(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The cabinet on Sunday is expected to approve the $15 million annual entrance fee
that will allow Israel to become part of one of the most exclusive scientific
clubs in the world: CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear
Israel is slated to become the first non-European member of the
organization that currently includes 20 states, 18 of them from the
Based in Geneva, CERN is the world leader in the research of particle
physics. It’s star project is the Large Hadron Collider, a $10 billion project
that aims to bash together the tiny particles making up the universe at
phenomenal speeds to allow scientists to observe phenomena that occurred
immediately after the Big Bang.
Israel has had a formal agreement with
the organization since 1990, and has had observer status since
Diplomatic officials said that France and Germany were instrumental
in pushing through Israel’s full membership. Switzerland was at first opposed,
but then changed its position.
The final invitation process is due to
take an additional two years, with Israel expected to join as a full member in
2013, after two years as an associate member. Membership decisions are reached
through consensus, and the member states will again have to be in full agreement
for Israel to gain final acceptance at that time.
While the $15m. annual
fee is not an insignificant amount of money, officials say that it will be more
than made up for by contracts that will stem from membership.
also provide a boost to Israel’s scientific research capabilities.