CERN particle research center near Geneva 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel will become a full member of the European Organization for Nuclear
Research (CERN), following the passage of a Knesset bill Monday night giving
Israeli researchers at CERN the same rights as diplomats.
The new law,
which was authorized in a final vote with 56 MKs in favor and none opposed,
gives Israeli CERN researchers diplomatic immunity and an exemption from income
Diplomatic rights are part of CERN’s protocol, so as to prevent
government intervention in its research.
The CERN facility, which is
located in Geneva, hosts the Large Hadron Collider, the highest-energy particle
accelerator ever made. The LHC was used to discover the Higgs Boson, or the
The organization has 20 European member states. Israel
has been an associate member since 2011 and can now become a full
Currently only two Israelis work at CERN. Another 63 doctoral
students receive research grants from the organization but will not get
“I’m glad Israel is taking part in this great
project,” Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said Tuesday. “This is a sign of
appreciation for Israeli science, which gets better all the time.”
the question of EU boycotts of Israeli research, Elkin said joining CERN “is
further proof that Europe wants to work with us as long as there is no
politicization and that cooperation between Israel and Europe will continue.”