a different side of Israel

Super Jews

Super JewsThe conflicts continue, but that doesn’t prevent Israel’s economic success story from abating. The revelation that one of the country’s most successful high tech firms, Mercury Interactive, is being sold to American based Hewlett Packard for the sum of $4.5 billion, even more than the purchase by Intel a few years ago of the DSP company for a ‘paltry’ $3.6 billion, is only the latest of a string of successful ventures that have created quite a stir on both Wall Street and other world security exchanges as well.

Israel’s high tech success story has become one of such importance that multi-billionaires such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet have invested huge sums. Gates has invested heavily into Israel’s software industries, and Microsoft logos are now common place on a number of buildings in Israeli high tech industrial parks. Buffet’s recent purchase of Israel’s renown Isscar precision tool company for more than $2.5 Billion reinforced the attention that the world’ two richest men have given to the Jewish State.

Israel’s big splash on Wall Street, especially in the NASDAQ securities exchange, can in part be attributed to former prime minister and finance minister Binyamin Natanyahu, who placed great emphasis on developing the country’s technological-based industries during his term as P.M. in the late 1990’s, and during his term as finance minister in the government of Ariel Sharon. Natanyahu was also instrumental in changing the countries foreign currency laws, allowing local citizens to both hold foreign currency and invest in foreign securities markets. “Until Israeli citizens can conduct normal business in the international sphere, this country will never progress” he was once quoted as saying.

Numerous global high tech giants, including the above mentioned ones, as well as others such as Amdocs, Siemens, and of course IBM, are alive and well in Israel and providing high-quality employment to thousands. It’s not too difficult to see the results of these ventures with the country’s roads clogged daily with late model automobiles with these companies’ logos emblazoned upon them. Since the year 2,000, high tech companies have contributed billions of dollars to the country’s economy, more than in the entire previous 52 year history of the state.

For a miniscule country with a total population of just 7 million, and who began its’ existence fighting off a combined Arab Legion army equipped with the best modern weaponry, the citizens of Israel certainly have a lot be proud of. The army Israel is using to once again fight for the country’s right to live on a piece of real estate that was 70% desert when granted to them by the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947, is now one of the best fighting forces in the world. In May, 1948 when David Ben Gurion declared the country’s independence from British Mandatory control, the fledgling country of only 650,000 souls had no air force (other than a few aged Piper Cub observation planes) and no armor corps or navy. Yet, they were able to win their independence against overwhelming odds. Israel’s success story, both in industry and militarily, will carry on despite ongoing security problems. It’s a pity that those who seem bent to destroy it cannot see that peaceful coexistence is far better than hatred and war.


  1. I absolutely adore your ability to zero in on the bright spots. Super? Not real sure ’bout that one; for certain, you are very special 🙂

  2. Maurice Picow

    July 27, 2006 at 7:52 am

    Thanks, Virginia.

    I would like to point out that Jews are just ordinary peole who have had to rise above some of the most trying adversities invented by Man. Those of us living in Israel simply want to live and let live: we do not want to rule over others; but unfortunatley, “others” simply will not leave us alone. It’s either fight – or die, as Churchill noted in his speech on which I based a previous article.

    I hope that someday, the Lebanese, Palestinians, and the entire Arab/Muslim world will get this message.

    Warm regards,


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