Did You Know This About Israel

Did You Know This About Israel

Israel is listed as the 159th smallest country in the world and about the size of New Jersey, or specifically 470km by 135km at its widest and longest points. Keeping that in mind it blew me away to learn that in proportion to its population it has the largest number of startup companies in the world (of course they don’t ALL succeed). Oh and they are only behind the US and Canada in terms of the number of companies trading on Wall Street. Think about that for a second, a country as tiny as it is and with such a controversial existence is only ranked behind the US and Canada on Wall Street… I don’t care what you say about the country, that’s mind-blowing for me.

How much of that do you hear about on the news? How about the fact this little country invented an algorithm to enable NASA to send images from Mars and that they were the one to invent that tiny pill with the video camera inside so doctors can see whats going on right from your mouth to well you know the other end. They are a leader in stem cell research and even Intel has a major stake in the country with some of the processor’s for your computers being invented here.

Aaron Ciechanover Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

To add to those facts I was also lucky enough to meet a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Aaron Ciechanover from the Technion. His research lead to a major breakthrough in cancer research. This isn’t their only Nobel Laureate either and the list keeps growing with another announced just this past couple of weeks (I believe they have 10 now for a population of 7-8 million or so). I don’t remember the last time a winner was announced for my poor little Australia.

To add to that list of “I never knew that facts“, I actually got to experience driving a fully electric car while in Tel Aviv. The folks at Better Place are rolling out fully electric cars right across Israel. With charging stations already installed all over the country and battery swap stations going up so you can enjoy a drive without having to stop and charge on your trip. Driving the car was an absolute trip. You know when you turn the key of your car and wait for the usual noise etc? Yeah I didn’t even know the car had started until the guy told me. Check out the video below for a look of me driving.

Perhaps it was a little naive of me to think of a country in this way but when I thought of Israel way back before my trip I never ever had ideas of Nobel laureate winners, advanced medical research or even electric cars being associated with the country. Quite a difference from the far more sinister and less inviting topics that I’ve grown up with on the news.

Out of everything I saw and learnt about it’s not the great inventions and research that blows me away (even though they are amazing), it’s the fact that all of this has come about in the last 30 or so years while the country has been tied up in wars and so much unrest. I don’t care what your belief of the country is, you have to pat them on the back and say job well done for providing such valuable knowledge and tools to the world.

Many thanks to the Ministry of Tourism, Stand With Us and the Once In A Lifetime 2.0 students for inviting myself and the other bloggers to see Israel with them.

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14 Responses to Did You Know This About Israel

  1. ALASTAIR MCKENZIE October 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM #

    Not quite on the same scale as stem cell research, NASA photo algorithms or electric cars, but I believe the social media navigation app I use every day on my Android phone, started life in Israel.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD October 10, 2011 at 11:17 AM #

      Alastair I also got the chance to meet a couple of online start-ups that provide the ability to make your blog into an iphone/android app for free and also an online twitter AI bot to help answer peoples questions.

      I’ve yet to follow up on the make my blog into an iphone app but it looked really cool and takes all of about 10 mintutes to do.

      • YAHUDI March 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM #

        Since it’s such an amazing country and they are doing so well maybe they can start to pay their own bills and not beg from the US!

  2. ROB October 10, 2011 at 11:10 AM #

    The last Australian to win a Nobel Prize was announced five days ago. Brian Schmidt (American-born immigrant) was one of three to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for finding evidence supporting the theory that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

    The electric car infrastructure sounds impressive, they keep talking about expanding current trials back here in Australia and putting in charging stations – especially in Canberra – but it seems to be a very small process.

    • ROB October 10, 2011 at 11:11 AM #

      *slow process.

      • THE AUSSIE NOMAD October 10, 2011 at 11:18 AM #

        Ah I did not know that Rob cheers for the info. He might be an immigrant but I think we’ll take him anyway 🙂

  3. GARRETT October 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM #

    Chris – spot on. Israel’s truly an amazing country, one who’s continued EXISTENCE goes beyond prediction.

    It sounds like it was a worthwhile trip, to say the least

  4. THE WORLD OR BUST October 10, 2011 at 11:13 PM #

    Great Post! I too had images of a worn torn country and buses blowing up regularly, but that just really isn’t the case. I went for a month and felt completely safe the entire time and was truly amazed how advanced the country was. Really a progressive place!

  5. CHRIS WALKER-BUSH October 14, 2011 at 7:47 AM #

    What the people of Israel have achieved in the face of some pretty intense adversity is nothing short of amazing.

    Makes you wonder what on earth they’d have achieved if the Jewish state had been established someplace a little less hostile.

  6. VISIT PARIS October 15, 2011 at 4:52 AM #

    I learnt something new and interesting.
    I’m pro-jews, and I’m not really surprised by their success.
    I remember one of my history teacher, former military also, I was around 13 years old and he was telling us about Israel who defeated its enemies, despite the fact that their enemies were much more.

  7. JOE October 17, 2011 at 8:21 AM #

    Very cool, who would have ever thought? I actually barely know anything about Israel, but lately I’ve been thinking about how it is definitely on my list of places to travel one day. Is Israel the country with the incredibly salty sea or lake that you always see that famous picture of someone reading the newspaper while floating?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD October 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM #

      Joe yes Israel along with Jordan and Palestine all border on the dead sea which is the lowest point in the world and about 8-9 times more saltier than the ocean.

  8. PARIS DAVID BLUMENTHAL October 30, 2011 at 5:31 PM #
    I moved to Israel and wrote a book about why I did. Its’ called “All-American Karate Champ” is an autobiography my life, and experiences that can apply to anyone. The title may leave many to believe it is just another sports Karate book, however it is not.

    One review: This book belongs on the shelf next to books like the, “Warrior Athlete: Body, Mind & Spirit “by Dan Millman , “The Book of the Five Rings,” by Miyamoto Musashi. A scrawny little kid, oldest of four with three younger sisters , that grew up in the ganglands of Los Angeles, California after moving from New York. Mr. Blumenthal is more than a two-time National USA Karate Champion and AAU/USA All-American. His Karate sport and business ventures have taken him all over the world. He is one of the few Americans who actually was able to train with Karate Masters in Okinawa, as so his martial arts teacher was from there – Stephen E. Hughes

  9. JOHNY February 18, 2012 at 2:18 PM #

    This post make you rethink on what you see and hear on the news

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