how the world sees america

Israel's Silicon Valley

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BEIT SHEMESH - "Israel's ten thousand miles from Silicon Valley; but it takes a nanosecond to get there," says Jon Medved, one of Israel's leading high-tech venture capitalists and CEO of a new startup called Vringo, which allows users to share video ringtones on their cell phones.

Israel is a small country with seven million people, unfriendly neighbors, and relatively high taxes. So why does it have the second-largest concentration of startups per capita after Silicon Valley? Jon says the two places are more similar than one would think.

He knows from life experience. He was born in San Diego, raised in Los Angeles, and went to UC Berkeley for college. That's where he first got interested in Israel, arguing Israel's case against campus colleagues during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

Not long after graduating, Jon's father offered him the chance to go to Israel to help open the Israeli market for his father’s optical technology company. He went, and found the entrepreneurial spirit of Israel to be much like that of burgeoning California.

In both locales, he found tightly-knit geographical communities, informal work atmospheres, a pioneering, risk-taking ethos, and a large number of immigrants. He says these elements are key to entrepreneurial success, and have only grown more pronounced in both places over the past two decades.

Wearing a button-down Hawaiian shirt and slurping Nescafe, he now sits in Vringo's headquarters in Beit Shemesh, a small town just one mile from where the Bible's David is said to have conquered the giant Goliath.

Despite its ties to the past, this place is helping define the world's technological future, Jon says. Israeli venture capitalists support over 400 startups per year, more than any European nation. After America, Israel has more stocks traded on NASDAQ than any other country. High tech makes up 50% of the country's exports, worth about US$15 billion per year. Israeli startups provided crucial technology to develop the flash drive, the call center, and instant messaging software.

This doesn't surprise Jon. Silicon Valley and Israel are very similar, he says.

"Silicon Valley pioneered the open office," he says, which makes it easier to know your colleagues and to meet the real "movers and shakers" in a company. Israel's tech sector companies caught on to the benefits of that informal work atmosphere, which gives young people with ideas that chance to meet old people with money. That culture also resists entrenched hierarchies, encouraging youth to challenge superiors and raise new ideas. Add that to a larger popular culture that glorifies successful risk-takers in business, and a pioneering attitude, and you have a recipe for successful innovation.

Vringo-Ad.jpg
Vringo Ad. Vringo lets you 'push' a video ringtone onto your friends' phones so it appears on their screen when you call.

But in both locations, Jon says the most important ingredient is the immigrants. "Being an immigrant is like being the CEO of your own mini-start-up," he says. "You're taking huge risk to improve your life." Moreover, immigrants bring Diaspora connections from their homelands that help new companies establish transnational partnerships and open up markets.

In Jon's industry, many of the most valuable immigrants are American managers, whom he recruits to lead his companies. He says they know America's specialties best: eCommerce (buying and selling goods online), entertainment content (like movies and music TV), and social networking (like MySpace).

They're all driving towards the goal of taking what America does well and positioning themselves to do it even better. With a tiny domestic market but a prime location between Asia and Europe, Israeli entrepreneurs are constantly drumming up international business - and to survive, they must do some much earlier in their development than American companies would have to. In Jon's view, that's a core strength. He also thinks Israeli companies have easier access to Asian markets, which don't view small Israeli startups as competitors like they do with some American corporate giants.

And Americans have big money. "America invented venture capitalism," he says glowingly. 60% of Jon's venture capital funds come from U.S.-based investors. "They are driven by profit, not politics," he says. That's good news for companies in Israel, where politics sometimes seems to take over; despite the Second Intifada that began in late 2000 when Palestinian suicide bombers terrified the country, and the 2006 Israeli War in Lebanon, which was roundly criticized for its excesses, Israel sustained a 5% growth rate. And Israel has doubled its relative share of the world venture capital market since 2000. Judging from the number of Israeli tech companies listed on NASDAQ, more than a few startups here have done their American venture capitalists proud.

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Comments (68)

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is an article that shows what we are up against. It shows how Barack Obama executed his abrupt flip flop on Palestinian support when he began his campaign for a US Senate seat from Illinois:

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6619.shtml

How Barack Obama learned to love Israel

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007

...“In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”…

…“But Obama's gradual shift into the AIPAC camp had begun as early as 2002 as he planned his move from small time Illinois politics to the national scene. In 2003, Forward reported on how he had "been courting the pro-Israel constituency." He co-sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code allowing the state of Illinois to lend money to the Israeli government. Among his early backers was Penny Pritzker -- now his national campaign finance chair -- scion of the liberal but staunchly Zionist family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain. (The Hyatt Regency hotel on Mount Scopus was built on land forcibly expropriated from Palestinian owners after Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967). He has also appointed several prominent pro-Israel advisors.”…

…“If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising. He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power.”…

“Only if enough people know what Obama and his competitors stand for, and organize to compel them to pay attention to their concerns can there be any hope of altering the disastrous course of US policy in the Middle East. It is at best a very long-term project that cannot substitute for support for the growing campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions needed to hold Israel accountable for its escalating violence and solidifying apartheid.”

It is clear to me that our only hope for an honest government is campaign finance reform with total taxpayer financing of political campaigns. All lobbying must be totally banned.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is a fascinating link. When are we going to figure out how to give the American people as much pull with the Congress as AIPAC has?

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11302007/transcript2.html

Here is the part I like best:

BILL MOYERS: But in this country the right wing, the radicals, if you will, you call them radicals, they are radicals. They're organized. They have the money. They have this alliance with the Republican Party. And AIPAC and others make it impossible for Democrats to have the kind of conversation that you're having here. I mean, you don't hear this debate in the Democratic debates, do you?

M.J. ROSENBERG: You don't. And that's-- it's so amazing that no one asks the candidates about Israel and Palestine in debates, ever.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

M.J. ROSENBERG: I think the reason they don't ask is that they know what the candidates are going to say is, "I love Israel. I stand with Israel. Israel is great." End of the discussion.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

M.J. ROSENBERG: Because they are intimidated...

BILL MOYERS: By?

M.J. ROSENBERG: By the lobby which basically does not want a debate on this issue. But, you know, I don't blame the lobby. I blame the politicians. They're not going to lose their seats in Congress. They're not going to lose the presidency because they endorsed a two-state solution. The-- it is not losing that they're afraid of. They're afraid of getting any static from a couple of right wing donors...

BILL MOYERS: --I mean, you have seen the candidates for Congress lose because of opposition from supporters of Israel.

M.J. ROSENBERG: You know what? I think that the only people say that candidates for Congress have lost because of that opposition is, one, the lobby itself to tout its own power. And those candidates who lost for other reasons and want someone to blame. No, I can go over those case by case--

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, but-- but in your newsletter you keep talking about the power of the lobby to intimidate the discussion among Democrats in particular...

BILL MOYERS: --talk about Barney Frank, who's a good liberal Democrat but never discusses this. You talk about Nancy Pelosi writes a letter to Bush before the Annapolis conference and says the only solution can be one that deals primarily with what Palestinians are doing and has no reciprocity from Israel.

M.J. ROSENBERG: Oh, absolutely. The-- they have a real chilling effect on debate...

BILL MOYERS: More so than CUFI, don't they?

M.J. ROSENBERG: Oh, much more. CUFI doesn't really-- I don't see them as really counting on this issue. No, they have a much more-- I go up to the Hill all the time, talk to members of Congress. And what they always are say is, "I'm with you 100 percent. I'm for the two-state solution. I know it's the best thing for America and it's the best thing for Israel. But you really don't want me to go out and say that in public." So they say, like, in my heart I agree with you. But that's not good enough.

RON SIDER: I think that MJ's basically right on that. And I'm sorry about that. I wish they did. I wish they had the political courage to-- in fact, say what they think. Because I mean, it's really momentous in terms of the U.S. and the history of the world and our foreign policy. Because 1.3 billion Muslims in the world tend to judge the U.S. and see it through the lens of Israel-Palestine. And all those Muslims perceive the U.S. as very one-sided. If we would solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, that would remove one major problem in the huge dangerous relationship between the U.S. with its large Christian majority and the Muslim world.

M.J. ROSENBERG: And, you know, on top of it, you have in the Jewish community some 70 percent of our community supports the two-state solution, supports the peace process, supports what Bush tried to do this week in Annapolis. But under our current system, it isn't majorities that matter, it's special interest groups based in Washington. It's a problem with our system right now and how it works.

Joseph:

FF - try http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/loan_guarantees.html, which covers the initial loans as well as the 2003 loans, which altogether total $18 billion. Also, 2011 is the year until which the guarantees are made. If we do not renew the guarantee and the loans are not paid off by then (neither of which, in my opinion, is likely) then we are not obligated to guarantee the loans in years 2012 and beyond. It is not that more loans are given every single year until 2011.

Hope that's clear now.

Frumious Falafel:

Thanks for your response Joseph.

As it's late for me, I will give your posting the more thoughtful response its soberly-stated points deserve tomorrow.

One point on which I am truly puzzled however: you asked where I got my loan guarantee info. I in fact appeared to have followed the same link as the one you provide (your first link in your reply posting). But, unless I am completely blind (and this is possible), I only see figures through the year 1997 -- in other words, not 2011 as your posting seems to imply (forgive me if I'm putting words into your mouth).

Thus, I simply took the "latest" data available that I could see from that link and used that as my figure for a representative example of a loan guarantee.

So, firstly, I would appreciate if you could check again and post the URL you have which shows data for loan guarantees *later* than 1997.

Secondly, the only way I can see from the data posted through 1997 regarding loan guarantees that one could state "...the US indeed does make loan guarantees to Israel - to the tune of about $10 billion worth..." is if you add up all the loan guarantees from 1993 to 1997 (as they did in that table) and arrive at a *total* of $10 Billion. If I am reading the table correctly, I see each year as $2 Billion - which is in line with what I would have expected.

But again, if you have numbers that are more current, I'd definitely be interested in seeing them.

To give one answer: I grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I do in fact have disagreements with some of your contentions in your very first post a while back. I will try to answer some of those tomorrow.

I actually brought up this very topic (of US aid to Israel) to Rabin back in 1987 when he spoke at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem during the question and answer session (I was in Summer school there at the time studying Philosophy and Talmud). He gave the same kind of answer that someone earlier in this thread attributed to Netanyahu. Namely that Israel recognizes the double edged sword that US aid represents and that Israel would thus not be unhappy to wean herself off said aid in order to stop just the kind of comments we have heard here. The feeling I got is that they felt finally as if they could live without it and wouldn't necessarily be that sorry for it to be phased out. I found this to be a healthy attitude frankly.

Where I was mistaken -- and where you pointed out my mistake -- was when I thought that this phase out had for all practical purposes already occurred. With the only thing remaining being loan guarantees -- and loan guarantees, however you might want to value them, are still but a small fraction of the actual amount of the loans obtained.

Until tomorrow...

Joseph:

Thanks for acknowledging your mistake, FF. I'm sure there will still be plenty of room for disagreement between us even after we get the facts straight. ;)

I'm not sure what you are referring to as the "amount last 'backed' as a loan guarantee;" I don't think the link I provided had anything about the loan guarantees. Here is a separate table regarding the loan guarantees, which go through 2011:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/Loan_Guarantees_for_Israel.html

(I find also that there were $8 billion in additional loan guarantees made in 2003, per http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf, which also seems to be a good source of information about general aid to Israel.)

If you don't mind me asking, where are you from? It seems to me that a lot of people, including a few who have posted here, genuinely are unaware of the degree to which the US supports Israel. In the US, it is my strong impression that the media just doesn't report US aid to Israel very much; I think the Washington Post, which I read, only mentions it about once or twice a year. And this is in spite of Israel being our biggest recipient of aid - it used to be said that Israel got more aid from the US than all of sub-Saharan Africa. Not sure if that's still true.

I am also beginning to suspect that a lot of younger Israelis are completely unaware of the extent to which the US aids their country, although that's based largely on me guessing that a few people who are ignorant of the aid are Israelis, without any hard evidence of it.

Another thing about the US aid to Israel is that it is very hard to quantify because there is a lot of aid through different programs that are not typically reported as "foreign aid." This includes "Excess Defense Articles" transfers, which, while the Defense Departments database on this program is unauditable, apparently provided Israel with an additional $1 billion in aid from 1992-2000, and several weapons research programs conducted in Israel with significant US funding, including the Merkava tank series, the Lavi fighter jet, and the Arrow anti-missile system. The total US contribution to these projects is several billion additional dollars.

Finally, in case you are still reading, "loan guarantees" are probably a particularly attractive form of aid for Israel to receive from the US. There is a saying: if you borrow a million dollars from the bank, the bank owns you; if you borrow $100 million from the bank, you own the bank. While the nominal cost of a loan guarantee is zero, making it something that seems costless to provide, in fact it has the effect of binding the US and Israel at the hip. If the Israeli economy goes to hell, we stand to be out $18 billion dollars in our loan guarantees. That's a pretty significant incentive for us to keep the Israeli economy healthy, from something that is nominally costless.

Frumious Falafel:

Joseph: your numbers clearly call into serious question my assertions -- to the point that I would say I was indeed wrong. Thank you for your correction.

I would point out however that (using the latest figures available on the web site you provided) the amount last given as aid was:

$2.6 Billion

and the amount last "backed" as a loan guarantee was

$2.0 Billion

Assuming they have remained in rough proportion (without any other information I am making that assumption), then it is still worth pointing out that the numbers people often banter about are an additive combination of those two figures.

So, my (reduced) point is that one cannot and should not include loan guarantees with "aid". That is all. Nothing more.

Joseph:

FF, you are simply mistaken.

Possibly you have been confused by the fact that the US indeed does make loan guarantees to Israel - to the tune of about $10 billion worth, last I remember - IN ADDITION TO outright aid.

You can look at the JewishVirtualLibrary's chart on US aid to Israel to see clearly your error:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/U.S._Assistance_to_Israel1.html

Frumious Falafel:

The "x billion" dollars you read about that the United States gives Israel is...
NOT aid,
NOT even primarily loans...

BUT

L O A N G U A R A N T E E S

let me repeat that:

L O A N G U A R A N T E E S

LOAN GUARANTEES people. It means that we *back* a loan Israel gets from ANYONE ELSE so that if Israel does not repay that loan, we will pay it. Do you all understand the difference?

Now, guess how many loans or even loan dollars we, the USA, has had to repay due to Israel not paying back a loan...? Anyone?

$0

Israel has to date repaid ALL -- that's EVERY DOLLAR -- that they have EVER borrowed from ANYONE.

We actually "give" them next to nothing. We primarily "back" their loans with the full faith of the US Government so that they can get a cheaper RATE. FULL STOP.

Please. I really don't have any problem with anyone wanting to criticize Israel for a variety of things. But at least keep your criticisms accurate. We do NOT fork over x BILLION dollars to the Israelis. That is, and has become, a very unfortunate MYTH.

Please, criticize Israel about actions and things that truly happen. There is no need to invent this nonsense about "billions of dollars of aid" -- research it on your OWN -- do not believe me.

Please: go do it now.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is the 2nd of two articles in the WP this week about the exhumation in Washington D.C. and reburial in Israel of Theodore Herzl’s grandson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120502025_pf.html

Here is the link to the 1st.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/29/AR2007112902368_pf.html

This is the tragic story of the Zionists’ greatest hero. The first article mentions in passing what an incredible simpleton Herzl was. It never occurred to him that the Palestinians would not readily give up their land and welcome the invading Zionists with open arms.

"Historians and others still sift through Herzl's writings and see many legacies. They note that he envisioned a Jewish state where people spoke not Hebrew, but German; that he and other early Zionists failed to understand Arab nationalism; and that in a utopian novel Herzl wrote, he describes a binational, egalitarian state."

From the 2nd article:

“Sixty years after jumping off a bridge to his death, the last descendant of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, was buried Wednesday in a Jerusalem cemetery bearing his grandfather's name _ bringing an end to a torturous family saga and finally fulfilling Herzl's century-old will.

Herzl's son also committed suicide. He had a daughter who was mentally ill and another who was killed in the Holocaust. In the past year, three of the founder's four descendants have been buried in Israel_ no easy task because of rabbinical injunctions against Jewish burials for those who have killed themselves or converted to other religions.”...

"His vision was realized, and now there is an exemplary nation," said Liora Herzl, the great-granddaughter of Herzl's cousin. But she noted that Zionism's founder left behind a broken, cash-strapped family. "He was completely consumed with his commitment to the Zionist idea, and his family ultimately paid the price for that."

“Norman was the lone family member committed to Herzl's Zionist cause. He read about his grandfather's work and was active in his movement.”

So here we have the idealist Zionist simpleton who is the principal founder responsible for the incredible mess we have in the Middle East today. The question for us to unravel is: what are we going to do about it?

Clearly, the rightful owners of the land of Palestine are in no mood to welcome the Zionist invaders with open arms and they continue to demand the return of their land. The USA is stuck with the consequences of its incredibly poor judgment in siding with the Zionists on this issue.

We are stuck with only two very unattractive options that I can see:

1. Continue with the present approach of funding (with my tax dollars) the slow genocide of the Palestinian people through the denial of their basic human rights and dignity. This is a fate worse than death as evidenced by the tasteless joke of the occasional exploding Muslim. The Israelis confiscate most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

2. Admit what horrendous mistakes were made by the League of Nations in the 20th century with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN Partition of Palestine in 1947 and correct them. How do we correct them? Restore the original pre-1947 boundary of the map of Palestine, go back to the single state solution, recognize the Palestinian Refugee right of return, form a UN mandate to control the allocation of water and enforce the peace. The Israeli planes, tanks, ships and nuclear weapons and all Palestinian arms would be destroyed.

To my mind the 2nd option is the clear choice. What are the odds of this happening? I would say not so good; it is very difficult to admit when one has made a mistake.

Joseph:

As long as people are disputing the existence of a "Palestinian People," why don't we consider the existence of a "Jewish Nation" prior to its creation in Israel?

When we use the term "nation," we normally mean a group of people bound by culture, language, and territory. Were the Jews a nation prior to Israel's creation?

Certainly, they shared the same religion, although certain differences had evolved separating Sephardic and Ashkenazi Judaism, differences which to this day Israel recognizes by having two chief rabbis, one for Sephardic and one for Ashenazi Jews.

Obviously, the Jews did not share a common territory.

Most damning, however, was that the pre-Israel Jews didn't really share a common language. Yes, most of them learned enough Hebrew to struggle through bar mitzvah, but in general they spoke the languages of the lands they lived in, sometimes inventing Hebraic slangs thereof, such as Yiddish and Ladino. But in general, the first thing a new Jewish immigrant does upon arriving in Israel is to start learning Modern Hebrew, a language that was resurrected in conjunction with the Zionist enterprise. (Notably, while many Zionist leaders have expressed their intent to live harmoniously with the local Arabs, it was apparently never considered that Arabic might be adopted as Israel's official language, and very few Ashkenazim have ever bothered to learn Arabic, in spite of it being the native tongue of 20% of their countrymen - can you imagine anyone not bothering to learn Spanish in the Southwestern US?)

In comparison, I believe that the native population of pre-Israel Palestine, be they Arabic, Greek, Armenian, Druze, or even Jewish, all spoke Arabic.

Joseph:

An ignoramus going by "A Little Truth"

"american investment in countries like nigeria, colombia, venezuela, burma and more DWARFS american investment in israel."

This claim is, in fact, flat out wrong. The US government alone gives Israel $3 billion yearly, in addition to having bankrolled Israeli military programs including the Lavi fighter, the Merkava tank series, and the Arrow missile defense system, to the tune of billions of additional dollars. Comparatively, our government invests almost nothing in any of the other countries named.

And in the private sector, there is very little American investment in any of the named countries, with the possible exception of investment in extracting oil. Meanwhile, we invest billions regularly in Israel; check out how many Israeli companies are listed on NASDAQ.

Joseph:

Some ignoramus going by "Rachel" wrote:

"... the US does not 'give' us anything. We get Congressionally-funded loans and we pay interest on what we get from the US in the areas of military or technical hardware--unlike the rest of the world including South and Central America who rarely repay loans."

Actually, the US gives Israel $3 billion a year, full stop. Not a loan, not a purchase: an outright grant. The US has also given Israel billions of dollars worth of "excess defense materials" over the years, including top-of-the line aircraft.

Looks like Israel is poised to be just as grateful to us Americans for all we have done for her as she was to the British, who sponsored the Zionist project from 1920 to 1947 and were repaid with a string of Zionist terrorist attacks against them, including the assassination of the British Minister of State for the Middle East Lord Moyne in 1944 and blowing up the British Headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

With friends like Israel, we don't need any enemies, and yet our friendship with Israel brings us plenty of enemies.

Rick:

Look at the previous few posts. I rest my case.
"It's so sad that any article regarding Israel, even a non-political one, evokes a spate of attacks attempting to delegitimize Israel's right to exist.

The core issue, I'm afraid, is not borders or "occupation" or settlements. It is the refusal to let Israel live."

BTW, I think the same person using several aliases is responsible for much of the anti-Israel rabidness.

SAM:

If Israelis happen to be good in business,we all should admit that they are even far better in torturing and killing innocent Palestinians.How do we expect Palestinians to achieve any kind of progress if their houses are being demolished, their children are being jailed or killed on daily basis,their little farms are being bulldozed, all their water resources were stolen and diverted to the Israeli settlements,and most recently they are left with no fuel or electricity. Supporters of Israeli start ups are actual supporters of the apartheid regime that our former president Carter emphsized to the whole world after having first hand information from Israel itself.

VICTORIA:

American foreign aid policy and law states that any given recipient be cut off at a maximum of 10 years.
America breaks it's own laws and disregards it's own policy in regards to Israel.
Israel is the only conutry in the world that the US has done this for.
It is truly a unique relationship.

sam:

If Israelis happen to be good in business,we all should admit that they are even far better in torturing and killing innocent Palestinians.How do we expect Palestinians to achieve any kind of progress if their houses are being demolished, their children are being jailed or killed on daily basis,their little farms are being bulldozed, all their water resources were stolen and diverted to the Israeli settlements,and most recently they are left with no fuel or electricity. Supporters of Israeli start ups are actual supporters of the apartheid regime that our former president Carter emphsized to the whole world after having first hand information from Israel itself.

SAM:

If Israelis happen to be good in business,we all should admit that they are even far better in torturing and killing innocent Palestinians.How do we expect Palestinians to achieve any kind of progress if their houses are being demolished, their children are being jailed or killed on daily basis,their little farms are being bulldozed, all their water resources were stolen and diverted to the Israeli settlements,and most recently they are left with no fuel or electricity. Supporters of Israeli start ups are actual supporters of the apartheid regime that our former president Carter emphsized to the whole world after having first hand information from Israel itself.

SAM:

If Israelis happen to be good in business,we all should admit that they are even far better in torturing and killing innocent Palestinians.How do we expect Palestinians to achieve any kind of progress if their houses are being demolished, their children are being jailed or killed on daily basis,their little farms are being bulldozed, all their water resources were stolen and diverted to the Israeli settlements,and most recently they are left with no fuel or electricity. Supporters of Israeli start ups are actual supporters of the apartheid regime that our former president Carter emphsized to the whole world after having first hand information from Israel itself.

Roger:

ES- Let's see.... The tag line of this blog is "How the world sees America" and the last 4 posts in the series are:

1) American-Israeli Settler Holds Out in Hebron
2) Palestinian Pride Before Peace
3) WELCOME TO ISRAEL
4) Hezbollah, Her Protector

And you are trying to tell me this blog is about technology and not politics???

Sanjay:

To Zurichman,
I never compared India with Israel in my message above (2nd from top). I agree India is worse than sub sahara Africa in many aspects.
I salute the hard working Jews.

Oh get off it!!!::

Drip irrigation makes shallow roots.

Daniel from Tel Aviv:

The greatest achievment of the Jewish people isn't text messaging, or cell phone technology or innovative computer chip designs. It isn't even the moral and legal code from the Hebrew Bible and Talmud which went on to be inherited by Islam and Christianity. Its drip irrigation! This simple technology has saved the lives of millions of people and made agriculture possible in the most desolate of areas of the third world.

But it doesn't matter what we contribute to humanity - or if our humous is good or bad - there will always be a small-minded group of people in the world that sees us as metaphors, not people. And since the holocaust made direct expressions of anti-Semitism unfashionable, Israel has inherited the honor.

Whatever- we'll keep going with our messy, chaotic, and sometimes brilliant country, and we will continue to drive the small of mind crazy. It won't keep us down, and in fact it has just the opposite effect. Wheee!

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, Va:

Yup, Israel is a technological marvel. That’s why the Israelis need to hog 80% of the Palestinian’s water supply.

http://www.fmep.org/analysis/articles/water_policy_maher.html

…“According to recommended standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), a minimum of 100 liters a day per capita are needed for balanced and healthy domestic consumption in rural households. In contrast, BâeTselem, the Israeli human rights organization, documents that Israeli per capita consumption of water already reaches 350 l/day, about five-times Palestinian consumption. Per capita consumption of water in Israeli settlements, most of which are strategically located directly above main water extraction sources, can reach even higher levels, estimated at seven-fold the Palestinian consumption rate. In contrast, Palestinian consumption rates per capita vary between 35-80 l/d, well below WHO and USAID recommendations, and in some communities, water consumption can dip to as low as 7 l/d under certain conditions…”

So Israel confiscates most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians there do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

So you folks go ahead and live well at the expense of your oppressed neighbors on your stolen land. My government will guarantee the continuation of your illegal existence and fund your atrocious behavior with billions of my tax dollars. Live long and prosper, until the world wakes up and puts a stop to your despicable treatment of the rightful owners of your stolen land.

Augusto:

Rick, Israel has a right to exist as ANY country in this world, you know that, I know that, everybody knows that. What is not legitimate is the continuous flow of billions and billions of dollars to a country self-described as highly successful, if so, then the U.S. should stop aiding Israel as it accomplished a significant task which is, helping a nation to achieve a high standard of living. Israel's success is to be acknowledged even by its foes, no questions about it. Please enough with the victim mentality.

If only other developing nations could have the same opportunity.

ES:

who says this post is about politics???? just because you guys started talking about the palestenians, doesn't mean that's what this post is about !!!! I hate to tell ya man, but you're in the wrong place if you want to talk about the palestinians..... this is all about tech/buisness and enviornment....

Rick:

It's so sad that any article regarding Israel, even a non-political one, evokes a spate of attacks attempting to delegitimize Israel's right to exist.

The core issue, I'm afraid, is not borders or "occupation" or settlements. It is the refusal to let Israel live.

Historic fraud:

Kudos to Webrand regarding the fraudulent concept of the "Palestinian people". The "Palestinian people" were created in the late 20th century. Until the 1970's there was no such term. It was first coined by Arafat's PLO as a useful tool in the destroy Israel crusade.
Most of the people who today call themselves Palestinian are descendants of Arabs who drifted into Palestine from Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt in the early 1900's in search of jobs that were newly created as a result of the agricultural and industrial development of the region by the Jews. In fact, until 1948, the terms Palestinian and Palestine were used to refer to Jews and Jewish institutions! The Palestine Symphony Orchestra became the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Palestine Post became the Jerusalem Post, etc. etc.
I challenge anyone to cite a reference which is more than 40 years old to the "Palestinian people".

Michael Hardesty:

Webrand's comments are pure fiction. The UK Census in 1919 showed Arabs as making up 95% of the then 750,000 people in Palestine. Jordan was never part of Palestine and the "settlements" in
the Occupied Territories since 1948 are from the
original one million Arabs expelled or who fled
in 1947-48 from what is now called Israel. The
US gives NO dollars to Saudi Arabia and never has, we only have military bases there. Nor is
US aid to Africa at all significant, Israel has
had a quarter of a trillion in US handouts, far
exceeding any other country. Nor is that money spent in the US. It only buys us the deserved hatred of 200 million Arabs and 1.5 billion Muslims. 25% of Israel is nonJewish so it can't be a Jewish State anymore than the US could be
a Gentile or Christian State. All of the Arab terrorism since 1948 has been in direct response to Israeli State terrorim which is totally bankrolled by the US taxpayer. The racist pro-
Israeli state apologists need to be cut down to size, all US aid to Israel and tax benefits ended and the ADL, AJC, AIPAC, et al, forced to
register as Israeli State agents. Ignore all the
recycled lies of the Jewish and Christian apologists for racist Zionism.
The UK proclamation of a Jewish Homeland in someone else's territory, Arab Palestine, has no
validity under international law. It is theft and
fraud, pure and simple. The people of Palestine
have their individual right to self-determination, not the colonial Ottoman Turks
nor the decadent British Empire. Certain mental cases, posing as advocates of Ayn Rand's Objectivism, have been promulgating massive disinformatilon, Soviet style, on behalf of Israeli statism. They reference the discredited
Joan Peters and Alan Dershowitz books as their unholy bible. They need to be refuted on every occasion. The whole Post column was low grade propaganda.

Augusto:

Posted on December 4, 2007 14:43

a little truth:
..."contrast that, for example, with the trillions of dollars that america send to saudi arabia (for oil, as well as millions in military aid that you NEVER hear about). what, aside from the vast majority of 9/11 bombers and the vast majority of intolerant, jihadist ideology, does saudi arabia contribute to america and the west?"....

----------------------------------

Nice spin my friend, nice spin but you are way so far away from reality (I guess you're doing it on purpose). This administration keeps banking the Saudis (FYI, they have the oil we need), so we turned and still turn a blind eye on human rights violations or about Osama Bin Laden, anything but upsetting the Saudis. In any case, you may want to demand some explanations to this administration.

Regarding the question why if Israel is so successful then why we keep bankrolling these guys?, the question is clever, to the point and makes completely sense, if so then Israel should be, at this point, pretty much self-sufficient but not true, however, what we have is an copycat American version of a middle eastern country where you cannot tell an israeli from an american as nationalities and loyalties are easily exchangeable. Considering how adamant we are to demand immigrants to be 100% loyal to the U.S., it is amazing for me how we are so permissive regarding the duality U.S.-Israel, hardly anybody bats an eye about it.

Again, it's all about politics and hidden conveniences/pacts/alliances, we have the israelis on one hand and we have the saudis (Israel's enemies) on the other, that's called "covering all our bases".

As I said, nice spin pal, nice spin but it ain't working, you're not fooling anybody.

Cube Jockey:

Ironic how Muslims spend so much time teaching their kids to hate Hindus and Jews, while Hindus and Jews teach their kids to love writing Java code.

webrand:

newageblues wants the Israeli "settlers" to get off everyone's back.

1. The settlers are settling on disputed land, not Arab land. In Article 95 of the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, the Ottoman Empire, that had undisputed sovereignty over Palestine, transferred its sovereignty over that area to the British Mandate in trust for a national homeland for the Jews. Nothing has happened since then to change the status of that land. Indeed, Jordan and Egypt have relinquished their former claim to it. Israel's claim to the land is much stronger than the claim of the so called "Palestinians" who never had a nation on that land. The notion of a "Palestinan people" is just a PR device according to one of the members of the PLO executive committee, Zahir Muhsein

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28222 .

2. There are more new settlements of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza since 1950 than there are Jewish settlements. These new settlements are of people from Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, etc. but the settlers are called "Palestinians".

3. The Arab PR changed the name of Judea to "The West Bank". Why? Because wouldn't it be silly for the Arabs to claim that the Jews are illegally occupying Judea.

Roger:

"Vringo is the issue here folks.." - Are you an idiot? Did you actually read the post? This is a political blog not TechCrunch!

Gene Bocknek :

Nobody seems to mention the wonderfful, loving support thatthe Palewtinian Arabs get from thir Muslim brothers in the oil-rich Arabian peninsula. Where are their incentives and support to build schools and hope? From that area the world can expect the fomenting of war and bitterness, not peace and reconciliation.

Gene Bocknek :

Nobody seems to mention the wonderfful, loving support thatthe Palewtinian Arabs get from thir Muslim brothers in the oil-rich Arabian peninsula. Where are their incentives and support to build schools and hope? From that area the world can expect the fomenting of war and bitterness, not peace and reconciliation.

Oh get off it!!!:

Israelis are a great people, but a little humility and objectivity is necessary for you to improve your lot.
First post by anonymous fails to mention that Gaza borders remained closed after they 'handed it over' to the palestinians who actually produced strawberries in the leftover greenhouses but then when they wanted to sell their harvests their strawberries rotted under the hot sun while the Palestinians waited atIsrael's closed borders.How do you expect them to produce whatever other than violence when you close their borders, control their electricity, and water??? That, to me, is laughing at the poor forever frustrated Palestinians, you do that very well,indeed better than most other peoples.
Sanjay: comparing israeli nobel prize winners with muslim mass murderers is akin to comparing oranges with land mines: speaking of oranges, Jaffa oranges were being harvested by Palestinian farmers over one hundred years ago so don't tell me you also made the desert bloom! Back to land mines, did you ever give the plans of where you have placed the land mines in Lebanon so that no more Lebanese are blown up, up to this day? I believe that the answer is no. So once again you are on the top, maybe you are also the cruellest people, or certainly right in there with the worst of them!Sorry if this sounds anti semitic,do remember that arabs are semites too.
This superiority complex that you have is very dangerous. What does Israel invent? The Mirage jet? Stolen from the French, the computer technologies you mention are also stolen borrowed or under license. We all know that you stole American technology and sold it to China...tsk tsk With friends like these....Poor America. The only tech coming from Israel has to do with population and prison control, nice but the rest of the world doesn't need it thanks . And while we are at it, it would be nice if you joined the 'ordinary' countries in repairing the horrid dammage that you inflicted during the Lebanese war of 2006.In a report to the current session of the General Assembly, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges the government of Israel “to take the necessary actions towards assuming responsibility for prompt and adequate compensation to the government of Lebanon.”The international efforts to help Lebanon should be intensified, he says, in the study titled “Oil Slick on Lebanese Shores”, since “Lebanon is still engaged in oil removal, treatment of wastes and monitoring of recovery.”
“It should also be recognised that this oil spill is not covered by any of the international oil-spill compensation funds, and thus merits special consideration,” he notes.
According to the 14-page report, financial and technical assistance have so far come from more than a dozen countries, including Kuwait, Norway, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and the United States.But Israel is conspicuously absent from the list donors.

Kibi:

So, Vringo
What a cool idea, not so sure I like the name but video ringtones are sooo what we need right now. Old ringtones are just dead.
Looks like the website has a pretty slick sign-up.
Yay!

Arjay:

I use Vringo more as a video blog than I do for having cool video ringtones (don't get me wrong this is cool, but I don't make that many calls). Everyday I film a few minutes of my daily life. I then edit it down to a short entertaining video clip and set it as my vringo. The coolest thing is that vringo automatically updates the videos on all my buddies phones. So then the next morning all my buddies know to view my video on their phone to see what's going on in my life. All this without having to actually make the phone call or download things from the web.

ES:

Vringo is the issue here folks.... and I wanna tell ya'all that i've tried it, and I liked it - the design of the website is amazing and the idea of the video ringtones is a winner. It doesn't really matter where the company is located, as long as it has the team to do the job right....

Michelle:

Vringo - Wow! I just added this to my phone( a week ago) and was totally surprised at how fun it was not only for me but for my kids. My kids and I have sat down on a few occasions to view the huge selection of clips available and we fight over which one to use next on the phone. I suggest you all try it and join in the fun.

sanjay:

I did a small project on Isreal VC funding and technology ecosystem to understand the competitive advantage of nation in producing best in class human resource.

My view is Israel has the best man power in the world and American firms know it for sure .

There is lot to learn from this small state for we indian technocrates.

onisem gomez:

Plalestinians would do well also if the U.S. gave it billions of $$$ free. Just like they do to Israel.

Rachel:

Nice to see Mr. Bakshi bring us some credit. He forgot to mention that voicemail was also the product of Israeli ingenuity. And few countries can match our medical technology field, either. So for those of you who refuse to acknowledge what we here all know, and for those of you anti-Semites who refuse to see the light, the US does not "give" us anything. We get Congressionally-funded loans and we pay interest on what we get from the US in the areas of military or technical hardware--unlike the rest of the world including South and Central America who rarely repay loans. (ask the UK if it ever intends to repay the US for World War II's "Lend Lease" program).
It is really too tiresome to sit and list all the accomplishments and achievements of our small land vis-a-vis the rest of the lagging world. We would much rather be inventing and perfecting and patenting our creations than having to explain ourselves to anyone. We let these things speak for themselves.

Jeff:

Glad someone kept on topic and mentioned Intel. When AMD was getting traction by having more efficient processors, it was the design by Isreal part of Intel of the lower power and actually more instruction efficient Pentium chip for laptops that morphed into the superior current Intel Processor line. Saved the company's bacon, or being Isreal maybe need a different expression.

Zurichman:

Hi Sanjay !!
Is India a first world country? India has the lowest life standard after the sub-African countries in the world. The dog in Palestine lives better than an Indian in Mumbai streets? am I a bit off? Jews deserve a better economic platform because they work three times harder than their Arabic neighbours.

newageblues:

Just imagine what Israel could accomplish if they would get those god forsaken settlers off their (and everyone's) back.

Tom Miller:

I don't always agree with Israeli foreign policy but generally I am more upset with American politicians who easily sell out what is good policy for the U.S. to well-financed foreign lobbies. Israel, of course, has one of the most famous and successful lobbies in the U.S. and sure, Israel is helped by an enthousiastic American Jewish population dedicated to Israel.

But that said, I think it's short-sighted to think that the successful Israeli economy is all about American hand-outs and some sort of treacherous back-room dealing by Israel. If Americans don't like politicians who vote with foreign lobbies to the detriment of U.S. interests we only have to vote them out. If it doesn't bother us that much then we can stay home and not vote and just complain.

On the other hand, I believe that we should recognize the economic achievements of Israel and its people who do all of this surrounded by enemies who hate them blindly.

I would also only add that I wonder what economic miracles for the Middle East might be possible if there were peace in the area. For this, however, it appears that the extremists need controlling on all sides and from what I've seen this isn't happening in Israel and certainly not in the adjoining Arab states. And then we have Iran where the extremists are actually in power.

That said, it's good to read about some successes in this area of the world where waste, death, and religious/political extremism seem to be the norm.

a little truth:

dear "klem":

binyamin netanyahu, when he was prime minister, proposed reducing american aid to israel DOWN TO NOTHING over a ten-year period. guess how that went over with all the congressmen responsible for the jobs at lockheed martin and northrup grumman?

israel could live with giving up that "aid" -- on the condition that america stopped arming egypt and saudi arabia, too.

can you get enough people to pressure congress to make that deal?

a little truth:

to "truth":

american investment in countries like nigeria, colombia, venezuela, burma and more DWARFS american investment in israel. and those countries are at least as risky as israel. why pretend that israel is a special case?

as for intel: almost half its chips are now produced in israel. and they're not just manufactured there cheaply -- they're designed there, by world-class engineers. that's return on investment. you know, a business decision, not an emotional one.

by the way... the foreign country with the biggest share of land ownership in america is great britain. do you think they're up to something nefarious with all that land? do you want them to sell and get the hell out? are you afraid of undue anglican influence on america?

if you think your critique of israel and its relationship with the united states is totally devoid of any racial or religious bias, you are simply fooling yoruself...

a little truth:

contrabass:

when you boil down what you're saying, it amounts to this: israel must WANT to be under constant attack, because it benefits by selling counterterrorism technology.

do you really believe that?

and would you willfully ignore the cost -- in financial terms and in human terms -- of terrorism and of a huge national defense budget?

do you really believe that israel WANTS to be constantly at war?

frankly, the concept is insane. think again.

ContraBass:

One significant fact overlooked by Mr. Bakshi is that the so-called " Israeli tech-boom" is actually a "war on terror" boom. Israel has perfected its fortress state, and is cashing in by exporting its "homeland security" hardware and software to an increasingly paranoid world, and to defense contractors who are only too eager to profit from this phenomenon. This is a "boom" wrought on the backs of the Palestinians in Israel's illegal occupation of their homeland. Here are some excerpts from an excellent article by Naomi Klein which dissects this brand of "disaster capitalism" in detail.

"Since Israel began its policy of sealing off the occupied territories with checkpoints and walls, human rights activists have often compared Gaza and the West Bank to open-air prisons. But in researching the explosion of Israel's homeland security sector,(...) it strikes me that they are something else too: laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested. Palestinians--whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling "Hamasistan"--are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.

So in a way (Milton)Friedman is right: Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn't the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target "suspects." And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070702/klein

Truth:

There might be some Indian and Chinese expatriates now who are investing in their home countries, but this is a recent phenomenon, and is dwarfed by the amount of foreign investment by overseas companies looking to maximize their profits.

In contrast, Jewish American investment in Israel has been going on since before the foundation of Israel, and is definitely more ideological in origin. Last year, many US hi-tech companies were spooked by the war in Lebanon, which impacted the delivery schedule of several products. US companies would never invest in another country which was so unstable. Why do they invest in Israel?

Klem:

This is good news!

Does this mean that Israel will get off of US welfare now?

Bill:

Response to "Truth" and the question: "What other third-world country gets those kind of benefits?"

China: SMIC founded by overseas Chinese -- and many other companies as well. India: Call centers, outsourced software and processes, proliferating from overseas Indian diaspora.

One suspects that people find a way to do business where they find what appeals to them: a culture they understand; an educated workforce; favorable tax breaks or exchange rates -- and far more frequently than profit maximizing would dictate, something that tugs at their heart. And thank God for that.

Truth:

Israel wouldn't be what it is without billions of dollars in private investment from Jewish charities in the US as well as American taxpayers money. All American companies with Jewish CEO's and executives opened branches in Israel without any apparent advantages compared to say, China or India. The Jewish CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, opened a huge branch in Israel and kept them afloat through a lot of challenges. What other third-world country gets those kind of benefits?

Stop the Spin:

Israel is what it is because of direct US subsidies in the billions of dollars per year, as well as indirect subsidies in the form of favorable trade terms in the US and EU (there are several US acts dedicated to providing Israel with favorable tariffs, etc). Without the river of money coming in from the US and EU, this story couldn't have been written. As an American, I wish every one of those dollars would stay here to help people who need it here. The Israelis should fend for themselves.

a little truth:

for your information, "then free us from israel": about 90 percent of that american aid to israel must be spent IN AMERICA -- so it is really more of an american subsidy to its own military industry, than any sort of "gift" to israel.

and in exchange for this aid, the united states has veto power over major israeli arms sales abroad... this veto has already cost israel a few billion dollars in sales -- not to enemy states, mind you, but to china, for example.

the second-highest recipient of u.s. foreign aid is egypt... and what do americans get from THEM, exactly? where is the uproar about the "egypt lobby"?!?!

at least israeli technology is providing medical advancement that you or someone you know may have already benefitted from. and israeli military tech is also in american weapons platforms, so the relationship is reciprocal. plus, israeli aviation security techniques are being applied across america to help prevent a second 9/11. israeli agricultural technology is helping third-world nations survive droughts and famines. israeli humanitarian aid has helped disaster survivors in turkey, sri lanka, indonesia... and new orleans after hurricane katrina. dozens of israelis have won nobel prizes.

contrast that, for example, with the trillions of dollars that america send to saudi arabia (for oil, as well as millions in military aid that you NEVER hear about). what, aside from the vast majority of 9/11 bombers and the vast majority of intolerant, jihadist ideology, does saudi arabia contribute to america and the west?

this is not to mention the cost to americans of china's most-favored-nation status, or the cost of american military bases in japan, south korea or the philippines... the point is, the uproar over the cost of america's friendship with israel is not really about money at all, and not really about terrorism at all... it is a transparent attack against the legitimate, MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL ties between america and the jewish state, which is opposed by hateful, dictatorial regimes in the middle east, and all those who support them.

a little truth:

for your information, "then free us from israel": about 90 percent of that american aid to israel must be spent IN AMERICA -- so it is really more of an american subsidy to its own military industry, than any sort of "gift" to israel.

and in exchange for this aid, the united states has veto power over major israeli arms sales abroad... this veto has already cost israel a few billion dollars in sales -- not to enemy states, mind you, but to china, for example.

the second-highest recipient of u.s. foreign aid is egypt... and what do americans get from THEM, exactly? where is the uproar about the "egypt lobby"?!?!

at least israeli technology is providing medical advancement that you or someone you know may have already benefitted from. and israeli military tech is also in american weapons platforms, so the relationship is reciprocal. plus, israeli aviation security techniques are being applied across america to help prevent a second 9/11. israeli agricultural technology is helping third-world nations survive droughts and famines. israeli humanitarian aid has helped disaster survivors in turkey, sri lanka, indonesia... and new orleans after hurricane katrina. dozens of israelis have won nobel prizes.

contrast that, for example, with the trillions of dollars that america send to saudi arabia (for oil, as well as millions in military aid that you NEVER hear about). what, aside from the vast majority of 9/11 bombers and the vast majority of intolerant, jihadist ideology, does saudi arabia contribute to america and the west?

this is not to mention the cost to americans of china's most-favored-nation status, or the cost of american military bases in japan, south korea or the philippines... the point is, the uproar over the cost of america's friendship with israel is not really about money at all, and not really about terrorism at all... it is a transparent attack against the legitimate, MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL ties between america and the jewish state, which is opposed by hateful, dictatorial regimes in the middle east, and all those who support them.

Robert:

Qalandia:

The Qalandria (not Qalandia)checkpoint was created positioned there because because from late 2000 until 2004 the Palestinians had sent 27 suicide bombers through that area, murdering and maiming hundreds of Israelis in restaurants, shopping centers, and buses. Since the checkpoint was established 90% of Palestinan would-be killers have been stymied. Checkpoints are a consequence of the ongoing Palestinian policy of murder.

then Free us from israel:

Excise me!!
If Israel is sooo successful, WHY are US taxpayers still forking over taxpayer money for it's subsistence?

For arms for the warmongering land grabbers to do their dirty work?

And for the rest of the world to detest us because of our support of same?

Lets hear more, expose the greedy Israeli lobby and get them off the American
teat now.

then Free us from israel:

Excise me!!
If Israel is sooo successful, WHY are US taxpayers still forking over taxpayer money for it's subsistence?

For arms for the warmongering land grabbers to do their dirty work?

And for the rest of the world to detest us because of our support of same?

Lets hear more, expose the greedy Israeli lobby and get them off the American
teat now.

Rob:

Having a wall built around your community wont make you want to start up a business will it? Israelis can start by removing that. This is a supposed to be a tech section not politics though.There is plenty of intelligent Arab Israel's I have met some myself but they wont have much onus to "start up" if their brothers in palestine are persecuted.

Qalandia:

Amar, I hope you'll be visiting the West Bank to try to put a rest to comments like Paulo's. At the very least, do us a favor. When you go to Ramallah, don't take an expat car out. Take a taxi to Qalandia checkpoint (you'll be fine), and walk through. Then write about it. I think a lot of people will learn something.

S.N.Rao:

Amazing guys these Israelis... They got a piece of baren land as homeland and within decades they turned it into a developed country. May be others should learn from them and stop fighting them.

Paulo:

It's ironic that for 60 years the Palestinians and the other Arabs have been trying to destroy the entity in their midst that could pull them up from the near stone-age life that their masses endure.

It's a shame that so much of their oil riches are wasted on weapons, and their minds indoctrinated in hatred, when they could gain so much by living in peace and cooperation with their neighbor.

Sigh:

Sanjay: Jew does not mean an Israeli and Israeli does not have to mean Jew. There are Arabs in Israel.

Israel was never a "3rd world" state. It was a settler state largely created by 1st world immigrants. Yes, there were immigrants from less developed countries, but they were often marginalized while the state's initial development was controlled by European Jews, with plenty of external funding flowing in.

Muslims, Jews, and Christians are all responsible for their share of deaths...I'm not even going to respond to your comment on that issue any further.

Aaron:

The comment that Israel left the Gaza strip intact is simply false. The may have left isolated buildings intact, but they also bulldozed many things. To say that they left a "social network" intact does not even make sense.

In the past 4 years the Israeli gov't has demolished almost 4,000 homes. Why? The best explanation they can give is that the people living there failed to get the proper permits; however, when the people apply for permits, they are denied.

Israel continues to deny its non-Jewish inhabitants the most basic human rights, and yet the US gov't claims that Israel is our partner for democracy in the Middle East. Nonsense!

Sanjay:

Hats off to Israelis. Rest of the 3rd world has much to learn from them. Surrounded by barbarians who want to drive them to sea, they have excelled in every aspect of life.

A web site is reporting that Jews are working on their 159th Nobel prize while Muslims have wracked up tens of thousands deaths...

Anonymous:

Palestinians would have the same opportunities if they invested their money into their people's society and education instead of funneling it into terrorism, People poured millions of dollars into gaza when Israel withdrew and removed all the settlers. They left them greenhouses, filtration plants, and an entire social network the Israeli's had created, keeping it intact to pass onto the Palestinians. Yet, Instead of pals creating a life of productivity, they continued their "resistance" while their levees broke, they burned the greenhouses, and built tunnels instead of buildings to smuggle rockets they fire into Israel everyday.

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