Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I love my mother dearly ...

... but, sometimes, she has a bad habit of believing everything she reads, as she just forwarded to me the following bit of fluff that is apparently making the rounds:


Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year.

Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population, can lay claim to the following:

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.

Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S, Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.

Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.

Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry's most impenetrable flight security. US officials now look (finally) to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people --as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U.S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).

With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world -- apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S. A.

Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.

Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.

Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.

The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Twenty-four per cent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews (Operation Solomon) at Risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.

When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship -- and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.

Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity. (Hundreds of thousands from the former Soviet Union)

Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."

Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U. S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

Israel's Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, cancer and digestive disorders.

Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the camera helps doctors diagnose heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions, Israel places first in this category as well.

A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the Clear Light device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct -- all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.

An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave Desert.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth.

And all this with no oil revenue.

With all this, the French ambassador in England says, "Israel is nothing but a shitty little country."

Yes, it's clear that the propaganda wheels are in serious motion. Don't worry, Mom, I'll protect you. That's what I'm here for.

: I did reply to Mommie Dearest with a couple of links, including how Israel seems to be doing just fine in terms of growing trees, partially because they keep stealing fully-developed olive groves from the Palestinians through the construction of the "security wall."

I have plenty of links for that, but a quick Google this morning found this new piece:

If the barrier is being built for security, why is so much of the West Bank being confiscated by Israel? Why is the barrier plunging in deep loops into the West Bank to draw far-flung settlements into Israel? Why are thousands of acres of the most fertile farmland and much of the West Bank's aquifers being seized by Israel?

The barrier does not run along the old 1967 border or the 1949 armistice line between Israel and the Arab states, which, in the eyes of the United Nations, delineates Israel and the West Bank. It will contain at least 50% of the West Bank, including the whole of the western mountain aquifer, which supplies the West Bank Palestinians with over half their water. The barrier is the most catastrophic blow to the Palestinians since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

The barrier itself mocks any claim that it is temporary. It costs $1 million per mile and will run over $2 billion by the time it is completed. It will cut the entire 224-mile length of the West Bank off from Israel, but because of its diversions into the West Bank to incorporate Palestinian land it will be about 400 miles in length. A second barrier is being built on the Jordan River side of the West Bank. To look at a map of the barrier is to miss the point. The barrier interconnects with every other piece of Israeli-stolen real estate in Palestinian territory. And when all the pieces are in place the Israelis will no doubt offer up the little ringed puddles of poverty and despair and misery to the world as a Palestinian state.

The whole thing is worth a read.

BY THE WAY, just to prove that I didn't fall into the discussion yesterday ...


Anonymous said...

Oh those perfidious French!!!!!

What have they done besides bankrupted themselves to win the American Revolution for the Americans?

As if anyone is still supposed to care about that!

Alison said...

"With all this, the French ambassador in England says, "Israel is nothing but a shitty little country."

Oh for fuck's sake not this again.

French ambassador Daniel Bernard *alledgedly* made this remark at a private dinner party in the home of Conrad Black shortly after 9/11 and Barabara Amiel printed it in The Daily Telegraph to much fuss at the time.
A remark at a private dinner party 5 years ago.
A remark Bernard refused to apologise for because he said it was taken out of context. He still lost his job as ambassador for it.

For the record, Bernard was not anti-Semitic or even anti-Israel, but he was anti-Zionist, something that didn't go down well with the Blacks.