Israel Integrating Arabs Into High-Tech World

May 20, 2013 2:30 pm 4 comments

Haifa tech hub, including Intel building (far left). Photo: wiki commons.

Four years ago, the Israeli government named Nazareth a national priority area, meaning that Israel’s largest Arab city would be granted economic incentives as a preferential area and firms that relocate to the city are entitled to tax breaks. Recently, the first industrial park in Nazareth was officially opened in April by Israeli entrepreneur and philanthropist, Stef Wertheimer after 12 years of construction.

The Israeli billionaire tycoon, the founder of the Warren Buffet-owned Iscar Metalworking Cos., has previously opened seven industrial parks including four in the Galilee, one in the Negev, and one in Gebze, Turkey in 2003.

Wertheimer invested $22 million into the Nazareth industrial park, which is located on a hill near Nazareth that overlooks the Jezreel Valley. Within a decade, the park aims to host 25 export-oriented companies that would ensure 1,000 jobs.

Wertheimer aims to bring more Arabs into Israeli hi-tech, an industry of start-ups that have helped lift Israel’s GDP per person by nearly a quarter in the past decade according to a report in the Economist.

At the dedication ceremony of the Nazareth industrial park, Wertheimer said that the park contributes to several important factors including economy, society and Jewish-Arab coexistence.

Both the Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fisher and President Shimon Peres were present at the dedication ceremony, with Peres noting that there are 70,000 Arabs with university degrees who are being gradually integrated into advanced industries in Israel.

According to the recent report in the Economist, thousands of Arab computer scientists graduate from Israeli colleges every year and can write programs for Arab users, visit the Arab world and market Arabic software.  Some projects underway include an online booking service for hotels and Arabic e-books in the region.

The three companies that are already utilizing the Nazareth industrial park include the Israeli-owned international telecom company Amodocs, which has 100 employees. Alpha Omega, a company that manufactures neurological and neurosurgery products, founded by Nazareth couple Reem and Imad Younis, is also located in the park, along with BRF Engineering owned by Rabei Ibrahim.

There is huge potential for Arabs living in the Nazareth metropolitan area, believes Smadar Nehab, who runs the Tsofen training center in Nazareth that she established with two other partners in 2008 to integrate Arabs into Israel’s high tech field.

Nehab, originally from Kibbutz Hazorea in the Jezreel Valley, was one of the first women to set out for Silicon Valley, and after her successful venture came back to Israel with her family. “There is huge potential for transforming Arab lives in the Nazareth metropolitan area,” she told the Economist.

The Israeli government also encourages Arab representation in the high tech industry. Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor has provided one-sixth of Tsofen’s budget during the past three years.  President Shimon Peres’s office has launched the Maantech program together with Cisco’s CEO John Chambers, which works together with Tsofen and other similar organizations to help Israeli Arabs locate jobs in the high-tech field.

4 Comments

  • If Stef Wertheimer is the elite, how can he be duplicated? He has created thousands of jobs for young Israelis and Arabs . . . . .

  • Stef Wertheimer is a prince. I have been to his institutes. I just hope he is able and smart enough to insure that the Arab technicians in Nazarath will use their talent for peaceful endevors. There is indeed a risk.

    • Hal: The risk is your attitude, which obviously Wertheimer does not share. Even the Israeli government wants Arabs to learn and grow. I suggest you go to the Tsofen training Center and talk with Smadar Nehab who can help you change attitude, if you’re’ willing . . . . .

    • Hal you are totaly right
      There is a uge risk.
      Europe is taken over by the Muslims exactly in the same way.
      From the inside out ,through this kind of programs set up by the elite.
      There is a mountain in Nazareth overlooking the Yisrael valley called har ha kvitza.
      Mountain of the Jump where Jesus so called jumped down when the Jews of Nazareth tried to push him of the mountain. this mountain is dedicated by the Winsors, the royals of England .I have been on that mountain and was wondering what the heck that winsor monument was doing on that mountain with that fake bible story name, totally weird stuff going on there.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.