MEVASERET ZION, ISRAEL - What a privilege to write this
month's message at the conclusion of such a successful innovation mission to
Israel led by Governor Patrick. It offers a golden opportunity to reinforce my
remarks at our recent 66th Independence Day reception at the JFK Library, so
fitting a venue: Israel does not just exist, it exists with purpose.
One had to see it to believe it. For those who did not have
the opportunity, I will do my best to capsulize the experience. Imagine: over
100 participants, all leaders in their fields, all coming together from
Massachusetts to this minuscule country of some 8 million to expand
vistas that have a proven track record of adding jobs, revenue and prospects to
the Commonwealth and its inhabitants. And they didn't just broaden the
potential for business; no, participants were also exposed - some for the very
first time - to Israel's quest for peace, striving for social justice,
multiculturalism, culinary uniqueness, beauty - and, of course, its zest for
As we sat through the sessions on cyber security, eHealth,
life sciences, water technologies and the rest, I was reminded once again of
Israel's positive - indeed, hyperactive - contribution to the betterment of
peoples' lives the world over, what I like to call a Modern Tikkun Olam.
Entrepreneurs can direct their talents, energies and resources to any number of
avenues; that they do so expressly in these fields is to me a reflection of
where our DNA lies.
This DNA can also be found, of course, in more traditional
forms of Tikkun Olam. New England has seen this before. Indeed, an event
in the mission program dedicated to first responders reminded us all of the
assistance Israelis provided in the wake of last year's Boston Marathon
bombing. Our DNA works in the same way further from home as well; for example,
with all eyes - including Israel's - focused on the plight of the kidnapped
Nigerian schoolgirls, Prime Minister Netanyahu was one of the first world
leaders not only to offer concrete assistance in the search but to deliver on that
offer in real time.
It doesn't end there. I've already referred to the
humanitarian assistance that the State of Israel and individual Israelis
continue to provide to the victims of Syria's civil war. Less noticed were the
1.5 tons of medical supplies, blankets, food and rain gear that we dispatched
to Serbia and Bosnia to help alleviate the suffering caused
by devastating floods. Israel also offered Turkey assistance after
its recent coal mine disaster, and even though this offer was declined our embassy
in Ankara showed its solidarity by cancelling its planned Independence Day
celebration. And late last year the Israel Defense Forces sent to the
Philippines two planes carrying 200 Israeli doctors, nurses and paramedics to
help with the tragic aftermath of a super-typhoon there.
The list goes on and on. Some might ask: Why bother? After
all, we have so many challenges at home. The answer is simple: it's in our DNA;
Israel at 66 doesn't just exist, it exists with purpose. And this sense of
purpose was on proud display for the participants of Governor Patrick's second
successful innovation mission to Israel.
More by the Consul General:
Israel at 66: A Source of Pride
As You Were Saying... Israel's role key to Mideast stability - Published in The Boston Herald, May 4, 2014
Like Israelis, Bostonians show resilence amid pain - Published in The Boston Globe, April 18, 2014.