Thursday, August 10, 2006

L'Chaim - to Life

I have been reading so many lies and half-truths about Israel and, not surprisingly there seem to be so many people who feel that the world would be a better place without it. It seems that every liberal and his brother, sister, parents, cousins, etc is quick to criticize Israel.

They not only seem to question Israel's very right to exist, but also question what benefit Israel has given to society. While several e-mails have gone around touting Israel's technical achievments, I wanted to promote some more achievements - mainly on the medical front and the democratic front.

On the medical front, Israeli innovation and research is saving and enriching lives every day. Some of the medical advances in Israel over the past few years include:

  • A swallowable 'pill cam' that a patient digests and can take accurate pictures to help better diagnose gastro-intestinal problems.
  • Israeli researchers re-implanted a frozen embryo back into a woman which she carried to full term and produced a healthy baby girl. What's so special about that? She had been menopausal for two years due to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. This gives new hope to young women with ovarian cancer that they can be treated and possibly still have kids of their own.
  • Israeli scientists have created the ability to remove or reduce scars using laser therapy. This therapy can also be used to remove cellulite.
  • Israeli researchers are working on a revolutionary new drug that will regrow bone cartilege and soft tissue. This will ultimately make it possible to fix joint injuries without the needs for screws or other materials.
  • Israeli scientists are continually innovating in the areas of agriculture and water treatment and have successfully applied those technologies in Israel and other countries to provide fresh drinking water and grow crops in places where it was previously impossible.
  • Two of the world's largest manufacturers of Genetic Drugs - Taro and Teva - are Israeli companies. These companies help reduce drug costs by producing lower-cost alternatives.
In addition to those significant contributions to bioscience, Israel as a democracy has done some things that even the US hasn't accomplished:

  • It's had a woman Defense Minister before women in the US were even allowed into US service academies
  • It was the second major democratic nation to be led by a woman (Golda Meir was only second to Ghandi).
  • It, to this day, is one of the few militaries in the world that has women in combat positions
  • All citizens of Israel - regardless of race or religion, have equal rights, and are able to vote.
  • Even though Israeli Arabs (the ones who live in the 1948 borders) are small in number, they elect a proportionate number of arab delegates to the knesset.
  • The only time that Muslims or Christians have not been able to access their holy sites under Israeli rule is when there are fears of rioting and public safety.
  • All solely Christian and Muslim sites are relatively autonomously run by their own clergy.
  • Arab Israeli citizens have more rights than the vast majority of Arab citizens in Arab countries.
I wish that the rest of the world saw this Israel. The Israel that is saving lives and making lives better every single day of the Year. Maybe if enough people read this post, people will be able to look beyond the lies of Hamas and Hezbollah, and see for themselves that the world needs Israel.

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