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June 19, 2012 3:00 pm

Netanyahu First World Leader to Google Doodle

avatar by Ezriel Gelbfish

Netanyahu's Google Doodle. Source: P.M. Netanyahu's Facebook Page.

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu drew his own Google Doodle and gifted it to Google’s Executive Chair Eric Schmidt, in a meeting the prime minister had with the tech mogul on Tuesday.

On his Facebook page, Mr. Netanyahu explained the drawing as ” the Israeli flag, a person sitting under a sun umbrella and the crystals that Professor Dan Shechtman, who won the Nobel Prize this year discovered”.

Netanyahu is the first world leader to produce his own Doodle, which is what Google calls the temporary drawings that it periodically posts on its homepage to commemorate various occasions. It is yet to be determined if Google will use Mr. Netanyahu’s drawing on their website.

Mr. Schmidt returned the favor by giving  Netanyahu a framed reproduction of the Scroll of Isaiah – one of the most important documents found in the Dead Sea Scrolls – in acknowledgement of the joint venture between Google and the Israel Museum to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls and give free access to them online.

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Google in recent years has taken a large interest in Israeli ventures, collaborating with Israeli institutions such as Yad Vashem, and setting up thriving tech centers in Tel Aviv and Haifa. Many Google programs, such as Insights and Google Suggest, have also been partially or fully developed on Israeli soil.

Mr. Schmidt seemed to be enchanted with what he had seen in Israel during his trip. He called Israel a “tech miracle” at the Big Tent tech conference in Tel Aviv,  praising Google’s development centers in Israel, and explaining that Israeli workers’ maturity, independence, and ability to cope with pressure contribute to their disproportionate success. He also spoke about Middle Eastern politics and the role technology played in facilitating social change.

“We love Israel” was a courageous statement he ventured to say, prompting enthusiastic applause from the audience.

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