Israel became the first non-European nation to join CERN. The decision was made at a meeting in Geneva on the 16th of September, 2011. Israel will be an Associate Member’ of the CERN collaboration and will keep that status for a minimum of 24 months.
Israel has been an Observer’ State for the CERN Council since 1991. It was promoted to special Observer’ in 2009. This move was inevitable.
Road Forward for CERN
Recently, at the Lepton Photon Conference, 2011, held at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, Rolf Heuer, the Director General of CERN, outlined the road ahead for CERN. He said that there were plans to include non-European nations into CERN in his speech. The E’ in CERN would no longer stand for European’, but would come to mean Everyone’, he said.
Rolf Heuer, DG, CERN and the Israeli Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Leshno-Yaar signed the agreement , which admitted Israel to the CERN Associate Membership. The document still needs to be ratified by the Knesset. This officially makes Israel a member for a minimum of 24 months.
Rolf Heuer said of this development:
It is a vital part of our mission to build bridges between nations. This agreement enriches us scientifically, and is an important step in that direction.
Israel had played a major role in the 1990′s, during the historic Large Electron Positron (LEP) Collider Experiment. This was an important milestone in the legacy of CERN.
More than just science
This move will gain Israel more monetary support from CERN to further its own research interests. Israel has supported Palestinian students in research by providing them funding and equipment on the same footing as Israeli students. It has sent mixed Israeli-Palestinian students at the various summer science camps organised by CERN.
The very act of systematically scouring for facts, known as science, might be the adhesive for the world that wise men have been looking for.