In a week when blacklists and boycott attempts abound and the Europeans demonstrate yet again how Poles apart we are, the Jewish State gets on with the job of promoting innovation and repairing humanity… writes Michael Kuttner.
Israel has been ranked among the top 10 most powerful and innovative countries in the world in two separate surveys published this week by major American media outlets.
In its survey of the world’s most powerful countries, U.S. News and World Report ranked Israel as the 8th-most-powerful nation based upon its military might, strong international alliances, and economic and political influence.
In a separate survey, the Bloomberg financial news agency ranked Israel as the world’s 10th-most-innovative country based upon the start-up nation’s spending on research and development as well as its number of publicly traded high-tech companies.
In 2017, Israel ranked second on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) innovation index and 16th on its global competitiveness report, moving up eight positions from 2016 on the WEF competitiveness index and marking the first time that the country was ranked among the list’s top 20 nations.
ANOTHER APARTHEID MYTH EXPLODED
The number of Arab students attending Israeli colleges and universities increased by nearly 79 percent over the past seven years — a dramatic advance for a demographic that has traditionally lagged behind its Jewish counterpart in levels of educational attainment. Overall, 46,855 Arab students were enrolled in degree-seeking programs in 2017, compared to 26,214 in 2010.
THE CHINESE ARE COMING
Over 113,000 Chinese travelled to Israel in 2017, up 41 percent year on year, remaining Israel’s fastest growing source of tourists, according to the China director of the Israeli Government Tourism Office. The surge in the number of Chinese tourists is attributed to more targeted promotion campaigns, streamlined visa applications as well as increasingly convenient transportation with more direct flights.
Chinese tourists can fly to Israel’s commercial hub Tel Aviv directly from Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and more direct flight routes from southwest and southern China are expected this year.
To meet the demands of the growing Chinese tourist market, the Israeli tourism ministry has increased the training of tourist guides and introduced Chinese mobile payment services. Israel is likely to see 150,000 Chinese tourists in 2018.
THE “Z” WORD
Hear what Zionism means to a thinking non Jewish individual. We could do with a few more like him in certain Parliaments.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel.
[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]