History of Israel Good News (Oct to Dec 2011)


In the 25th Dec 2011 edition of Israel’s good news newsletter, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have made blood vessels from cells, for treating heart patients
·        A tiny radioactive wire that forces cancer tumours to destroy themselves
·        Religious Jewish Israeli organisations that are working to help Arabs
·        The Israel Technion is to joint-develop a massive new technical institute in New York City.
·        A portable, eco-friendly water desalination system for use in disaster areas
·        The best Chanukah videos

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries
-         click here for “Lights to the Nations”
-         click here for “Room at the inn”

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Israeli scientists make blood vessels.  Researchers from Israel’s Technion and Rambam medical centre are the first in the world to create new blood vessels using embryonic stem cells that were programmed in advance.  Sufficient quantities of the breakthrough cells were cultured for treating cardiovascular diseases in patients.

Israelis make anti-malaria drug from tobacco plants.  Researchers from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University have genetically engineered tobacco plants to produce artemisinin – a natural compound that produces a large number of anti-malaria drugs.  Combating malaria is a United Nations Millennium Development goal.  Some 250 million new malaria cases occur each year, causing nearly a million deaths.

Destroying tumours from the inside out.  Scientists at Tel Aviv University have developed a radioactive wire, less than an inch long and about the width of a pin. When inserted into a tumour, the wire releases lethal radioactive atoms that irradiate the tumour. As it breaks down, the tumour itself releases antigens, which trigger an immune response against the cancer cells, preventing the return of the tumour.

Project MobiGuide wins 7 million Euro grant.  (Thanks to NoCamels) The universities of Haifa and Ben Gurion beat sixty international projects to secure funding for a four-year project to develop a computerized system that will enable patients who need to be monitored and their healthcare providers to receive updates and medical advice in real time outside clinically controlled environments.

From Leeds to the Galilee.  Professor Mary Rudolf, consultant paediatrician at Leeds General Infirmary, who is also professor of child health at the University of Leeds, is making Aliya and will take up the position of Professor of Public Health at the brand new Bar Ilan Medical School in Sfat.


Israel trains Arabs rather than outsourcing.  Some 140 Israeli Arabs have been trained as hi-tech engineers and are working at Galil Software, a company in Nazareth – providing the country with urgently needed sophisticated manpower, instead of outsourcing to engineers in India and Eastern Europe.

My friend Hamza.  In episode 5 of the series IS.REAL about real Israelis, tour guide Yair Tayar visits his Arab friend Hamza at his home in East Jerusalem.  They plan to go into business together.

Religious students clean up Mosques.  Students from a pre-Army Torah academy in Judea and Samaria are on a mission to literally clean up the image of nationalists, marred in recent vandalism by 50 extremist youths. Please publicise this, as mainstream media have ignored the campaign.

Religious Jews teach safety to Arab women.  For the first time, volunteers from the religious ZAKA organization have run a course to teach Israeli Arab women about home safety, accident prevention and emergency care.  The group intends to extend the program to 12 other Arab towns across Israel.

Israeli doctors treat wife of mastermind of Munich massacre.  How bizarre - Abu Daoud’s terrorist gang murdered 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.  Today, his wife is being treated in Tel Aviv’s Assuta Hospital.  Her three daughters from Ramallah, Jordan and Syria have even been granted visas to visit her.

Rabbi, MA, PhD student, IDF elite officer and Ethiopian.  Rabbi Sharon Shalom is Rav in Kiryat Gat. Born in Ethiopia he made aliyah in 1982. He served as an IDF infantry officer, has a B.Ed and an MA from Bar-Ilan University and is studying for his doctorate.  He also teaches Ethiopian Jewish law and tradition at Bar Ilan.

Israel to send aid delegation to South Sudan.  South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said, “I am very moved to be in Israel and to walk on the soil of the Promised Land, and with me are all South Sudanese people. Israel has always supported the South Sudanese people. Without you, we would not have arisen.” Israeli PM Netanyahu promised to help the development of the fledgling country.

Israel studies for Indian PhD graduates.  Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Indian Communication and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal met in New Delhi on Wednesday, and agreed to establish a joint program to bring 100 Indian post-doctoral students to Israeli universities.

Israel and Italy take to the air.  Israeli and Italian Air Forces held a large-scale exercise in Southern Israel.  In last week’s exercise Italy’s (and Europe’s) most advanced fighter jet the Eurofighter Typhoon participated in sorties alongside Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighters from bases all over the country.


Environmentally-friendly desalinated water. (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israel’s IDE Technologies has developed a transportable clean-tech method of producing up to 10,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day.  The reverse osmosis system uses bio-filters rather than chemicals and is ideal for use in disaster areas.

Why stars explode.  Dr Eran Ofek of the Weizmann Institute of Science, is working as part of an international effort to study supernovae.  His results point to a likely scenario in which a medium range star supplies a white dwarf with the extra material needed to turn it into a supernova.

Technion to develop NYC Tech campus.  The two million square feet New York City institute on Roosevelt Island will accommodate nearly 2,000 graduate students and 250 faculty staff. Cornell University and the Israel Technion will collaborate in teaching, educating and advising students.


Even more natural gas.  The partners in the Dolphin 1 field 110 kilometres west of Haifa have officially announced the discovery of natural gas. Estimates are that there is 0.55 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in the field.

‘Israel to export natural gas to India’.  Israel’s finance minister Yuval Steinitz made the offer during his visit to India.  India has scrapped a planned pipeline from Iran via Pakistan due to security considerations.

Israel’s inflation rate falls.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November fell 0.1%. This was a major surprise with analysts predicting that the index would rise by 0.2%. This is the third consecutive month that the index has been below analysts' expectations.

And the economy improves.  Israel’s Composite State of the Economy index increased by 0.2% in November.  There was growth in manufacturing and in the exports of goods and services.  Imports declined slightly.

Industry Ministry to set up NIS 3 billion small business fund.  The fund aims to help small and mid-sized Israeli enterprises alleviate the credit crunch caused by the debt crisis in Europe and global economic slowdown

Israel’s new newspaper – Shimon Post.  Israel's 88 year-young President Shimon Peres has recently become the publisher of an online daily named Shimon Post. The daily edition has a pretty wide distribution and includes articles published on the world's leading media outlets on economics, politics and policy.

Now Vodafone discovers Israel.  UK mobile phone giant Vodafone’s venture capital arm has made its first ever investment in Israel and first ever investment in a clean-tech company.  CellEra Inc develops platinum free fuel cell technology for storing and converting energy at a significantly lower cost than technologies available on the market.

Richard Branson in Israel.  The chairman of Britain’s Virgin group attended the Bezeq Expo Communications conference.  He was marketing his sub-orbital space trips, due to start next year.


We’re still standing.  NBC's latest new $1m prize TV quiz show “Who's Still Standing?” has contestants dropping through floor. It is, however, an Israeli quiz show.  "Who's Still Standing?" was invented by Shiloach-Uzrad with business partner Amit Stretiner and has now been sold to 13 countries including Spain and France.

Jerusalem Scavenger hunts.  New adventure tours take place in the Old City and Nachlaot areas of Israel’s capital city. They involve teams of participants navigating their ways through the neighbourhoods, unravelling their rich history and cultures, providing a unique way of exploring this incredibly unique city.

Great films at the Jerusalem Film festival.  I hope many of you managed to see some of the movies.

How artists see Israel.  “Rising in Art 2011”, is the annual exhibition of works by new immigrants at Bat Yam’s New Gallery of Art Institute.  This year, it also features works by participants in the Young Judean one-year arts track.

For tourists.   Being in Israel at Chanukah time is special.  Here are some ideas for things to do and see.

The best Chanukah videos.  Take your pick, but I think that these are pretty cool.
Fountainheads – “Light up the Night” (probably the best song):-
Aish – “Rock of ages”:-
Nefesh b’Nefesh Flash mob (2009)
Nefesh b’Nefesh (2010) – “Eight Days” (probably the most inspiring video):-


From tragedy to kindness.  Shoshana Greenbaum was one of 15 people killed in the Sbarro suicide bombing 10 years ago. The official death toll did not include her unborn child, who was to be the Greenbaums’ first child. Her husband’s response was to establish a new website and a book on kindness.

Israel is closing the standard of living gap.  Bank of Israel Governor Professor Stanley Fischer said that the days are over when Israelis visiting the USA brought back peanut butter, toilet paper and electronic equipment.  Guess what I brought back from the UK on my last trip!

MASA to train US students.  Five hundred young North American Jews will spend this year in Israel, participating in seminars to equip them to deal with increasing anti-Israel sentiment on U.S. college campuses.

Israeli classrooms go global.  The Jewish Agency is linking 200 Israeli schools via the Internet to 200 Jewish schools students in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, Russia, South Africa and Australia.  Students will participate in virtual joint study sessions using large video screens in their classrooms.

1600 years since the last bath.  Israeli archaeologists have uncovered remains of an ancient bathhouse dating to the Byzantine period during work being conducted on the modern water infrastructure near Moshav Tarum in the Judean coastal hills.


In the 18th Dec 2011 edition of Israel’s good news newsletter, the highlights include:

·        Israeli doctors separate Palestinian Arab Siamese twins in the womb
·        Israeli government funds the building of a new Bedouin Arab eco-village
·        Delegates from five Arab and Muslim countries seek Israeli advice at UN Climate Change conference
·        Apple Computers has discovered Israel
·        Israel launches major satellite and heads for the Moon
·        Israeli wins World Windsurfing Championships gold medal

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries
-         click here for “Israel – a Partnership for Life”
-         click here for “They’ve recognised the Jewish State”

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Hadassah surgeons separate Arab woman’s twins in womb.  (News thanks to NoCamels) The twins shared the same placenta and were dying when their 25-year-old mother arrived at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. They were saved through a procedure that penetrated the uterus and separated the twins’ shared blood vessels.

Kill that pain.  One of Israel’s NASDAQ listed bio-techs BiolineRX Ltd. reported positive results for its Phase Ia clinical trial of its drug, BL-1021, for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain due to damaged nerves.  It is associated with conditions including shingles, diabetes and cancer, affecting 1-3% of the world’s population.

Success in trials for rheumatoid arthritis treatment.  Israeli bio-tech Proteologics Ltd. announced successful results in its pre-clinical trial of the PRT0467 drug candidate for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Injections of the drug in mice found a statistically significant reduction in the inflammation response.

Bar-Ilan and Miami to set-up cancer centre.  The two universities signed an agreement at the Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv that will allow the two medical schools to continue their collaboration on a wide variety of projects. The proposed new cancer centre will facilitate scientific, educational and clinical collaboration, and develop a state-of-the-art graduate program in cancer biology.


Breakthrough at Israel / PA water conference.  “For the very first time you heard an agreement between an Israeli and a Palestinian minister,” Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director of Friends of the Earth Middle East, told The Jerusalem Post after the opening session of the first-ever Ashdod Sustainability Conference

Travelling for Palestinian Christians made easier.  The IDF is issuing thousands of entry permits to allow Palestinian Christians to travel between Israel, Gaza, Judea and Samaria for the entire holiday season.

PA children have fun in the snow.  Israel’s Alpine soldiers this year again took Palestinian Arab children suffering with cancer on a trip to Mount Hermon.

Cornerstone laid at Bedouin eco-village site.  The Negev and Galilee Regional Development Ministry will contribute NIS 6 million to the total NIS 22m cost of project Project Wadi Attir – a future ecological community that combines Bedouin values with modern renewable technology and farming expertise.

MDA and Jordanian Red Crescent joint earthquake disaster simulation.  In the words of one spectator, “if they didn’t wear different uniforms we would not have noticed that these were 2 different teams, and would have thought that this is one team working together“.

Iraqi and Afgan officials seek advice from Israel.  Representatives from both countries plus Indonesia, Bangladesh and Tunisia visited the KKL-JNF booth at UN’s Climate Change conference in Durban.  Others included Brazil, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Peru, Togo and eleven African states.

Google recognises Hebrew speech.  Google has launched its voice search for Apple's iPhones and Android in Hebrew and Arabic. The upgrade is significant; until now voice identification software could not handle Hebrew, and had to cope with Hebrew-accented English.  Users will be able to search the internet by talking directly into their phones.

Israel prepares UN for Africa AIDS program. A delegation of Israeli mohels (ritual circumcisors) has just returned from a two-week trip to Africa. They prepared the UN medical team UNAIDS for their five-year program to circumcise an estimated 20 million African men in order to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus.

New Japanese ambassador to Israel speaks Hebrew.  Hideo Sato first came to Israel in 1977 as a student at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.  He addressed Israeli President Shimon Peres in fluent, flawless Hebrew, correctly pronouncing the letter “resh,” which many Japanese find difficult.  New envoys from South Korea, Myanmar (Burma), Macedonia and Paraguay also presented their credentials.  Korea’s Kim Il Soo said his predecessor had impressed upon him that he was going to a very important nation.

Cyprus and Israel to connect.  Minister of National Infrastructures Dr. Uzi Landau announced that Israel and Cyprus were in advanced discussions about linking their electricity grids in order to provide mutual backups in the event of a supply failure in either country.


Apple to open R&D Centre in Israel.  Apple Inc. has decided to open a development center in Israel focusing on semiconductors.  It will be Apple’s first and only R&D centre outside its California headquarters.  It is a major change in strategy and signals the US giant’s confidence in Israel’s hi-tech skills.

Apple to buy Israeli flash chip developer.  The US giant is in advanced talks to make its first purchase of an Israeli company.  Anobit provides flash memory solutions for smartphones, tablets, and music players.

A new revolution in typing.  (News thanks to NoCamels.) Why use the 140-year old QWERTY keyboard?  With the transparent keyboard for touch-screen devices, Israeli family owned company Inpris uses an intuitive way of writing based on the movements of the fingers rather than pressing a certain point on the screen.

The way to low-cost solar cells.  (News via NoCamels.)  Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers have now found a new way to generate an electrical field inside quantum dots, making them more suitable for building energy-efficient nano-crystal solar cells rather than the silicon-based cells currently used.

Cool idea to save energy.  The Israeli government is financing up to 60 percent of 25,000 new refrigerators for low-income people, to encourage use of higher-efficiency appliances that curb both spending and pollution.  In 2012, the scheme will extend to air-conditioners, light-bulbs and hopefully TVs, washing machines and boilers.

Israeli satellite launched.  Spacecom Satellite Communications launched its Amos 5 communications satellite on 11th December from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  Spacecom has already signed several multi-million dollar international satellite communications services contracts for the Amos 5.

And we’re going to the Moon.  President Shimon Peres has unveiled an Israeli project to get an unmanned spaceship to the moon by 2014.  If all goes according to schedule, Israel will be the third country ever to land a spacecraft on the moon, following the U.S. and Russia.


Drilling at Leviathan 3 completed.  An important milestone was reached in Israel’s economic plans when Nobel Energy informed its partners that exploratory drilling of the well had been completed and natural gas had been discovered.  The expectations are for reserves of 19-20 TCF, compared with a current estimate of 16 TCF.

Global law firm to open Israel office. International law firm Greenberg Traurig will open an office in Tel Aviv next month. The office is the first international full-time legal office of its kind in Israel.

Israel and Brazil expand bio-fuel collaboration. Israel’s Evogene and Brazil’s SLC Agricola are focused on developing advanced castor seed displaying high oil yield under rain-fed conditions and suitable for sustainable and commercial production in Brazil.  Bio-diesel produced from the Evogene's castor varieties will cost around $50 per barrel and is expected to substantially reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by over 75%

Bridge-building in Nigeria.  Israel’s Shikun u'Binui subsidiary Solel Boneh International Ltd. has won a $210 million contract to build a 2.1-kilometer bridge over Nigeria’s Benue River and build 22 km access roads for the four-lane dual carriageway in eastern Nigeria. Construction will take three years.

Biogas for The Netherlands.  The Israeli engineering and energy company, Ludan, is sharing with a Dutch company, the build of a two-megawatt biogas power plant in the Netherlands. Construction will take eight months.  Ludan Energy then has a 12-year franchise to operate the plant at guaranteed and subsidized rates.

Chilean power company is now Israeli.  Israel Corporation has bought 75% of Chilean power company Central Tierra Amarilla SA including its 155 MW power station.  IC Power already owns power stations producing 3,000 megawatts in seven countries: Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Panama, El Salvador, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

Israeli company protects Asian coastline.  DSIT Solutions has won a NIS 45 million deal to supply, install and build infrastructure for its AquaShield sonar system for a government oil company in an undisclosed Asian country.

Florida keen to do more business with Israel.  Florida Governor Rick Scott brought a delegation of 30 businessmen with him to the "Globes" Israel Business Conference.

Two new $150 million Chinese-Israeli funds.  Israel's Catalyst Investments and Shanghai-based OneGate Capital are setting up two joint venture China Israel Technology Funds.  The funds will focus on clean-tech, agritech, advanced manufacturing, next generation IT, and other sectors where Israeli companies outperform.

Virgin Media buys Israeli system.  Amdocs Ltd. will supply its network inventory management systems to UK quad-play provider Virgin Media Ltd. The company did not disclose the size of the deal, but market sources estimate it at $10-20 million.

Record November for tourism. 316,000 tourists arrived in Israel in November 2011, 2% up from the corresponding month of 2010, and the highest ever number of tourists for any November.  The Ministry of Tourism is to invest NIS 50 million of a NIS 270 million project to build and renovate hotels in the country.

Two of the best hotels in the Middle East.  Jerusalem hotels Inbal (4th) and David Citadel (7th) were voted into the top 10 best hotels in the Middle East by Conde Nast Traveller and described as being among the ”pinnacles of luxury” – for those who can afford it. Both hotels won most praise for location, design and food.


Israeli wins gold at World Windsurfing Championship.  Lee Korzits has just won the second gold medal of her career in the ISAF World Windsurfing Championships in Perth Australia. Back in 2003 at age 19, Korzits was the youngest ever world championship winner and is the only Israeli to have won two gold medals.  Korzits told Israel’s Sport 5 Channel. "I'm trying to enjoy every moment and I feel proud to be Israeli."

Israel’s first skeleton bobsleigh medal.  With a 5th place finish in today's America's Cup race in Lake Placid, NY, skeleton athlete Bradley Chalupski has earned Israel its first ever medal in Skeleton.  Israeli Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation’s David Greaves wished Brad a hearty Mazel Tov.

Cycling for Peace.  Team Saxo Bank (the world's best cycling team) and Alberto Contador (one of the world's top cyclists) visited Israel. Saxo Bank has built a cycling school in Acre for Jewish and Muslim children. Ran Margaliot – who may become the first Israeli male rider to ride in the Tour de France – helped arrange the visit. 
Here are some photos of the Tour de Jerusalem bicycle race won by Contador.

Run through the night.  The first 10km Jerusalem Night Run took place on 12th December.  The 1000 competitors included Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife.   The run was advertised to be a warm up to the Jerusalem Marathon in March.

“Light up the night.”  It’s the title of the great new Chanukah video from the Ein Prat Fountainheads.  The group includes Shani Lachmish, daughter of our friend Leonie, who along with the rest of the group are performing in the USA and Paris before returning to the Begin Centre in Jerusalem on 31st Dec.

Jerusalem film festival barmitzvah.  Now in its 13th year, the festival, which runs at the Jerusalem Cinematheque from December 17-23, features a wide variety of feature films, documentaries and short films from Israel and abroad.


MDA Diaspora volunteers save lives.  Bnei Akiva, the religious- Zionist youth movement, has launched a new “Hachshara” (training) program that allows young Diaspora Jews to spend 8 months in Israel rotating between MDA, the IDF and other organizations. 160 people are set to participate over the next seven months.

The City of David – where it all began.  This new video, with musical-style accompaniment, features views of the site of Jerusalem’s original Jewish settlement, some 3000 years ago.

Bringing the Dead Sea back to life.  Two bills setting up funds for resurrecting the Dead Sea passed their first reading in the Knesset.  It also voted in favour of harvesting salt that has built up over the years and now threatens nearby hotels with flooding.

“Latkes are healthy” (-ish).  The traditional high-fat potato and onion fried delicacy for Chanukah is not as bad for you as you may think.  The potato ingredient fights colds, reduces cancer, heart and anaemia risks, helps digestion, lowers blood pressure, calms stress and protects bones.  So go on – have one and enjoy it!

Ancient Iraqi Torah scroll smuggled out to Netanya.  A Torah scroll, estimated to be 400 years old, has been secretly smuggled into Israel from Baghdad’s Beit Zilcha yeshiva. It is to be ceremoniously inducted to the Be'er Chana synagogue in Netanya.


In the 11th Dec 2011 edition of Israel’s weekly good news newsletter, the highlights include:

·        Israel has changed the lives of two Ethiopians.  One walks for the first time; one saves other’s lives.
·        Over 1000 heart patients are enjoying a normal life thanks to an Israeli pump implant.
·        Israel had three major successes at the United Nations.
·        A simple, effective Israeli invention is saving harvested crops throughout Africa and Asia.
·        See the Israeli real-time speech translator
·        The BBC has recognised Israel’s success in saving London’s water supply from leaking away.
·        Read the latest good news summaries on the Jerusalem Post on-line
-         click on “Israel Inside
-         and on “Israel – On the crest of a wave

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Ethiopian immigrant walks.  Ayala Mandria, 20, was unable to stand on her two feet all her life, until she arrived at the Beit Levinstein Rehabilitation Center. Mandria suffered from poliomyelitis and ALS since childhood. Only three months after starting treatment she can already run around on the grass.

Turkish visit Hadassah.  A group of Turkish journalists recently visited the Paediatric Oncology Department at Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem. They learned about research that the Institute of Gene Therapy is conducting with colleagues in Turkey and met two Turkish doctors who are doing their medical residencies at Hadassah.

Israeli wins US Prize for Neuroscience.  Prof. Haim Sompolinsky, a leading brain sciences researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was awarded the US Society for Neuroscience’s $25,000 Swartz Prize.  Sompolinsky’s “ring” model is the paradigm for modelling neural circuits and the basis of countless studies of short-term memory, decision-making, selectivity and receptive fields.

Ethiopian orphan saved by Israel, now saves others.  Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) surgeons saved Yared Worde’s life in 1999.  Today Yared is the Director of the “Saint Yared School” in Addis Abba, a school that fights poverty through education and provides education to the city's poorest and unprivileged children.

Women are better optimists.  Men are over confident.  Research at Ben Gurion University has found that female students who were more optimistic achieved significantly higher grades than their less optimistic compatriots, but in men, it had a harmful effect and led to disappointing grades.

Canadian doctors find out first hand about Israeli medicine.  Keshet organized a tour of Israeli universities, medical schools and startups for a group of Canadian physicians.  Please read this summary of some of Israel’s amazing medical breakthroughs.

This will get your heart pumping.  The Optimizer III implantable device, invented in Israel, electrically ‘teaches' diseased heart muscle to contract more strongly and get the blood flowing.  The Israeli company Impulse Dynamics has already been selling the product for eight years in Europe and the Far East and is now running trials in the United States. More than 1,000 patients have received an Optimizer implant.

Israeli drug is treating rare disease.  OX1, a key drug compound that was developed by Dr. Daniel Chain while heading the Israeli company Mindset BioPharmaceuticals, protects nerve cells from highly oxidizing neurotoxins. OX1 is treating Friedreich’s Ataxia and may be used for other neuro-degenerative diseases.


PM awards some very special prizes.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu awarded the Prize for Initiative and Innovation at the Hebrew University to Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs.  The winners included two non-profit organizations, a high-tech Arab company and a company dedicated to uncovering old land mines.

UN recognises Israel’s AIDS effort.  The United Nations has made Israel an official “contributing nation” to the UN’s efforts to fight the deadly AIDS disease.  The Jerusalem AIDS Project focuses on education in South Africa, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Uganda, and recently ran a teacher training workshop in Myanmar.

Israeli initiative wins vote at UN.  The initiative, making agricultural technologies more accessible to under-developed nations, could have been passed automatically, but the Arab bloc demanded a vote.  One hundred and thirty-three nations voted in favour of the Israeli proposal, while 35 mainly Arab countries abstained.

Israeli film wins UN competition.  “The Hiriya Project: A Mountain of Change” won first place in the Clean Development Mechanism Changing Lives Photo and Video Contest 2011, which was part of this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) currently taking place in Durban


A week in the life of the high-tech Jewish State.  Last week’s JPost blog, available here if you missed it.

How a small nation makes a difference.  Another trailer for the documentary “Israel Inside.”  The full-length film features the country as seen by an Israeli, Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, who returns home to find a far different country than the one he left and discovers how it happened. 

Israeli financial modelling company wins international award.  Israel’s Modelity Technologies has won Structured Products Magazine's 2011 Technology Innovation award.  Modelity develops and markets software for the financial market, combining innovative technology with advanced financial knowledge.

Giant Israeli bags save world crops.  As much as 50 percent of every grain harvest and 100% of every pulse harvest is lost to pests and mould.  Israeli-designed GrainPro Cocoons provide a surprisingly simple and cheap way for African and Asian farmers to keep their grain market-fresh.  The bags, keep out water and air.

Technion course for ultra-orthodox.  The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is to launch a 15-month pre-academic course in the religious enclave of Bnei Brak.  The subsequent 3-year degree course will earn a bachelor's degree along with an accredited surveyor's license and a guaranteed job.

More BBC praise.  “Israeli start-up Takadu helps Londoners save water” by Katia Moskvitch - Technology reporter, BBC News.  Within seconds of a water leak, an alert starts flashing on a remote computer in the tiny office of Takadu - an Israeli start-up in Tel Aviv.  Once picked up, the information is transmitted to Thames Water - the utility company responsible for bringing water to Londoners.

Bacteria and fungi work together for the good.  Soil research in Israel and Holland has found that fungi often “hitch a ride” on bacteria, whilst the bacteria use fungi to bridge gaps in the soil.  The research has relevance to agriculture but also has medical implications for hospitals and inside the human body.

Israeli Argan oil – super hardy variety.  Argan oil, the much-in-demand product of the endangered Moroccan argan tree, is now available in a hardy 'super' strain developed by company Sivan SMin Israel.  The high-yielding, pest-resistant and drought-tolerant trees are grown in the Arava valley, the Negev and Ashkelon.

Eva is your on-line travel expert.  This unique search engine from Israel’s Evature has won the DEMO award for the most game-changing travel innovation at the fourth annual Travel Innovation Summit in Miami.  It is just brilliant – as this youtube video demonstrates.  You can even run the demo to try it out.

Beam me up, Scottie.  You saw it on Star Trek – the Universal Real-time Speech Translator.  Now Israeli start-up Lexifone has developed live voice real time speech translation based on its proprietary generic software platform, which statistically optimizes voice data, in conjunction with its learning based linguistic and semantic translation.  Or as they said on Star Trek – “it’s life Jim, but not as we know it”.


Yet more oil & gas.  Experts estimate that the offshore Yam Hadera field has a best estimate of gross recoverable reserves of 133 million barrels of oil and 1.4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas.  The license owner held an exceptional news conference “since the results from Yam Hadera are very significant.”

Israeli high-tech to Russia.  The Skolkovo Foundation has selected two Israeli start-ups to establish bi-national ventures in Russia. Jointech Med is developing a device to reduce intra-articular pressure in the knee and Argus Computer Vision is developing an intelligent traffic rules enforcement system.

Elbit wins huge order for F16 pilot displays.  Having received initial orders of $3 million previously, The Israeli defence electronics giant has now $38 million worth of follow-up orders for its Wide Angle Conventional Head-Up Display (WAC HUD).

Get funding – on-line.  A new service by the company “Face-Them” seeks to bridge the gap between investor and Israeli entrepreneurs. “Face-Them” offers a free “Live Stream” website service available exclusively for the investment community to meet with those businesses seeking early investment capital.

Julius Baer opens in Tel Aviv.  Swiss private bank Julius Baer Group will open an office in Tel Aviv in early 2012.  Baer has been in business since the 1890s, and currently operates in 40 financial centres in 20 countries.  Board members recognised “the value of the Israeli market, and confidence in its ability to grow and thrive.”

USA loves Israel’s soy.  CHS, a diversified energy, grains and foods cooperative owned by farmers, ranchers and co-ops across the United States, is acquiring Ashdod’s Solbar Industries Ltd, a global leader in specialty soy proteins and soy isoflavones, for $113 million.  CHS is a Fortune 100 company.


Here come the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  The top American rock band is to perform at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park on September 10, 2012. It promises to be one of the greatest musical evenings ever seen in Israel.

The magic of Cirque du Soleil.  Internationally renowned circus, Cirque du Soleil will be coming to Israel in August 2012 for their first ever performances in the country. Performing their show, Alegria, the group will bring their amazing magical acrobatics to the Nokia Arena, Tel Aviv, with a cast of 55 artists.


The IDF diet.  In order to be accepted into a combat unit, Haman Kemerman lost 29 kg in weight.  "I am so happy the IDF had faith in me and helped me realize my dream of being a combat soldier," Kemelman said. "I want to tell every soldier not to give up. If you have grit and determination you can achieve your goal."

Ready for whatever comes next.  Not really good news, but an article highlighting how Israel prepares for the worst whilst hoping (and praying) for the best.  It also gives medical examples of how Israel treats friend and foe alike.

The first female pilot of an IDF helicopter gunship.  Maj. Maya spent 10 years at the cockpit of her “Cobra” and fired her first missile during the Second Lebanon War.  Now in the reserves, she gave her first interview.

Turning trash into energy.  Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry and local authorities will be collectively investing about NIS 600 million over the next three years in establishing waste-treatment plants that will generate bio-gas, fertilizers and traditional recycled materials.

Israel’s National Library on-line.  The National Library of Israel has just launched a website giving the public access to a huge collection of materials, including books, periodicals, maps, photos and musical selections. The website, is the most comprehensive content-based website in Israel. It can be found at: www.nli.org.il 

From Warsaw Ghetto to TAU Professor.  Professor of medicine Dov Weissberg was shot during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. The bullet hit his document wallet in his back pocket and stopped a millimetre from his skin.  He has now donated the wallet to Yad Vashem together with the story of its bullet hole.


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        The average Israeli lives two years longer than in the rest of the developed world.
·        An Israeli-developed ultrasound device can repair previously untreatable wounds
·        Israel is giving aid to Thailand following their floods and saved two Iranians from drowning
·        At an Israeli hospital you can watch surgeons perform your angioplasty on your iPad.
·        The largest (Israeli-built) solar power station in the world just got even more efficient.
·        Barbra Streisand is to perform at a benefit concert in aid of Israeli soldiers.
·        Wild dolphins have arrived, to holiday off Israeli beaches.
·        My latest Jerusalem Post blogs
        Click here for “A week in the life of the high-tech Jewish State
        And here for “Israel Inside

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


MS test kits for Americans.  Israel’s Glycominds (through its US subsidiary) is to market its multiple sclerosis tests through Multiplan to 20 million subscribers and 900,000 health providers, including hospitals, clinics, laboratories, doctors, and health providers who work with 1,400 insurance companies.

Israelis spend less to live longer.  An OECD report shows that in 2009 Israel spent an average of 7.9% of its GDP on health compared with the OECD average of 9.6%.  Average life expectancy in Israel is 81.6 years (7th in the world) compared with the OECD average of 79.5. Survival rates for cancer are also far higher in Israel.

BUPA likes Israel’s knees.  Israel’s Apos, which developed a device for the treatments of knee osteo-arthritis, has signed an agreement with BUPA, one of Britain's largest healthcare insurance companies.  Muscle-bone degeneration, mainly manifested in knees, costs the UK the equivalent of 1% of GDP.

More knees news.  Israeli start-up MMAtech Ltd. has obtained EU CE Mark certification for its low-friction knee implants. MMAtech's polymer implant is based on materials originally developed by NASA.

Partnership to new treatments.  Israeli biotech Compugen has tied up with the US DiscoveRx Corporation in order to find more peptides (short amino acids) that have therapeutic properties.  Compugen’s innovative technology has already discovered peptides to treat cardiovascular, fibrotic and inflammatory conditions.

Repairing wounds with sound.  NanoVibronix, based in Nesher near Haifa, has just received a $300,000 injection of funds to help develop its proprietary low-intensity surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology for the treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds. NanoVibronix already has US and EU certification for its unique devices for treating tendonitis, muscle pain, catheter-associated infection and trigeminal neuralgia.

Groundbreaking surgical technique.  Surgeons at Hadassah hospital performed an innovative procedure to remove cancerous tumours. Using special instruments inserted through an endoscope – a surgical tool used to examine body cavities – surgeons ‘peeled’ the lesion from the gastrointestinal wall.


Druse baby survives at 600 grams.  Born at 23 weeks, Jazen Jamal, is the only survivor of triplets.  Now 2.24kg, Jazen has been taken home by his parents from the Western Galilee Government Hospital in Nahariya.

Celebrating the Sigd.  The Ethiopian Jewish community celebrated their unique annual festival in Jerusalem.

Aid to Thailand.  Here are some photos showing the humanitarian work being performed by Israelis following the Thai floods.

First guest.  Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon was the first foreign official to visit Greece since the formation of the new government. He met with his host, Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Dollis who stressed that relations between the two countries would be further strengthened in the near future.

Lake Victoria gets an upgrade.  A team of Israeli experts are working with German and Kenyan agricultural and water professionals to upgrade Lake Victoria’s commercial fishery system and wastewater treatment mechanisms.  Note that the lake is three times the size of the State of Israel.

Israeli delegation in Durban.  No, not Durban III. KKL-JNF is attending the 17th UN Climate Change conference in the South African city.  It is sharing its knowledge and experience, with regards to afforestation in arid and semi-arid areas, watershed management and biological control methods.

Israelis save drowning Iranians.  Ex-lifeguards, Shimshon and Nimrod Machani now run a surfboat business in Thailand.  Last week they rescued two Iranians whose kayak had overturned in a storm.  Initially, Mundar and Ali hugged and kissed their rescuers. "But when we told them we're Israelis they just got up and fled."

Jewish and Arab team discovers key ovulation gene.  When a teenage girl who had not gone through puberty arrived at Hadassah’s Paediatric Department, its researchers analysed the girl’s DNA and made a full genetic map of two of her family members. The test results pinpointed a mutation found only in one specific gene.


WaTec success.  25,000 visitors, 200 exhibitors, 150 international delegations.  The WATEC 2011 event provided a unique forum for Israeli technology innovators and international water and energy professionals to meet and forge alliances.

Britain’s link to The Technion.  Great film showing the results of the hard work that the British Technion Society has performed in funding and promoting Israel’s leading technology institute.

Nano-engines have reverse gear.  Scientists at Ben Gurion University have discovered that molecular machines are much more powerful than first thought.  The discovery could help cancer research and biologically inspired nanotechnology in medicine and industry.

Watch your own heart surgery - live.  With your personal iPad you and your relatives can now see surgeons performing angioplasty, stent insertion and coronary catheterization on your own body in real-time!  Make sure you book into the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva.

Carbon monoxide can be good for you.  Tel Aviv University professor Itzhak Schnell has discovered that tiny levels of the poisonous gas reduce the impact of environmental stress.  The presence of the gas appears to have a narcotic effect, counteracting the stress caused by noise and crowd density.

Stay awake on the road.  Driver fatigue is the cause of the majority of road accidents.  So Israeli iPhone app Drivia can save lives by posing the driver trivia questions.  If the answers are sluggish, the app will send alerts, messages and loud sounds until the driver is responsive again.

Sheet music on your iPad. Israeli start-up Tonara has developed an iPad app that is aimed at a potential 300 million musicians. The app can listen to tunes and, according to the beat display musical notes of what is being played. It can even turn pages automatically.

The world’s biggest solar storage system.  In the California desert, Israel’s BrightSource is building huge solar power stations.  With new upgraded technology it can now produce the same amount of power using less desert, pleasing conservationists.  It can also store the energy, to be released when demand is high or at night.

Seed gene successes to continue.  The five-year collaboration deal between Israel’s bio-tech Evogene and US giant Monsanto has been extended by a further year.  Evogene’s computational technologies are designed to improve yield, fertilizer utilization and a plant’s reaction to environmental stress.

Happy customers at the deli counter.  A groundbreaking product by Shekel Electronic Scales, Israel's biggest maker of commercial and medical scales, can provide customers with useful information on special offers and incentives whilst waiting to be served at meat, cheese or deli sections of the supermarket.

Gesture-controlled cell phone.  The next must-have device is Israeli developer XTR’s motion sensor that can drive gaming software at a fraction of the price of Microsoft’s Kinect.  XTR (Extreme Reality) has just raised $8 million to hire more staff.


A record fruit crop.  The year 2011 will be a record year in Israel's fruit yield with a total of 690,000 tons of fruit produced, according to the Fruit Growers' Organization.  The land shall yield her fruit, …. and you shall dwell therein in safety.”

Superfish for stay-at-home shoppers.  I featured this innovative Israeli software in April. Superfish allows you to compare prices of items by searching Internet images to find similar items for sale elsewhere.  Superfish has just raised $4 million of funds for marketing and development including a possible mobile phone version.

24 Israeli companies in Texas.  The SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas is a B2B conference for the interactive, film, and music industries. Israel is considered a technology and creative powerhouse, and conference organisers have encouraged many Israeli companies to participate.

Israel & China will make the Qoros car.  The joint venture is building a factory near Shanghai that will have an initial capacity to produce 150,000 cars per year, for marketing in China and Western Europe.

Israel Day at NYSE.  The New York Stock Exchange celebrated its fifth annual Israel Day by hosting a conference on Israeli business innovators and start-up industries.  Organiser Tamar Guy said, “One of the best places to create jobs in the US is through innovation, and the best source for innovation is, naturally, Israel.”

“Buy Israel” week.  Blue & White week followed Black Friday.  Thousands of Israeli-produced bargains were on offer throughout the United States.


Streisand to sing for the IDF.  Barbra Streisand is set to headline a star-studded gala for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in Los Angeles on December 8. Organizers consider this a coup, given that the singer rarely agrees to sing at such events.

Catch the Jazz in Jerusalem.  Last day for the annual Jazz Globus Festival is Mon 5th Dec.  One hundred leading musicians participate in five concerts.

Free Chanuka performances for children.  The Ministry of Culture and Sport is sponsoring Chanuka happenings throughout the country. A new initiative is being undertaken to make 100 plays in more than 100 locations free for children, including Pippi Longstocking, Pinocchio, Aladdin, and more.


MKs to take etiquette lessons.  Could this start a trend?  A special workshop scheduled to open in the Knesset in two weeks will teach lawmakers the basic rules of etiquette, as well as some advice related to their special role as elective representatives.

Connect to our network.  In addition to cash payments, employment assistance, language training, etc. etc., on arrival at Ben Gurion, new immigrants will now also receive an Israeli SIM card and 200 minutes of free calls.

Six Israelis celebrate joint Bar Mitzvah in the Andes.  They finished army service, went on a backpacker holiday to Argentina, visited the local Chabad House and then celebrated their Bar Mizvahs, of course.

The first IDF mikveh.  The Israel Defense Forces will inaugurate the first military ritual bath in history on Thursday, at the southern Air Force base in Ovda.  The project was launched to cater for women living on base who previously had to travel the 60 km to Eilat.

The dolphins have arrived.  A pod of 10 dolphins including two calves was spotted wintering off Herzliya.  Experts say that there are now 300 – 400 Mediterranean Bottlenose dolphins that visit Israel’s shoreline regularly.  They are an inseparable part of Israel’s flora and fauna.


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli system to prevent accidental overdoses when administrating medication.
·        Success in trials for Israeli treatment for Type 1 diabetes
·        Jerusalem’s buses are being made accessible for wheelchair users
·        A heart-warming account of how Israeli soldiers treat African refugees on the border of the Jewish State.
·        The BBC praises Israel.
·        My latest Jerusalem Post blog – click on this link “Israel – where people matter
·        Six terrific youtube videos to watch.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


No human error.  Medical errors are the fifth leading cause of death and exact a greater toll on human life than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS. Israel’s Pro-IV has developed a computerized medical management system that ensures that caregivers must meticulously follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) when administering drugs. Any deviation from the plan, and the system that administers infusions of medications won't work.

Through the eye of a needle.  ActiView’s Israeli-developed ActiSight CT-navigation system guides a surgical needle to the precise location for pulmonary biopsies and tumour procedures.  ActiView is apparently in advanced talks about a joint development, marketing and distribution deal with a major US medical devices company.  Watch the video in this clip to see “cutting-edge” technology for keyhole surgery. (No blood).

A good night’s sleep.  Israeli biotech Intec Pharma has reported successful final results of its Phase II clinical trial for the Zaleplon accordion pill, for the treatment of chronic insomnia.

Success in treating juvenile diabetes.  Israel’s Andromeda Biotech has reported success in the Phase III clinical trial of its Diapep277 drug for the treatment of Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. The trial met its primary and secondary endpoints, and was found to be effective and safe.

Eli Hurvitz - one of Israel's great industrialists.  When asked what skills he possessed he once said “Other than driving a tractor, none.”  Eli Hurvitz went on to found Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals – the largest generic drug company in the world.  Eli passed away last week, aged 79.


Israel - a refuge, not just for Jews.  Aron Adler relates his encounter with refugees escaping into Israel.  “On one side of the border (Egyptian) soldiers shoot to kill. On the other side, they know they will be treated with more respect than in any of the countries they crossed to get to this point.”  “The Israeli soldiers who are confronted with these refugees do it not with rifles aimed at them, but with a helping hand and an open heart.”

Jerusalem bus stops being modified for wheelchairs.  1440 bus stops in Israel’s capital city are being modified or replaced to enable wheelchair users to benefit from the bus shelter and also to allow them to transfer onto the bus without having to negotiate the kerb.

Historic visit to Vietnam.  President Shimon Peres has made the first-ever official visit by an Israeli president to Vietnam. He was accompanied by a delegation of industry leaders from Israel's security, finance and business sectors, as well as the heads of major companies involved in infrastructure development, communications, high-tech, technology, water, and agriculture.  They expect to sign several agreements.

The seeds of peace.  Coexistence is just one of several programs blossoming at Israel’s largest botanical garden.  In the past year, the educational department of the Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem has brought together 160 Jewish and Arab children for combined studies.

Noa sings for peace.  Israeli Jewish singer Achinoam Nini (Noa) recently returned from performing in India (Goa and Dehli) with Israeli Arab singing partner Mira Awad.  Last week she co-hosted the 2011 Speaking Arts Conference in Jerusalem and introduced dozens of Jewish and Palestinian Arab musicians, actors and dancers.

Is Israel an apartheid state?  Denis Prager brilliantly rebuffs this absurd and obscene charge with powerful examples such as Arabs in top Israeli positions and professions.  Everyone needs to see this 6-minute film.

Great Gaza video.  This clip shows how Israel is helping Gaza farmers export their agricultural produce.  It is another “must see”, highlighting how the Jewish State goes that extra mile to help those Palestinian Arabs who reject the violence of their terrorist masters and just want to get on with their lives.


Israel can be the creative hub of the world.  Another excellent trailer for the forthcoming film “Israel Inside”.

Google helps Israeli start-ups.  Staring in August, Google will host roughly 20 “pre-seed” start-ups, or about 80 people, in its Tel Aviv building, for a period of a few months whilst they develop their high-tech ideas.  The project will provide support at exactly the stage when developers are often most in need of it.

Disease-resistant soybeans.  Israel’s Evogene Ltd. has signed a multiyear cooperation agreement with DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. to use Evogene's technology to develop soybean varieties that are resistant to the disease soybean rust. The market totals $1.5 billion a year, mostly in North and South America

Microsoft buys VideoSurf.  The Internet giant Microsoft has swallowed up another Israeli-founded start-up.  VideoSurf’s technology scans video websites, enabling users to easily find a specific video online. The technology can scan video clips quickly, implement a thorough search of their content (such as faces or events), and tag the various clips. As of April 2011, more than 20 million users view VideoSurf clips each month.

Israeli high-tech for good causes.  Israeli technology companies also do excellent social work.  In this example, Google Israel offers non-profit organisations help to improve their Internet presence.

Rare compliment from the BBC.  Amazing!  A positive article on Israeli high-tech from the UK’s broadcaster. “How Israel turned itself into a high-tech hub” by Katia Moskvitch.  A new leaf?  (I wish).


$35 million training system.  Israel Aircraft Industries has won a major order to supply the next generation of its EHUD Autonomous Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (AACMI) system ‘to a foreign customer’.

Anything you want, at the press of a button.  Swifto is the place you go to when you need something in a hurry.  It’s the place where you can find people to bring you things or do services for you when you need it done urgently – in New York City or in Israel.  Swifto was voted the most promising start-up of 2009.

Chance meeting leads to takeover.  Two Israelis bump into a third Israeli in a New York restaurant.  It led to the second largest ever merger between two Israeli companies. In May, Wibiya’s toolbar integration application was acquired by Conduit – the biggest web company in Israel – for $45 million.

EyeSight raises eyebrows & finance.  Israel’s top developer of touch-free interfaces for digital devices has raised $4.2 million for its innovative Gesture Recognition Technology.  So it is a good time to remind readers of what this amazing software can do.

Israel really is “The Business”. In case you missed it, last week’s Jerusalem Post blog (by Yours’ Truly) featured the achievements of many innovative Israeli start-ups.


The Boss is coming.  American rock legend Bruce Springsteen is set to give a concert in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv in June 2012.  It will be his first concert in the Jewish State.

And so is Lady Gaga.  International music sensation Lady Gaga is coming to give another concert in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, Israel in early August 2012.  Her previous concert in the Jewish State was in 2009.

It’s not impossible.  Israeli computer game company Funtactix has been chosen by Paramount Pictures to develop an official Facebook game to accompany the fourth movie in the Mission Impossible series, "The Ghost Protocol".

Jerusalem hosts European Karate Championship.  Israel’s capital city hosted the 2011 European Traditional Karate Championship, in which some 170 athletes from 15 countries took part.  It was the first time that the championship was held in Israel.


Protecting civilian lives.  IDF spokesperson Colonel Avital Leibovitch explains, on CBS News, the measures Israel takes to defend its citizens with minimal impact on Palestinian Arab non-combatants.

He died trying to save thousands.  Israeli entrepreneur and ex IDF combat officer Danny Levin was the first victim of 9/11 when he was stabbed to death whilst attempting to prevent terrorists from flying their highjacked plane into the twin towers.  On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 his family revealed the character of this unique individual.

30 year plan for Jerusalem.  Australian businessman Kevin Bermeister launched Yerushalayim 5800 designed to bring prosperity and tourism to the capital city of the Jewish State.  His goal is to build a beautiful, culturally rich, Jewish city.

Occupy the rooftops.  One of the most sensible protest movements I have seen.  Led by Solar Mosaic, an organization that tries to promote the spread of solar energy use in communities, Occupy Rooftops (also known as Community Solar Day) encourages people to take charge of rooftops that are a prime location for solar panels.  Last week people all over the world (including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) did just that.

Glenn Beck – “Defender of Israel”.  Glenn Beck, American journalistic figure and die-hard conservative, received the first Zionist Organization of America's "Defender of Israel Award".  In presenting the award, Sheldon Adelson said of Beck, "He is a man of courage and determination, who is devoting his life to battle evil. I have never met a Christian-Zionist like Beck. There is no greater supporter of Israel in the media."

“Give”.  Here is an inspiring video highlighting just a few of Israel’s great contributions to the world.  Accompanied by the music of Roni Daloomi.

All neck and legs.  Following the birth of a Capuchin monkey last month, visitors to Ramat Gan Safari last week witnessed the birth of a baby giraffe.  The labour was complicated and staff had to intervene when the baby’s legs had tangled around its neck. But within an hour, the calf was standing on its own next to its mother.


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli biotech can test food for contamination in 5 minutes.
·        An Israeli CT scanner can produce the highest quality 3D images of internal organs.
·        At the start of the agricultural season, Israel is ensuring that Gazans can export their produce.
·        A 17-year old Darfur teenage refugee in Israel has received the first letter from his parents in eight years.
·        Medical experts from Indonesia (the most populous Muslim country) are studying in the Jewish State.
·        An Israeli robot can produce energy from raw sewage.
·        Intel is investing $15 million in Israel to develop computer systems designed to be like the human brain.
·        Leonardo DiCaprio has bought shares in an innovative Israeli mobile technology company.
·        A frog, unique to Israel, has been re-discovered 60 years after it was thought to be extinct.
·        The families of two Holocaust survivor brothers have been re-united after sixty years

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Israel gets speedy results.  Israeli biotech TACount has developed a fast new test for harmful bacteria in food. The old method using petri-plates takes up to several days. TACount’s five-minute test would save the lives of many of the hundreds of millions of people who get sick from contaminated food every year.

Working with the UK in regenerative medicine.  Britain and Israel are establishing a new, joint fellowship exchange scheme to find breakthroughs in treating severe diseases using cell therapy, stem cell biology and gene therapy.  Israel and Britain are both world leaders in regenerative medicine.

Gout treatment gets US approval.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Krystexxa (pegloticase) for the treatment of gout patients. The drug was developed using Israel’s Bio-Technology General’s expertise in production and purification of recombinant proteins for parenteral use.

Monitoring patients wherever they are.  The University of Haifa is developing an integrated system to allow patients to lead normal lives, yet still receive updates and medical advice in real time outside clinically controlled environments.  The EU has granted the project 6 million Euros over four years - which beat sixty other proposals for funding.

3D images of your organs.  Israel’s Arineta Ltd has 18 patents for its development of a CT-scanner that can quickly image the entire cardiac space in a single 3D image.  It emits far less radiation than full body scanners and can capture much higher quality images of the heart.

PillCam for Japan.  Trials of Israel’s Given Imaging’s unique endoscopic capsule camera have begun in Japan where more than 42,000 people died from colorectal cancer in 2009. The disease can be prevented through early detection.


Jewish and Arab artists unite. 70 Jewish and Arab artists, musicians, performers and dancers are taking part in the annual Speaking Arts Conference, which aims to create co-operation, dialog and joint work between Jews and Arabs in the arts.

No apartheid here.  Our friend Stuart Palmer posts some typical observations about Arabs working side by side with Jews in his home town of Haifa.

Weekly deliveries last week.   Despite Gaza terrorists firing several Qassam rockets at Israeli civilians, 35,657 tons of goods were shipped into Gaza via Israel on 1,285 trucks.

No blockade on Gaza exports.  The Jewish State is to allow the terrorist state to export all its agricultural produce through Israel.  In the coming year, Gazans are expected to export 1,000 tons of strawberries and 20 million carnations to European markets.

Israel thanks Druze and Bedouins in the IDF.  Chief of Staff Benny Gantz visited two Bedouin and Druze villages and expressed his appreciation for the dedicated service that Bedouins and Druze soldiers have given to the IDF.  The enlistment rate in the Druze sector is higher than in the Jewish sector (83% versus 72%).

Scheme for recruiting high-tech Arabs.  125 Israeli Arabs have been hired by high-tech companies through President Shimon Peres's MaanTech Program. The program was launched a year ago by Peres and Cisco Systems president and CEO John Chambers.

Letter from home.  A Darfur teenager received a letter from home eight years after escaping to Israel.  Last Wednesday, M. opened the envelope he had waited eight years to receive. Inside was a first sign of life from the parents he left behind in Sudan when he was only 9 years old.

Israel may protect Africa.  Not only is the Jewish State doing its best to protect its own citizens from terrorism, it is now forming security alliances with Kenya, Uganda and the newly formed South Sudan.

Ugandan president’s visit surprises Uganda.  As President Museveni met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, it emerged his trip took Foreign Affairs ministry officials in Kampala by surprise.

Indonesians study Israeli mass catastrophe system.  Five medical experts from Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country – are graduating from a course at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center on coping with natural and man-made catastrophes.  They are among a group of 27 physicians and nurses from 17 countries.

“What you are doing with water technology is amazing.”  The 6th annual WaTec Exhibition and Conference drew thousands of people from all over the world who came to see Israel's “water miracle” first-hand – and perhaps to bring home some of that technology back to their countries where it is sorely needed.


Israeli robot produces energy from raw sewage.  Israeli start-up Global Recycling Projects Ltd has built a solar-powered biomass reactor that turns untreated sludge into gas that powers electricity-generating turbines.

Cleaning up emissions. The Dead Sea Bromide Company has developed a solution called "Markwell" that neutralizes mercury emissions from coal burned in power stations.

Condensed Matter Physics.  I have absolutely no idea what this is, but prominent researchers from China and Israel have been taking part in a 4-day conference on the subject at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  The two main subjects of the conference will be super-conductivity and topological insulators.  So there you have it.

Israeli technology improves sport performance.  Israel’s Applied Cognitive Engineering Ltd (ACE), has developed the ‘Hockey IntelliGym’ that helps players develop perception and decision-making skills. The technology was initially developed to train Israeli combat pilots on the cognitive brain level.

Scan as you buy.  With the Israeli-developed ShelfX, you scan the item yourself as you take it off the shelf.  No checkout queues whatsoever.  Now we just need to get rid of those trolleys and I may even enjoy shopping!

Granite and Storm.  These are the names of two of Israel’s latest high-tech vehicles for gathering intelligence.  The Granite combines synchronized radars and observation tools that can see the entire area and every target.  The Storm Mk3 Jeep operates in the toughest of conditions and protects passengers from bullets and rollover.

Developing the power of our brains.  Intel Corporation is investing NIS 55 million over the next five years in opening a new Israel research institute to research computational intelligence.  Intel will work with several Israeli academic institutions to investigate computerized systems and the power of analysis and understanding resembling the capabilities of the human brain.

Equipping Russian Satellites.  Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks will supply network equipment and Ka-band end-user terminals for Russia’s Rostelecom's future constellation of multi spot-beam satellites.  The deal is estimated at tens of millions of dollars.

Navigation for India’s company cars.  Israel’s portable navigation device developer NavNGo has launched operations in India to install its iGO GPS navigation software in company cars. NavNGo developed a special application for the Indian market, where streets are often unmarked and building’s numbers are not sequential.

Mapping the Mount of Olives.  Israelis are using 21st technology to record digital images and names of the 100,000 intact graves on the hill overlooking Temple Mount.  Already the system has found missing graves amongst the 150,000 dug over the past 3000 years.


Procter & Gamble to hire Israeli PhDs.  P&G Israel Innovation Center director Lital Asher said, " Last year, we hired five researchers with unique capabilities in the life sciences and computing. The company's global R&D team was impressed by the quality of the Israeli researchers, who achieved a score 20% above the global average of candidates."

Sleep easier in Canada and Korea.  Israel’s WideMed has won orders for its Morpheus Hx sleep apnea monitor from GE Healthcare for sale in Canada and South Korea.

Powering into India and Brazil.  With the recession in the USA and Europe continuing, Israeli technology companies like TowerJazz are expanding into the lucrative BRIC markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Speeding up those payments.  Israeli mobile payment application developer ZooZ Ltd. has raised $1.5 million to help rollout its payment solution.  ZooZ enables mobile app developers to integrate digital payment and checkout options easily into their Android or iOS applications.

Going Dutch to Eilat.  Dutch tourist agency Holiday Travel this week inaugurated a charter route between Schiphol Airport Amsterdam and Uvda Airport. It expects 8,000 Dutch tourists to use the charter service during the 2011-12 winter tourist season.

Israel is strategic to SAP.  The German software company’s Israeli R&D Centre is the front line of the company, where new ideas are tested out and turned into technology.

Strauss goes global.  Israel’s second-largest food & beverage company has teamed up with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group to bring Strauss Water’s high-tech, environmentally friendly purification products and services to the UK and Ireland.  The intention is to then expand the venture into to France, Australia and South Africa.


Even the stars invest in Israeli technology.  Leonardo DiCaprio has made a significant investment into Israeli start-up phone app/website Mobli.  Mobli offers a unique and exciting real-time take on mobile video and photography. When you check out the website, you can actually see what someone else is looking at.

The best in jazz and world music. The International Expo for Jazz and World Music in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will showcase the finest Israeli jazz and world musicians at top music venues.  Over 1,000 people are expected to attend.

Caesarea – the town for diving and driving.  Israelis love the ancient Roman port – for both its Underwater Archaeological Park and its 18-hole golf course.  Just be sure you don’t hit your ball into the water or you may not find it for another 2000 years.

Israel’s hoops are on top of their game. Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv consolidated its position atop basketball’s Euroleague Group C, improving to a 4-1 record with a 69-59 victory over Spirou Charleroi at Nokia Arena.

Casspi is coming home.  After months of speculation, Israel’s NBA basketball star Omri Casspi is definitely returning to join Maccabi Tel Aviv until the NBA lockout dispute has been resolved.


Hula painted frog rediscovered.  The frog is unique to Israel and was long thought extinct following the draining of the Hula valley in the 1950s.  It highlights the success of recent environmental improvements at the Nature Reserve.

Adapting to a new life.  Recent immigrants from Ethiopia to Israel study Hebrew at the Beit Canada Absorption Center in Ashkelon - one of 16 in the country that are the new arrivals' first home.

Such faith in Peace.  Six weeks after Asher Palmer and his son Yehonatan were murdered by local Palestinian Arab terrorists, Asher’s brother Shimon wants to “cross the wadi” and meet his Arab neighbours.

Inspired from above.  Rafi Peretz is Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defence Forces.  He was one of Israel’s first religious Air Force pilots.  At the lecture he delivered at Yeshiva University, he impressed many as an individual, a model soldier and a world class Torah scholar.

Family united after 60 years. Yad Vashem’s holocaust database has been generating hundreds of emotional reunions of long-lost families.  Although brothers Nahum and Yaakov Korenblum died 10 years ago, their descendents discovered each other after previous searching failed due to different spellings of their surname.


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israel doctor gave advice by email to a doctor in Iran that saved a pregnant Iranian woman.
·        Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) opened a new house for overseas children receiving heart surgery in Israel.
·        Thousands of international experts are attending the WATEC environmental conference in Tel Aviv.
·        Google Israel have put some amazing technological innovations on show.
·        Israeli scientists are growing forests in the desert.
·        40,000 visitors arrived on cruise ships during October - almost the same as for the whole of 2010.
·        Readers of a top travel magazine voted Israel the best Middle East honeymoon destination
·        Three great videos this week.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Israeli doctor saves Iranian woman by e-mail. A doctor in Iran consulted Dr. Adi Weissbuch of Israel’s Kaplan Medical Center, who was able to prevent complications that would have risked a pregnant woman’s life.

Non-invasive tummy-tuck. Israeli medical aesthetics manufacturer Viora provides a treatment that eliminates the excess skin remaining after extreme weight loss.  Instead of surgery, ReFit offers a non-invasive radio-frequency technique that tightens sagging skin in a series of 20-minute sessions.

Body shaping goes European.  Israel’s Ultrashape Medical has obtained EU CE Mark certification for its Vertical Dynamic Focus technology that removes fat and cellular tissue non-invasively.

New mothers rewire their brains.  Hebrew University researcher Dr Adi Mizrahi has proved that the apparent instinctive maternal abilities of new mothers are actually the result of changes in their neo-cortical networks.

A protein to protect against Parkinson’s.  PRX-105 from Israel’s Protalix Biotherapeutics may help drive the brain’s transcription machinery to follow a protective path leading to new treatment options for Parkinson’s disease.

Patch delivers Parkinson’s drug.  Israeli biotech Neuroderm has achieved promising results in trials of ND0611, a carbidopa patch for treating Parkinson’s disease.

Israel opens its heart to children.  Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) life-saving organisation opened a new home in Holon to house up to 250 children that undergo surgery.  Children are treated from all over the world including dozens at any one time from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority.


Israel – an island of tolerance.  A “must-see” short film of Israelis speaking about co-existence. It features Jews (several cultures), Arabs (Muslims, Christian and Druze), a French monk and a Dafur refugee.

Chemotherapy versus Grad missiles.  In a Haifa hospital, 15-year old Mohammad is being treated for severe face cancer.  His father Arrif says he cannot believe what has and is being done for Mohammed and himself.  Regarding the terrorist rockets from Gaza, he says “I am ashamed. The politicians and extremists are not ‘the people’. We only want to live a normal life alongside you.”

Bedouins benefit from Israeli solar power.  An Israeli solar company Arava Power is working to help the Bedouin Arabs, a mostly nomadic tribal people living in Israel, develop their share of the solar industry.

Israelis and Palestinian Arabs get to the heart of the matter.  The First Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) Regional Conference on Pediatrics brought together 15 Israeli and 22 Palestinian Arab physicians.

How to counter terrorists.  A delegation of senior American police commanders arrived here for a counter-terrorism training. They hailed from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Exploring the sea floor. The Nautilus project is an international endeavour involving Haifa University with state-of-the-art technologies involving diving robots and elaborate control rooms. It includes educational opportunities and public activities that raise awareness of the deep-sea environment and its secrets.

OECD praises Israel’s environmental work.  Deputy Secretary-General Rintaro Tamaki of the Organization for Economic Coordination and Development praised Israel for its successes in environmental protection in the past two years. "The Government of Israel is doing exceptional work and is investing considerable resources in socio-economic development while reducing harm to the environment and efficiently using natural resources.”

120 delegations at WATEC 2011.  Tel Aviv will host thousands of top international delegates who will share their insights and debate key issues facing the world's water and ecological systems.


See the atoms.  In Israel, we’re developing new materials atom by atom.  It’s a whole new scientific venture.  Watch Technion Professor Wayne D. Kaplan describe the Titan electron microscope – the only one in Israel.

A better, cheaper, greener battery. Israeli start-up Sol-Chip’s solar battery needs no re-charging or maintenance.  It can be used for alarms, monitors, game devices, identity tags, sprinklers and …. cows?

Where to park.  If a city wants to change its parking policies then this simulator from a team of Tel Aviv University researchers will help understand how these changes will affect motorists’ demand and behaviour.   

A new light on the street.  Bright LED is developing a LED street lighting solution that solves the problem of heat dispersion, thereby greatly improving energy use and slashing electricity consumption.  It is conducting a pilot of its streetlights in a major Israeli city, and it will soon conduct trials in cities in Europe and the US.

Five new Android Apps.  Google Israel is presenting some exciting software at its second annual developers conference on Sunday. The 2,000 participants will see:
·        A glove that translates sign language into text
·        A GPS system that can parachute medicine or supplies into disaster areas
·        An information system that displays explanations when you hold the Android device near an exhibit.
·        A rival to Microsoft’s Kinect that detects body motion and can be a platform for mobile games
·        Jewellery with LED lights that changes colour with your mood, location and speed of movement

Eyes for the colour-blind.  ‘Colorful’ is a Windows phone application that can tell you the colour of the object your phone’s camera is pointed at.  It was developed by three Hebrew University students and costs only $1.99

Growing forests in the desert.  Israeli environmental scientists plant hardy trees to improve air quality and provide renewable fuel, using ‘unusable' land and water.

Heaven for scientists.  That’s how Weizmann researchers describe their institute.  From cell recycling to exploding stars, these geniuses enjoy the time and freedom to produce the next phenomenal discovery.


More money in the bank.  Israel’s foreign currency reserves rose by over half a billion dollars during October.

More cash for start-ups. Sofinnova Ventures is raising a new $200 million fund to invest in young Israeli IT, communications, mobile, software, and digital media companies.

40,000 in one month October saw a sudden surge in visitors through the port of Haifa from Cruise ships – nearly as many as the whole of 2010.  Cruise companies have been avoiding the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia.

Russian tourists love Israel.  In a survey of 10,000 Russians, National Geographic magazine reported that the Jewish State was their most popular destination after Italy.  357,000 Russians have visited Israel so far in 2011.

Supporting Europe’s navy.  Israel’s Orbit Technologies has won a NIS 4.5 million services and support contract for its satellite communications systems with a leading European navy.

Another movie deal.  Israel’s AnyClip Media’s agreement with Warner Bros is its 3rd deal with Hollywood.  AnyClip’s technology enables users to find any moment from any movie in its database.

40 million bottles a year.  That’s the amount of wine that tiny Israel produces from its 300 wineries. And the quality is superb.  As Ezekiel prophesised “Mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to My people Israel; for they will soon come.”


Israel is the top Middle East honeymoon destination.  The readers of Recommend magazine, consisting of travel agents and industry professionals, have voted Israel as the sexiest romance/honeymoon destination in Middle East. For the fifth consecutive year, Israel was also chosen the best-selling destination in the region.

Visit Israel – take the ‘J’ train.  Here is a local tourist company’s perspective of the Jerusalem light railway.

Tel Aviv Port to resemble Times Square. The trendy Tel Aviv Port is about to undergo a complete makeover at night, with live television broadcasts and advertisements on its buildings.

Our new neighbour.  Israeli NBA basketball star Omri Caspi has bought a Netanya apartment for NIS 2.3 million (around $640,000).  I wonder if we should pop over to borrow a cup of sugar?

The show must go on.  The world Jewish Film Festival in Ashkelon will go ahead despite the threat of Hamas terrorist rockets.  The festival features 80 films from more than 20 countries –all with a Jewish theme.

Sights you seldom see.  AACI Netanya tours will take you to some of the most beautiful spots in Israel.  E.g. the warm springs in the Beit Shean Valley, where you see hardly anyone apart from the kingfishers.


The Israeli soldier on campus.  While sitting in an ethics seminar during IDF Special Forces training, Nadav Weinberg realized that the information he was learning was not common knowledge. Ever since that moment, Nadav has been determined to share what he has learned with people across the US, especially students.

An Iranian soldier’s plea to Israel – “Help get me out of here”.  The soldier said he served in the Iranian military and has Jewish roots. He claimed that his parents had become Muslims out of fear of the regime, but that his grandparents were Jewish and he sees himself as a Jew.

He fulfilled Ben Gurion’s request.  In 1969 Geoffrey Rogg met Israel’s first Prime Minister who asked him “when are you going to live in Eretz Yisrael?”  42 years later Geoffrey arrived at Ben Gurion airport on Aliya.

Educating German children.  On the 73rd anniversary of the nazi’s Kristallnacht riots, Israel and Bavaria signed an education exchange agreement to teach the histories of Israel and Bavaria to each other's students.

“Water will flow out from Jerusalem.”   Did Zechariah prophesise this?  A new NIS 1.2 billion pipeline will bring water from the coastal desalination plants to the capital and from there to the territories and even Jordan. 

How did she survive?  Adael Sheetrit saw the two incoming Grad rockets that exploded, wounding her parents and killing Yossi Shoshan.  Shrapnel hit Adael in the stomach and she had no pulse when she was taken to hospital.  Now, after surgery, she sits up in bed and declares 'I was granted a second life.'


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli biotech has developed a vaccine that prevents cancer from re-occurring.
·        Take a look at the new high-tech vehicles operated by Magen David Adom.
·        Israel is providing famine relief to Ethiopia.
·        The Landa program is helping Israeli Arabs succeed with their studies at the Technion.
·        Israel’s Nobel prize winner explains why Israelis make such great scientists
·        The 20th Anniversary of Operation Solomon – airlift of Ethiopian Jews – reveals some amazing stories.
·        A very fortunate escape for the congregants of an Ashdod synagogue.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


A vaccine to fight cancer.  Vaxil’s groundbreaking therapeutic vaccine VaxHit, developed in Israel, could prevent re-occurrence of 90 percent of all known cancers, including prostate and breast cancer.

Preventing gangrene.  Pluristem Thereputics’s PLX-PAD stem cell treatment has had success in combating critical limb ischemia (blockage of the arteries in the limbs), which can lead to gangrene and amputation.

Historic opening of medical school in the Galilee.  124 students began their studies at Bar-Ilan’s radical new institute, dedicated to preventing disease and promoting health. They included 54 Israelis who have returned to their homeland from foreign universities.  President Peres stated, “The Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee will change the face of the State of Israel.”

The new MDA vehicles.  See this great film of the new Magen David Adom emergency command & control vehicle and all-terrain response car.  I only realised at the end that the interview takes place inside the vehicle!

Watering kids helps them lose weight.  Researchers at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center Children’s hospital found that drinking water increases the metabolic processes in their bodies, providing a highly effective mechanism for burning energy and calories.


Hundreds of tonnes of food for Ethiopia.  The Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia presented Israel’s contribution to the Ethiopian drought relief effort via the disaster team of the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture.

Europe’s environmentalists meet in Israel.  Environmental leaders and researchers from all over Europe and Israel came together at the University of Haifa to discuss the challenges and costs of climate change.

Arabs at the Technion.  I could never understand how anyone could call Israel an Apartheid state. We saw hundreds of Arab students when we visited the Technion ten years ago. But now please watch this film.  The Landa Equal Opportunities Project has improved the success rate for Israeli Arab students phenomenally.

Circus school for Arabs and Jews.  In the nine years since the school was formed at Kfar Yehoshua, Muslims, Jews, Ethiopians, Russians, Druze and Christians have come together to juggle, jump and laugh.

Co-existence software house.  Joint Israeli-Palestinian Arab company Yazam “has a focus on business, and not about politics or anything else” to build high-quality software.

Barriers come down for Eid festival.  Despite a roadside bomb, rock attacks and stabbings, many checkpoints have been removed and extra permits have been issued to allow Arabs to enter Israel and visit families during the Muslim festival Eid-al-Adha that begins after the Hajj.

Even Goldstone admits it.  Having previously retracted his flawed report on Gaza, Judge Richard Goldstone confirmed that 'nothing in Israel comes close to the definition of apartheid'. He also stated that the 'charge Israel is an apartheid state is false and malicious'. He also defended Israel's counter-terrorism measures.


Huge volume of high tech events.  Following the Jewish holidays, some 30 high-tech events took place in Tel Aviv this week, to  discuss, analyze and demonstrate just about every tech topic under the sun.

The main event.  The Digital Life Design Summit at Tel Aviv Port seeks to evaluate and understand the impact of the digital lifestyle on life and design.  The co-chair is Yossi Vardi who brought ICQ instant messaging to the world in 1996.  Some of the attendees called the event Tel Aviv’s “Silicon Wadi”

Israel can power America.  This new video by energyNOW! looks at how discoveries in Israel could help revolutionize the way Americans generate energy.

Another Israeli algae bio-fuel company.  Early Oct we reported about Seambiotic.  This week it’s UniVerve, which has developed a complete process to produce animal feed and fuel.

A tour of opportunities.  17 Israeli clean-tech water and energy companies took part in a road show across the southern United States.  They will help implement solutions to recent legislation on desalination and recycling.

Solar energy home kits.  Two local Israeli solar energy and smart electrical energy companies Shyrel Solar Energy Systems and Ludivine Solar are giving homeowners the power to create their own renewable energy.  Ludvine even sells a solar-powered air-conditioning unit.

Your personal siren.  An Israeli company eVigilo has developed a system for residents to be notified of mass or local alerts through their mobile phone, television, radio, or computer.

Future protection.  It doesn’t eat, sleep or take a break.  If it gets blown up then nobody gets hurt.  The AMSTAF Autonomous Patrol Vehicle from Israel’s Automotive Robotic Industry is the ideal security guard.

And another.  This APV is by Research and Development Institute for Intelligent Robotic Systems, of the Computer Science Department of the College of Management Academic Studies (COMAS) of Rishon leZion.

“We are free thinkers, this is the Israeli spirit.” Nobel Prize winner Prof Dan Shechtman describes why Israel produces successful scientists.  The reason also explains why there are now three Nobel Laureates at the Technion. The film also contains some great moments, including words from Prof Shechtman’s son – a Technion PhD student and a personal science lesson conducted by the Professor for the Israeli Prime Minister.


New Green VC Fund.  A new Israeli-founded clean-tech venture capital fund called AquAgro II is investing in entrepreneurs that are developing the core solutions that our energy-intensive planet needs.

New consumer health care partnership.  Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals and International giant Proctor & Gamble have formed a joint venture called PGT Healthcare.  It expects to generate $4 billion revenue by 2020.

Magic.  Typical of any one of hundreds of Israeli high-tech companies, Magic Software Enterprises continued eight consecutive highly successful quarters with a 34% increase in revenue and a 60% increase in profit.


Big changes at Tel Aviv Museum of Art.  A new $55 million wing doubles the existing museum’s size.  It can now showcase hundreds of works by Israeli artists, mostly held previously in storage.

The Lions of Jerusalem.  Medieval knights, princesses and magicians are entertaining children at the City of Lions festival in the Jerusalem’s Old City every Thursday evening throughout November.  Entrance is free.

Israel welcomes NBA refugees. The addition of locked-out NBA players to the team rosters of the Israeli Super League has added a totally unique dynamic to the current basketball season

That’s entertainment.  Those making visits to the Jewish State include Emmy radio host Montel Williams and the Zurich Ballet.


Celebrating Operation Solomon.  Twenty years ago, Israel airlifted 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to the Jewish State in just 36 hours.  Yaroush Vanda was one of nine babies born in flight.  She is now an officer in the IDF.  At an event at the President’s house, Ethiopian-Israelis honoured included singer Esther Rada, IDF Major Shlomi Betza – who was critically wounded in combat in the Second Lebanon War and has since returned to combat duty, and successful high-tech businessman Asher Elias.

‘Israel Inside’ A new film by www.JerusalemOnlineUniversity.com shows how our tiny nation became a technological and business giant.  The producer’s previous success was ‘Relentless – the struggle for Peace in the Middle East’ which is still available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2533702461706761547#.
‘Israel Inside’ premiers in Miami on 1st December.

Full-throttle support for Israel.  A delegation of motorcyclists from the United States, made up mostly of Evangelical ministers, arrived in Israel as part of the Run for the Wall Israel campaign. It will include a nine-day motorcade across the country.

This IsReal.  Not a spelling mistake.  This is the title of a very unusual travel video to highlight Israel’s diverse culture & society.  It uses bold editing and colour-saturated cinematography  - plus a very striking soundtrack.  Note the united response to the siren for the two-minute silence on Israel’s Remembrance Day.

12,000 cheer Israel at Hungarian conference event.  The International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation (IIACF) Chairman’s conference included a gala public event in support of Israel hosted by Budapest’s Faith Church.  The IIACF translates grassroots evangelical support for Israel into political support.

Israel is a strategic asset for the USA.  Israel advances American national security interests, according to a report by former aides to presidents Clinton and Bush.  They contradict a previous report by Obama aides.

US diplomats love Tel Aviv.  US Embassy staff consider their Israel location as the Miami of the Middle East.

Egyptian activists support pro-Israel blogger.  Egyptian Coptic Christian Maikel Nabil has been adopted as a prisoner of conscience after authorities sent him to psychiatric hospital.

Wow!  An Ashdod synagogue has been holding Sabbath services continually for the last 40 years.  However last week the warden was in hospital having a planned operation and couldn’t open the synagogue.  Which is why no one was inside when a Kassam rocket from Gaza terrorists slammed into the building last Saturday.

Finally, the Good News newsletter is obviously ruffling a few feathers in various unsavoury sections of society.  Several unsuccessful attempts were made last week to try and block the website www.verygoodnews.blogspot.com and stop people from reading the good news about Israel.  It means that the newsletter is being recognised as a great way of projecting a positive image of the Jewish State.  Make it even more popular – tell your friends to subscribe!


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli surgeons conducted successful trials of an artificial pancreas for children
·        Israel airlifted tons of aid for the victims of the Turkish earthquake
·        Jerusalem council spent millions on schools in Arab neighbourhoods of the capital city
·        The Israeli solution to dog mess – a personal doggy-do incineration device.
·        A film explaining the workings of ReWalk – Israel’s device to help paraplegics walk
·        Feature on the huge power & desalination plant that Israel built for China.
·        Some interesting aspects of the Gilad Schalit story (5 separate articles)

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Artificial pancreas for children.  Hailed as a world breakthrough, physicians from Schneider Children's Medical Center in Israel completed a successful trial of the MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas (MDLAP).  It offers the potential of a “normal” life for diabetic youngsters by using an automatic insulin delivery system during the night. It thus eliminates the need for regular self-testing of blood glucose levels and insulin injections.

More success for MS treatment.  Brainsway’s non-invasive proprietary coil has successfully demonstrated that it can stimulate the motor cortex for the lower limbs in patients with advanced multiple sclerosis.

Medical clowns are seriously good.  The International Conference on Medicine and Medical Clowning is taking place currently in Jerusalem.  Clown therapy is becoming one of Israel’s most important exports.

New Jerusalem MDA HQ.  The $10m state-of-the-art station includes a modern blood collection centre, auditorium, visitors’ centre, facilities for more than 60 ambulances and mobile intensive care units and those who man them, and an advanced system for locating every building in the city and its environs.


Israel sends aid to Turkey.  Israel was the first country to send aid in the aftermath of the earthquake in Eastern Turkey.  The first report below is from the Turkish news media Hurriyet.   In 1999 Israel rescued 12 people and treated over 1000 following the devastating Turkish earthquakes that killed over 20,000 people.

Pope receives Israeli olive tree.  A 200 year-old olive tree has been shipped to the Vatican as a present to Pope Benedict XVI.  PM Netanyahu said that the tree symbolizes the blooming friendship between the two States.

Ecuador plans accessible parks.  Based on the Israeli model reported here last week.  The president of Ecuador is a paraplegic and wants to build 200 similar parks.  Uruguay is also interested in the idea.

Five women to become IAF pilots.  Israel Air Force's prestigious flight school will see the graduation of a record five female pilots this December.  They will join the 22 women who have already achieved this accomplishment since 1995 when the IAF introduced equal opportunity into flight schools.

Jerusalem invests millions in Arab schools.  Sparkling new or renewed classrooms, computers and sports facilities greeted 42,153 students and their teachers at schools in the Arab neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem. Additional programmes will advance gifted pupils, strengthen girls’ education and reduce school violence.

Palestinian Arab given Israeli’s kidney.  When a kidney became available following the death of a 38 year-old Israeli, surgeons at Hadassah hospital transplanted it into Bethlehem teenager Walid Daadua.

An Arab-Israeli’s support for Gilad.  In a gesture of solidarity, Mustafa Salim, 35, an Arab Israeli resident of the northern village of Muqaibla did not shave or cut his hair for more than five years until Gilad Schalit was released from captivity. “I am very proud of what I did and of the State of Israel. Such a kidnapping is not courageous and is not based on the culture of Islam."

Treatment of prisoners.  Don’t let Hamas kid you.  Prison conditions for the hundreds of Palestinian Arab terrorists just released were a whole lot better than those for kidnapped Israeli Gilad Schalit.  Click for the facts.


Israeli project to prevent flood deaths.  The World Bank sponsored a 3-day “WaterHackathon” conference in Tel Aviv to try to solve the world’s water problems.  An Israeli team won the competition to find the best disaster solution, for its project to amalgamate twitter and facebook messages relating to flood warnings.

Ashes – the end of the whole doggone problem.  This was the first University-developed innovation announced after the holidays.  A Hebrew University scientist has developed a ‘pooper-scooper’ that turns dog droppings into ash.  The video makes it look so easy that I think I’ll get one, even though I haven’t got a dog!

Israel perfects multi-racial facial hair removal.  A new Israeli-developed ultrasound treatment removes all colours of facial hair from all colours of skin - permanently.  Previous laser treatments only worked on dark hair and light skin types.

UK-Israel High-tech Council.  Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and representatives from the UK digital sector officially launched the British Embassy High-Tech Hub in Israel, in a 300 people event.

Google puts the Technion on the map.  The Technion became the first Israeli University to be photographed for Google Street View.  Filming lasted two days, using special cameras to take 360-degree views.

How ReWalk works.  Dr Amit Goffer invented the amazing Israeli exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk upright. He explains how the device works at Israel’s Technion, where he and his team studied science.


September CSE Index increases again.  Israel’s Composite State of the Economy Index increased by 0.3% from its August figure.  Exports of Goods and Services rose, following declines in August.

‘Israel's relative economic standing is strengthening.’  The Israeli Ministry of Finance revealed that demand for Israeli Bonds exceeds supply.  Unlike the European debt crisis, everyone wants to lend Israel money.

Israel’s economy will be Green.  The Government approved the set-up of a National Plan by May 2012 for “socio-economic growth and development that promotes the efficient, cost-effective and lasting use of natural resources”.  The goal is to generate billions of shekels for the Israeli economy, as well as to save billions combating environmental and health hazards.

Israeli chocolate is divine.  The gourmet chocolate scene in Israel is expanding and boutique chocolatiers are going international with their fine hand-crafted delights.

Made in Israel - China’s power & desalination plant.  Beijiang’s state-of-the art complex was almost wholly made in Israel, shipped to Tianjin and bolted together.  The generator uses its leftover heat to distil seawater into fresh water.


Oscar-winning producer backs Israeli cinema.  Gareth Unwin’s ‘The King’s Speech’ won 4 Academy awards.  He has come to the Haifa Film Festival to sign a joint production contract between Israel and Britain.

Art in Jerusalem.  The Manofin art festival is a grassroots initiative involving over 250 artists and attracting 10,000 visitors.  Free shuttle buses displaying works of art will take the audience between exhibitions.
One of the exhibitions is of Wildlife Art at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory run by the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel.

Jason cooks for Peace.  Seinfeld star Jason Alexander learned about cooking and peacemaking with chef Moshe Basson, owner of The Eucalyptus, a biblical themed restaurant in Jerusalem.  Basson, is a member of "Chefs for Peace," an association that brings together Israeli and Palestinian Arab chefs.

David vs Goliath brought up-to-date.  Jewish rock band JudaBlue has released this unique record and video interpretation of the classic biblical battle.  The athletic gymnastics are quite breathtaking.


Browsing round the Jaffa flea market.  The Jaffa flea market is one of the oldest bazaars in the world. Whereas it used to be a place to find knick-knacks and second-hand furniture or clothing, today it is also rapidly becoming one of the trendiest spots in Israel.

A virtual lesson on the Dead Sea.  Students and teachers all over Israel logged online to learn about the Dead Sea, as part of the campaign to make it one of the internationally recognized “New 7 Wonders of Nature.”

Rare baby monkey born in Tel Aviv.  Only 40 Capuchin monkeys exist in captivity – seven of them at the Ramat Gan safari.  So the birth in Israel of the first baby Capuchin for nine years was a special event.

Israel reinforces Tel Aviv buildings.  Israel is spending NIS 235 million upgrading 466 apartments in the Bat Yam area of Tel Aviv to protect against earthquakes. It will also build 343 new earthquake-proof apartments.

El Al speaks up for Israel.  The country's national airline El Al has decided to recruit its pilots and flight attendants to become unofficial diplomats in promoting the Jewish State abroad.

“As much time as you want”.  That’s how much paid leave Noam Schalit’s employer Iscar gave him while the terrorist group Hamas held his son Gilad captive.  They also provided food and an apartment in Jerusalem.

A circle is closed - nearly.  It was revealed this week that the pilot that flew Gilad Schalit back home was the son of the pilot who ejected with Ron Arad when their plane was shot down over Lebanon 25 years ago.  Yishai Aviram escaped, but Ron Arad was captured by Amal terrorists and is still missing in action.

Wow!  When Chana Kanterman visited the late Lubavitch Rebbe 21 years ago she received his blessing and a dollar bill on which the Rebbe wrote a Hebrew date.  Many years later Chana visited the Schalits’ protest tent in Jerusalem and gave the dollar bill to Gilad’s mother Aviva as a good luck present.  On Tishri 20th when Gilad was released, Aviva looked at the date on the dollar bill.  It said “Tishri 20”!


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli non-invasive treatment for one of the biggest medical problems – congestive heart failure
·        An IDF patrol saved the lives of two Palestinian Arabs who fell three floors in a PA controlled town.
·        Seven Israeli companies are included in the list of the world’s top 100 clean technology innovators
·        Israeli night-vision system will help reduce accidents
·        An Israeli company is building a massive solar power station in California
·        Madonna has confirmed that she will perform in Israel on June 10th next year
·        A WW2 rescued Torah scroll is the 200th to be restored and presented to the Israeli army.
·        A musical tribute to Gilad Schalit by Israeli singer-songwriter Arik Einstein

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Given Imaging – the inside story.  Israel’s Given Imaging makes the world-famous PillCam miniature camera and developed the unique Bravo pH capsule that diagnoses sufferers of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.  The video celebrates Given Imaging’s 10th anniversary of its NASDAQ listing - an inspiring Israeli success story.

Better heart function, without surgery.  Israel’s Enopace Biomedical is developing a non-invasive implant that prevents heart failure by easing the pressure in the left ventricle and improving blood flow to the heart. It could be the biggest breakthrough treatment for congestive heart failure.


Teaching the Chinese about Israel. Chinese universities have launched their first-ever Israel Studies program.  Yaakov Kirschen (better known as the pro-Israel author of the cartoon series “Dry Bones”) is to be the keynote speaker at the inaugural event and will give lectures at universities in Shanghai, Beijing, Henan and Chongqing.

The Canadians come in force.  Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter has brought a delegation to Israel on a weeklong trade mission to Israel and the Palestinian territories.  Their goal is to develop IT, clean-tech, marine and life-sciences businesses.

Playgrounds are accessible.  Child-friendly Israel has several parks and playgrounds with special facilities for wheelchair users.

IDF treats injured Palestinian Arabs.  An IDF patrol provided emergency medical treatment to two Palestinian Arab workers who fell three floors in a PA administered town southwest of Hebron. 

Arabs tweet that “Israel cares about its citizens”.  Israel’s exchange of 1027 Arab terrorists for Gilad Schalit has impressed many Arab users of the Internet’s Twitter communication system.


As strong as steel – but made from proteins.  Israel’s Fulcrum Stable Proteins is the first company in the world to harness proteins and nanoparticles for use in composite materials. It has just raised $2.3 million.

Israeli company wins Global award.  Israeli wastewater treatment company Emefcy was named Early Stage Company of the Year at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit and Gala held in Washington, DC.  Seven Israeli companies were included in the Top 100 – the only Middle East country to be represented.

Israeli night vision will prevent road accidents.  Brightway Vision has adapted its parent company Elbit’s night vision technology and is now working to produce an inexpensive system that improves vision while driving at night in order to prevent road accidents.

France & Israel harness the sun together.  The French company EDF energy is working in partnership with Dalkia Israel to build five solar farms on Kibbutz sites across Israel.

20 years at the top.  Moshe Lichtman has retired from being the head of Microsoft Israel’s Research & Development.  Now at 55, he wants to build an Israeli company with annual sales over $1 billion.

Order from the e-Menu.  Throughout Israel and abroad, Israeli company Conceptic’s has an exciting way to order your food in a restaurant.  It’s been available for a few years, but I’ve only just got my teeth into it.

Waze goes to China.  The Israeli social-enhanced satellite navigation traffic guidance system is to launch in the world’s largest country. 20% of Israelis and 7 million Americans use Waze.  Also a 21 minute overview film.

Controlling video.  Israeli start-up Qwilt has launched its product to manage the increasing volume of video traffic on companies Internet networks.  Video is now 40% of Internet traffic and is forecast to double by 2015.

Technion team wins European competition.  The team won $20,000 in the regional finals of the Intel Challenge Entrepreneurship competition in Poland. Their “perfect photo” venture goes into the global final in the US in November.

More solar power for California.  Israel’s BrightSource Energy is building a huge 750MW Concentrated Solar Power plant that will generate more electricity than 3.5 traditional US coal or gas-fired power plants.

Cairo Genizah to go on-line.  Tel Aviv University researchers have developed sophisticated software, based on facial recognition technology, to piece together digitized fragments of the fragments discovered in an Egyptian synagogue in the late 19th Century.

Tiny Israel – a giant in scientific research.  Read Jonah Mandel’s excellent summary for AFP news agency.


The 50 fastest growing Israeli technology companies.  In this list, the top company has grown six thousand percent in the last five years.

Israeli inflation rate falls again.  The Central Bureau of Statistics’ Consumer Prices Index for September fell by 0.2% due to lower food prices.  Fresh fruits cost 16.5% less than the previous month.

A little bit more gas.  Finding 42.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas off Israel’s coast is no longer big news.  The Or-1 site contains only a fraction of the huge discoveries at Tamar and Leviathan.

A ‘Wise’ choice.  An unnamed Asian country has signed a $15 million contract to buy Elbit’s Wise Intelligence Technology (WiT) system.  WiT supports every stage of the intelligence and investigation process.


Madonna concert confirmed.  The date is 10th June and the gig is scheduled for the only place in Israel that can really accommodate her – HaYarkon Park in Tel Aviv.

Magical mosaics in Netanya.  International artists exhibited imaginative mosaics produced from ceramics, sponges and socks along the tourist cliff walks from North to South Netanya during the Sukkot festival.

Israeli gymnast wins world bronze medal. Alexander Shatilov finished 3rd in the floor exercise at the World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo and has secured his ticket to the 2012 London Olympic Games.


From anti-Semite to Zionist.  British Muslim Kasim Hafeez went from hating Israel, to founding the website theisraelcampaign.org.  The change happened when he read “The Case for Israel” by Prof Alan Deshowitz.

Turning rockets into roses.  With just a hammer, anvil and furnace, Israeli artist Yaron Bob melts, moulds and sculpts the remains of Kassam rocket attacks from Gaza into gorgeous flowers.

The reason to make Aliya.  Participants at the Jerusalem Conference for English speakers have a message to Jews in the Diaspora: Come to Israel!

50,000 at International Jerusalem march.  The annual festival of Sukkot march included 10,000 visitors from Brazil, the U.S., Norway, Denmark, Thailand, China, and Italy who wanted to identify with Israel.

Shaking the Lulav.  I couldn’t resist this.  The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” and the festival of Tabernacles.

Another excuse to celebrate – Simchat Torah.  We’ve had a week of joy here in Israel – and it ended with the festival that marks our re-start of the cyclic reading of the Five Books of Moses.  It’s even been known for the Rabbi to bring in a bottle or two of whiskey to help the celebrations along.

Torah scroll comes home.  Rescued from the Holocaust, restored and presented to the IDF at Sirkin Army base, Young Israel’s 200th restored Torah scroll was dedicated to the memory of one of the founders of YI’s Redeem a Torah campaign Ruby Davidman, who died last year.  Davidman’s grandson Amit serves at Sirkin.
This is a truly fascinating and moving story.

Song for Gilad.  Arik Einstein and Guy Bocati have written a piece of music that they hope will give Gilad Schalit some comfort following his return from five years of captivity – “Now you are here”


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli Multiple Sclerosis drug treatment is proved to be the most effective on the market.
·        Both Arab and Jewish Israelis benefit from organs donated by German accident victim.
·        Watch as an Israeli pilot lands his plane safely after a bird strike nearly destroys both engines.
·        Israel is helping reduce world pollution by building a $1.3 billion solar energy farm in China.
·        An Israeli company is helping seven African countries become self-sufficient in agriculture.
·        US soldiers on a rehabilitation trip give the Jewish State top marks on its treatment of its veterans.
·        UK Ambassador to Israel builds the first ever British Embassy tabernacle for the Jewish holiday.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Israeli MS drug is the most effective.  The results of a five-year study shows that Teva’s Copaxone was the best of all current drug treatments for controlling the disease’s adverse impact on patients’ brain volume.


Organs save Israelis Arab and Jew.  Haneen Hajo and Leonid Feldman met the brother of German journalist Antonia Boegner who died in a car accident in Israel.  Hajo received Antonia’s lungs and Feldman, her liver.

20 countries learn from Israel.  The sustainable development course run by MASHAV has attracted NGO leaders from Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, China, India, Kenya, Kyrgzystan, Moldova, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine and Zambia.

Millions learn about Israel.  Five international mass-bloggers went on an 11-day trip to Israel.  Their two million readers are now seeing a different story about the Jewish State than the one they are used to hearing.
For example, Koustubh Katdare from India  http://superblog.crazyengineers.com/

He named his daughter “Golda”.  The new Philippine Ambassador to Israel was so proud of Israel’s first woman prime minister that 26 years ago he gave her name to his baby daughter.  "I wanted my daughter to be a good strong woman who will know how to face this world” said Ambassador Generoso Calonge.


The next Nobel Prize for Chemistry?  Weizmann scientists Brian Berkowitz and Ishai Dror have designed a chemical treatment system that can purify polluted water.  It combines Diatomite, Iron and Vitamin B12.

From garbage tip to environmental park.  The Hiriya landfill site that used to be such an eyesore to motorists has become Ariel Sharon Park and a top tourist destination during the holiday of Tabernacles.

Israeli technology ensures no lulav shortage.  Due to Egypt’s ban on the sale of palm branches to Israel for the Tabernacles holiday, an innovative Israeli technique was used for storing previously harvested branches.

Training for all eventualities.  Israel’s navy has installed a new simulator known as the “Bridge”.  The new anti-terror technology will allow Israeli marines and commandos to thwart threats at sea more efficiently.

Keeping a close eye on Iran.  Israel is about to launch a spy satellite, able to take high-resolution images from an altitude of 600 kilometres.  Its main task will be to keep a watch on Iran's nuclear programme sites and its arms shipments to Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah.

Israeli pilots are the best.  See what happens when a flock of pelicans collide with an F15 plane?  The engines catch fire and the pilot has just seconds to avert disaster.

Your personal route planner.  When you visit the Haifa Museum of Art you are invited to complete a questionnaire and then are given a tailored guide to which exhibits should interest you.

Bringing up baby using your smartphone.  An Israeli father has developed a new iPhone application ‘YellowBrck’ that is full of tips and ideas for entertaining children.


Time is on Israel’s side.  Great summary of Israel’s economy by Yoram Ettinger – ex Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington.

3.6 million tourists to Israel.  In the last 12 months there has been a 17% increase in tourism to the Jewish State.  Cruise passenger numbers increased by 68% to 208,000 visitors.

Barclays upgrades Israel high-tech stocks.  Stock picks are Ceva. Ezchip, Mellanox, Amdocs and Ceragon.  Each benefits from increased network traffic and storage requirements, driven by growing amounts of data.

Microsoft to invest $1.5 million in Technion.  Impressed with Israel Technion’s new Nobel Prize winner, Microsoft’s funding will allow the new research centre to focus on artificial intelligence, games theory, computer science, economics, and psychology and their applications in e-commerce.

Israel wins massive Chinese solar energy contract.  Israel Electric Corporation is to build a $1.3 billion project of three photovoltaic solar energy arrays in northern China.

Generating another “Start-up Nation”.  A new funding company seeks to marry Israeli high-tech start-ups with investors in Brazil to boost commercial opportunities in South America's fast-growing economy.

Growing agricultural knowledge in Africa.  An Israeli company, Green 2000, is helping Nigeria, Chad, Angola, South Sudan, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana become self-sufficient by teaching them agricultural techniques that can increase food production significantly.


The week’s events include the Kol HaOt artists fair, Blessings of the priests, Sukkot parade and RockAmi rock music concert in Jerusalem; the Israeli Harp festival in Jaffa and the Dead Sea Tamar music festival.  Sorry – there is so much happening that there is only sufficient space here for embedded links to these events.


Non-Jewish heroes tell their stories.  Over 130 Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews during WW2 have just emerged in Israel.  They had decided, post-war, to immigrate to the Jewish State rather than remain in Europe.

The beauty of Israel.  Here is an article featuring the top 10 public gardens in the Jewish State.

Aliya is a good career move.  As the downturn grinds on in the USA, more ambitious young professionals have been lured by Israel’s robust economy.  In 2010, nearly 4,000 North Americans made aliya, more than any year since 1973.

From US marine to Givati brigade.  Yehuda Medwin survived a roadside bomb in Iraq.  After 4 years of combat he arrived in Israel on Aliya and quickly joined the IDF.  After his service he wants to study at yeshiva.

“It’s like we were brothers”.  Ten non-Jewish US army veterans injured in service visited Israel on a 10-day trip.  They were surprised to find how well they connected with the Israelis they met. “The U.S. could learn a lot from how Israel treats its veterans.”

Tabernacles – army sized please.  The Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers has provided the IDF with 50 massive Succoth (booths) and 1000 sets of the four species for use during the Festival of Tabernacles.

UK Ambassador builds a Sukkah.  Matthew Gould’s first ever sukkah is also the UK Embassy’s first ever sukkah.  “All the nations will come to celebrate the feast of Sukkoth in Jerusalem.” One day.

New water pipeline work uncovers ancient bath.  During excavations for a new water line for Israel’s Mekorot national water company, archaeologists uncovered a mikve (Jewish ritual bath) over 2000 years old.

Are Ben Gurion staff getting friendlier?  It may have been a one-off, but passengers flying out of Tel Aviv earlier this month received some personal good wishes from the security staff after passing passport control.

Less waste.  Israel has approved a new version of the Environmental Protection Ministry’s National Master Plan, which will grant priority to waste treatment and recycling over burying garbage in landfills.


Whom did he think he was he kidding?  When Israeli police opened the car boot of a suspected car thief, a goat jumped out.  The thief admitted that after stealing the car he saw the goat and decided to steal that too.

Kosher bacon in Jerusalem.  What do you think about this?  It’s made from lamb but (apparently) resembles the forbidden food.  On the menu at a small, off-the-beaten-track French restaurant called Moise.

Israel – Living Prophecy.  A film that some may find inspiring.

Life after death.  Yossi Shohan of Beersheba was killed in August by a rocket fired by Gaza terrorists.  On Yom Kippur, his widow gave birth to a son.


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israel Technion professor has won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
·        An Israeli scientist has repaired brain damage in a rodent, by implanting the first working artificial brain.
·        An Israeli drug for pancreatic cancer shows so much potential, that the US FDA has fast-tracked approval.
·        Israel held the first ever joint conference for Israeli and Palestinian Arab eye doctors.
·        Israeli school children show major improvement in latest academic achievement scores.
·        An Israeli company is installing wireless broadband in Luanda, capital of Angola.
·        In a secret operation, Jewish books over one thousand years old have been rescued from Syria.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Artificial brain restores motor function in rodent.  Tel Aviv University scientist Matti Mintz successfully implanted a robotic cerebellum into the skull of a rodent with brain damage, allowing it to function normally again.

Treatment for Haemophilia sufferers.  Israeli biotech Prolor reported positive results in animal trials of its haemophilia drug Factor VIIa-CTP.

Pancreatic cancer drug is fast-tracked.  The US Food and Drugs Administration has given priority approval to new treatment BC819 from Israel’s Biocancell Therapeutics.

Canadians will sleep better.  Canada has given approval for Israel’s WideMed to market its Morpheus OX and HX sleep apnea monitoring systems.

A shared vision.  A hundred Israeli and Palestinian Arab doctors met at the Peres Peace Centre in Jaffa for an ophthalmologic convention, the first ever joint medical conference on such a scale.  A great co-existence video.

Kids!  Surgeons at Petah Tikva’s Children’s Medical Centre removed a 3.5 cm screw that had been swallowed by a three-year old boy.  Dr Noam Zavit used a tiny “basket” to pick up the screw and pull it out through the oesophagus and throat.  In August, Dr Zavit pulled an open safety pin from the throat of an 11-month-old baby.


Dynamic relations with Nigeria.  Africa’s most populous nation is Israel’s second-largest export market in Africa. Friendly diplomatic relations have been established since 1993.  Read this latest fact-sheet.

Australians For A Secure Israel.  We send our best wishes to AFASI – a new organisation to support Israel.

Blood Relations.  Palestinian Arab and Israeli parents, who have lost children through the conflict, came together to donate blood to each other’s hospitals as part of their activities marking International Peace Day.

Israelis pour over to Arab beer festival.  It’s October again so that means its Oktoberfest at the Christian Arab town of Taybeh, just outside of Ramallah.  Barely any security was visible and definitely not needed.

‘We want to be friends’.  Jewish teenagers from Jerusalem joined with Arab Muslims and Christians from Nazareth in a successful dialogue project over 10 months.  The students toured Nazareth and Jerusalem, learning more about each city and the diverse cultures and traditions that define the country.


Israeli wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry.  Israel Technion’s Professor Dan Shechtman has been named as the winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of patterns in atoms called quasicrystals.
In this film he describes his discovery.
And here he discusses his innovative and massively popular course on Technological Entrepreneurships.

More investment in clean energy. The BIRD Foundation is putting another $3.1 million into four Israeli clean-tech companies.  Their innovative technology will be used to advance USA renewable energy goals.

Israel’s future innovators.  President Shimon Peres and Minister of Education Gideon Sa'ar have launched the Israeli future inventor and scientist program.  65 teenagers aged 13-16 are already enrolled.

Israelis discover ancient supernovae.  A team of Israeli and Japanese astronomers have found the largest ever sample of the most distant exploding stars using the Subaru Telescope, located at the 4,200 meter-high summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii.

Cleaning up Haifa bay.  Israel has implemented new water treatment and fuel fumes treatment facilities that will greatly reduce pollution in Haifa Bay. The upgrade of systems at Haifa's Oil Terminal cost NIS 50million.


Israel’s GDP revised upwards.  Both the IMF and Israel’s own Central Bureau of Statistics have increased their estimates for Israel’s 2011 GDP.  The IMF now predicts 4.8% and the CBS calculates it will be 5%.

Better air travel from Canada.  Following a new agreement between El Al and WestJet, passengers will have better connections between Israel via Toronto to the rest of Canada, plus Florida and the Caribbean.

Mellanox unleashes its power.  Israeli technology company Mellanox has partnered with Microsoft to boost the performance of the computer giant’s popular SQL Server database using its innovative software drivers.

Come on you bees!  US agro-chemical giant Monsanto has bought up Israeli biotech start-up Beelogics.  Beelogics develops targeted biological pest and disease control solutions for bees and bee colonies.

Intel navigates another Israeli buy-out.  Chipmaker Intel Corp. has agreed to acquire Israel-based mobile navigation software maker Telmap. Israeli media said Intel was paying about $300 million.

Israeli biotechs hit the China road.  Eleven Israeli life-science companies, plus Israel’s Chief Scientist, embarked on a road show in China.  US investment is at a premium and China offers big funding opportunities.

Angola buys broadband from Israel.  Israel’s Alvarion has won a $2 million order from Angola Communications Systems for its high-speed wireless broadband network within the capital, Luanda.


From Kuwait to Israel via 3 generations.  Two Jewish boys Salah and Daoud al Kuwaiti were top musicians in the Arab world until forced to leave 1950’s Iraq.  Now Daoud’s grandson, Dudu Tassa, has blended their music with his own and revitalised many of their popular Arabic songs.

Colour in the Shuk.  Mahaneh Yehuda, Jerusalem's most colorful "shuk," or marketplace, is usually closed for the evening. But for four Monday nights in July, the Balabasta Festival came to the alleys of the market.

Britney for Israel.  Barring a last-minute change, the world's most successful pop diva, Britney Spears, is set to perform in Israel this November.  A former student of Kabbalah, Britney expressed great interest in Israel.

Israeli documentary picks up an Emmy.  'Google Baby', about parents' quest for a perfect baby, wins American award in Outstanding Science and Technology Programming category.


Big improvement in academic results. Results from last school year's exams showed a significant jump in achievement in the core subjects of math, English, science and technology and mother-tongue studies.

‘Israel trains animals for terror attacks’.   Has Michael lost his senses?  Don’t fret – it’s a spoof film clip of sharks, vultures and squirrels that certain madmen are claiming to be Israeli spies.  It would be hilarious, if only millions didn’t believe it.

Kibbutz members discover Judaism.  Rabbi Moshe Black, director of Bayit Yehudit, says that in light of numerous requests from the kibbutz and moshav movements this year, there is a great need for volunteers to participate in, and lead prayers, in these communities.

Ancient blade production discovered.  Tel Aviv University archaeologists have discovered thousands of long, thin cutting tools at Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv.  It shakes up previous ideas of prehistoric civilisations.

Tel Aviv’s first Ethiopian Rabbi.  30 years after being imprisoned and tortured in Ethiopia, Rabbi Yehudah Salah, 50, made history on Monday by becoming the first Ethiopian rabbi officially recognized in Tel Aviv, and has been placed in charge of the city’s Ethiopian community.

Birthright matches Aussie and Israeli.  When Australian Gerard and his Birthright tour guide Michal found out they were born on exactly the same day, they knew they were destined to build their Israeli home together.

Holy books rescued from Syria.  In a James Bond-style operation, eleven important Jewish works, some dating back 1,000 years were spirited out of Damascus and are now in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

More good news.  Another great article summarising Israel’s achievements.  “Boycotting Israel – a crime against humanity” by Ben-Dror Yemini.

Happy New Year!  Cheer yourself up with this article which analyses the latest Israeli satisfaction survey and concludes that despite what might be in store for us in the coming year, we still love our little country.


In this week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

  • Israeli scientists have discovered how to block the septic shock effect of deadly bacteria.
  • Israeli doctors saved the life of a Palestinian Arab girl who fell from a Ferris wheel in Gaza.
  • Israeli doctors have repaired the severed hand of a Palestinian Arab artist, allowing him to paint again.
  • Israel gave asylum to an albino girl from Ivory Coast and to her parents.
  • An Israeli company has opened a commercial factory to make fuel from greenhouse gases.
  • Life has been discovered in the Dead Sea.
  • High quality images of the 2000 year-old Dead Sea scrolls went on-line.
  • Four “miracle” quadruplet boys born 13 years ago celebrated their barmitzvahs at the Western Wall.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Blocking bacterial toxins.  A team of researchers at the Hebrew University has found a way to block a group of fatal bacterial toxins that have to date resisted all attempts to arrest them with conventional drugs.

Wheel of fortune.  Kaplan Medical Center doctors saved the life of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl from Rafah in Gaza after she fell from a malfunctioning Ferris wheel near her home and was critically injured.  “I wish for peace between us and Israel,” Abir Abu-Nakira said. “Kaplan physicians saved me.”

Returning to art.  A Palestinian Arab is able to paint again despite having his hand severed in an accident 18 months ago.  At Hadassah, a surgeon re-attached the hand and occupational therapists provided rehabilitation.

New Israeli monitor can revolutionize diagnosis of bladder cancer.  RealView's imaging system is implanted and provides a 360-degree view of the bladder for two years of monitoring.

Teaching health to the world.  19 international students graduated from the Hadassah – Hebrew Uni masters program in Public Health.  They included students from China, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Sudan.

Medical research facility gets financial boost.  The Israeli government has added another NIS 20 million to the current NIS 50 million funding for Bar Ilan’s new Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee.


Israel is all heart.  Currently 31 children are being treated by Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart at the Wolfson Medical Centre.  Among these are 13 Palestinian Arab children.

New infant care centre in Arab neighbourhood.  The Jerusalem municipality opened a new Infant Care Centre in the mainly Arab-populated Shiloach (Silwan) section of Israel’s capital city.

Albino child is given asylum.  The parents of Maiken Kaita have also been allowed to stay in Israel after determining it would be too dangerous for the albino child to return to Ivory Coast where albinism is a stigma.

Sudanese refugees to Israel escape racism in Egypt.  Many of the thousands of Sudanese refugees entering Israel illegally each month aren’t fleeing war and oppression in their homeland but life in Egypt.

A special welcome.  Bnei Akiva’s Shevet Yuval program has brought special needs students from Australia to visit the Jewish State.  The program treats every participant as an individual and as an equal.

Why the USA needs Israel.  Anti-terrorism support, innovative defense systems, microchip design, medical technology; Israel is a strategic asset for the United States.

One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change.  Israeli poets in Haifa joined those in over 95 countries to hold an event where they read their works to promote social change and dialogue for peaceful conflict resolution.

Freedom of speech.  In Israel all three main TV networks broadcast Abbas’s speech to the UN in full without interruption. In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority TV turned the cameras off the moment that Netanyahu took to the podium.


Food and fuel from greenhouse gas.  Israeli clean-tech company Seambiotic uses algae to turn carbon dioxide from power plants into fuel and feedstock.  Seambiotic will launch its first commercial algae farm in China.

Better wheat crops.  Thanks to Israel biotech Evogene’s tools for researching the wheat genome, Bayer Cropscience can improve wheat yield, drought tolerance and fertilizer-use-efficiency of new varieties of wheat.

Improving Israeli cows.  They are already the best milk-producing cows in the world, but the Department of Ruminants Sciences at the Volcani Centre’s Institute of Animal Science is working to make them even better.

Building better products.  Proctor & Gamble has signed a master collaboration agreement with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  P&G and HU scientists and research leaders can now partner in biology, chemistry, colloid and surface science to improve the company’s products.

And there’s more P&G news.  Proctor & Gamble has announced a joint venture with Israel's Powermat, aimed at advancing wireless charging technology. The new undertaking will be called Duracell Powermat.

C-B4 wins IBM Smartcamp Israel.  The software enables companies to analyse mass of data, identify hidden opportunities and make smarter decision to improve their business results.

Your computer in your pocket.  Now thanks to Israel’s Keepod, you can use any computer and it will look just like the one you have at home.  This new device will retrieve your bookmarks, settings, and secure identity.

New Einstein museum gets approval from Peres.  President Peres plans a huge museum. He said “Israel must serve as a centre of attraction for both creativity and wisdom, and Einstein possesses these two elements.  Every single tourist arriving in Israel will want to visit the museum.”

Israel’s Technion can produce its own energy.  Using its high position on the Carmel slopes, the building is able to use its surplus water pressure to generate electricity.  The idea won first prize in the Technion’s Energy Conservation Competition.  Runner up ideas were energy usage screens and energy from the Technion’s gym.

Detecting gravity waves.  Two scientists from The Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University have discovered a method that could prove the existence of the universal force predicted by Albert Einstein in 1918.

The Dead Sea Scrolls go online.  Google Israel’s R&D centre has helped digitise five of the 2000 year-old texts that were discovered between 1947 and 1956.  Special flash photography was used to protect the scrolls.


eBay buys Israeli startup The GiftsProject.  The GiftsProject has created a social commerce application, enabling users to vote, comment and buy a gift together as a group. It will become eBay’s Israel Social Centre.

Abercrombie & Fitch to open in Israel.  The American fashion retail chain is on its way to Israel.


Israeli Music Festival is in full swing.  This is the first time in seven years that the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has participated in the festival.  All events are free.

Sci-Fi and fantasy in Tel Aviv.  ICON TLV 2011 is Israel’s annual international festival of Science Fiction and Fantasy.  It features over 100 films, competitions and lectures, plus a book, comic, art and collectible fair.

Superman’s mum is Israeli.  Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer will play Superman's birth mother in the new Hollywood movie, Man of Steel. Russell Crowe takes on the role of Superman's father, alongside Zurer.

Your Israeli guide to a fun day in New York.  Sign-up to the beta version of the urban trip planner from Israeli start-up yooguide and it can help you plan a day out in the Big Apple.  More cities will be added soon.

Look, no strings.  The 14th annual International Puppet Theatre & Film Festival took place at the Israel Puppet Centre in Holon - a suburb of Tel Aviv.

Israel hosts wheelchair championships.  Great Britain’s men’s team won gold at the European wheelchair basketball championships in Nazareth, Israel.


The Dead Sea is alive.  Researchers have discovered deep fresh water springs on the floor of the Dead Sea. Meanwhile, a parallel study has found new forms of life growing around the fissures in the sea floor.

Barmitzvah for miracle quads.  In 1998, doctors gave only a one-in-a-million survival chance for any of Yael Mizrachi’s unborn sons. But Benzi, Yosef, Shlomo and Yishai celebrated their bar mitzvah at the Western Wall.

Out of the depths I cry to you.  Psalm 130 now has even more meaning with the commissioning of a tiny Torah scroll that will be used by religious ratings and officers serving on the Israeli navy’s submarines.

Israel’s population is now 8 million - in a country of 20,700 sq km (the size of New Jersey, or Wales).  Compare it to Libya (just one of 21 Arab states), which has a land area of 1.8 million square km with a population of less than 6 million.

Netanyahu’s speech to the UN.  In case (like Palestinian Authority TV) the BBC and CNN didn’t broadcast it.