Despite all the negative news about the flytillas, flotillas, and boycotts, the people of the world are coming here in droves. Tourism is flourishing and will surpass all records this year. Academic institutions are eager to forge ties with Israeli colleges and universities. Cities from around the world are eager to make strong ties to Israeli cities. Ashdod, the city that I live in, is now sister city to Bordeaux, France; Bahia Blanca, Argentina; Tampa, Florida; Wuhan, China; Spandau, Germany; and Los Angeles. It was just announced that Arkhangelsk (Archangel), Russia will sign a sister-agreement with Ashdod in the coming weeks.
Speaking of cities, it is natural to think of Jerusalem as the physical and spiritual capital of Israel. But Jerusalem is also home to the Hebrew University, world-acclaimed Hadassah Hospital, Teva Pharmaceuticals (which is at the forefront of producing medications to treat diseases ranging from MS and Alzheimers to ALS and Parkinson’s), and numerous exciting life science start-up companies.
This morning, mayor Julian Castro of America’s seventh largest city, San Antonio, Texas and BioMed SA (San Antonio) head Ann Stevens signed an agreement between BioMed SA and BioJerusalem. Stevens had this to say: “This represents an important step in our vision for San Antonio to be recognized around the world as a healthcare and bioscience leader. We are excited to have an opportunity to open doors and build relationships with our counterparts in the capital of one of the world’s most technologically advanced nations.”
With everything that is going on, why aren’t you coming to Israel this year?