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.Yet despite it all, we are a tiny set-upon nation with no fewer than 10 Nobel prize-winners.