Re: Israel turning into high-tech power

Ron Resnick (
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 15:08:13 +0300 (EET DST)

Tim wrote:
> Which country leads the world in number of engineers for every 10,000
> citizens? Israel with 135. That's double the number in the U.S. and five
> times that of Britain. Couple that with a high level of investment in
> research and development, currently at 2.5 percent of gross domestic
> product, and you have the makings of a high-tech superpower. Thanks to
> the Internet removing geographical barriers, software start-ups and
> high-tech exports in Israel are booming. Revenues from high-tech products
> are approaching $5 billion a year, nearly a quarter of all Israeli
> worldwide sales.

Hitech is booming here. They're hiring all over the place. The pay
still isn't close to what it is back in N. America though. But
there are good benefits - eg I have a company car, that I can use
for all the personal use I like. Free gas, free parking, free carwashes etc.

> Among the Internet-related companies making their homes in Israel are
> VocalTec, which makes Internet telephony products; Geo and VDONet, which
> offer online video software; Check Point, a leader in network security;

Apparently the founder of Check Point is Shlomo Kramer, one of the
initiators of the Transis Project at Hebrew U. Took a detour
from virtual synchrony to make himself a millionaire :).

> and eSafe Technologies, which just released a new virus protection
> program, eSafe Protect, that takes aim at hostile ActiveX controls and
> Java applets.
> |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|
> -|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
> July 8, 1997 -|-|- -|-|- Published weekly
> Volume 4, Issue 27 -|-| NetCetera... |-|- by NorthWestNet
> ISSN: 1078-7593 -|-|- -|-|- Bellevue, Wash.
> -|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
> |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|
> Ok, let's all read between the lines here. (Think spys...)

No need to be that sinister, Tim :) . Just the usual collection
of masses of 97%ers who can spot a market, and the odd 3%er
who sees way beyond markets, and will die poor to prove it :-).

Seriously, my own supposition on this is that historically Jews
have always been "people of the book". I don't think there's
anything endemic about anyone, Jews or otherwise, to make them
smarter or more business savvy or whatever. But the
emphasis placed on education in certain cultures is apparently
higher than in others. For example, it appears that many of
the far eastern cultures (such as Japan, Singapore) have
a similar emphasis on education as well.

This isn't the usual stereotypical portrayal (at least, it's not trying
to be). Nobody has a monopoly on 'emphasis on education', certainly.
But I do believe that different cultures
stress different values. In an era when manual labour on a farm
or in a coal mine was the best assurance of survival, cultures
that stressed that could do better. In an era where information
& education count, cultures that stress it have an edge.

Israel has a high proportion of its population that descended
from the "intelligencia" of Europe, and then founded first
rate universities, hospitals and institutions. But modern Israel
is comparable to most other industrialized countries in terms of things
like crime rate, drug abuse, school dropout rates, and the other
things you'd look at to indicate 'failing moral values'. I don't
think Israel's edge, if there is one, is sustainable over any
period of time. Nobody's is.

> glad to see the billions and billions of $ in props over the years is
> paying off for them. Maybe soon they will be able to support themselves.

Yes, I too would like to see that gravy train end. I think it damages
Israel's public image and leads to a dependency syndrome, where the
aid gets meted out from habit, not from need. You'd be surprised
how many Israelis feel humiliated that they're still on a receiving
end after so long, and would like to see themselves living within
their means, but with dignity.

Still, keep in mind that much of it is not "foreign aid" but rather
is "military assistance". Without justifying or legitimizing this, it
probably remains a fact that if this simply vanished in a given
congressional budget then the balance of power in the region would
change substantially, and along with that potentially US interests.

> Tim