The 20-state council of CERN, the Center of European Nuclear Research that
operates the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss- French border, voted
unanimously on Thursday night to accept Israel as a full member.
the largest center in the world for the study of atomic particles and is run
with an annual budget of 1.246.5 billion Swiss francs (more than NIS 4.9b.).
Since October 12, 2011, Israel was an associate member in the pre-stage to
membership of CERN, membership that needed to be held for a minimum of 24
Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri said that
“scientific interests overcame political ones. Israel is now the first
and only country outside Europe to be granted full member status. Beyond the
prestige of membership, it will make it possible for Israeli industry to
participated in tenders connected with the collider, be represented in the
organization’s management, apply for Israeli student scholarships and, of
course, integrate Israeli scientists in research groups at the
The ministry has been behind the effort for full status in the
important scientific organization and will be responsible for paying annual fees
At present, some 40 Israeli scientists divide their time
between Israel and CERN in Switzerland. They include Prof. Prof. Giora Mikenberg
and Prof, Eilam Gross of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Prof.
Eliezer Rabinovici from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Prof. Shulamit
Levenberg of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
are also 22 doctoral students and 22 post-doctoral students from Israel active
“This is a real scientific and diplomatic accomplishment that
joins a series of similar achievements in recent years,” Peri
“Israeli science continues to prove that it has the power to bridge
the political disagreements we have with Europe. Israeli membership in the
organization will make it possible for our scientists to have access to some of
the most advanced infrastructures in the world.”
represents Israel in the council, said CERN’s decision was “a welcome
recognition of Israeli science and technology. Joining as an member with
equal rights results from excellent cooperation among many academic and
government factors. The fact that we achieved this warms the
During the past year, Israel carried out a number of changes
demanded of all states that request full membership, such as passing legislation
that activates the organization’s protocol and gives legal status to CERN in
Israel and special rights to its officials and representatives of other
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman warmly welcomed the decision,
saying it was a “proud day for Israeli science.”
The decision to accept
Israel was not only an achievement for Israeli scientists, who have brought
honor to the country, but also for the Foreign Ministry, which worked for years
to pave the way for Israel’s acceptance by CERN, Liberman said.
Keinon contributed to this report.