Nobel Prize Laureate Dan Shechtman 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Israel merits a pat on the back following the announcement that this year’s
Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to Tel Aviv-born Technion professor Dan
Shechtman, father of the new field of quasiperiodic crystals. As a nation we’ve
earned a respite from our daily litany of grumbles and gripes.We’re a
small country with almost everything possible going against it. We inhabit a
minuscule strip of harsh topography, with no natural resources to speak of and
an arid climate to boot. Moreover, we aren’t allowed to inhabit this
inhospitable sliver of land – in which we built everything from scratch – in
peace. We’re repeatedly besieged, boycotted, attacked, threatened with outright
genocide, delegitimized and demonized. This would constitute a cumbersome load
for any undersized nation, though none has been subjected to anything
approaching our still-ongoing travails.