So what has Israel ever done for me?

Okay – we all know that Israel is a country that causes trouble.

It keeps the South Africa International Relations minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, awake at night, as she said “The last time I looked at the map of Palestine, I could not go to sleep.”  Those Israeli monsters!  And here I was, thinking the lack of sleep had something to do with South Africa having one of the highest rates of murder in the world!  Jeez – better get her lack of sleep added to the Human Rights Council investigation into Israeli ‘war crimes’.

On another occasion, a former French Ambassador, Daniel Bernard, once said:  “All the current troubles in the world are because of that shitty little country Israel.” He then added, “Why should the world be in danger of World War 3 because of those people?”  Gee Daniel, next time why don’t you tell how you really feel?

Then there’s Desmond Tutu, the anti-apartheid activist, who fights for freedom and democracy for us all!  He often compares Israel to Hitler and apartheid.  You see, he’s still trying to make himself relevant, long after apartheid disappeared; however I say let it go Des, let it go.  The good news though, for citizens of Iran and Saudi Arabia is that Desmond won’t be fighting for your freedom and democracy any time soon!

But do these people have a point?  If we truly think about it – what has Israel ever done for you or for me??

Well, the Given Imaging company in Israel gave us PillCam – a patient friendly solution to allow doctors to detect disorders in your intestine without invasive surgery.  Yeah, well – whatever!  I don’t even like pills!

Hazera Genetics came up with the cherry tomato.  That’s fine and all – if you even like cherry tomatoes… which are okay I suppose… with the right dressing…

Then there’s the BabySense device made by HiSense which monitors a baby’s breathing and movements through the mattress which helps prevent crib death.  Again, only useful if you care about and want to protect your baby’s life!

On the technological front, Intel Israel helped develop the computer chips that run in all computers.  Personally, I don’t see any use for this product – unless you’re one of those people who believe computers play an important part in our world.

As far as the environment goes, a company called Elya Recycling developed a new methodology for recycling plastics that requires 50% less energy than current use and 83% less energy than standard manufacturing.  That’s all fine and well, but what if I want to use 50% more energy than needed!

There’s also a device called ReWalk, which is a robotic exoskeleton that helps people in wheelchairs walk again.  Okay, that’s fine, but… what about the wheelchair industry?  Israel is conspiring to put them out of business!

Then there’s the WatchPat device, which is a miniature sleep lab that helps diagnose sleeping problems without the need of going into a hospital.  Hey – maybe the South African minister could use it!

Then of course, there’s mobile phone technology that was first developed in Motorola’s R&D department in Israel.  I mean really, who do you know that has a mobile phone these days…?

Unfortunately, for those in the world who don’t like Israel and want it to vanish, there are many lists available which show the achievements that have been made in this “shitty little country”.  It is painful reading for those who dream of Israel disappearing, as they sip their lattes in cafes alongside the Thames or the Seine and communicate with each other on their Israeli technology built mobile phones.

But maybe they are right, and if you don’t believe in life-saving medical advancements, technological advancements in communication, energy efficiency, the prevention of pollution, recycling, environmental achievements, saving our planet and – cherry tomatoes, then you have to ask yourself a question:  What has Israel ever done for you?

About the Author
Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.