Rewalk • Israeli innovation makes a positive case

There is so much negative press about Israel right now it could almost be considered demonisation of a people because of their perceived part in an ongoing conflict thrust upon them in 1948, when they obtained nationhood.

But Israel has much to offer as a modern state which brings innovation to help change our world. Rewalk is one such breakthrough.

A new movie produced by Israelis describes how they are approaching life despite the conflict they constantly face.

Here is an article from the website for the film Israel Inside.


May 18, 2012

By: Alan Dershowitz

The world well knows of Israel’s military prowess in protecting its citizens against threats of terrorism and the even greater threat of a nuclear armed Iran.  If one were to put the word “Israel” on a Rorschach test, the association, for most people would be to “conflict,” “wars,” and for some the continuing dispute with the Palestinians and the entire Arab and Muslim world.  These images and associations are, tragically, an important part of Israel’s history and reality.  It is not, however, Israel’s chosen identity.  Most Israelis crave peace, normalcy and the end of conflict.  They want to turn their swords into plow shears and get on with the business of helping to repair the world.

What is truly remarkable about Israel is that in the face of 64 years of unremitting hostility, warfare and terrorism directed against the Jewish state and its citizens, Israel has managed to contribute more to the world, on a per capita basis, than any country in history.  It will continue to do so even if the conflicts continue.  Imagine how much more it could do for the world as a peace dividend from the end of the conflict.

Israel is so much more than “the conflict.”  For many of the world’s ills, it is an important part of the answer.

Once people’s eyes are opened to Israel’s promise and her contributions to modern society, they realize how close-minded you have to be to ignore the tremendous potential that exists within this tiny nation.  In almost every modern discipline, Israeli innovators have changed the world for the better.  In medicine, researchers have designed methods to better diagnose and treat some of humanity’s most debilitating conditions.  In computer science, Israeli inventions are integral to the vast majority of personal computers in use around the world and to business, industry and even popular devices in high demand for our entertainment.

Israel has succeeded in rallying its bitter experiences on the battlefield to design solutions for the handicapped, offering them greater accessibility and mobility.  And in a nation where much of the country lies in arid climates, Israeli innovators have literally made the desert bloom through drip irrigation and water reclamation, which are now being implemented all around the globe.

This is just a glimpse into the world that is Israel’s modern day renaissance, but it reveals how there is so much more that so many in the international community chooses to ignore when it comes to understanding the real Israel.

Towards that end, I am encouraged by a series of ongoing initiatives that channel this “positive spirit” in engaging a whole new side of public diplomacy on behalf of the Jewish State.  Among the most significant has been the recent release of a groundbreaking documentary film narrated by Tal Ben-Shahar, an Israeli visionary voted a favorite lecturer at Harvard.  The film, Israel Inside, which has been met with critical acclaim since its recent release, successfully shows that the time has come to focus on what is great about Israel, instead of obsessively responding to its detractors.

History has made quite clear that the Israeli people will always have their bitter discreditors, including those committed to violence with the aim of destroying the nation.  But history has also taught us that while Israel can never lower its defenses and must remain committed to protecting its citizens against all threats, we must also seize the opportunities to highlight her numerous positive aspects.

The challenge, therefore, falls upon us as advocates for the Jewish State to find innovative and effective ways to meet this challenge. Presenting the positive case for Israel’s contributions to the world—past, present and future—is an important aspect of meeting that important challenge.

Alan Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor at Harvard Law School and the author of “The Case for Israel.” A free online stream of Israel Inside will be available on until May 18th by visiting

Posted by Steve

20 thoughts on “Rewalk • Israeli innovation makes a positive case

  1. That’s heartwarming.

    I wonder if the Palestinians would be producing propaganda if the situation was reversed: having powerful external allies funding their military and bombing their civilian opponents back to the Stone Age such that they can’t make a worldwide contribution.

  2. War does encourage technical innovation. The west got most of its technological and scientific breakthroughs through the 2nd world war, and to a lesser extent the cold war.

    Having said that the Israelis are pretty smart, hardworking and value education more than most.

    Dosent excuse anything.

  3. Bones,
    who gave us the Autobahn and the volkswagen?

    The same folk who gave us the Holocaust, I guess!

    Honestly, boys, can’t you see anything in a positive light for a few moments?

    Greg, the people in the vid are learning to walk once again. That is a big deal. For them at least.

    If you can come up with some Hamas or Fatah guys who are giving us the same kind of positive technology and innovation I’ll applaud them too.

  4. From Wazza’s article

    The Palestinians have a number of specific factors in their favour and challenges which hinder them. To its advantage, the Palestinian population is among the best-educated in the Arab world. In addition, its large, diverse and extensive diaspora can, as the Jewish diaspora has demonstrated next door, play a pivotal role in both fuelling innovation and financing it. Moreover, if the conflict is ever resolved, the Israelis and Palestinians could become natural partners in business and innovation.

    However, for the time being, the Israeli occupation is possibly the biggest single inhibitor of Palestinian innovation and economic development in general. Noting that investing in Palestinian innovation requires “a certain type of intrepid and foolhardy investor”, Maani points to the additional challenges of the restrictions on Palestinian movement, the small size of the Palestinian market and the difficulties and associated high costs involved in exporting.

    That said, the circumstances of the occupation can also stimulate the creativity of the ingenious Palestinians. For example, the young innovator Ibrahim Nassar from Hebron, inspired by the movement restrictions Palestinians face, came up with a device which can be used by doctors to diagnose and monitor, via the mobile phone network, heart patients remotely with complete accuracy and reliability.

    More generally, Palestinians are planning to wean themselves off their expensive and unreliable dependence on Israel for their energy needs through green investment and innovation. This preoccupation was reflected in many of the Made in Palestine innovations: compressed-air and solar-powered cars, a wind turbine made of recycled material, recycled car oil and solar-powered water desalination.

    In the broader context, the Palestinian authority views economic development, partly founded on innovation, as a top priority and a prerequisite for statehood. What has become known as “Fayyadism”, after the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, posits that the first step on the path to statehood is through changing the Palestinians own state of being and building a de facto state-in-waiting.

    “Creativity, innovation and excellence are vital tools in the hands of young people building the future of Palestine,” Fayyad said at Made in Palestine’s award ceremony, where an automated potato planter rolled away with the top prize.

    But Fayyad admitted that this required wide ranging reforms, including greater support for innovators, the creation of a culture which values innovation, and narrowing the skills gap between the education system and the job market.

  5. Category Archives: Benny Hinn
    Benny Hinn is on the bottle
    I admit it. It was too good a deal to pass up – or so I thought. I dusted off the VISA and placed my order so that an olive tree could be planted by Benny Hinn Ministries in Israel on my behalf.
    Here are the lines from his website store that got me in;
    Olive Tree Planting in the Holy Land
    Throughout the Bible, olive trees have always been significant. Now you can help take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations by sponsoring the cultivation of a designated olive tree in Israel in the Benny Hinn Ministries Olive Tree Grove. As a charter member of the Benny Hinn Ministries Holy Land Olive Tree Trustee Board, you will receive a bottle of olive oil produced in Israel, a planting location map and certificate, a certificate of enrollment, and a welcome booklet. Become a charter member today with your gift to the ministry. (Original)
    I feel so good knowing that I got a bottle of oil right from Israel with Benny Hinn’s picture on it. I’m doing something significant – and I’ve done something good for the environment and for Jesus!. It was a pretty good price for somebody who’s now a charter member of the Benny Hinn Ministries Holy Land Olive Tree Trustee Board (hope it’s a big certificate to fit that on it) And I only paid…wait for it…. $200 (US of course)…an absolute BARGAIN! Or so I thought, until I came across this website;
    I can console myself though knowing that the $182 markup is obviously for the fuel used in Benny Hinn’s personal Lear jet that takes the plant seedlings into Israel. All part of the ministry hey?
    Benny’s on the bottl

  6. Benny Hinn is a Palestinian btw.

    Honestly he would sell his soul if he could make money out of it. Hang on cross out ‘would’ insert ‘has’.

    Funniest thing I saw on Benny Hinn’s site: 7 Most Common Money Mistakes: and How to Avoid Them book by Todd Coontz for a measly $273 with your breakthrough seed.

    Chapter 1 should be: Don’t buy from shonky preachers.

  7. “War does encourage technical innovation”.

    Yes wazza,Just ask Tony Stark!

    Maybe we will end up with a loaf of bread for a days wages,
    And plenty of wine and Benny’s Olive Oil.Hoo Haa!

    Jesus Christ foretold the rebirth of Israel in his famous prophecy of the “fig tree” budding that was recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. Our Lord declared in Matthew 24:32-35: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” No other ancient nation ever ceased to exist for a period of centuries and then returned to take its place on the stage of world history.

  8. “I can console myself though knowing that the $182 markup is obviously for the fuel used in Benny Hinn’s personal Lear jet ”

    But you also blessed the man of God with that offering so watch out – you will receive 30 times that amount back! Or maybe even 100.
    So, cheer up.


    We’ll get some overhead lifters and some four barrel quads
    Oh yeah
    (Keep talking whoa keep talking)
    A fuel injection cutoff and chrome plated rods oh yeah
    (I’ll get the money i’ll kill to get the money)
    With a four speed on the floor they’ll be waiting at the door
    You know that ain’t no shit we’ll be getting lots of tit
    In Grease Lightning
    Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go

    Go grease lightning you’re burning up the quarter mile
    (Grease lightning go grease lightning)
    Go grease lightning you’re coasting through the heat lap trial
    (grease lighting go grease lightning)
    You are supreme the chicks’ll scream for grease lightning
    Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go
    [ Lyrics from:

  10. Steve, are you going to rejoice and applaud the examples of Palestinian innovation and inventiveness that Greg and I have posted, as you said you would?

  11. Yes, wazza. It’s marvellous. I do applaud it. I hope you’ll find some way to acknowledge the Israeli efforts, too.

    The only way to peace is through acknowledging that all people are made in the image of God.

    Killing and maiming is like hanging Jesus over and over.

    Hating is murder in words.

    I need some time to get my heart back in shape.

  12. “I lost 11 kilos in about 3 months and was very happy”

    I’ve lost a bit of weight myself recently; it’s interesting how just a little exercise and a bit less fat leads to increased energy levels and a better frame of mind.

  13. “Just dont put too much Hamas on your kebabs or you might become Fatah!”

    LOL; 10 out of 10.

    Do you know the problem with good food? It goes to waist!

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