Israel nu fullvärdig medlem av CERN

Foto: Laurent Egli

Foto: Laurent Egli

Israel blir medlemsland nummer 21 och första medlem sedan 1999.

Vid en ceremoni som avhölls i går morse blev Israel upptagen som fullvärdig medlem av CERN – den europeiska organisationen för kärnforskning.

Israels utrikesminister Avigdor Liberman representerade Israel vid ceremonin som hölls vid CERN Globe of Science and Innovation. I slutet av ceremonin hissades den israeliska flaggan som nu står tillsammans med övriga medlemsländer.

Utrikesminister Liberman uttryckte stor glädje och påpekade att det var en ära att se Israels flagga hissas, som en symbol på Israels deltagande i arbetet med världsledande vetenskap och utveckling. Han sa också att antagandet av Israel som fullvärdig medlem i organisationen är ett bevis på landets höga nivå och goda kvalitet vad gäller vetenskaplig forskning och utveckling.

Liberman framhävde även att Israels medlemskap är resultatet av många års diplomatiskt arbete under ledning av det israeliska utrikesdepartementet. Israel är CERN:s tjugoförsta medlem och det enda land utanför Europa som hittills erhållit fullt medlemskap.

 

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Foto: Laurent Egli

Utrikesminister Libermans tal

Director General of CERN, Professor Rolf Heuer,
Professor Trachtenberg,
Professor Ruth Arnon,

Israeli representative at CERN, Professor Eliezer Rabinovich, distinguished guests, good morning. I am very proud to participate today in the ceremony to mark Israel’s membership of the Center of European Nuclear Research – CERN. Israel is a country that strives to achieve scientific excellence, a goal that is crucial in facing the challenges of the 21st full membership of CERN demonstrates the scientific community’s recognition of the quality and level of scientific research in Israel and its contribution to the welfare of mankind. Israel’s full membership of CERN is the result of an ongoing diplomatic effort, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, to upgrade Israel’s status in this prestigious institution. Israel has been an Observer at CERN since 1991. The excellence of our science, coupled with the tireless diplomatic efforts to secure our membership, have been successful. Many countries have helped us along the way, and we appreciate their efforts which enabled us to reach this occasion.

Today, about 40 Israeli scientists from some of the finest academic institutions in Israel, including the Hebrew University, the Technion, and the Weitzman Institute, divide their time between Israel and CERN in Switzerland. Israeli research is synonymous with innovation, daring, and a constant quest for breakthroughs.

We are proud that Israel creates more than 1 percent of the scientific knowledge in the world, even though our population is only one thousandth of the world’s population. Israel boasts the highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita in the world, 140 per 10,000 individuals. Six Israeli scientists have won Nobel prizes in the field of chemistry over the last decade, and two Israelis have won the Nobel prize in economics.

In 2011 Israel was ranked by Newsweek’s Daily Beast as the 4th the world. Israeli scientists have contributed to the advancement of agriculture, computer science, electronics, genetics, health care, optics, solar energy, and engineering. Israel is one of the first 12 space faring countries in the world, which has successfully launched a satellite into space. Since 2000, Israel has been a member of EUREKA, the pan-European research and development funding and coordination organization, and held the rotating chairmanship of the organization in 2010–2011.

As U.S. inventor Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Israel’s success comes from a mixture of extremely talented human beings, and plenty of hard work. Israel’s government has played an important role in helping prioritize the development of this human potential. Israel is first in the world in national investment in Research and Development, which makes up almost 5 percent of our GDP, about 10 billion dollars. Some inventions that were developed in Israel make breakthroughs which help improve people’s lives. For example, Prof. Zeev Zalevsky from Bar-Ilan University has developed a bionic contact lens to help the blind see. Scientists in Rehovot at Israel’s SciVac Company have pioneered the world’s only third-generation vaccine against Hepatitis B, the virus that causes 1.2 million deaths every year.

Israel’s goal, and the international community’s task, is to ensure that science and technology should be used for progress, growth, and saving lives. These tools must not be used to inflict terror, wreak destruction, or to create weapons of mass destruction.

In the Bible it says, “Ki mitsiyon tetse tora,” which means, “From the land of Zion, the law will go forth.” In the same spirit, from the land of Israel, great scientific contributions have gone forth, for the benefit of humanity. Despite being located in a sea of political instability, Israel continues to contribute and share our know-how with developing countries. Joining CERN will further enable our scientists to learn and teach, to participate and share, to develop and invent.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the Israeli scientists here at CERN for their achievements. Their work has created the opportunity to join this most prestigious institution. I would like to congratulate Israel’s diplomats, who managed the process of membership from the outset. I would also like to congratulate the members of the council of CERN, the Director General and all the management for your decision.

Thank you very much.

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