February 27, 2018, Updated April 22, 2020
Gil Shwed, founder and CEO of Check Point Software Technologies, a pioneer of firewall security, speaking at Cybertech 2017. Photo by Gilad Kavalerchik

• Israel’s high-tech industry kicks into gear with a number of significant players emerging this year.

• Check Point Software is founded by Gil Shwed, Shlomo Kramer and Marius Nacht, who create the first firewall to protect corporate and personal data online; Benny Landau’s Indigo launches E-Print 1000, revolutionizing the digital printing industry; and husband-and-wife team Imad and Reem Younis launch Alpha Omega, now the largest Arab high-tech company in Israel, creating the industry standard for devices that act as a GPS inside the brain for deep brain stimulation procedures for neurological disorders.

• The Oslo Peace Accord signed this year increases investment interest in Israel, as does a new government initiative, the Yozma Program, which offers tax incentives to foreign venture capital investments in Israel. The country’s new high-tech cluster, “Silicon Wadi,” begins to emerge.

• Michael Jackson performs in Israel as part of his Dangerous tour, becoming one of the first major performers to appear in Israel. He plays two concerts at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv for a total of about 170,000 fans. Mobbed by fans everywhere he goes, Jackson is rumored to have had Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Mall opened specially for him on the eve of Rosh Hashana so he could buy records and books.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director