Israeli Technology & Development: Two New Moves Encourage Foreign Investment

November 13, 2007


Two big pieces of news this week in Israel innovation and technological development:

  1. The signing of a formal agreement between Israel and Palestine to create a joint industrial zone in the West Bank
  2. The European Union’s granting Israel entrance into the Competitiveness and Innovation Program, which promotes enterprise and industry

Let’s take a look at what this means.

Israel and Palestine Create Joint Industrial Zone

Israel and Palestinian Presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas signed a formal agreement in Turkey today that will create a joint industrial zone in the West Bank.

The agreement calls for the creation of 200 factories to be built, providing jobs for Palestinians and attracting investment to the region.

Its efforts are part of an “industry for peace” initiative that was first introduced in the 2005 Anakara Forum.

The establishment of a joint industrial zone was one of the steps articulated in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Four Step Disengagement Plan of 2004.

President Shimon Peres has long been committed to future of scientific development and innovation in Israel. Read his opening address to this year’s Knesset to find out more.

Israel Joins EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Program


Israel’s appointment last week into the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation program marks the first admission of any non-European country into the project.

The program will focus on entrepreneurship, business innovation, and promoting foreign networking for economic cooperation.

EU Vice President Gunter Verheugen remarked:

“The aim of the forum is to make sure that business from Israel can move freely into the European market. The dialogue shall also encourage European companies to do more business with Israel. Israel is strong with a booming economy and spreading confidence in investment in Israel is something, which will help overcome political tensions often seen as an obstacle for foreign investors.”

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Gaza Giving: Surfing for Peace with Dr. Dorian Paskowitz

August 22, 2007

This is post is one of The New Jew’s all-time highest rated posts. Keep reading to find out why.


Let me tell you something I bet you don’t know about Gaza: it is rumored to have some of the best beaches in the world.

While I wish we lived in a world where the only rivalry between the Palestinians and the Jews was who caught the biggest wave or had the best surfboard, that is far from the reality.

But let’s imagine.

What would the world be like if peace was based on making real improvements in the lives of regular people? Dorian and David Paskowitz provide a glimpse.

Founders of Surfers for Peace and both world class surfers in their own right, the father and son team read an article in the LA Times entitled “Gaza Surfers Find Freedom in the Sea” about how Palestinian surfers were facing shortages.

The solution? The Paskowitzes masterminded a plan to get 12 surfboards to Gaza through the famously secure Erez Crossing. They put together a team of supporters that included surfing legend Kelly Slater, pro-peace organization OneVoice, and Tel Aviv surfing activist Arthur Rashkovan, who convinced Israeli surfing companies to donate the boards. They then managed to garner the approval of the Israeli military to secure safe passage.

What motivated the Paskowitzes beyond their love of the wave? It is easy to believe that their own history played a role. Dr. Dorian Paskowitz learned to surf during the Depression, convincing his parents to move from Texas to California to be closer to the waves.

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