"Personally I think it's very peculiar to be the first Israeli up in space. Especially because of my background, which is kind of a symbol of a lot of other Israelis' background. My mother is a Holocaust survivor. She was in Auschwitz. My father fought for the independence of Israel, not so long ago. I was born in Israel and I'm kind of the proof for them, and for the whole Israeli people, that whatever we fought for and we've been going through in the last century (or maybe in the last two thousand years), is becoming true."
– Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut