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What anti-Semites and anti-Zionists—who are for the most part one and the same and proliferate almost everywhere we look these days—obstinately and dishonorably refuse to understand is that Israel is a world benefactor without which life as we live it and take for granted would be far poorer. I am not referring to Jaffa oranges or sweet red peppers from Moshav Beit Gamliel, which are nice enough, but to the many innovations in the fields of cybernetics, desalination, hydrology, energy technology, security, productive agricultural methods and life-saving medical technology, in all of which it is among the world’s undeniable leaders.
For example, Windows XP, Vista and Microsoft Office were developed in Israel. So were the first firewalls, the first wireless LAN, voice mail, cell phones (including the multi-jacketed Modu cell phone, which has entered the Guinness Book of Records, and has brought user functionality to a new level unmatched anywhere in the world), TV Remote Control, Google’s new super-search algorithm Orion (in fact, Google runs on Israeli search algorithms), the Mobile Internet, Intel microchips and Pentium microprocessors, an advanced electric car network, a model to the world, using “green electricity” to be operational by next year, superior anti-terrorist screening techniques, drip irrigation, state-of-the-art solar power plants, water technology programs and reverse osmosis desalination plants to which half of Europe is indebted, the miracle drug Copaxone which treats multiple sclerosis, the world’s tiniest medical video camera to be used for disposable endoscopes, coronary stents, surgical lasers, transcutaneous pain relievers, new autoclave designs to fight AIDS, the ExAblate 2000 system for combating fibroid tumors, a rasagiline inhibitor of Parkinson’s marketed as Azilect, the chemotherapy agent Doxil that treats leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a medication known as Exelon that reduces symptoms of Alzheimer’s, the new biomarker placental protein 13 (PP13), a pre-diagnostic for severe fetal diseases—I have barely skimmed the surface.
Anti-Semites and Israel-haters may boycott Israeli strawberries, but they will not put away their cell phones or mothball their computers. They can lobby to divest from companies doing business with Israeli firms, but they will not divest from Israeli biotech industries from which everybody benefits. They may do their utmost to sanction Israeli academics and their home institutions, but they are more than happy to reap the rewards that flow from the country’s universities and laboratories. Anti-Semites are not only vicious defamers and articled thimblewits; they are also prize bigots.
The psychological matrix from which anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism emerge is infernally complex. But resentment against Israeli smarts and entrepreneurial dynamism is surely a significant factor in the Pharisaic rejection of a vigorous, cutting-edge society that continues to flourish under the most adverse circumstances. And as we have seen, such baseless animosity is enabled by a condition which Stanford professor Robert Proctor has labeled “agnotology,” defined as the cultural production of ignorance and the consequent refusal to come to terms with reality. Thus Israel may be vilified at will and with complete impunity in flagrant defiance of an actual state of affairs.
The plain truth is that the Israeli “brand” is one that creates value for humankind. It confers wealth, high-tech capacity, discoveries and inventions for the cure of many critical diseases, and various forms of needed productivity upon the world. Were honesty and common sense ever to prevail over cultural ignorance, hypocrisy, resentment and hatred, Israel would be lauded rather than slandered, appreciated rather than condemned. It would be regarded as a veritable gold mine from which we daily profit.
There is only one conclusion we can draw: if any harm should come to Israel, it would be the world’s loss. One way or another, we must understand what is at stake if we are to fully grasp the importance and necessity of the Jewish state. Obviously, the coal mine is the Middle East in which the Israeli canary signals danger, and must therefore be heeded. As the American poet Jorn Ake writes in Boys Whistling like Canaries, we should “consider whether each note/might not be a body/buried someplace.”
But what is rarely, if ever, noted in the international media, the United Nations, the labor unions, the World Council of Churches, the corridors of state and the echo chamber of public opinion is that there is a high-yield gold mine in the region too. And that gold mine is Israel proper in which the canary, the spirit of Israel, sings to a deafened world’s felicity and advantage.
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