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What Next for the Start-Up Nation?

Authors: Daniel Senor, and Saul Singer, Columnist, Jerusalem Post
Summer 2010
Wilson Quarterly


A glance at the headlines gives little cause for optimism about Israel's future. Growing tensions between Washington and Jerusalem, a rising nuclear threat from Iran, and an intensifying campaign to isolate Israel internationally seem to bode ill for the Jewish state. Some warn that Israel is facing its toughest constellation of threats ever. Yet we believe that Israel is poised to play a central role in world affairs, not as a flashpoint for conflict but as a global innovation leader.

Geopolitical analysts and economists are used to taking snapshots of a world moving at a certain pace, but that pace is changing. Radio took 38 years to acquire 50 million users. Television took only 13 years to reach the same milestone, the Internet four years, and the iPod three years. But even these rapid rates of adoption have been dwarfed by Facebook and the iPhone. Within a stretch of nine months, Facebook added 200 million users; it now has a larger "population" than any country except India and China. In the same amount of time, one billion iPhone applications were downloaded.

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