Israel has announced a bold plan to transform its southern and northern regions into hubs of innovation and growth by 2040. The plan, dubbed “Israel 2040: Moving to the Land of Tomorrow”, aims to attract 1.5 million new residents to the Negev and Galilee, and create hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs in the fields of hi-tech, education, health, tourism, and agriculture.
The plan is a joint initiative of the Israeli government and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), the largest green organization in Israel that has been developing the land for over 120 years. KKL-JNF will provide the planning, motivation, and incentives for the project, while the government will provide the leadership and the resources to implement it.
KKL-JNF Chairman Daniel Atar said that the plan is a “great challenge in building the land, and one of the biggest challenges that has ever been placed before the leadership of the Israeli government and the State of Israel”. He added that the plan is based on the vision of Israel’s founding fathers, who dreamed of settling and developing the Negev and Galilee.
The plan was presented to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog, who both expressed their support and commitment to the project. Bennett said that the plan is “a historic opportunity to change the face of the country and to create a new reality for millions of Israelis”. Herzog said that the plan is “a national mission that will strengthen the resilience and security of the state, and will also enhance its social and environmental values”.
A New Israeli Silicon Valley in the Desert and the Hills
One of the main goals of the plan is to create an “Israeli Silicon Valley” in the Negev and Galilee, by attracting and nurturing hi-tech companies and startups in these regions. The plan envisions building 12 hi-tech parks, six in each region, that will offer state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure, and services for the hi-tech sector. The parks will also serve as hubs for education, research, and innovation, and will collaborate with local universities, colleges, and R&D centers.
The plan estimates that the hi-tech parks will create 300,000 new jobs in the Negev and Galilee, and will increase the share of the hi-tech sector in these regions from 7% to 20%. The plan also aims to increase the diversity and inclusion of the hi-tech workforce, by encouraging the participation of women, minorities, and young people from the periphery.
The plan will also provide various incentives and benefits for hi-tech companies and employees who will relocate to the Negev and Galilee, such as tax breaks, grants, loans, housing subsidies, and transportation discounts. The plan will also invest in improving the quality of life and the environment in these regions, by developing green spaces, cultural and recreational facilities, and community services.
A Boost for Education, Health, Tourism, and Agriculture
The plan also addresses other sectors that are vital for the development and well-being of the Negev and Galilee, such as education, health, tourism, and agriculture. The plan aims to improve the quality and accessibility of education in these regions, by building new schools, kindergartens, and daycare centers, and by supporting academic excellence and innovation. The plan also aims to enhance the health system in these regions, by building new hospitals, clinics, and emergency centers, and by attracting and training medical staff.
The plan also seeks to promote tourism and culture in the Negev and Galilee, by developing new attractions, hotels, and events, and by preserving and showcasing the natural and historical heritage of these regions. The plan also aims to support and modernize the agricultural sector in these regions, by introducing advanced technologies, irrigation systems, and sustainable practices, and by creating new markets and opportunities for farmers.
A Historic Opportunity for Israel’s Future
The plan “Israel 2040: Moving to the Land of Tomorrow” is a historic opportunity for Israel to realize its full potential and to create a more balanced and prosperous society. The plan will strengthen the security and sovereignty of the state, by creating a strong and vibrant presence in the Negev and Galilee. The plan will also enhance the social and environmental values of the state, by reducing the gaps and inequalities between the center and the periphery, and by promoting a green and sustainable vision for the land.
The plan is a challenge and a mission for the entire nation, and requires the cooperation and participation of all sectors and segments of the society. The plan is also a message and an invitation to the Jewish people around the world, to join and support this historic endeavor, and to be part of the future of Israel.