Israel At 70 – in Facts and Numbers

In honor of this week’s upcoming celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, a reminder of what the State of Israel has accomplished in 70 years, surrounded by enemies, attacked by armies and terrorists, attacked by diplomats, regularly condemned by the United Nations in a land neglected for 2000 years.
Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population, can lay claim to the following:

  • Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
  • 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.
  • 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 (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
  • Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the US.
  • Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
  • 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 UK.
  • With an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16s, Israel has the largest fleet of the aircraft outside of the US.
  • Israel’s $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
  • On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.
  • Twenty-four per cent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees — ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland – and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.
  • Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
  • In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.
  • When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times.
  • When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day — and saved three victims from the rubble.
  • Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship — and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world.
  • Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.
  • Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as “conflict free.”
  • According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry’s most impenetrable flight security. U. S. officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.
  • In 1991, during the Gulf War, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played a concert wearing gas masks as scud missiles fired by Saddam Hussein fell on Tel Aviv.
  • Israel has the world’s second highest per capita of new books.
  • Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.
  • Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.
  • Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.
  • Medicine… Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.
  • 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 17,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.
  • Israel’s Givun imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, 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.
  • Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart’s mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.
  • Technology… With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world — apart from the Silicon Valley, US.
  • In response to serious water shortages, Israeli engineers and agriculturalists developed a revolutionary drip irrigation system to minimize the amount of water used to grow crops.
  • Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
  • 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. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
  • Most of the Windows NT operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel.
  • The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
  • Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
  • Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
  • The technology for AOL Instant Messenger was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
  • A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct — all without damaging surroundings skin or tissue.
  • 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.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth.
This from a country just 70 years young having started off life on a very frontiers-like basis, whose population had mostly just emerged from the devastating World War II years.
What other country in the world can lay claim to such an achievement?

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