Interesting aspects about Israel ahead of Modi’s historic visit
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) differs from most armed forces in the world in many ways. The Israel Defence Forces is one of Israeli society’s most prominent institutions, influencing the country’s economy, culture and political scene. Israel may be the first country in the world with such a multilayered defence system, yet it has already proven its mettle in several operational trials. Mossad is rated as among the most effective and lethal intelligence agencies going around. Other than these there are few most interesting elements in Israel’s Defence skills and technology, most of us are not familiar with.
The first military use of unmanned aerial vehicles was by the Israeli military in the Yom Kippur War. This was invented by Baghdad-born Israeli Abrahem Karem, later developed a series of drones including Amber, the precursor to the most famous US armed drone, the Predator. Since he got the title “dronefather” The Israel Defence Forces already uses dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Skylark, the IDF’s smallest drone operated by the artillery corps. Built by Elbit, it measures in 7.5 feet and operates on all fronts for tactical surveillance. After the US, Israel is seen as the world’s foremost drone maker.
Talpiot program is an elite Israel Defense Forces training program, for recruits who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability in the sciences and leadership potential. Instead of being trained to fight immediately, the few elite soldiers each year selected for Talpiot are taught how to think. In order to join this unit they have to commit to being in the army for 10 years, rather than the three years a normal soldier serves. Talpiot members are taught advanced level physics, math and computer science as they train with soldiers from every other branch of the Israel Defence Force. As a result of which, young men and women who can take their classroom experience and combine it with battlefield experience in order to become research and development machines.
- Anti-missile systems
The Israelis have developed a number of remarkable anti-missile defence systems. Iron Dome is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to 70 kilometres (43 mi) away. The Arrow anti-missile system is designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles. India is the main partner for the Barak anti-missile ship defence system. But Israel has also developed the Trophy anti-missile system which can be carried on and protects even individual tanks. The Trophy uses a network of tiny radars and projectiles.
Together the systems will provide Israel with a protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as the threat posed by long-range Iranian missiles.
- Krav Maga
Krav Maga is a self-defense system was originally created and developed in Israel. Krav Maga was developed in the 1950s, combining the most effective techniques and philosophy from various martial arts and fight training. The training in Krav Maga helps them to avoid and survive the worst case scenarios. They are trained to use the most effective strikes and techniques to prevail, while under extreme stress. It was originally taught to the Israeli Army, and instruction for civilians began in the late 70s. Multiple forms of Krav Maga continue today: civilian (self-defense), law enforcement (arrest or detain), and military.
Kidon is the name of a department within Israel’s Mossad that is allegedly responsible for the execution of opponents. Kidon is suspected of being behind a number of successful assassination campaigns. Kidon consists of a few dozen men and women who undergo rigorous training in a wide variety of fields, from standard intelligence tactics – like tailing others and avoiding being tailed; to more specialized matters – like unarmed combat, weapons training etc.
On a few occasions, they have even kidnapped or killed on behalf of a third government when requested by the Israeli authorities.
The economy of Israel is technologically advanced by global standards. Other than US, the three countries like India, Israel and Ireland dominating the world of software exports. Israel also matches India in the domain of generic pharmaceuticals and beats India in the area of defence manufacturing and cyber security. Among the three “I’s” of the tech world (India, Israel and Ireland), Israel’s record is certainly the more impressive.
Here are some interesting aspects of Israel’s Science and technological development.
Israel Institute of Technology, Israel’s biggest science and engineering university is among the world’s elite universities especially in the Science, research and Technology. Technion, a thriving world center of research and teaching, with more than 13,000 students with 80 graduate programs and also seven Nobel laureates(past and present) among its wider faculty trailblazing excellence in research and teaching for the benefit of humanity. The Technion is standing as one of the top 100 universities in the world. One drawback is that its language of instruction is Hebrew.
- Drip irrigation
Probably no other advancement has been quite as significant. While the concept of drip irrigation existed well before Israeli statehood, it was revolutionized by Israeli water engineer Simcha Blass in 1965, who discovered that a slow and balanced drip led to remarkable growth. Israeli drip and micro-irrigation solutions rapidly spread worldwide. The newest models are self-cleaning and maintain uniform flow rate regardless of water quality and pressure. In India, firms like Jain Irrigation have gone as far as to buy up Israeli companies in this sector to master the technology. From drip irrigation to natural pesticides, Israeli innovations are helping to fill hungry bellies everywhere, but particularly in the developing world.
- Water recycling
Roughly more than 85 percent of the wastewater generated in Israel is reused, that is around four times higher than any other country in the world. The water treated for reuse in Israel is predominantly used for agricultural irrigation. Roughly 10 percent is used for environmental purposes, such as increasing river flow volume, and for fire suppression. Only 5 percent is discharged into the sea. Battling water shortage since its inception, Israel is now a world leader in recycling wastewater. Israel now has national water surplus and exports water to adjacent nations.
- Silicon Wadi
Silicon Wadi is an area with a high concentration of high-tech industries on the coastal plain of Israel. Israel is a tiny country but it has more startups than Europe. The country’s fertile venture capital and startup culture is collectively called Silicon Wadi. Israel represents the greatest concentration of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world today. Motorola was the first US Corporation to set up an R&D unit in Israel, in 1964. Many large tech firms, like IBM, have R&D centres in Israel to tap this entrepreneurial culture. Curiously, Israeli tech developers prefer to develop new products and ideas and sell them to large, often US, firms rather than setting up their own companies. Israel became one of the first nations to compete in global software markets.