THE SPINE MAY 23, 2008
Israel does not need the accolades of other dreamers. But when one day Steve Ballmer links the destiny of Israel to the destiny of Microsoft, as I reported yesterday he did, it is saying something about the Jewish state and the state of the Arab world around it.Well, Sergey Brin--who envisioned a large part the new world in which we live--was in Israel last week for the 60th anniversary festivities, and he, too, was filled with wonder. My friend Guy Rolnik, the deputy chairman of Ha'aretz, published an interview with Brin in this morning's paper.
This was the third trip of the 35 year old co-founder of Google to Israel, his first visit having occurred when he was a teenager, like that of many other Jewish kids. His second trip was in 2003, and he is staggered by the changes from five years ago. Brin reflected on the growth of Tel Aviv, but then gave his assessment of what he knows best: high-tech companies. "I've just seen some of the companies and their states of development, the levels of development here--it's just incredible." This man recognizes the incredible, from his own life.And of the history of Israel? "You know I was generally familiar with the history of Israel, but really seeing...a closer account of what's been really accomplished--once again--out of nothing, just dirt. In a short period of time to build a whole country..." and Brin trailed off. Well, not exactly "just dirt," except in the photographic sense. Their were also brains, dedication, direction, passion, realism, necessity.