Since its 1948-49 War of Independence, the Jewish State has faced clear and present lethal challenges, adversities, assaults and threats, handling them as opportunities in disguise. This state of mind has catapulted Israel to unprecedented heights, commercially and militarily – a uniquely productive partner of the United States.
The scarcity of natural resources and the nature of the Middle East – a prototype of conflict-ridden, violent, intolerant, merciless, unpredictable, shifty and tenuous environment – have shaped Israel’s do-or-die state of mind, producing game-changing innovations in the areas of health, medicine, agriculture, irrigation, science, communications, space, homeland and national security.
In Thou Shalt Innovate (How Israeli ingenuity repairs the world), Avi Jorisch
– a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council – documents the worldwide positive impact of Israel’s groundbreaking and cutting-edge hightech innovations upon critical challenges facing mankind.
Jorisch highlights the cardinal Jewish tenet of repairing – not controlling – the world (Tikkun Olam in Hebrew). This has generated a tailwind to Israel’s systematic sharing of its research and development with the world at-large, feeding reality-based optimism and upgrading the standard-of-living in the USA, India, Russia, China, Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia and Africa. For example, since 2013 Israel has treated more than 2,500 Syrians seeking medical care, in addition to the dispatching of aid delegations to Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, etc.
Rather than merely enriching people and making life in Israel more convenient, the multitude of Israeli hightech companies – and there are more startups in Israel than in Canada, the UK, Japan, South Korea and India combined – wind up making the world a far better place.
For instance, within fifteen years half of the world’s inhabitants may not have sufficient water for drinking and irrigation, because much is wasted due to inefficiency. Israel’s Netafim is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of drip/precision irrigation, helping farmers, cooperatives, and governments – in over 110 countries – to conserve water, while maximizing crops and feeding the chronically undernourished.
Rapidly intensifying cybercrime throughout the world makes Israel’s Check Point – the world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity company – an indispensable firewall developer and provider. In 2014, hackers stole the personal information of roughly 47 percent of the American adult population, and in 2013, they managed to successfully breach 43 percent of American companies. A firewall is the lifeblood of cyber security, and the Check Point firewall was the first of many Israeli innovations that secure global communication. Today, Check Point’s firewall protects more than 100,000 businesses, including 94% of Fortune 100 firms, 87% of Fortune 500 firms, and nearly every government around the world.
The ground-breaking, short-range, surface-to-air Iron Dome missile, which is effective day or night in all weather conditions, with an over 90% rate of success, was fully-developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and shared with the US, which has subsidized most of the manufacturing cost. The Iron Dome is jointly – and increasingly – manufactured with Raytheon, detecting, assessing and intercepting incoming rockets, artillery and mortars from ranges of 2-44 miles. The US is considering employing the Iron Dome, along with some Europeans, Azerbaijan, Japan, South Korea and possibly some pro-US Arab countries.
Israeli developed GrainPro Cocoon – a large, hermetically sealed, inexpensive bag for rice, grain, spices, and legumes – is employed by 100 countries, including Arab countries, holding up to 300 tons of grain per bag. It is composed of a strong material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). When farmers seal it off, the bag traps bugs and their eggs inside, depriving them of oxygen, suffocating them to death. On average, the Cocoon can save more than 99% of a farmer’s crops, sparing Third World farmers famine and starvation. It can be used any time after harvest collection, and once grain is placed inside it, the insects generally die within ten days. Farmers can then easily remove the dead bugs by using a sieve, among other techniques. Reducing harvest losses, the GrainPro Cocoon is an effective measure combatting world hunger, while helping the rural poor deal with the unpredictable forces of the free market. It enables farmers to delay the sale of crops until prices rise, avoiding an endless cycle of poverty.
Thou Shalt Innovate presents more documentation of Israel’s path of pioneering innovation since 1948 – a testament to the country’s grit, determination, and chutzpah, which led it to amazing strides in developing its sparse natural resources, while benefitting its own people and the world at-large. Over 300 multinational companies – such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft – operate research and development centers in Israel, leveraging Israel’s brainpower and experience. China, India, and the USA now look to the Jewish state to help solve their emerging water needs; universities around the globe are forging strong partnerships and joint innovation centers with Israel’s best and brightest institutions in engineering, biology, physics, and chemistry; hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and agriculture ventures are reaching out to Israel to help them cure the sick and feed the needy.