We all know the saying, “You don’t discuss politics or religion with acquaintances or colleagues”. Well, I’ll go you one better. You also don’t discuss the state of Israel.
It seems there is no gray area regarding Israel. One is either profoundly pro or con. It is one of a very few nations that virtually everyone has an opinion.
If you are a regular reader, you will know that I am pro-Israel, so I will not be discussing nor debating the anti-Israel stance.
Pro-Israel advocates cite it to be the sole civilized democratic society in the Middle East, just trying to survive since its formation. It is the only bastion of freedom in that region, surrounded by radical Islamist states hell-bent on destruction. This is true.
There is however another reason to support Israel. One, it seems, very few know.
Take heed all you techie liberals for Israel is fast becoming a high-tech mecca (pardon the regional pun).
Despite its small size, this country has managed to become a leader in the world of high-tech innovation. In fact, it has the second highest concentration of high-tech companies in the world, topped only by Silicon Valley in California.
And as California continues to collapse under the weight of massive tax increases and entitlement debt, it is quite possible Israel may eventually overtake Silicon Valley.
Most don’t know of the close relationship between Israel and Intel, but the depth of that relationship may be surprising to even those who do. Intel Israel has been responsible for many, if not most, of the processor breakthroughs for Intel, and the Intel Sandy Bridge processor, developed in Israel, was responsible for 40% of Intel’s sales worldwide in 2011.
2012 was an important year for Intel Israel, as the company refit its Kiryat Gat facility to manufacture the 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge processor. The Kiryat Gat facility makes Intel’s 45-nanometer Sandy Bridge processor and the company invested $3 billion in the facility for the Ivy Bridge.
Intel Israel is also indirectly responsible, through suppliers and subsidiaries, for the employment of 23,000 heads of household, and altogether employs 10% of all workers in the electronics and software industry in Israel.
Intel Israel totaled $2.2 billion in exports in 2011 alone. The country is the third largest investment target for Intel outside the US – after China and India – and over the past 15 years the company has invested in 64 different Israeli companies.
Apple Computer, the manufacturers the iPhone and iPad, is opening a new research and development center in Haifa Israel. It is expanding to Israel with its first technology research and development center outside of its Cupertino California headquarters.
Microsoft Corp. is opening the first startup accelerator in the company’s history to increase the success of young companies. The accelerator will take place at the Microsoft Research and Development Center and is part of the Israel R&D center ThinkNext and Microsoft BizSpark programs for startups.
Israel was chosen by Microsoft to lead the accelerator initiative due to the wide-ranging activity of startups in the area and the experience and know-how to propel startups into the global marketplace.
A number of Microsoft technologies are made in Israel. These include Microsoft Gateway VPN technology, Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus suite and the recommendation system for Xbox.
Israel was the first Microsoft R&D center outside the US and opened in 1991. The country has the highest number of Microsoft workers per capita of any place on earth.
Hundreds, if not thousands of high-tech and medical companies, both large and small have come to this little spit of land in the Middle East.
Israel has been a world innovator for decades. The following is but a very small list of the many products developed there:
– Remember the Epilady hair removal system? Israel.
– InSightecs focused ultrasound machine
– ReWalk robotic skeleton, featured in the TV program glee
– The modern cherry tomato (yes that yummy little salad add-on)
– Life Touch dental laser
– The first flash drive data storage device
– Both Windows NT and XP were developed in Israel
– The first commercial network firewall
– Original Cell phone technology was first developed at Motorola’s Israel R&D facility
– The core component for the Xbox Kinect system
– The Powermat recharging platform
So, the next time you hear some liberal whining about Israel while holding a hi-tech gadget, let him or her (or it, in some cases) know they may also have a lot to lose with Israel’s demise.