“…And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” (Nehemiah 2:18)
Following a resolution unanimously adopted at the169th session of the CERN Council, Israel was admitted yesterday (Jan. 15) as a full member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, at a special ceremony in Geneva, at the end of which the Israeli flag was added to the line of flags representing the Member States of the organization. Israel was admitted as the 21st Member State, the first new Member State since 1999.
Following the ceremony, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who is leading the Israeli delegation, met with CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer and visited the particle acceleration facility, to learn about this project in which Israeli scientists participate. Israel’s admission to the organization will allow it to become more rapidly involved in the range of scientific, research, industrial and educational activities of CERN.
FM Lieberman stated at the event: “We are proud that Israel creates more than 1 percent of the scientific knowledge in the world, even though our population is only one thousandth of the world’s population.
Israel’s goal, and the international community’s task, is to ensure that science and technology should be used for progress, growth, and saving lives.”
At the time the decision was made to admit Israel into the organization he stated: “This is a day of pride and satisfaction for Israeli science, and we congratulate all the scientists who were involved in this achievement, which brings honor to the State of Israel. The decision is also an impressive achievement for Israeli diplomacy and the work of the Foreign Ministry which led this effort for many years. We thank all the government ministries as well as the research and academic institutions which were partners in this effort. We also thank the European member states of CERN for their support in Israeli membership in the organization.”
“Israel is proud to become a full member of CERN, a flagship of European scientific research,” said Eviatar Manor, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva. “We look forward to contributing to the further development of our relationship for the benefit of science, development and education.”
“The Israeli scientific community has brought a great deal to CERN over the years,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer at the time the resolution to accept Israel was passed. “As a member of the fact-finding mission that assessed Israel’s readiness for CERN Membership, I was extremely impressed with the quality of Israeli research and researchers,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci.
“This is a very special moment for Israeli Science and Israel,” said Eliezer Rabinovici, Chair of the Israeli Academy of Science’s National Committee for High Energy Physics and Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “It reflects decades in which many Israeli scientists, technicians and Israeli industry have contributed significantly to the European scientific effort at CERN. It also has a sense of return. We are becoming full members of the crew at a most exciting period in which CERN is about to scan new horizons.”
Israel’s formal association with CERN began in 1991, when the country was granted Observer status by the CERN Council in recognition of the major involvement of Israeli institutions in the OPAL experiment, accompanied by contributions to the running of the LEP accelerator. In 2011 Israel became CERN’s first Associate Member. Today, Israel is involved with the ATLAS experiment at the LHC, as well as the ALPHA and COMPASS experiments, and experiments at CERN’s ISOLDE facility. Israel contributes to the LHC and CLIC accelerators, and operates a tier-2 centre of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.