Ed West points out that aside from the debates over Zionism, there is one area of human accomplishment in which Israelis have made a tremendous contribution: science. He writes in a post on his Daily Telegraph blog entitled "What have the Israelis ever done for us?:
And yet although the debate centres around whether Israel has been good and right for the Jewish people, weighed against the interests of the Arabs, the media largely ignores the benefits Israel has brought to the world; one of the least talked about aspects of the country is its incredible and unique contribution to science.
In terms of inventions Israelis have given the world the Uzi, the mobile phone (partly), camera chips for phones, SMS messaging and the first anti-virus software; Israel has the highest percentage of home computers per capita and the third most educated workforce on earth, with 12 per cent holding advanced degrees. The country also has more engineers and scientists per capita than any other country around the world, and has more companies quoted on the high-tech NASDAQ stock exchange than any other country outside the United States, more than all of Europe, India, and China combined.
Israelis are also at the forefront of medical research into heart transplants, strokes and Hepatitis C. Incredibly, some Israelis are even at work on a space mission, which could make that tiny state of seven million people the third country to land a probe on the Moon. Jews on the Moon? Conspiracy theorists won’t know where to start.
In the last ten years Israeli scientists have won five Noble prizes in the sciences, a tally bettered by only four other nations, while per capita Israel produces more economists than any other country.
Israel also publishes a huge number of Scientific and Technical Journal Articles, some 16,470 in 2005, more than the entire Arab world and Iran combined. And the Jewish state produces an astonishing number of inventors. Last year in the United States Israelis registered 1917 patents, just below Italy (58 million people) and the Netherlands (15 million) and way ahead of its neighbours Saudi Arabia (58) Turkey (45) Egypt (20) Kuwait (14) UAE (9) Iran (8) Lebanon (5) Jordan (1) and Syria (0). Israel itself grants 2500 patents a year, putting it in the top 20 of all countries and again more than all its neighbours combined. Israel is number one in the world for medical device patents per capita and number four for biotechnology patents per capita. And its biotechnology exports are now worth $6 billion a year.
The accomplishments of Israeli scientists while living under a nearly-constant siege for the past six decades are phenomenal. We salute them and pray for their continued success.