The purchase by Intel International of Mobileye – the pioneering Israeli collision-warning- system company now developing autonomous driving – is the “best proof of what I have been saying since I took office: that our technology is amazing and greatly admired all around the world,” Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis said Tuesday.
In an interview on National Science Day (the anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birthday), Akunis told The Jerusalem Post he will leave next week for Beijing as a member of a delegation headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for the China-Israel Innovation & Investment Summit. There, he will sign agreements on joint brain research and laboratories.
The event marks two decades of scientific cooperation between China and Israel, the minister said.
From there, he is to proceed alone to Tokyo for meetings with Japanese leaders to deepen scientific cooperation between the two countries.
A few months ago, he was in India and Switzerland to promote scientific ties with those countries.
Meanwhile, the science minister – a traditional Jew who does not wear a kippa – denounced the hanging in effigy in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox (haredi) neighborhood of Mea She’arim on Purim of manikins depicting haredi soldiers in uniform.
“This was an obscene act,” he said. “Soldiers, including observant ones, protect all Israelis, including the residents of Mea She’arim. Instead of degrading and denouncing them, they should thank and salute them. Jerusalem’s security has always been threatened by terrorism. It’s shameful that those people ridiculed soldiers. Those who did it should be caught and punished.”
As for Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of a pre-army yeshiva in Eli who denigrated religious women soldiers, saying they would turn into “non-Jews” by serving in the IDF, Akunis said the institution has produced “Israeli heroes. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will decide what to do. What Rabbi Levinstein said was repulsive, but the yeshiva should not be closed.”
Akunis said he favors the advancement of women in the military and in scientific institutions and professions.