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February 2, 2012 2:48 pm

Remarkable Israel

avatar by Daniel Pipes

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Israel’s military prowess – operational and technological alike – is renowned; but the Jewish state, population 7.7 million, is no less impressive in other areas too:

High technology: “Over the past two decades Israel has been transformed from a semisocialist backwater into a high-tech superpower. Adjust for population and Israel leads the world in the number of high-tech start-ups and the size of the venture-capital industry.” (“Beyond the start-up nation,” The Economist, December 29. 2010)

Classical music: “Israel has become a pocket superpower in the arts, most visibly in classical music. … The distinctly Israeli take on the European classical tradition has become the country’s most notable cultural export.” (David P. Goldman, “Pioneers: A mix of passion and tradition makes Israel a classical-musical superpower,” Tablet, July 21, 2010)

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Photo: wiki commons.

Population: Israel’s total population today is between that of Istanbul and Tehran but that may change: “At constant fertility, Israel will have more young people by the end of this century than either Turkey or Iran. … Israel will be able to field the largest land army in the Middle East.” (David P. Goldman, “Israel as Middle Eastern hegemon,” Asia Times, May 24, 2011)

Energy: “One of [Israel’s] largest deposits – 250 billion barrels of oil in Israel’s Shfela basin[ – is] comparable to Saudi Arabia’s entire reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil.” In addition to the sheer size of the deposits, Israeli engineers are pioneering technological innovations for its extraction. (Lawrence Solomon, “Israel’s new energy,” Financial Post, Jun 10, 2011)

Creativity: “Israel, per capita, is the most creative and innovative country on the face of the earth.” (George Gilder, author of The Israel Test, interviewed in “Choosing the Chosen People,” National Review, July 30, 2009)

Actress Claire Danes. Photo: wiki commons.

Comment: For all Israel’s challenge in being accepted by the Palestinians, the neighborhood, Muslims, leftists, antisemites, conspiracy theorists, and assorted cranks, it has a dazzling record of success. (June 13, 2011)

Television shows: “Nearly half a dozen shows in development at U.S. networks … are based on hit Israeli series, their themes and language tweaked for American audiences. Unbeknown to most viewers, a small group of creators and industry types has built a pipeline between Israel and the Los Angeles entertainment world 9,000 miles away. … the entertainment pipeline is a new development born of the maturation of the Israeli television industry — and has turned a nation known for politics into Hollywood’s hottest spawning ground.” (Steven Zeitchik, “How does Israeli TV translate to U.S. audiences? Very well,” Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2012)

Longevity: “Israeli men take the title of the world’s highest life expectancy. … Israeli men live on average to the age of 80.2, closely followed by Switzerland with 80. In all other countries in the Western world, including Japan, men die, on average, in their 70s.” (Shula Kopf, “Living Life to the Full,” The Jerusalem Report, January 30, 2012)

Education: According to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., Israel has the second most educated population in the world, following only Canada. After it come Japan, the United States, and New Zealand. (January 31, 2012)

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