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Israel

(illustration by Susannah Lohr, St. Louis Public Radio)

The BIRD Foundation has fostered partnerships between Israeli technology startups and companies and U.S. corporations since it was founded in 1977.

Now the group has brought its first delegation to St. Louis.

Twelve Israeli ag tech companies are in town for a two-day visit to make pitches to investors and meet individually with Monsanto, KWS and others.

Limor Nakar-Vincent, the BIRD Foundation’s deputy executive director for business development, said there’s an emphasis on collaboration in St. Louis’ bio-science and ag ecosystem.

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Maria Altman.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Maria Altman returned earlier this week from a 10-day reporting trip with a delegation from BioSTL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as they traveled to Ireland and Israel, seeking new markets and business opportunities for the St. Louis region.

Her trip was funded by donations from the Silk Foundation and the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines,” Altman joined host Don Marsh to discuss what she reported on and learned during the part of the trip that took her to Israel.

St. Louis Public Radio

The organization that focuses on promoting the St. Louis region's bio-science industries is reaching beyond the country's borders to accomplish its mission.

BioSTL launched the St. Louis-Israel Innovation Connection Friday with the aim of attracting Israeli bioscience starts to branch out into St. Louis.

Israel is second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to creating startups.

With many of those companies looking to expand into the U.S., St. Louis can be their destination, said BioSTL CEO and president Donn Rubin.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Israeli diplomat who handles the country's business in the Midwest brought a message of gratitude to St. Louis Tuesday night for the support the local Jewish community has shown to Israel during its three-week military campaign in Gaza.  

"I am a conduit between you and Jerusalem," Roey Gilad, the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, told a standing-room-only crowd at the Jewish Community Center. "The message that I am going to take from here and deliver to Jerusalem is sound and clear. St. Louis stands with Israel, and the right of Israel to self-defense."

(Courtesy Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest)

As the Consul General to the Midwest, Roey Gilad travels between 11 Midwest states representing Israeli interests. This week he visited St. Louis for the second time since becoming the consul general last February. 

“I’m there to build bridges,” said Gilad. “The bridge is already there, I’m there to make it stronger and wider between the Midwest and the state of Israel, between Missouri and the state of Israel and between St. Louis and the state of Israel."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When you are asked to explain and analyze a situation all tangled up in religion, geopolitics and thousands of years of symbolic history, it helps to have good analogies and examples at hand to make your case.

Roey Gilad, Israel’s consul general in the Midwest, came adequately armed to an interview during his visit to St. Louis last week.

(Courtesy Euphrates Institute)

The animosity between the governments of Israel and Iran is significant.

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei once compared Israel to a cancerous tumor which should be “cut-off.”  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel would be “eliminated,” and that the country has no roots in the Middle East.

Israel has drawn a line in the sand and is threatening preemptive action to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability.

Two people from their respective countries, however, are engaging in peer-to-peer diplomacy, putting aside  hostility.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As we settled into our seats in the cavernous performance hall, murmurs of shock and sadness spread with word of the Hamas rocket attack on Ashkelon. Just the night before in this hall, the murmurs had been of an alleged corruption scandal and the consequent impending downfall of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Yet for three days soaring above these whispers were the words of Elie Weisel, “Our history should not be others’ nightmare. Our hope should not be others’ despair.” Or of Amos Oz, Israeli author and humanitarian, who reminded us that realized dreams always bore an element of disappointment.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Israel at 60 can be proud of many accomplishments, and one glaring failure: the elusive peace. I have an experience of Israel across its great divide that few people in the world have had. In a country of Jews and Arabs that rarely mix, I have mixed with both.