How can Israel – with only 7.1 million people, no natural resources, enemies on every border and in a constant state of war – produce more start-up companies than Japan, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom? Drawing on examples from the country’s foremost inventors and investors, geopolitical experts Dan Senor and Saul Singer describe how Israel’s adversity-driven culture fosters a unique combination of innovative and entrepreneurial intensity.

While Americans emphasize decorum and exhaustive prepa­ration, Israelis put chutzpah first. Senor and Singer also show why Israel’s policies on migration, R&D and military service have spurred the country’s rise: Israel has more companies on the NASDAQ than Korea, Singapore, India and all of Europe combined. There’s never been a better time to look at this remarkable and resilient country for some impressive, surprising lessons not only for other nations but also for business people and organizations – for everyone seeking economic success.”

So reads the cover of this gripping book. The authors provide a fascinating insight into the mind of the modern Jewish nation: their constant battle for survival, the alert and aggressive mind, always agitating, always questioning, always challenging and yet banding together in a remarkably successful way to ensure the survival – and financial success of their nation. The authors introduce a number of Hebrew phrases that help to capture the mind of this people. Chutzpah: brazen gall that questions everything; Rosh gadol: big head, in the sense of thinking about the best way to do things rather than simply following restrictive orders (Rosh katan) and Bitzu’ist: someone who just gets things done. It is this mind that has produced outstanding universi­ties, together with innovations and inventions in staggering quanta. Between 1980 and 2000, Israelis registered 7,652 pat­ents, compared to much larger neighbouring countries – Saudi Arabia, 171 and Egypt, 77. It is this mind that has attracted more venture capital funding per capita than any other nation, and investment from nearly every major technology company: Intel, Microsoft and Google to name a few.

So why read a book about economics and entrepreneurialism? Scripture tells us a lot about the nation of Israel, beginning in the days of the patriarch Abraham, and tracing a twisting path of multiple exiles and returns to the Promised Land. Their present possession of the land is foretold in Scripture and is described as a key sign before the return of Christ. We also read about what the na­tion will be like when Christ appears. A nation that is secure, wealthy, largely secular and confident in their own abilities (Ezek 38:11-12). This is exactly the picture painted in Start-up Nation.