Alan Silverstein

Advice for the Anti-Israel Protestors

As we commemorate Israel’s 76th anniversary, you mourn. You do not merely object to Israeli policies nor its behavior. You call Israel’s existence into question. You advocate divestment, sanctions, and boycott actions against the world’s only Jewish state.

Please don’t be hypocrites. Go all the way!

Israel would like you to return your computers and smartphones, other groundbreaking advances in technology, treatments in health care and medication, techniques for environmental responsibility, and so much more.

In “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth,” its author, Noa Tishby, writes, “The success of Israeli innovation is breathtaking. It is virtually impossible to mention all the technological companies, inventions, and solutions that Israel has contributed to the world.”

In his book “The Israel Test,” journalist George Gilder noted, “Israelis are leaders…in the ability of computers to accept and process information as quickly as modern transmission techniques — pre-eminently fiber-optics lines — can deliver it to the computer. Only by accepting and processing sensory data as fast or faster than the human brain…did computers make the leap from being glorified adding machines to becoming indispensable allies….”

Here is a partial list of some inventions, advances, products that you — being anti-Israel — should avoid:

Israeli input into technology:
Intel microprocessors
Pentium MMX
Firewalls to protect high-tech data
The USB stick for storing memory
DiskOnKey, “a flash drive with an integrated USB interface that serves as a portable data storage device.” (Tishby)
WIX, for building websites
Voice-over Internet protocol
Smartphone dual lens technology
World’s smallest DNA computing system, providing computations via biological molecules rather than with traditional silicon chips
Sniffphone, a smartphone for disease detection
Nanowire, used in transistors and in some laser applications
Waze navigation system
Mobileye, advances the safety of driver-assisted and autonomous driving
Iron Dome protection from missiles during wartime

Israeli input into health care:
Flexible Stent, used in heart surgery for keeping the blood flowing in clogged arteries
The PillCam, to be swallowed to test the health of organs, take videos of patient’s insides
Given Imaging company, which has transformed the endoscopy
OrCam Technology, device clipped onto eyeglasses giving information to the visually impaired
Optune technology, monitoring that keeps certain cancer patients alive and tumor-free
Babysense baby monitors
Alpha Omega, “the world leader in the technology of neuroscience and functional neurosurgery with a brain stimulus and recording device”
The Pressure Bandage, to stop bleeding of serious wounds
ReWalk Robotics Exoskeleton enables people with spinal damage to regain some mobility
Super Iron rechargeable batteries
Copaxone, used to treat multiple sclerosis
Elelyso, for treatment of Gaucher disease
Sambucol anti-flu serum
An ever-increasing array of innovative pharmaceutical products

Israeli input into environmental advances:
Drip irrigation for maximizing water use for agriculture in arid climates
The Netafim company, invented a watering approach that “produces 70% more crops with 50% less water.” (Tishby)
3G thermal and photovoltaic power panels as well as Zenith Solar
Leviathan gas field, which enables the supply of deep-sea natural gas to safely meet the world’s needs
Desalination technology, enabling sea water to be potable
Recycling of wastewater for growing crops
Elya Recycling, retrieving water from the moisture in the air
CoverEdge is “now wrapping 50% of the world’s bales of hay.” (Tishby)
“Israelis invented a new type of biological pest control, automatized milk farms, plus a new way to monitor a cow’s health with a smart collar.” (Tishby)

In conclusion, Tishby pointed out that it is likely that you are unknowingly using Israeli technology. “You also may be watching something from Israel, wearing something from Israel, or eating something from Israel.”

Anti-Israel protestors should be cautious if they or their allies want to reject a sizable percentage of the world’s best products or steer their universities away from successful investments tied to Israel, irrespective of harming the college’s overall portfolio.

After all, as Tishby noted, “Israel has more companies registered on the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange than any other country in the world per capita, more start-ups per capita, more academic papers in the field of medicine per capita, and more venture capital funds per capita.”

So don’t be a hypocrite — go all the way!

You can start by turning your computers and smartphones over to any low-income Israeli Jews or Arabs in need of technology!

About the Author
Rabbi Alan Silverstein, PhD, was religious leader of Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, NJ, for more than four decades, retiring in 2021. He served as president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis (1993-95); as president of the World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues (2000-05); and as chair of the Foundation for Masorti Judaism in Israel (2010-14). He currently serves as president of Mercaz Olami, representing the world Masorti/Conservative movement. He is the author of “It All Begins with a Date: Jewish Concerns about Interdating,” “Preserving Jewishness in Your Family: After Intermarriage Has Occurred,” and “Alternatives to Assimilation: The Response of Reform Judaism to American Culture, 1840-1930.”
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