The Corner

Remarkable Israel

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.) Israeli exports amounted to US$80.5 billion in 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.)

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.)

Overall: “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)

Comment: For all Israel’s challenge in being accepted by the Palestinians, the neighbors, Muslims, and leftists, it has an amazing record of success.

Daniel Pipes — Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum. A former official in the U.S. departments of State and Defense, he has taught history at Chicago, Harvard, and Pepperdine universities, ...

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