Sunday, July 30, 2006

Israel and the Vile Frog

I’ve received several emails lately with the heading “shitty little country." They tell the story of a French diplomat who called Israel a "shitty little country" at a party hosted by the owner of the British newspaper The Telegraph. The emails then detail a list of Israeli accomplishments such as the following:

The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year. Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

The rest of the list is even more impressive. Before blogging on stories like these I try to fact-check them at sites such as Well, on the main point, it is absolutely true that Daniel Bernard (the Frog) did call Israel a "shitty little country" at the party. The Telegraph reported that France's ambassador to London was replaced and sent to Algiers. It goes to prove Dennis Prager’s contention that there is a special place in hell for diplomats.

The other “facts” in the email were not so easy to check. Some were wrong. For example, one claim was that Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined. That claim is at least outdated since Israel’s GDP was $114 Billion in 2005. Moreover the comparison is false since Israel’s neighbors combined to generate a GDP of $151 Billion, comprised of Egypt ($93B), Syria ($26B), Lebanon ($21B) and Jordan ($26B). These numbers are available at the CIA World Fact Book.

Still, the comparison is impressive when you look at per capita GDP which is $24.6K in Israel versus $3.9K in Egypt and in Syria, $6.2K in Lebanon and $4.7K in Jordan. The living standard in Israel is 5 times the average of its neighbors.

Another claim is that Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita. That is also untrue. The World in Figures 2006 by The Economist magazine lists Israel at 24 computers per 100 people while Europe and Japan are 38 and the US is 66. (Egypt is 3.)

Another claim is that Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world. The World in Figures lists enrollment in college, not degrees, with Israel (58%) ahead of Europe (54%) but behind the United States (81%). So this claim is unclear.

Other claims:

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people --as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola.

Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Intel-Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books published.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other county on earth.

I’m not sure about these claims (perhaps my readers can help) but found a disclaimer at Instapundit blog, one of my favorites. A reader called Tamar said:

“The cell-phone farce is laughable.... think Hedy Lamar and MIT.”

“Three (not four) of my neighbors did indeed invent the messaging systems used by ICQ, MSN, AOL, and Yahoo......they immediately fled to California so our 100% corrupt government would not steal their money.”

Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books. “I work for an Israeli publishing house and that claim is bullshit! Most Israelis do not read much, and a full 40% are illiterate. We need help.”

So who is to know the truth? I do know that Tamar is wrong about the illiteracy rate which is less than 5% in Israel. He sounds like a malcontent… probably a socialist.

What is incontrovertible is that Israel is a marvel, simply because it exists. One must be in awe of the resilience and fortitude of such a small country, which is completely surrounded and grossly outnumbered by Muslims who wish to wipe it off the face of the Earth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for checking - Israel versus the Arab countries is still an impressive comparison! Go Israel.


8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog.. keep up the great work BILL!!


8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work Bill!

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brother Bill –

I know this is something of a non sequitor, but so long as we’re talking about Israel, are you – or any of your readers – as sick as I am of the fact that the l.a. times(and I would assume most of mainstream media) publishes photos of arabs 10 times as much as Israelis, and all the arab photos are of women and children (usually KIA or injured) and all the Israeli photos are of soldiers?



11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
I can not say whether Tamar(female) is right or wrong with her statements. I suspect that she is off... Some people are oppositional, hateful and simply disgusting,we have them and Israel has them too...


10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it is true Motorola developed the cell phone, it was not an Israeli but an American who worked for Motorola. I believe his name was Marty Cooper. Motorola does or did have a manufacturing plant in Israel, many arab nations would not do business with Motorola because of this, sometimes an arab would buy Motorola gear but would have Motorola remove the name from the equipment, they wanted Motorola gear since it was the best at that time. My husband worked for Motorola and in fact helped installed the first cell phone system in this area, which was for the 1984 Olympics. Hope all this helps.


10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever been to Israel? It is in many ways similar to California. Fertile fields, industrious and free people, vibrant economy, optimistic spirit... Imagine California surrounded by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt instead of Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico. Would they be nice to California because it is not a Jewish state, or would they hate us just as much as they hate Israel?

The bitter resentment against Israel is the same bitter resentment that all losers have for all winners. It need not be that way, of course. Israel's neighbors could adopt free economies and a democratic tradition. But it is much easier to hate and kill than to reform from the inside. Much easier to call the "A" student "teacher's pet... little brown nose... goodie goodie..." than to go home each night and study. Every "D" student knows this in his
heart of hearts, which makes him only despise the "A" students more. He won't make the sacrifice, so he hates those who do.

If Israelis became Budhists, would the Arabs like them better? No chance. They would simply vow to eliminate the Budhist state. Israel is a success story that puts them to shame. If you doubt it, just cross over into Egypt. You could be from Mars, and you would know the difference in 10 minutes, and you would also know which of these countries you would prefer to call home. The Israelis cannot say this, of course, because of, well, noblesse oblige. The "D" student feels free to call the "A" student a "suck up," but if the "A" student were ever to call the "D" student a "lazy goof-off," he would be punched in the face. But we all know the truth of it.

The Jews succeed because they cannot afford to fail. And the failures around them hate them all the more for it.


10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully done, Billy.. you, too, are a marvel in my humble estimation!!

Lynn.. :~))

10:53 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home