Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, in Washington for talks with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and other officials, scheduled time to meet leaders of the Washington Israel Bonds campaign.
At a dinner in his honor held July 23 at a private home, the finance minister addressed several issues, beginning with Israel’s economy, calling it “very strong.”
Board member Dr. Andy Hutter adds, “I have had the privilege of co-chairing five medical delegations on behalf of Israel Bonds. Seeing how Israeli technology is saving lives is an unforgettable memory for every participant.”
I recently had my own opportunity to visit Israel for a look at three areas in which the country has exceled – water solutions, sustainability and transportation.WATERThe National Water Carrier, a frequent stop for Israel Bonds delegations, is arguably Israel’s most iconic undertaking. Begun in the late 1950s, it stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the Negev, and was instrumental in the realization of Ben-Gurion’s determination to “make the desert bloom.” But there was a problem. As Israel’s population grew, the amount of water needed for drinking rose exponentially, and scarce water resources had to be diverted from agriculture to meet the growing requirements of Israel’s citizens. That’s where Israel’s well-established reputation for innovation came into play. With the Mediterranean Sea as the country’s western border, desalination became the obvious answer. Now, eighty-five percent of Israel‘s drinking water comes from the sea. Now, Israel’s water supply is no longer dependent on nature. Even in the event of a major drought, Israel would still have sufficient resources to meet the needs of its population.
SUSTAINABILITYIsrael is at the forefront of groundbreaking technology and innovative environmental solutions. An outstanding example of the way in which Israel combines the two is the Shafdan wastewater treatment plant, located five miles south of Tel Aviv.
Over the course of a year, Shafdan treats 35.6 billion U.S. fluid gallons of wastewater that supply fully 70 percent of the irrigation needs of the Negev and 10 percent of the water needs of the entire country.Another example of Israel’s cutting-edge approach to green solutions is Ariel Sharon Park, once a massive landfill that is now a model of sustainability. At one time, the huge landfill contained so much trash that it rose to a height of nearly 200 feet and was dubbed ‘Trash Mountain.’
TRANSPORTATIONDuring an Israel Bonds delegation to Israel, New Leadership Council member Jason Langsner listened intently to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. “I vividly remember Mayor Barkat discussing planning goals associated with construction of the new high speed train connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He predicted that as a direct result of the project, Jerusalem would construct 13 new towers, adding over 10 million square feet of office space in the coming years.”
“AN EXTRAORDINARY SUCCESS STORY”
Seeing Israel’s amazing advances in so many fields always inspires the nation’s supporters. Israel Bonds Chairman of the Board Richard Hirsch sums it up: “Every time I’ve been to Israel, I’ve never failed to be moved by the scope of development. The fruition of Ben-Gurion’s vision of a worldwide partnership with the Diaspora through Israel Bonds can be seen throughout the country. Together, every Israel bond investor has played an important part in this extraordinary success story.”The feeling is reciprocal. As Finance Minister Kahlon put it, “For us, you are our friends.”
The writer is national director of marketing & communications for Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds (“DCI”), a broker-dealer that sells Israel bonds. The content in this article was prepared by DCI and the Jerusalem Post as part of an advertising campaign for DCI. www.israelbonds.com