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On the topic of Israel, what actions are you looking for the next president to take? – an Israeli perspective

Last week, Israel and the world lost one of the greatest leaders we had; the last of the giants, the ninth president of Israel, Shimon Peres.

Besides taking roles of Prime Minister (twice), Israel’s President between 2007 and 2014 and many others, in recent years Peres was a splendid ambassador for Israeli innovation. He took part in many international conferences and economic forums at which he energetically promoted the Israeli technology industry.

Both U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton arrived in Israel to respect Peres in his last journey. The warm relationship between Peres and the two presidents is evidence for the strong relationship between the two nations.

In 2012, President Obama presented Peres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the United States.

It is not a secret that since the foundation of Israel in 1948, the U.S. has been its biggest ally. The U.S. Congress has placed considerable importance on the maintenance of a close and supportive relationship. The main expression of Congressional support for Israel has been foreign aid. Since 1985, the U.S. has provided nearly $3 billion in grants annually to Israel.

U.S.-Israel relations are not only financial-aid-based but also reflect a strong cooperation in science and technology. This cooperation is broad and includes American aid, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises. One example of their strategic relationship is the joint development of the Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile Program, designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles.

As an Israeli, a week after my nation’s loss and my own personal loss, I’m thinking of what Peres would expect the next U.S. president to maintain in the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.

I have no doubt that Peres, who was described by academics as a prophet of Israel and a technological superpower, would expect the next president to increase the share of knowledge between the countries.

The cooperation between the two in developing new technologies will suggest a better future.
“Science, innovation and peace are our goal, and they must be there for all, not just Israel—all the nations of the region should benefit. I believe that everyone has the potential to become a scientist, and Israel must strive toward this,” Peres said.

What is left after his passing is his vision. Peres believed in the power of science and engineering to move humanity toward a better future.

Obama well described Peres’ legacy in his eulogy: “He knew, better than the cynic, that if you look out over the arc of history, human beings should be filled not with fear but with hope. I’m sure that’s why he was so excited about technology—because for him, it symbolized the march of human progress … It’s why he believed in miracles—because in Israel, he saw a miracle come true.”

The next U.S. president should remember this vision of Peres and should support Israel-U.S. cooperation in science and technology.

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