A Good Investment for Israel and Humanity

This is the kind of stuff that Israel does best: science on behalf of mankind, writes Marty Peretz.

Published: 23-Jan-2008

I myself drive a Prius, about which I have written a few years back. It is a fuel efficient car, and a handsome and comfortable one, too. Aside from the hybrids which are proliferating in the market (Lexus, Ford, Chevy, Honda etc.), there is, course, the electric car which has been slow on the uptake. Just Google "electric car," and see for yourself.

But, according to today's Financial Times (in a story by Fiona Harvey, John Reed and Tobias Buck) and also today's New York Times (in a dispatch from Steve Erlanger who's soon to leave Jerusalem for Paris), Israel, "tiny and bereft of oil, has decided to embrace the electric car." The headline: "Oil-Free Israel Is Set to Embrace Broad Project to Promote the Use of Electric Cars." The subhead in the Times reads, "A nation as a laboratory to test a clean vehicle." The FT emphasizes Israel's need to cut oil imports with a "private-sector initiative for a nationwide electric car network."

Frankly, this is the kind of stuff that Israel does best: science on behalf of mankind. It is not the largest of the laboratories for human advancement through science. But it is one of the most innovative. It's also something that Israeli politicians seem to grasp easily. Not only with water or with crops, but in information technologies, nano-technologies and bio-tech. And here is a science in heavy industry.

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