May 1, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5724

Arab Writers Praise Israel's Technological Superiority, Morality And Democracy, Call To Learn From It And Mimic Its Success

May 1, 2014
Special Dispatch No. 5724

Arab media is known to be unsympathetic towards Israel. It even avoids using the country's name, usually using terms such as "the Zionist entity" instead. Furthermore, reports and editorials in Arab press are rife with expressions of hatred and hostility towards Israel. However, the Arab press occasionally features articles by Arab intellectuals and pundits praising Israel, listing its achievements – mainly in hi-tech – and urging Arab countries to learn from the Israelis in order to better their own global standing.

This report will include excerpts from recent articles praising Israel.

Israel – A Country With Technological And Scientific Superiority

Many articles in the Arab press portray Israel as a powerhouse of cutting-edge technology and science, which invests in education; rewards its entrepreneurs, scientists, and businessmen; and works to draw in Jewish minds. They claim that this is done to ensure Israel's future and superiority over Arabs in particular and the world in general. Some of these articles also point out the Arab inferiority compared to Israel and call on Arabs to learn from it.

In a belated response to a Saudi hacker attack on Israeli websites in January 2012, Saudi columnist 'Abdallah bin Bakhit tweeted: "You rejoice when hackers attack Israeli websites, but how would you feel if Jews around the world carried out a similar attack on Saudi Arabia?" He stated that, unlike Arabs, "the Jews help create civilization and are not [merely] consuming it," and added: "The culture [whose technology] we use to communicate, whose air conditioners we sleep under, whose hospitals we are treated in, and whose cement roofs we pray under, is the culture of the Jews and the Crusaders."[1]

Kuwaiti Writer: Unlike Arab Countries, Israel Encourages Its Entrepreneurs, Scientists

In February and March of 2013, Kuwaiti columnist 'Omar Al-Tabtabaee published a series of three pro-Israel articles, in which he focused on the unique characteristics that enabled Israeli society to achieve superiority over regional countries despite its lack of natural resources.

In the first article, Al-Tabtabaee addressed the great importance that Israel attributes to experts and the conditions that it provides to industry leaders in order for them to live and work in Israel. He wrote: "Have you ever asked yourself how the small entity called Israel managed to hold the entire world in its palm? Instead of continually cursing the entire world, have you tried to understand how Israel made all those achievements in all areas?"... During the nineties, Israel encouraged its economic firms by establishing new entrepreneurial companies. The Israeli finance ministry formulated a new strategy that helps create Israeli business initiatives by supporting small businesses and ventures through a program called Yozma ["Initiative"] This indicates how well their government understands the importance of supporting small businesses and the role they play in economic growth...

"Israeli society is built on attracting Jewish minds from around the world to benefit from them. This is the 'Brain Drain' strategy, which was also employed by the U.S. and Britain to attract inventors and benefit from their minds... [But] Israel does more than that – it tempts prominent Jews to leave the U.S. and Britain and return to Israel so that society there can benefit from the expertise they acquired abroad. [This is called] 'Reverse Brain Drain.' Now ask yourself, dear reader: What have our Arab countries done for creators and their minds? Anyone observing the state of our Arab nation would undoubtedly understand that our governments have done the opposite of what the Israeli government did..."[2]

In the second article in the series, Al-Tabtabaee outlined Israel's ability to confront major challenges, while Arab countries give up at the first signs of difficulty: "Several main elements caused Israel to focus inwardly on itself in order to achieve what it has thus far achieved, but perhaps the most important element is its ability to adapt to circumstances and formulate a strategy by defining goals in any situation and under any pressure or influence, in complete contrast to Arab countries, which stand helpless and paralyzed at the sight of the first sandstorm...

"This entity made tremendous efforts to build [itself] culturally, and focused on individuals via the military and education. It relinquished 'generational selfishness,' understanding that the most important thing is to raise future generations that will participate in achieving goals by constructing a [sound] basis upon which [these future generations] rely. [This basis ranges] from simple things, which our Arab governments and their advisors do not even consider, to the most complex things."[3]

Israel Treats Education As Its Most Valuable Resource

In the last article in the series, Al-Tabtabaee pointed out two important values in Israeli society, which he claims enable it to progress: education – which he called "Israel's most valuable resource" – and Israeli chutzpah. He contrasted this with Arab society, where the orders or instructions of a superior are rarely questioned: "Israel is an entity that lives beside us, has a climate similar to ours, and if we look a bit farther we will discover that this entity has no natural resources – and despite all this, it surpasses us! ... This entity knows that education is the basis of society and the basis of its culture and unity. In fact, education is Israel's most valuable resource, because in their culture, they see it as the [key] to saving Israel's future... Their educational system bears the prime responsibility for developing the personality and creativity of the Israeli individual, which enables [Israel] to discover the skills, abilities, and creativity of each individual Israeli, 'pick him out,' and develop and train him so that he can positively influence their society.

"The number of patents registered in Israel [between 1980 and 2002] is 7,652, while the number of Arab patents registered between 1980 and 2002 was as follows: Saudi Arabia – 171; Egypt – 77; Syria – 20; Jordan; 16; the UAE – 32; and Kuwait – 52. If we add all the Arab patents we will see there are only 367! ...

"The Israeli military command only recruits the smartest and most successful high school students, which might be the exact opposite from the recruitment method used in our Arab countries and in the Gulf in particular. Furthermore, the military there has created a discourse as part of which orders are discussed and analyzed, so that if a soldier is unconvinced, he can object [to an order]. Pay attention, dear reader – yes, he can oppose an officer that outranks him! This has created a culture that is an important part of the greater culture of Israeli society. This is the 'chutzpah,' which means that workers [may] oppose and confront their superiors if they think something is wrong. This is how societies work to overcome challenges and future hardships... This is the exact opposite of the culture of our Arab societies. Prayer alone does not build the Arab homeland. Without planning and defining a strategy with a worthy goal,... the Arab body will continue to bleed furiously from a wound called Palestine!"[4]

Egyptian Writer: "Jewish Revolutions Are Scientific And Arab Ones Are Tragic"

During the Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, Egyptian writer 'Ali Khamis published an article in the oppositionist daily Al-Wafd in which he claimed that Jewish revolutions are scientific, while Arab ones are violent and political. Khamis attributes this to the fact that national expenditure on scientific research in Arab countries is low compared to Israel and other countries around the world. He remarked sarcastically that in Arab countries, political Islam groups spend more money on militias than the countries themselves do on research: "Jewish revolutions are scientific and Arab ones are tragic. This is the painful truth and the bitter harvest that we have reaped from the winds of the Arab Spring that tore us apart... We must avoid discussing the theory of a foreign plot, because the violence in our universities, which occasionally reaches the level of bullying, will never lead to a scientific revolution... Israel spends 4.7% of its GDP on scientific research – the same amount as all Arab countries put together. Germany spends 2.3% of its GDP on scientific research. It should be mentioned that Malaysia and some other countries have made advances in terms of scientific research, while Egypt spends less than 1% of its GDP in this field. The sums spent by politically violent groups to arm their militias on the streets and in schools and universities are much larger."[5]

Saudi Pundit: Israel Has Become A Pillar Of Global Technology Thanks To Its Military

In an article in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Saudi economic analyst and pundit Hussein Shobokshi explained that the Israeli military is a research and development [R&D] incubator for Israeli hi-tech firms, which makes Israel attractive to large companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. He wrote: "Along with the regional implications of the Arab Spring, and as Arab countries deal with its various repercussions that continue to this day, there is news coming out of Israel that should be followed closely and carefully. This is economic news, or more accurately [reports on] Israel's remarkable excellence in cutting-edge and advanced technology. Today there is extensive global interest in the performance of Israeli firms in this field, and people have already started calling it the Silicon Valley of the world.

"We must ask a clear and logical question: What is the secret of these Israeli successes? The answer is simple but fascinating: The military establishment, with its weight, experience, and power, is behind all this. The modern commercial technologies that Israeli companies enjoy are the result of the experiments and development done by the military establishment, which serves as a kind of R&D center. This has piqued the interest of giant international companies such as Google, which purchased Waze, [the developer of an application for GPS] navigation, for $1 billion; Facebook, which recently purchased Onavo, [the developer of an application] enabling to reduce data consumption on mobile devices; and Amazon, which announced that it is establishing a massive R&D center in Israel...

"Western governments and large companies paid close attention to this and began contacts with Israel at the highest levels, turning it into an alternative to India, Malaysia, and Taiwan – which, together with the Silicon Valley, held a monopoly on advanced and cutting-edge technology. These countries and companies began appointing advanced technology representatives in Israel to build bridges and strengthen the added benefits of relations with that country. All this explains the massive amount of businessmen flying in and out of Israel these days... The most important story in Israel today is that it has become a central and crucial pillar in the new digital economy."[6]

Israel Is A Moral And Decent Country

Other articles in the Arab press praised Israel for being a moral country that even treats its enemies in a humanitarian manner.

Iraqi Writer: The Extent Of Israeli Morality Became Clear To Me

In an article titled "Arabs and Muslims Should Learn from Israeli Morality," posted on the liberal website, Iraqi writer Mahdi Majid 'Abdallah wrote: "I have suffered and still suffer from emotional complexes I inherited from the Arab and Islamic society in which I have lived for a long time. [These complexes] planted the idea in the heart of society that the Jews are the most lowly and cowardly people and that no one believes them; that they are traitorous, hypocritical, narcissistic, and strive to corrupt nations and peoples; [that they are] a people that anger Allah, and a jealous and resentful people that does not wish well for mankind... As time passed, and after I met a group of Jewish men and women up close, the fog lifted and the basic assumptions that were solid facts in my mind crumbled and quickly became lies. I was very sorry that I had ever hated Israelis and defamed them with ugly expressions and false statements that I was fed by [Islamic] society. After coming in contact with Israelis and seeing their behavior and morals with my own eyes, the extent of their morality and their good and kind nature became clear to me, even with regards to the Palestinians who bombard the capital of Tel-Aviv again and again."

Later in the article, 'Abdallah presented data on the number of Palestinians receiving medical treatment in Israel in recent years as evidence of Israeli morality and added: "Would any Arab country agree to treat Israelis this way? Of course [not]." He also addressed the Israeli foreign minister's offer to present humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and stressed: "I have never heard any Arab official, whether junior or senior, making a similar statement regarding Israel. On the contrary – I heard curses and wishes of death and loss..."[7]

Israel – A Country With Real Democracy And Proper Rule

Writers in Arab countries aren't only envious of Israel's education, technology, and morality, but also of its democratic system. Thus, for example, in his speech on International Women's Day in March 2013, Algerian People's Assembly Chairman Mohamed Al-Arabi Ould Khalifa chose to praise the Israeli woman's participation in politics, unlike in Arab countries. According to Khalifa, the Israeli parliament is made up of 250 seats (sic.), with women occupying 30 seats, which constitutes 12% of the parliament.[8]

Articles in the Arab press also pointed to Israel's democratic system as an achievement that should be learned from. Iraqi writer Mahdi Majid 'Abdallah wrote: "Israel has a democratic parliamentary system made up of three branches: the legislative, the judicial, and the executive. Its main government institutions are the Knesset (parliament), the government, and the court system. The regime is based on the separation of powers, which requires the executive (the government) to receive the confidence of the legislative (the Knesset) and has a law [mandating] an independent judiciary (taken from the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs website). The constitutions of many Arab and non-Arab countries set out the same formula for the regime, but [their] realities are completely tyrannical. The man sitting on the throne covers his backside with glue so that nothing can remove him, aside for death, a military coup, or some other cosmic wonder such as the surprising Arab revolutions...

"The Israeli regime [on the other hand] does not recognize the sanctity of public figures, and sees every official as a servant of the people. Once [an official] makes a small mistake, he is easily suspended [from his position], prosecuted and punished, and later dismissed in disgrace. This happens publicly in and out of Israel, and the prime example of it is the trial of Israeli president Moshe Katzav for sexually harassing his secretary…, along with the trials of Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman and others... In Arab countries, presidents do not make due with harassment but rather resort to rape... This even reaches the level of sexual deviancy for some of them... Beyond tyranny, dictatorship, and absolute rule for many years, we haven't seen one president who stood trial or was ousted and whose reputation was damaged at all. Unfortunately, there are clerics who will excuse [the dictators'] corrupt and despicable actions...

"Since Israel's establishment in 1948, it has been caring for the national and religious minorities living there. The Israeli constitution states: '(The state of Israel) will grant complete equal social and political rights to all its citizens regardless of religion, race, or gender, and will ensure freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture; will preserve the holy sites of all religions, and will be faithful to the principles of the UN charter' (from the Israeli Declaration of Independence). When you watch sessions of the Israeli Knesset, you can see the freedom that Arab MKs enjoy [despite] their harsh criticism of the Israeli government and even the entire Israeli regime. You can see mosques and [hear] the echoes of the Islamic calls to prayer in the Israeli landscape; you see women with [Islamic] head coverings and veils, you see Arab schools, organizations, and institutions in the capital Tel-Aviv and in other Jewish areas; you recognize that the Israeli constitution is a realistic constitution and not just words on paper, and that the distance between it and Arab and Islamic constitutions is as great as the distance between heaven and earth."[9]

Egyptian Writer: Before Electing A President, We Should Receive A Medical Report Like In Israel

Egyptian pundit Khalid Muntasir published an article praising Israel, where the health of the prime minister - which can affect his decision making and, by extension, the future of the country as well - is a public matter: "Believe it or not, every Israeli prime minister must submit a detailed annual report on his health. Imagine that in Israel, the medical records of its leader – who plans policy and makes the decision to press the button detonating its nuclear bombs – is more important than his bank statements, his certificate of good conduct, and his romantic liaisons...

"Arabs became aware that Netanyahu was hospitalized to remove a colonic polyp [thanks to] his medical records, which he submits at the end of each year of his term. The records are presented to the public, to parliament, to the media, and to public opinion with full transparency and details: from urine and blood tests to MRI and ultrasound scans. Israelis and members of Netanyahu's party held their breath [in anticipation of the publication] of the test results, because if pathology revealed them to be cancerous, then the report [could have spelled] his departure from power, whether willingly or due to the opposition objecting to a man with a terminal illness ruling the Israeli people... Because [when it comes] to politics, the regime, and the fate of peoples, there is no place for emotions, mercy, and [flattery].

"Compare the situation in Israel to that in Egypt, when some people asked the [ousted] president Mursi to present his medical records to the public before submitting his candidacy for president, after it became known that he had had surgery to remove a meningioma from his brain and [that he had suffered] from Hepatitis C, which was treated with Interferon.[10] Those who asked [to see] Mursi's medical records did so in order to see whether his medical treatments, illnesses, and medication would affect his decision-making or not... They didn't do it to defame him, publicly shame him, or take vengeance on him... [Despite this, their demand caused] pandemonium and panic in the Muslim Brotherhood, [which said]: how dare you offend the honorable president? As though it were not the people's right to know about the health of its president, which could lead this poor people to a terrible calamity and a path of sorrow..."[11]


[1], April 7, 2013.

[2] Al-Rai (Kuwait), February 25, 2013.

[3] Al-Rai (Kuwait), March 4, 2013.

[4] Al-Rai (Kuwait), March 11, 2013.

[5] Al-Wafd (Egypt), November 4, 2013.

[6] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), October 25, 2013.

[7], March 14, 2013.

[8] Al-Jazeera (Algeria), March 5, 2013.

[9], March 14, 2013.

[10] Protein therapy for cancers, viruses, and parasites.

[11], January 2, 2014.

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