Skip to main content

Netanyahu’s government neglects scientific education

Judging by budgets and funding, Israel is focused on settlements, not advancing scientific education.
Read in 

Israel lags far behind enlightened, developed nations in terms of its human rights record as an occupying power. On the other hand, its scientific and technological creativity is outstanding and praiseworthy. On April 15, Tel Aviv University announced that its scientists were the first in the world to print a 3D human heart using human cells. Professor Tal Dvir and his team had overcome obstacles to creating individually adapted human organs, a development that could eventually do away with the need for organ donations. Earlier this year, Israel made space history by becoming the seventh country to successfully launch a spacecraft to the moon. Although the long journey ended in a crash landing on April 11, it reflected the impressive technological skills of this tiny Middle Eastern state.

Two days after the Knesset elections, newly reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara entered the control room of Israel Aerospace Industries to watch the moon landing of the Beresheet spacecraft. The ministries of Science and Education had together allocated 9.5 million shekels ($2.64 million) of the total project budget of 350 million shekels ($97 million), with more to come. Netanyahu declared to the dozens of reporters and photographers covering the anticipated landing that he was “seriously considering” investment in the space program. After the crash of Beresheet, the prime minister consoled the disappointed project leaders with a promise that an intact Israeli spacecraft would land on the moon within three years. “This is also a sign for Israel’s boys and girls — where there is a will, there is an unlimited way,” he said.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.