I am off to Jerusalem today making stops along the way at some Arab/Israeli mixed schools, Gaza and West Bank in a long day of history and education.
One thing that always amazes me most about the country of Israel is how small (in land size) it is. With no traffic you can drive from the north tip of Israel to the south tip at Eilat in under 6 hours.
Yesterday was the first time in all my trips that I flew in a helicopter from Tel Aviv north along the coast up to Lebanon and then north east up to the tip of Israel at Mt. Hermon.
It really gave me some fresh context.
We stopped just short of the Syrian and Lebanon border at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. I was amazed to see what they had built. Because of the shelling from The 2006 Lebanese war, the hospital was expanded underground and able to treat 500 patients at a time and move them out of the four stories above extremely fast. Their hospital ‘war room’ is a state of the art bunker that is now being studied and used around the world. The hospital has also served thousands of enemy patients over the years.
I have a fresh appreciation of’Iron Dome‘ missile defense system the country had to build and deploy to protect it from short range rockets. I got a fresh sense of how close Israel’s enemies are to main population centers. Sure the fences have helped stop suicide bombers, but without the Iron Dome Israel would look very different today.
I remember coming here in 2010 after being invited to meet founders and invest and being supremely confident that I would never need to invest in Israel. My feelings were that as a relatively small investor if I could not find investments at home in the USA, I was being lazy. I ended up investing in Etoro and Billguard (acquired by Prosper), first heard about Bitcoin and learned to never say never when it came to investing.
Yesterday my helicopter pilot flew me over the grounds of a Warren Buffett investment who I was told also said he would never invest outside the USA and after visiting made his first international investment in Israel.
I read yesterday that the market cap of Microsoft and Apple combined is larger than that the market cap of the whole German Stock market. Yes Israel is small, but so is the German market in the context of just Apple and Microsoft.
There is opportunity everywhere and an investors best weapon continues to be the experience gained from their own feet, noses, eyes and ears.