Netanyahu calls Israel “epicenter” of innovation at World Economic Forum in Davos. Cites Bible as a reason for Israel’s strength.

netanyahu-DavosSo often there are war or rumors of wars to report from the Middle East. But this week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fascinating speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was chock full of good news.

You can read it here, or watch it here.

Several elements caught my attention.

  • One: Netanyahu said “Israel is the epicenter of world innovation right now.”
  • Two: The Prime Minister cited the Bible as one of the reason’s for the strength of the Jewish people and the Israeli economy.
  • Three: He gave interesting examples of Israeli innovation — including how scarce water resources has inspired Israelis to develop the world’s most advance technologies for re-using water, and how scarce agricultural land has inspired Israelis to learn how to get more milk out of every cow (“Whose cows produce the most milk? Don’t guess: it’s Israel. It’s a computerized cow. Every ‘moo’ is computerized and we increased the productivity.”)

I encourage you to read or watch it for yourself.

Excerpts from a Jerusalem Post story about the speech:

  • Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday at the Davos World Economic Forum that investing in the Israeli economy is a way to facilitate peace in the region.
  • In a speech that largely focused on the strength of Israel as a hub for innovation, as well as research and development, Netanyahu said that the advancement of the Israeli economy would help Israel’s Arab neighbors, specifically the Palestinians.
  • The prime minister stated that “Israel is not what’s wrong in the Middle East, it is what’s right with the Middle East.”….
  • The premier used his remarks to praise his country’s economic prowess, which he credited to “the indispensable element of entrepreneurship” as well as “sound macroeconomic policies.”
  • “Israel is often called the ‘start-up nation,’ but I call it the ‘innovation nation,'” Netanyahu said.
  • The premier touted an economic policy of “cutting taxes and removing barriers to competition so that the private sector could run forward and compete.”
  • Netanyahu said that in the ten years since he took over as finance minister during the administration of Ariel Sharon, Israel managed to bring down the debt-to-GDP ratio to 67 percent while reducing inflation and cutting down unemployment.
  • The premier said that Israel’s small size and the Jewish culture of “asking questions” has contributed to the country’s strong economic performance.
  • “From the Talmud to Einstein, Jewish people were always asking questions,” the prime minister said. “The questioning mind is something in our culture and adds very much to our capacities. We’re very small, everything is close by, and everyone competes and collaborates with each other.”
  • “This is an invitation to innovation nation, it’s open for business, it’s open for your business, please come join us,” he stated.
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