As Israel has just celebrated its 65th birthday, it is important to remember Jewish intellectual accomplishments and achievements. Indeed, research by the World Health Organization has ranked Israel above most of the other OECD countries when it comes to accomplishments and competence in the medical profession. In fact, international data even demonstrates that cancer survival rates within Israel are among the highest in the world and many countries around the world recognize Israel as a leader in medical innovation. Israel especially is a world leader when it comes to creating medical technology and medicine, as well as practicing emergency medicine and treating post-traumatic stress disorder, yet Israel also thrives in the field of maternal healthcare as well.

Examples of such Israeli medical innovations include the development of the emergency bandage, the creation of the PillCam which permits a video recording of the internal organs, the invention of InSightec’s MR Guided focused ultrasound that has the potential to destroy tumors inside the body, the development of the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton that enables paraplegics to walk, the creation of the babysense device that helps prevent crib deaths and of a robot that performs spine surgery, and the development of a stimulation device for the brain that helps ease addiction, depression, autism, and many other brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. In fact, in the case of Alzheimer’s, Israel’s electromagnetic stimulation system can allow patients to regain cognitive skills that they have lost.

Yet, medical innovations are far from Israel’s only achievements, for Israel is also a world leader in the field of high-tech. For example, the disk-on-key, which allows people to transfer files easily from one computer to another, was developed by a company founded by three Israelis. Microsoft’s two main operating systems, NT and XP, were developed mainly in Israel. An instant messaging computer program known as ICQ was developed by five young Israelis. Most of the modern cell phone technology was created within Israel as well. Israel also invented the laser keyboard, the USB flash drive, the Babylon translation device, Intel processors, the voice over the internet protocol technology, and the Quicktionary electronic dictionary that permit the immediate translation of words into other languages upon scanning them.

In addition, Israel is also a world leader in environmental technology as well as agriculture. Drip irrigation, which allows farmers in arid climates to effectively grow crops, was an Israeli invention. Israel also created the world’s first solar window, the wind tulip that produces clean energy at a high efficiency rate, and solar energy grids that float on water. Furthermore, Israel has learned how to recycle plastic bags so that they can be transformed into various products and has managed as well to recycle cardboard and transform them into bicycles and wheelchairs, which are not only environmentally friendly but they also help people in lesser developed countries to have such things. Indeed, as Israel celebrates her 65th birthday, it is important to recall Israeli contributions to human civilization.

By Rachel Avraham