Netanyahu and his crystal-patterned tie
Netanyahu and his crystal-patterned tie Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday with praise for Israel's newest Nobel Prize laureate, chemist Prof. Dan Schechtman.

Netanyahu pointed to the pattern on his tie and said: "Do you see this necktie?  These are Prof. Dan Shechtman's quasi-crystals. Ten years ago, he discovered something that was apparently impossible, clung to it, proved it and yesterday he received world recognition, both of the scientific world and the world at large, and was the sole winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Prof. Dan Schechtman of the Technion.  This is a personal holiday for him and his family.  It is a holiday for the Technion and it is a holiday for all of Israel.  I congratulated him on your behalf yesterday.  I called him before the ceremony and told him that we are all proud of him."

"He placed great emphasis on innovation and creativity.  Dan Shechtman coordinates a group at the Technion through which thousands of initiatives have passed.  I told him that the idea of initiative, innovation, and I would say, a commercial climate that encourages the development of businesses, are what characterize our Government."

Netanyahu apparently could not resist the opportunity for some self-praise. Schechtman told him, he narrated, "that he explicitly praises our investment in higher education and the advancement of centers of excellence and other projects, and he feels a change in this Government, our Government.  I am certain that this change will yet lead to additional Nobel laureates.  Therefore, what has been, we must see to it that it will continue to be, and we are doing so.  This is very important."