from around the globe…

“Israel enjoys top universities, upscale restaurants, million-dollar homes, hoity-toity architecture, and the like. In the fourth quarter last year, when the global economy went all to hell, Israel’s annual, quarter-over-quarter rate of GDP was only off 0.5 percent, the best figure in the industrialized world. (The United States was off 6.3 percent and Japan 12.1 percent.) ‘Think about the resistance of our economy in recent times,’ suggests Zvi Eckstein, deputy governor of the Bank of Israel. ‘Our prime minister (has a stroke). The war in Gaza. The war in Lebanon. The government gets replaced. But we’ve maintained a stable macroeconomic structure and a strong high-tech sector…’

What’s the secret? A very conservative banking system…No mortgage crisis…A current account surplus since 2003…Negligible inflation…Prudent governmental fiscal policy… Healthy integration into the world economy. Last year, 483 Israeli high-tech companies raised a whopping $2.08BN (only US companies raised more). All the major tech players – Google, Microsoft, IBM – have large research centers in Israel. They go where the talent is…’Israel is today the third-hottest spot (after Silicon Valley and Boston) for high-tech venture capital in the world…’ Israel produces more science papers per capita than any other country. Israel lags behind only the United States in number of companies listed on NASDAQ. Twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce has a university degree; only the United States and Holland have a higher number. Israel leads the world in scientists and technicians per capita…

“The cell phone? Developed in Israel. Ditto for most of the Windows NT operating system and for voice mail technology. Pentium MMX Chip technology? Designed in Israel. AOL Instant Messenger? Developed in Israel. The list goes on. Firewall security software originated in Israel. The latest breakthrough is the “PillCam,” a video camera that can be swallowed and aids physicians in diagnosing intestinal cancer…it seems the other Israel — the land not of terrorists but of milk and honey and goats — may finally be being discovered.”


One thought on “The Real Israel

  • This letter is a very encouraging insite to the one nation under GOD – I thank that GOD for opening the door to the gentile to NOT be called ‘them’ ever again – Israel is the place for all to look-n-see as the world by grade is falling apart – We are called by one GOD and by His one NAME . . . say the name

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