History of Israel's Good News - Oct to Dec 2012

Israel's Good News Archive - 7th Oct to 30th Dec 2012
 

In the 30th Dec 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israel’s organ donor program is a success for all Israelis, regardless of religion or age.
·        Some very special workers make parts for Israel’s Iron Dome protection against terrorists’ rockets.
·        Israel’s latest Air Force graduates include its first religious female navigator.
·        Children can now enjoy learning math on their smartphones with dynamic Israeli software.
·        Israeli clean technology is recycling waste for Slovenia and Croatia.
·        An Israeli tennis player has just become Junior World Champion.
·        Israeli archaeologists have discovered 3000-year-old antiquities from the Biblical period of Joshua.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
Click here for “Israel Keeps on Building

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Sight restored after 26 years.  Doctors at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot transplanted a cornea into the eye of Nissim Nahum who was wounded in Lebanon 26 years ago. 

All Israeli organs are equal.  Israeli President Shimon Peres praised all Israeli organ donors, Israeli Jews and Arabs, young and old.  Even 89-year-old Peres has a donor card.  18-year-old Harel received a new liver at age 13 and has just enlisted in the IDF. 

NIS 300 million for new medications.  The Israeli National Health Council has approved the additional medications and technologies to be added in 2013 to the current NIS 7 billion Health Basket.  The new treatments will benefit at least 300,000 Israelis – focusing on preventative medications and prenatal tests.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Special benefits for special needs.  New and veteran immigrant (olim) families, who have a special needs child or adult at home in Israel have been granted further access to a government and private sector outreach services.  As of last month, they will now receive increased rent subsidies.

Iron dome’s special builders.  Behind the scenes of Iron Dome production, alongside Rafael's engineers, mentally disabled employees manufacture parts of the state-of-the-art system.  For over a year, Rafael has employed three residents of a hostel run by the Social Affairs Ministry for people with mental disabilities, in the production of the Iron Dome system, as part of the company's community outreach program.

“Unwanted” food feeds Israeli poor.  This current article features Leket Israel, an organization that salvages non-saleable crops from farmers and unused food from caterers and ships them to 200 soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other institutions.  Leket has a budget of $7.5 million, has 90 staff and 45,000 volunteers a year.

Engineering degree course for ultra-orthodox.  The Sami Shamoon College of Engineering in Ashdod has launched a five-year degree program in civil and software engineering, which has been tailor-made for the lifestyle requirements of its 100 ultra-Orthodox participants – 70 men and 30 women.

The feminine side of hi-tech business.  Shefa Weinstein is CEO of Israeli start-up Shopetti – one of the 13 start-ups participating in the second round of companies enrolled in the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure.  An American immigrant to Israel, she will shortly launch “the next big thing in online shopping”.

Four women graduate from IAF.  This year’s Israel Air Force Flight Academy graduates included Tamar, the IDF’s first religious woman navigator. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Tamar is an example of the equality between the sexes in Israel and proof that in the IDF there is place for all parts of Israeli society.”

Ethiopian Jews a Success Story in Israel.  Israel’s Ethiopian immigrants and its veteran Israelis have much to be proud of.  No other population group that has risen so quickly to achieve such high university rates (42%).  Just think of where the community was before Operation Moses in 1984 and Solomon in 1991.

Technion “sparks” hi-tech education for Druse.  The Technion Sparks program enables 200 Israeli-Arab Druse high school students to take special science and technology courses at Israel’s Technion Institute.  The project is the brainchild of Brig.-Gen. Hasson Hasson – the first Druse to serve as a military aide to a President of the State.

Israel grants scholarships to Indian scholars.  Sixty-six post-doctoral scholars from India will travel to Israel in the coming months to pursue research at top universities. The government of Israel announced three-year scholarships grants for outstanding Indian scholars.

Israel helps the Greek economy.  Top Greek officials have been visiting Israel and presenting opportunities to invest in and own Greek infrastructure.  Israel’s Elbit won the tender to buy the old Athens airport. Israelis have purchased a number of Greek hotels, and an Israeli company is in talks to buy Greece’s national oil company.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Build your computer game here.  Israel’s Mominis is a computer game publishing company.  It provides tools and financing plus a unique environment called PlayScape where gamers can check out different titles and developers can promote their games.

Fire-resistant energy.  Israeli energy storage company Nation-E has combined the revolutionary fire prevention and heat resistant safety coatings of Israel’s LMJ Systems to build smart energy grids that are secure against major disasters.  LMJ’s products are also to be marketed in both the USA and Canada.

New Israeli math program.  Israeli company Slate Science has developed an award-winning mathematics learning program for tablets and smartphones called "Ten Fingers".  It is being piloted at three Israeli schools, in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic, and English.  The idea is to make math fun.

Three new solar arrays.  The French electrical company EDF inaugurated its first three solar energy projects in Israel.  The new arrays at the Negev settlements of Gvulot, Nahal Oz and Lahav will produce18 megawatts of electricity within six months.

Microsoft Israel’s incubator - The Next Generation.  Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure has launched its second session. 13 Israeli start-ups are participating in the four-month session, receiving guidance from Microsoft, mentoring and $20,000 financial support.

New center for solar energy testing.  Israel’s new National Technology and Renewable Energy Center has been inaugurated at Kibbutz Yotvata in the Negev – 50km north of Eilat.  China’s Suntech and its competitors will test solar energy products to ensure that they can withstand use under harsh conditions.

Cleaning up in Slovenia and Croatia.  Israel’s Applied CleanTech Ltd is to install 200 of its sewage recycling units at the wastewater treatment facilities in Slovenia and Croatia.  Waste will be converted into raw materials for the plastics and paper industry and save it being transported to Austria for incineration as at present.

Cutting accidents in the field.  The Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene is running cutting-edge mobile courses in accident prevention to agricultural workers nationwide.  Vans containing pullout touch-screen monitors and pick-of-the-crop software in Hebrew and Arabic drive straight to center field.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

South Carolina visit brings results.  After a delegation of S.C. leaders visited Israel to promote the state and encourage collaboration, Israel’s NeuroQuest received financing from a Charleston business. It now plans to open a development center in Charleston in connection with its activities relating to Alzheimer’s disease.

Israeli traders are on the ball.  Want to be a good trader? Look to Israel. So says Meir Velenski, managing director of City Index's new office in Tel Aviv.  They argue better, speak many languages, take better risks and seek new opportunities.

Ryanair to fly to Israel?  Low-cost giants Ryanair are rumored to be preparing to launch flights to Tel Aviv.  Ryanair’s entering the market is likely to dramatically lower fares and bring hundreds of thousands of new tourists to Israel.

Spain and Israel pass the port.  Israel and Spain have agreed to form a joint team that would see Israeli port security technology implemented in Spain.  Spain's Minister for Development visited Ashdod Port - one of the most advanced in the world, incorporating various container identification algorithms and biometric systems.

And then to India.  Israel’s Amaryllis is currently joint-building the Nargol deep-water port in Gujarat in northwest India.  It has now just passed the pre-qualification stage in the tender to build a new wharf at the Chennai port, in Tamil Nadu State in southeast India.

Seven Israeli start-ups compete at the Europas.  The Tech Startup Awards contest in Berlin on Jan 22nd will feature Israeli companies WalkMe, Yotpo, Uppspace, Startapp, GooodJob, Fiverr and Licensario.

2012 was good for Israeli start-ups.  Despite bleak forecasts, hundreds of new ventures were founded during 2012, and thousands of entrepreneurs took the huge risk of embarking on a new road.  2012 was also good for financing by start-ups who raised $1.8 billion from venture capital funds.  Prospects for 2013 look similar.

Singapore fund invests in Israel.  Singapore’s Spring Seeds Capital fund manages some $150 million.   It is seeking investments in Israeli high-tech companies looking to open part of their business in Singapore – a country with similarities to Israel – a small population and an economy focused on technology companies.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli novel to become US TV series.  (Thanks to Israel21c) US TV company New Regency is turning Yoram Kanuik’s 1994 bestseller, Magic on Lake Kinneret, into a weekly half-hour satirical black comedy.

Israeli wins junior world tennis championship.  Heard of Jimmy Connors and Andy Murray?  Well 12-year-old Israeli Ishai Oliel has just emulated them by winning the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship in Florida – recognized as the unofficial world championship for children up to age 12.


THE JEWISH STATE

Kinneret rises 23 cm in one weekend.  Early-season predictions of “average annual rainfall” were somewhat pessimistic.   If we get another 3 meters of rain (highly unlikely), we will be able to open the Jordan River dam.

'It's a dream'.  Fifty-three Jews from the Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India have just immigrated to Israel.  'We've been waiting for this moment for hundreds of years,' said Ben Asher, 23, who arrived with his family.  The Bnei Menashe trace their Jewish roots to a biblical tribe lost over 2700 years ago.

Israel and Iran – a love story?  Israeli graphic designer Ronny Edry posted an image on his Facebook one evening and began a massive exchange of images between ordinary Israelis and Iranians.  If only everyone in Iran felt the same way.

Dig a road and travel back 3,000 years.  Archeologists have uncovered rare remains of ritual objects and a 3,000-year-old temple while conducting excavations ahead of the renovation of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway.  The area, known as Motzah (Mozah) is mentioned in the Book of Joshua.




121223


In the 23rd Dec 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An innovative Israeli treatment has cured five Canadians from uncontrollable shaking.
·        An IDF soldier has donated his bone marrow to save an American boy.
·        Israel performed a bone marrow transplant for Gaza boy free of charge, when the PA refused to pay.
·        Israel is providing free transport to take Christians from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
·        An Israeli company uses artificial intelligence to produce training courses that will revolutionize education.
·        Israeli software is improving truck safety and performance across the American and European continents.
·        You can now get free on-line access to the full digital library of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

No more shaking.  For the first time in 10 years, Canadian Tony Lightfoot’s uncontrollable tremors stopped.  It followed four hours of non-invasive treatment on his brain, using focused ultrasound from Israel’s InSightec.  Tony is the fifth patient at Toronto’s Western Hospital to have the life-changing Israeli treatment.

US approval for Israeli surgical sealant.  The US Food and Drugs Administration has given approval for Evarrest – a biological sealant for stopping problematic bleeding during surgery.  Evarrest is produced in Israel by Omrix Biopharmaceuticals – a division of US giant Johnson & Johnson.

Israeli soldier saves life of US boy.  Sgt Idan Ducach gave a blood sample to Israeli charity Ezer Mizion when he enlisted in the IDF.  Later he was told he was a bone marrow match for Alex – a young American boy.  Idan donated his bone marrow and one year later met a very healthy Alex in New York.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israeli-Arab school-kids get top results.  This important fact was missing in most other media reports on the recent International TIMSS scores for Israeli school children.  Israeli-Arabs have improved so much that their math, science and reading standards now exceed those of Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East.

Knesset award for Arab-Christian hospital.  The Nazareth Hospital has become the first non-Jewish hospital to receive the annual Chairman of the Knesset award for its service to the predominately Arab community in Northern Galilee region of Israel.

Israel funds transplant after PA refuses.  A two-year old Palestinian Arab boy underwent a bone marrow transplant at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv. The Israeli Government funded the procedure in order to save the boy’s life, after the Palestinian Authority declined the family’s request to pay for it.

Nira keeps Gaza aid moving.  Second Lieutenant Nira Lee is the IDF’s assistant foreign liaison officer to international organizations in Gaza.  During the latest conflict, she helped get a Gaza female aid worker to safety when sirens went off and the woman froze.  The experience changed the woman’s perception of the IDF.

Season of good will.  Israel has issued 20,000 permits to allow Christians to visit sites in Judea and Samaria during the upcoming Christmas holiday.  This includes 500 for Palestinian Christians from Gaza.  The Tourism Ministry is also providing free transportation by shuttle bus between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

More women than men become Israeli lawyers.  Of the 1,248 new graduate lawyers, 664 (53%) were female.  Israeli Minister of Justice, Yaakov Neeman said, “It is moving to have all of you prepared to practice law in our Jewish democratic state”.

Egyptian hero of Tahir Square speaks in Israel.  Maikel Nabil Sanad, a blogger and human rights activist in Egypt's Tahrir Square Uprising visits Israel for the first time to speak at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He was the first political prisoner of the post-revolutionary government and spent 302 days in an Egyptian jail.

Canada and Israel sign foreign aid pact.  Canada and Israel have agreed to work together on international development and aid projects.  Canadian minister Julian Fantino said that greater co-operation between their aid agencies, “will help those most in need and contribute to “a more secure and prosperous world.”

Muslim MP: After Britain, Israel is best.  Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and MP for Bromsgrove, described himself as a “proud British-born Muslim” and announced that if he had to leave Britain to live in the Middle East, then he would choose Israel as home. Only there, he said, would his children feel the “warm embrace of freedom and liberty.” For him, only Israel shared the democratic values of the UK.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israeli scientist wins Fundamental Physics prize.  Dr. Zohar Komargodski, of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, has been awarded the New Horizons in Physics Prize by the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation for his Quantum theories proofs. The prize is given annually to three promising young researchers.

Treating sewage locally.  Israel’s Negev Ecology has inaugurated a plant near Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev that will treat “fatty” waste – sewage containing fats, organic matter and minerals.  The Harov site is the first of its kind in the region. It will receive waste from gas stations, garages, food manufacturers, and army bases.

OECD praises Israel’s environmental progress.  The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has reported that Israel is successfully implementing OECD policies on waste and chemicals.  Israel has mechanisms to manage chemicals, recycle waste, control emissions and prevent pollution.

An intelligent learning system.  The new educational platform from Israel’s Mindojo will allow individuals or companies to create an online course that will automatically adapt to each student’s needs and learning style.  Guy Zaslavsky’s system uses artificial intelligence and can be used for any subject that’s textbook based.

A store full of robots.  Israel’s RobotAppStore says it is the first online marketplace to enable the purchase and download of hundreds of applications that extend the functionality of any type of robot.  Soon all robots will connect to the Internet, share a common knowledge database and upgrade functions in real-time.

Israel feeds the world.  Please watch this 8min youtube video to see fourteen Israeli agriculture technology companies and two Israeli renewable energy companies demonstrate their products at Israel Agritech 2012.

Analysing the ecosystem.  A delegation of top Massachusetts water companies, investment companies and government representatives are now in Israel talking with Israeli start-ups.  They praised Israel’s innovative projects, its work ethics, team dynamics and lack of fear of failure.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Efficient trucking in Canada.  Winnipeg businessmen Michel Aziza and Hans Peper have set-up the North American headquarters of Israel’s Traffilog. Traffilog’s on-board system provides real-time feedback to the driver and to the fleet operator on driver safety, fuel consumption, vehicle performance, and vehicle health.  Traffilog’s systems are being installed in every Volvo and Scania truck in Israel.

Broadcom wants Israeli engineers.  Multinational hi-tech company Broadcom bought nine Israeli companies in the past decade (seven of its last ten acquisitions) and needs to recruit more local staff.  In 2009 Broadcom had 100 Israeli workers, but now it has over 800 – more than in the rest of Broadcom’s European sites.

El Al goes from paper to iPad.  El Al Israel Airlines is starting a trial that plans to convert all flight manuals for its Boeing 777s onto iPad computers.  This will save up to $560,000 a year and 40kg of paper per flight.

Growth forecasts increased.  With Israel’s natural gas output from the Tamar field scheduled to commence in a few months, the government has raised 2013 GDP growth predictions from 3% to 3.5%.

Tel Aviv is world’s second best start-up centre.  The Start-up Ecosystem Index 2012 report scores Tel Aviv as overall runner-up to Silicon Valley in its Global index.  Here is a link to the full 160-page report.

Fresh from the farm to your table.  Israeli online farmers market Farmigo aims to give Americans access to local fresh-from-harvest food, instead of the industrialized food now on their tables.  Farmigo intends to fundamentally change the way food is purchased and distributed.

Training bankers in Kenya.  In the eight months up to September, Israel’s Galilee International Management Institute has been formulating policies for the Kenyan Central Bank and training students from the Kenya School of Monetary Studies.  Kenya asked the World Bank for help and they called in the Israelis.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

A digital library of the world’s oldest biblical manuscripts.  The Israel Antiquities Authority has published its full on-line library of the high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Google’s advanced imaging and web technologies enable free public access to one of the greatest textual discoveries of all times.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Yp6nLMPt-og

We get the picture.  The Israeli Cartoon Museum is currently hosting the fifth annual Animix International Animation Comics & Caricature Festival.  “Punch, 2012 Harvest” incorporates 200 caricatures depicting social protest, economic crisis, religion, Israel and the Arab world, revolutions, refugees and the Iranian threat.

Get the big picture.  Canadian-born newsletter subscriber Glen Shear has metamorphosed from Investment Banker into a fully-fledged Israeli artist.  He has just returned from exhibiting his highly original artwork in the US at the Miami Art Expo, and his next viewings are scheduled for New York and Toronto.

Surf’s up in Israel  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel has 186 miles of coastline and its surfers are respected all over the world.


THE JEWISH STATE

A far better state.  A group of Jerusalem schoolchildren have renovated the pedestrian subway from the Jerusalem Bus Station to the Convention Centre.  They removed all the garbage and graffiti and repaired the lighting.  They also commissioned My Dog Sighs, a UK street artist visiting Israel, to paint murals in the tunnel.

Hebrew U head becomes a French knight.  Prof. Shimon Benita, director of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Pharmacy, has received the Knight in the National Order of Merit of France for his scientific achievements and his contribution to the forging of close ties with French research.

Should Americans learn from Israeli gun laws?  Following the senseless violence carried out at Sandy Hook Elementary, US author Shalom Bear writes that America should look to a nation conversant in matters of self-defense. He recommends Israel’s approach to strict vetting of who can possess and potentially use a firearm.

Kinneret approaches 20-year record level.  The Israeli Water Authority is optimistic about the precipitation to date in this winter's rainy season, and predicts that the Kinneret's water level will reach two meters below the upper red line when the rainy season ends.

Returning to Zion.  Israeli Dekel Ovadia explains why, after living abroad for seven years, he is coming home to Israel.   http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4318003,00.html

Jerusalem cannot be divided.  Video showing that Jerusalem has to be united and even its Arab residents wish it to remain so.

The world did not end.  Good news for anyone who misunderstood the Mayan calendar. 
(The Hebrew calendar has some way to go yet.)


121216


In the 16th Dec 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        The Hebrew University celebrates its 60th anniversary with three top news announcements.
·        Two young cancer patients (from Gaza and Israel) at a Tel Aviv hospital are best friends.
·        The UN General Assembly passed an Israeli-sponsored resolution despite Arab opposition.
·        Israeli water companies are poised to purify India’s water supplies.
·        Philips is to build a new research & development center in Haifa.
·        A neat application to buy Israeli spectacles on-line (and even try them on).
·        An Israeli rower has been completely rehabilitated one year after almost drowning.
·        Israeli schoolchildren substantially improve their international math and science results.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

60 years of medical achievement.  1000 graduates of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School gathered yesterday at the opening of an alumni conference marking 60 years since the graduation of the school’s first class.  Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat said that there are 32,000 medical employees in Jerusalem.

Understanding brain degeneration.  Hebrew University researchers have uncovered important details about the origins of brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS and Huntington’s diseases.  The research could lead to new methods of preventing toxic proteins in the brain from causing damage and even death.

Oyster mushroom molecule kills cancer cells.  Israeli researchers have discovered that extracts inside the edible Oyster mushroom contain molecules that bind themselves to cancer cells and kill them.

Fighting infectious diseases.  The Israel Ministry of Health has designated the Sanford Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem as Israel’s National Laboratory for Leishmaniasis – a parasitic disease affecting an estimated 12 million people worldwide.

Smartphone apps to keep you healthy.  Israeli smartphone apps demonstrated at Tel Aviv’s (Innovations in Cardiovascular Interventions) event included Healarium – an information and incentive system, Mobile-CliniQ from Aerotel – transmitting data from sensors to hospitals, and Dario from Labstyle Innovation - a portable glucose meter for diabetics.

A database for ALS treatment.  Israeli non-profit organization Prize4Life seeks to accelerate the discovery of treatments and a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease).  It has set-up a database called PRO-ACT that will help develop viable Phase II and Phase III treatments for ALS.

Fighting lung infections with NO2.  Israel’s Advanced Inhalation Therapies is to begin two clinical trials using nitric oxide to treat infectious lung diseases.  Immune systems of the young are very sensitive to viral infections. Nitric oxide gas could help toddlers and infants with pulmonary infections due to bronchiolitis.

Using ice to heal.  The UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has reported on an innovative treatment for breast cancer (and maybe other cancers) using a super-cooled needle to inject balls of ice into the tumor.  At the end of the fifth paragraph they finally mention that IceCure - the company that developed the system – is Israeli.

Terrorist victim regains sight.  In November, Gaza terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep, seriously wounding Sergeant Shimon Alankri.  Doctors at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva saved his sight and celebrated with Shimon last week when he managed to light Hanukkah candles.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israeli, Gaza cancer patients become best friends.  Tal Zilker, from Southern Israel has the same type of cancer as his friend Qsuy Imran, from Gaza.  Both are 17 years old and patients at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center where they play together on their playstations.  Please read this amazing story.

Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia visits her childhood village.  Nearly three decades after immigrating to Israel, Belaynesh Zevadia returned to her village in Ethiopia, this time as Israel's ambassador.  The local synagogue had been preserved, despite the fact that the village's Jewish population had left long ago.

At risk teens make Hanukkiot from sand.  A group of teenagers in the southern town of Yeruham have been making holders for Hanukkah candles out of the multicolored sands found in southern Israel.  These have then been sold to a chain of convenience stores and to companies who present them to workers as Hanukkah gifts.

Welcoming the newcomer.  Jerusalem Village makes connections between young immigrants and Jerusalem’s existing young adult communities.  It organizes Shabbat dinners for 200 people, Hebrew-speaking activities centered on photography, urban gardening, cooking, and even training for the Jerusalem Marathon.

Adopt a survivor.  Philanthropist Jay Shultz has inspired 80 young Tel Aviv professionals to pair up with some of Israel’s 200,000 Holocaust survivors in a unique volunteer effort named “Adopt-A-Safta”.  Volunteers chat, play games, go for walks, to movies or caf├ęs with their adopted grandparents and help doing odd jobs.

The new friends of Israel.  Whilst the media drones on about threats to recall Ambassadors, the important news was that of the new Ambassadors of Croatia, Switzerland, India, Belgium and the Vatican who have just presented their credentials to Israel’s President Shimon Peres.

Helping the Navajo to start-up.  The head of the Navajo Nation, Ben Shelly, is in Israel learning about agriculture technology, tourism, capital infrastructure and government services in rural areas.  Israel began helping the Native American Indians in 1986 by increasing crop yields through drip irrigation.

Israeli company saves America’s data.  Hurricane Sandy caused havoc to many East Coast US companies.  But Israeli disaster recovery company Zerto prevented many from going out of business altogether by storing their vital information safely several thousands of miles away from the danger area. 

UN passes Israeli resolution.  The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed an Israeli-sponsored U.N. resolution titled "Entrepreneurship for Development," marking the first time that the U.N. has formally recognized that entrepreneurship should be a major tool in reducing poverty, creating sustainable development, and reinvigorating the environment.  Most Arab and Muslim countries voted against.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel keeps your food fresh.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israel’s BT9 provides companies with sensors for their temperature-sensitive products and sends them alerts when there is a problem.  It’s called “Cold Chain Management” – perishables are transported around the world and monitored in Israel.

Smart energy grid for Netanya.  Herzliya-based energy-storage innovator Nation-E has joined forces with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to develop and commercialize grid-level energy storage communication systems.  The technology will be piloted with the Netanya Municipality.

A vaccine for crops.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  This article describes the latest developments at Israel’s Morflora.  Its revolutionary technology (originating from the Hebrew University) delivers genetic traits to a seed, without transforming the genome of the treated plant.  The new strain boosts crop yields and help battle world famine.

Women “man” unmanned vehicles.  To avoid risks from Gaza snipers, missiles and explosives, Israel deploys the Guardium – an Unmanned (armored) Ground Vehicle.  The UGV is equipped with 360-degree cameras and loudspeakers.  They are controlled remotely by IDF soldiers who are all women.

Israel to transform Indian water system.  Israeli water experts visited the Indian city of Raipur before a Dehli water conference.  Abraham Tenne of the Israel Water Authority said, “The Indian water community looks to Israel as a sort of guru; they know the Israeli water industry very well and hold it in very high regard.” 

Glasses to see in the dark.  The Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative has given a $6.5 million grant to a team led by Ben-Gurion University to develop thin film nano-coating, a few microns thick, for night vision glasses. Nano-photonic technologies will change invisible infrared light to visible.

UK appoints Tech Envoy to Israel.  UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced at a Conservative Friends of Israel lunch that Saul Klein, a partner at investment firm Index Ventures, would act as an unpaid ambassador for tech partnership between Britain and Israel and help build links with innovative Israeli companies.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Philips Healthcare sets up new R&D center in Haifa.  Philips’ new center will focus on image processing and analysis, and long-term research.  It will employ scores of scientists, image processing technicians, and software and clinical engineers.  Philips currently has 600 employees in Haifa, specializing in 3D CT scanners.

Wizz-ing from Tel Aviv to Budapest.  Israel’s Tourism Ministry promoted visitors between Israel and Hungary by organizing a fashion show by Frau Brau on Wizz Air’s inaugural flight between Tel Aviv and Budapest.  Passengers boarding the Hungarian aircraft had no idea what awaited them.

Israeli-made glasses on-line.  I once spent a fortune on a pair of foreign-made spectacles from a local optician. With IsraelOptical you choose Israel-made glasses on-line with free worldwide shipping. You can upload your own photo to see what the glasses look like on. It’s a win-win alternative – unless you’re an optician. 


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli-Ethiopian arts festival.  The week-long Hullegeb festival in Jerusalem will consist of six performances of theater, dance and music, each bringing something different to the stage.  The event will shine a spotlight on the contemporary Ethiopian artistic community, and how Israeli artists have influenced it.

Israeli film wins in LA.  “The Gatekeepers,” a film by Israeli director Dror Moreh, was named best documentary Sunday by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.  The film is an exploration of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency, guided by all six living domestic intelligence chiefs.

Stevie Wonder wouldn’t but Chaka Khan.  The Friends of the IDF dinner was a great success with a superb Grammy from award-winning singer Chaka Khan.  Over $11 million was raised and many tributes were given to (and by) Israel’s brave soldiers.

A holiday of holidays.  Haifa’s Holiday of Holidays Festival is open to the wide public, free of charge - an event that appeals and attracts both Jewish and Arab population.  Highlights include art exhibitions, a performance festival, a poetry festival, concerts, street performances, family workshops, tours and food.

Amazing comeback for Israeli rower.  Three years after an accident on the Yarkon River left her on a respirator, Jasmine Feingold won the 2,000-meter event at the Israeli Rowing Championships and now is working towards competing in the 2016 Olympics.  She recovered after spending a year at the Loewenstein Rehabilitation Center in Ra’anana – one of the best such facilities in the Middle East if not the world.


THE JEWISH STATE

There’s no place like Israel.  The latest video from Kinetis highlights the truth about the Jewish State. The vibrant non-profit organisation shows world influencers (and reminds Israelis) how wonderful our country is.

Christians proclaim solidarity with Israel.  Delegates at the Protestant Consultation on Israel and the Middle East declared, “We are committed to stand with Israel and the Jewish people.” They criticized other Christian groups for recent comments against Israel.

Israel soars up world education league.  Israeli students came 18th of 42 countries in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, up from 25th in the last test in 2007.  In math alone, scores went up from 24th in 2007 to 7th in 2011 and top of the western world.  In reading, Israel is now 18th (was 31st).

Hasmonean town discovered.  Israeli archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a community from time of the Hanukkah story, around 2,200 years ago.  The excavation in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood has yielded a perfume bottle, wine press, bread oven and the remains of houses and agricultural buildings.

Nice words from UK PM.  “And if we’re looking for other countries that can help inspire us in this global race, there’s no doubt in my mind that one of them is Israel.”  (There were some poor words too!)


121209


In the 9th Dec 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli researchers have made major discoveries about bacteria and malaria infections.
·        A huge international turnout at Israel’s top heart surgery conference.
·        CNN shows Israeli hospitals treating injured Gazans and Israelis together.
·        An Israeli company is developing a process that burns coal without any pollution.
·        Demand for Israeli hi-tech skills soars at Apple, Intel and KLA-Tencor
·        Alanis Morissette’s Tel Aviv concert was a sell-out – and just a little “ironic”.
·        Israel’s Funtactix has won Variety Entertainment’s award for the film industry’s top Internet game.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

How bacteria fights antibiotics.  Researchers from Israel’s Weizmann have uncovered the process that bacteria deploys to remove antibiotics from cells.  The discovery sheds new light on the ability of bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance.

How malaria deceives the immune system.  Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered how the malaria infection works. The deadly Plasmodium falciparum strain only reveals its 60 destructive genes to the body’s immune system one at a time.  Uncovering its mask may lead to new treatments.

DNA robots to deliver medication.  Israeli biologist Ido Bachalet is part of the Harvard team that designed a microscopic machine of DNA nano-robots that can carry anti-bodies direct to tumours.  First they make a basket-shaped truck, then add the payload which is released when the truck meets the key of the tumour.

Beyond the cutting edge.  This video begins with the latest Israeli developments in focussed ultrasound surgery. It then moves on to describe the Technion’s goal of using technology to eliminate many of the hundreds of thousands of medical mistakes made around the world by overstretched human doctors and nurses.

Burn patients fight fire with make-up.  At age three, during Hanukkah, Ilan Zakai was burned on his face and body. After years of coping with prying stares, he became a professional makeup artist. He now counsels and gives makeup workshops to patients at Rambam Health Care Campus who have experienced severe burns.

Now wash your hands.  Doctors and nurses at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek are piloting an innovative digital bracelet that prompts use of an anti-bacterial hand-wash following contact with a patient.  It then repeats the reminder if the solution hasn’t been applied or if insufficient time was spent rubbing it into the hands.

Final phase for breast cancer treatment.  Israel’s Teva has signed an agreement with Galena Biopharma to take its NeuVax early stage breast cancer treatment through its last stage trials and through to sales.  Israel will be the location of at least four clinical trial sites for the NeuVax Phase III trials.

Israeli doctors save arm of rocket victim.  Doctors at Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center have saved the arm of a man wounded in the Grad missile attack in Kiryat Malachi by Gaza terrorists. Boris Chomeh’s arm had been severed in the explosion in which three Israelis were killed and a baby seriously injured.

“Heart-up” Nation.  The annual Innovations in Cardiovascular Interventions conference in Tel Aviv brought together 1100 participants from 40 countries to hear about the latest in ground breaking medical technology.  Israeli companies produce 50% of the innovations that address the most vital organ in the human body.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israeli hospitals treat everyone.  This CNN report features Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, which is treating both Israeli and Gazan children hurt in the latest conflict ignited by Hamas terrorists.

Israel treats UN soldiers wounded in Syria.  Two Austrian peacekeeping soldiers were treated at Haifa’s Rambam hospital after being wounded in crossfire between Syrian government and rebel forces.  It was the first time that Rambam had to deal with anybody hurt in the internal Syrian conflict.

Blind date with the Open University.  Ronit Harpaz is nearing completion of her bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology. What makes her story exceptional is not that she balanced mothering twin girls, work and academic studies but that she lost her vision in the middle of her academic studies.

Transforming lives makes business sense.  Israeli Designed International Development (ID2) is a 3-day event at Mitzpe Ramon that will show how innovators and entrepreneurs can achieve sustainable profits from products that save and improve lives. It connects hi-tech and established companies to the developing world.

Funding Haitian agricultural students.   The Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are raising funds to send students from earthquake-ravaged Haiti to the Hebrew Uni’s agricultural school.  The goal is to collect enough money to support two or three students a year over the next decade.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Burning coal without making CO2. Scientists at Israel’s NewCO2Fuels are testing a Weizmann Institute method for turning brown coal into an environmentally friendly fuel source.  The process uses highly focused solar rays to convert the carbon dioxide produced in the burning of the coal into more fuel and generate oxygen.

More sustainable products.  Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) has launched ICL Innovation Ltd., an Open Innovation program through which it will accelerate its development of sustainable new products and processes to drive its future growth. ICL will allocate several million dollars a year to fund the program.

“White” smell.  Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have proved that combining large numbers of different distinct aromas produces a bland odour that has been named “olfactory white”.  The discovery could be as useful as the discovery of white noise (mixed sounds) and white light (mixed colours). 

Chess is a science.  In a winning move, Israel’s University of Haifa, in collaboration with chess Grandmaster Boris Gelfand, has launched a program to develop a novel academic approach to the skills and culture of chess-playing that can in turn contribute to social and scientific development.

Yotpo is socially aware.  Israeli start-up Yotpo provides a solution for companies to receive on-line reviews of their products – and a lot more besides.  But during Operation Pillar of Defense, four of their ten employees were called up. Needless to say, the rest of Yotpo’s staff used their social skills to cover for their colleagues.

Three “typical” Israeli start-ups.  This clever video highlights 3 popular Israeli smart-phone applications that sum up what Tel Aviv life is all about.  But be sure to watch through to the humorous self-critical ending.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Sirens didn’t stop Israeli start-ups.  50 Israeli start-ups opened their doors to visitors at Tel Aviv’s Open Start-up event.  Despite alarms sounding, and all having to take temporary shelter, Start-up Nation didn’t slow down.  Thousands of Israeli start-ups continued to function, even under missile fire.  Conduit even opened a temporary child-care center so its employees could bring in their kids because schools were closed.

Amazon likes Israel.  Israel is important to Amazon not just for the business it gets, but also for the technology that Israeli companies are supplying the company.  Chief Technical Officer Dr Werner Vogels told reporters “There are some excellent start-ups here, especially among start-ups developing for mobile”.

Charge your battery here.  Despite troubles at Better Place, Israeli Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau inaugurated Israel’s first-ever public electric vehicle charging station in Mitzpe Ramon.  Landau drove an all-electric Renault Fluence from Ra’anana to the Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference.

3D print merger makes $3bn Israeli company.  The merger between Israeli 3D printer manufacturer Objet and its US rival Stratasys has been completed. The new company will continue to be called Stratasys but will be incorporated in Israel.  It has assets valued at $3 billion.

Semi-conductor maker opens new Israeli centre.  Global hi-tech giant KLA-Tencor Corporation has opened a new center in Yokne'am, in addition to its R&D, production, and sales center in the lower Galilee. The company has been growing steadily and wants to recruit new staff living in central Israel.

Fighting over Israeli engineers.  There is apparently a major battle ensuing between Apple and Intel to recruit Israeli hi-tech employees who have been laid off as part of Texas Instruments’ worldwide redundancy program.  Apple is desperate for skilled IT engineers to satisfy its plan to open a research & development centre in Israel.

Starting up in the Loft.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Tel Aviv’s start-up workspace known as TechLoft has been host to 60 Israeli start-ups in its first year.  Opened in September 2011, TechLoft joins a field of start-up spaces providing Internet access, printers, storage areas, a corporate address, mentors and a community of peers.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Alanis Morissette wows Tel Aviv.  Seven times Grammy award-winning singer Alanis Morissette refused to be bullied by anti-Israel hate mail.  For those familiar with her signature song “Ironic” you may be amused that the Canadian-American’s concert at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena was sold-out and that the very next day - it rained!

An Art tour of Israel. (Thanks to Israel21c)  Denver’s Mizel Museum of Jewish Art, Culture & History sponsored a special Keshet tour called “Israel, Art and the Jewish People”. It included Ein Hod artists village, the Holon Design museum and dance workshops and performances in Tel Aviv and Mitzpeh Ramon.

Let’s Party.  (Thanks to Israel Seen)  The Sheinkin Street Party was an appropriately hip way to celebrate the completion of the renovations to the trendiest area of Tel Aviv.

The film industry’s top Internet game.  Israel’s Funtactix won this year’s Variety Entertainment App Award for “The Hunger Games Adventures”.  Funtactix won in the category Best Entertainment IP-based Mobile Game: Award recognizing the overall best mobile game tied to a TV or film franchise.


THE JEWISH STATE

Trade Unionists see the other side of Israel.  The British Prison Officers Association, Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union, GMB and USDAW, sent 17 delegates on a four-day trip organised by Trade Union Friends of Israel (Tufi).  Perceptions were changed, as many only knew previously what was portrayed in the media.

Pro-Israel march in the Philippines.  300-400 Filipinos gathered in a busy Manila business district in support of Israel. They carried huge signs, Israeli flags, white and blue balloons, loudspeakers and sang songs in Hebrew, and even blew shofars.

Uncovering shipwrecks on Israel’s coast.  (Thanks to Eli) A team of Israeli and International archaeologists have discovered the remains of a fleet of early-19th century ships and ancient harbour structures from the Hellenistic period (third to first century B.C.) at the city of Akko.

Good to be born in the Jewish State.  The Economist Intelligence Unit - a sister company of The Economist (no lover of Israel) has published a study measuring which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead.  Israel (20th) beats most European countries.

Israeli paramedics save choking cat.  (Thanks to the Algemeiner)  Magen David Adom’s response to a Tel Aviv fire found no fatalities but a cat was spotted suffering from smoke inhalation.  It was treated with oxygen and after several minutes returned to its normal feline-self, but apparently failed to thank the MDA team.


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In the 2nd Dec 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        The lives of eight Israelis were saved last week with organs from donors over 70 years of age.
·        Hear the truth about Israel from a Muslim-Arab mother with a son in the IDF.
·        Israel is funding a teaching hospital in Ghana.
·        An Israeli application will help autism sufferers.
·        The first session of the new UK-Israel hi-tech exchange program commenced in London.
·        Israel will play England in the Under 21 European Soccer Championships in Israel.
·        An Israeli mother saved her family from a terrorist attacker

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
Click here for “The Future is Bright”  

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

“Elderly” Israelis save eight lives.  In the past week, eight patients received organs from people aged 70 to 80.  Israel Transplant reported that since January, eight elderly Israelis, some of whom are over 75 and nearing 80, were the source of life-saving organs. With improved lifestyles and hi-tech scanners, fewer organs are rejected.

Water lily extract combats inflammation.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Ben Gurion University researchers have discovered that the leaves and roots of the yellow water-lily (nuphar lutea) have an inhibitory effect on a protein that causes inflammation.  This could lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease medication and cancer prevention.

Another Israeli wonder treatment?  During trials by Israel’s Can-Fite BioPharma of its anti-inflammatory CF101 medication, the company discovered that the active ingredient is suitable for treating impotence. Can-Fite only found this out when they noticed that patients were not returning all the drugs at the end of the trial.

US funds Israeli research into Juvenile Diabetes.  The US Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is funding five Israeli researchers up to $130,000 per year each for up to three years toward investigations into Type 1 diabetes (T1D), which affects an estimated three million individuals in the United States alone.

Revealing the cell replication process.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have isolated rare replicating cells from the livers of mice.  This may eventually help develop treatments to increase the cells that produce insulin for diabetics and reduce cell proliferation in cancerous tumours.

The Pluristem story. (Thanks to NoCamels)  Here again are the details of the stem cell transplants performed by Israeli doctors using PLX stem cells from Israeli biotech Pluristem.  Two of the patients were cured completely and one survived for four months until she contracted an infection in her Romanian home.

Vecoy’s Decoy method to fight viruses.  An excellent article explaining the unique technology that Israel’s Vecoy Nanomedic employs to trick viruses to self-destruct.  Vecoy’s anti-viral system mimics human cells to entice the virus and then kill it.  If the virus mutates, it can no longer infect humans.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Proud IDF soldier’s mum is a Muslim Israeli-Arab.  Anet Haskia who was born and raised in Acre is openly vocal about her support for the Jewish state of Israel.  “I am proud to live in Israel,” she says. “I am even prouder that both my sons have served as soldiers for this country.”  Please read Anet’s message.

Saving hearts of Gaza children.  At least these kids may not grow up to fire rockets at Israeli towns. Thanks to the Israeli charity Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), 11-year-old Mohamed Ashgar, six-year-old Salah and twin babies Remas, and Leen all from Gaza are at Wolfson Medical Centre, having heart surgery and follow-up care.

The University of the People.  Foreign Policy magazine has selected Israeli educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef, founder of the University of the People, as one of the world's Top 100 Global Thinkers.  The online university allows students from all over the world to study for free, to obtain a recognized bachelor's degree.

Hebrew U starts program for Haredim.  Following on the heels of Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has launched a special pre-academic preparatory program for the ultra-Orthodox (haredi) population. It will increase haredi society’s access to higher education.

Israel funds teaching hospital in Ghana.  This Israeli Government has lent $217 million to the University of Ghana to construct a 600-bed teaching hospital at Legon.  It will be have a trauma and emergency service, a heliport and internal medicine including Surgery, Obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, cardiology, heart surgery and medicinal imaging.

Light unto the nations.  Jerusalem-based global solar firm Energiya Global is transforming developing countries from burning fossil fuels to running on solar power.  Projects are underway in Romania, Rwanda and the Galapagos Islands.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

iPad app to assist autistic children. (Thanks to NoCamels) Israel’s Center for Educational Technology and Singapore’s Dynamics Speech are developing VTAMIC (Visual Task Manager in a Calendar), which is designed to help children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) to deal with daily activities.

Alcohoot:  the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Alcohoot’s application and smartphone add-on turn a user’s phone into an accurate BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) tester.  It can also show you a list of nearby taxi companies and has other useful features.

Israel builds another electricity wind farm.  The Israeli company Epcon will build eleven wind turbines on land owned by Kibbutz Degania, to power electrical generators that will produce ten megawatts of power.  On Israel’s first wind farm in the Golan Heights, built in 1992, ten turbines produce six megawatts of power.

David’s Sling hits target.  Israel completed a successful test of the David's Sling missile defense system (also known as Magic Wand) by intercepting a medium-range missile.  The system is estimated to be operational in 2014 and will provide Israel with additional layer of protection against ballistic missiles.

BBC “discovers” joint Israel-Jordan research project.  BBC’s David Shukman reports on the SESAME synchrotron facility, as reported by Israel21c (and me) back in Feb 2011.  Shukman doesn’t mention Israel on the video – only briefly on the BBC website. Still, it’s better than nothing and also better late than never.

Can a robot light a Hanukiah?  Technically, it can – especially when designed by scientists at Israel’s Technion.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Tel Aviv – best place for start-ups after Silicon Valley.  An international study – Start-up Genone – has declared Tel Aviv to be the second best place in the world for start-ups.  Tel Aviv was just behind Silicon Valley as the best place in the world to establish a tech start-up.

Israel-UK Tech Exchange gets underway. (Thanks to Israel21c) 15 Israeli high-tech innovators took part in the inaugural TeXchange — the UK Israel Tech Hub’s Tech Exchange program that connects Israeli high-tech companies with UK corporations that can help them expand.

EnergyVest powers ahead.  Israel’s international yearly event in the renewable energy arena, got underway in Eilat.  16 Israeli companies presented their technologies at EnergyVest – pitching to 200 participants, many of them major international cleantech investors.

Purifying polluted water at gold mines.  Israel’s P2W is reported to have signed a $9 million agreement with South African gold mining giant AngloGold Ashanti, to provide water purification systems.

MyHeritage buys Genie.  In the biggest genealogy takeover in history, Israel’s MyHeritage.com has bought Genie.com into the family business.  MyHeritage now covers 72 million registered users — about 8 million of which came from Geni.com — 1.5 billion profiles and 27 million family trees.  A good business relationship.

650 million for Israeli software company.  Global ATM maker NCR Corp. is buying Israel’s Retalix Ltd. for $650 million in a bid to expand its footprint in the retail sector.  Retalix provides software and services to retailers, including supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores and fuel stations.

How low can you get?  International real estate firm Bercleys today unveiled its plan to build a new mall in the area of the Dead Sea hotels at Ein Bokek. The single-story 10,000-square meter shopping center will cost NIS 200 million to build.

Security on the Internet.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Ben-Gurion University is developing Israel's first ever cyber security incubator in Beer-Sheva under the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist’s Incubator Program and in partnership with Israeli venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli chef wins 2 Michelin stars – in Amsterdam.  The Michelin Guide awarded two stars to Moshik Roth’s new restaurant, named “&samhoud Places”.  Roth was the first Israeli chef to ever receive a Michelin ranking, when his previous venture won a star in 2005 and a second star in 2009.  (The video is in Dutch)

Laughter in Jerusalem.  Humour is the theme of the Hamshushalayim 2012 festival in Jerusalem.  Every weekend in December is filled with stand-up shows, satire, storytelling, cabaret, literature, poetry, laugh yoga, humour in art, pantomime and special theatrical tours for the whole family.  All events are free.

England to face Israel in U21 Euro Championships.  I could be watching Israel playing England at my local brand new Netanya stadium. In June’s European U21 Soccer Championship, hosts Israel were placed in Group A with England, Italy and Norway. There are four venues: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya and Petah Tikva.


THE JEWISH STATE

We will rebuild Jerusalem.  Israel is to rebuild the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem that was blown up by the Jordanians following the 1948 War of Independence.  An anonymous donor has funded the rebuilding of the three-story-tall synagogue with its iconic dome.

Thanks Glenn.  When Hamas was firing rockets at Israeli civilians and the world was telling Israel not to defend itself, Glenn Beck produced this message of support.

Jews from Arab lands tell their stories.  High school students and volunteers in Migdal Ha’emek are helping some of the 700,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled from their homes in Arab countries during the 1940s and 1950s.  They are documenting their personal stories in a unique project called "Tell Your Children".

Learning about life in Israel.  A group of US Hispanic journalists and another of Chinese bloggers visited Israel at the height of Operation Pillar of Defense.  They heard sirens indicating a rocket attack and publicised their amazement at how Israelis cope and still manage to be such a progressive and innovative country.

Israeli mother defeats terrorist.  Yael Matzpun of Moshav Sdei Avraham was stabbed in the face by an Arab infiltrator from Gaza, whilst her four children were sleeping.  Yael managed to push the terrorist into the adjacent bathroom and jammed the door using her child's bed.  IDF troops later chased and killed the terrorist.


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In the 25th Nov 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Another success for Israel’s new “wonder medication” – this time for juvenile diabetes.
·        Astonishing facts on how Israel, under fire, continues to supply Gaza and treat its sick.
·        Two Israeli universities have made breakthroughs in the storage of solar energy.
·        Israel has embarked on building three large thermo-solar power stations.
·        Breakthrough in water conservation – a super-efficient filter that makes polluted water drinkable.
·        Another natural gas discovery, plus plenty of international business, keeps the economy healthy.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

AAT medication works wonders.  Last week it was curing bacterial lung infections and preventing implant rejection. Kamada’s latest trial of its Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) protein shows that it can halt the progression of juvenile diabetes. Remember, AAT is the active ingredient in Kamada’s Glassia , used to treat emphysema.

NSTI trials effective.  Israel’s Atox Bio announced the success of Phase Iia clinical trials of its AB103 treatment of Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections (NSTI). NSTIs are life-threatening bacterial infections with significant morbidity and high mortality rate. 

500,000 successful operations.  Israeli Medical Device Innovations on display at Medica 2012 in Dusseldorf included HemaClear's innovative tourniquet technology, which has now been put to use in more than 500,000 operations.

Biological pacemaker.  More media publicity (this time in the UK) for Technion’s breakthrough technology that uses stem cells from a patient’s own skin to regenerate damaged heart muscle tissue.

Figuring out our brains.  Hebrew University researchers have proved that we are able to solve maths problems and read phrases unconsciously.  These results bring us closer to solving one of the biggest scientific mysteries of the 21st century: What are the functions of human consciousness?

Reading makes changes in your brain.  (Thanks to Israel21c) A study initiated by Israeli brain science researcher and Bar Ilan University professor, Michal Ben-Shachar has identified complex changes in brain connections, as children learn how to read.

Israeli researcher wins Marie Curie prize.  Dr Sarit Sivan, from Israel’s Technion, won the prize in the 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship' category. She has developed an innovative treatment for lower back pain resulting from the degeneration of discs in the spinal column.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Treating Gazans in Israeli hospitals.  Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center is taking care of a baby girl in the nephrology department, two children in oncology and an adult in urology.  Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem has six Gazan patients. At Tel Hashomer a Gaza girl is in the same room as a boy injured from a Hamas rocket.

Still supplying Gaza.  Unbelievable – whilst Gaza terrorists were firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians, Israel was still sending in truckloads of food and medical supplies.  Israel provides Gazans with five million cubic meters of water every day and 125 megawatts of electricity from the power station in Ashkelon.

Israel takes care of asylum seekers.  Positive information about Israel’s policy for allowing genuine asylum seekers into the Jewish State.

President’s award for IDF hospital volunteers.  Officers and soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces have been volunteers in Schneider Children's Educational Center for the past 11 years. This year the unit, known as “Shatal 121”, was awarded the 2012 "President's Prize for Volunteers". 

Training for disasters.  Israel’s Magen David Adom has been hosting doctors and paramedics from eight countries to pass on experience regarding dealing with mass catastrophes.  The participants were from hospitals in the USA, England, Italy, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa and Haiti.

President of Ghana thanks Israel. President John Dramani Mahama congratulated the Israeli government for sending in experts in rescue mission to assist in efforts to help people trapped under the debris of the collapsed Achimota branch of Melcom Shopping Mall.  The eight member team included sniffer dogs and high tech equipment including life detectors, sensors, cameras and drilling equipment.

India & South Korea want the Iron Dome.  (Thanks to Herb) Indian and South Korean defence planners are keeping a close watch on the performance of Israel's Iron Dome that has been countering Fajr V rockets fired by Hamas terrorists from Gaza at Israeli cities. Iron Dome has intercepted 87 per cent of the short-range rockets.

Water technology for Massachusetts.  A delegation of 48 executives from the Massachusetts water industry cluster travel to Israel in December to develop Israeli partnerships to help satisfy the world’s thirst for water.  They will run a competition to bring Israeli executives to the USA to meet potential customers and investors.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Storing up solar power at the Technion.  How do you convert solar energy into a fuel that you can use when there is no sun?  A project team at Israel’s Technion is developing a solution that traps the energy as light in solar cells and then uses it to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. 

And also at Ben Gurion.  Researchers at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev (BGU) have developed a radically new design for a concentrator solar cell that, when irradiated from the side, generates solar conversion efficiencies that rival, and may eventually surpass, the most ultra-efficient photovoltaics.

New Israeli thermo-solar energy plants. Israel Corporation is to build a 60MW solar power station at Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh in the Negev.  It comes hot on the heels of announcements of a 120MW thermo-solar energy project at Kibbutz Zeelim nearby and agreement on a 121MW facility at Ashelim.

Israeli team in US robotics challenge.  U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has just launched its Robotics Challenge with the participation of researchers from Israeli universities and leaders from the Israeli robotics industry. Israel was the only foreign team accepted to develop control software for the robot.

Israeli satellites are out of this world.  Israel leads the world in research satellites.  Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz reported that Israel has launched 13 satellites that have collectively accumulated 66 orbiting years and achieved 100 percent orbit mission successes. 

International prize for Israeli birdman.  The Bruno H. Schubert Foundation of Frankfurt awarded its annual prize for excellence in natural sciences to Israeli ornithologist Dr. Yossi Leshem for his contributions to the research and preservation of birds in Israel.  Dr Leshem works in Tel Aviv University’s zoology department.

Solving the world’s water shortage.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  Israel’s Advanced Mem-Tech has a solution to the shortfall in global water supplies.  Using technology from Israel’s Technion, it has developed a “high permeability” polymer membrane filter that requires far less energy than existing membranes.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel’s economy is still growing.  The Bank of Israel's Composite State-of-the-Economy Index for October 2012 increased by 0.1 percent from its September level.  The Gaza conflict did little long-term damage to the economy.  Residents and businesses impacted within 40km of Gaza and those directly hit will be compensated.

Orbit soars on satellite contract.  Israel’s Orbit Technologies announced a $150 million contract for hundreds of its Ka-Band communications systems with one of the world's largest satellite ventures, a consortium of carriers, which provide satellite high-speed broadband communications to billions of peoples.

Confidence in New Tech.  The government of Israel is to continue to support Israel’s water sector through the pioneering Israel NewTech program, which has been extended until 2014.  When Israel NewTech began its activity in 2006 Israel’s water exports stood at about $700 million. In 2011 water exports reached $2 billion.

Another gas discovery.  A further major natural gas deposit has been discovered off the coast of Israel.  The Karish 1 prospect is offshore from Nahariya, and close to the existing Leviathan deposit.  Estimates of the size of the gas deposit are approximately two trillion cubic feet.

Internet for Mozambique.  Israel’s Ceragon Networks has received $6.5 million worth of follow-on orders from Mozambique Cellular to expand the carrier's microwave network, providing the only broadband connection available to millions of Mozambicans.

Services to Aus and NZ.  Israel’s International Software Solutions specialist Retalix will provide system support for more than 3,000 Woolworths locations and 25,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals, serving more than 24 million customers every week across Australia and New Zealand.

Add a splash of Soda.  Israel’s Sodastream International is really bubbling with enthusiasm over its latest joint venture with Campbell’s Soups.  Campbell’s V8 Splash and V8 V-Fusion fruity drinks will be converted into carbonated drinks and sold as a new flavour by the popular Israeli fizzy drinks maker.

EU OK’s Teva P&G joint venture.  The European Commission has approved the joint venture between Teva and Procter & Gamble for their over-the-counter (OTC) medicines business.

Rome comes to Israel.  The Italian Trade Promotion Agency, an Italian government group, along with the Israel-Italy Chamber of Commerce and a slew of banks, government agencies, and start-ups, held the first-ever Italian start-up event in Israel, “Italian Innovation In The Start-Up Nation.”

Israeli investment fund is one of world’s largest.  The Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) fund is Israel's leading venture capital fund and one of the top 10 most successful funds in the world.  JVP manages $900 million in six different funds.  Israeli business newspaper Calcalist analysed 143 companies and 716 funds.

Turkey wants Israeli to export gas to it.  A very strange comment by senior Turkish official Mithat Rende seemed to signify a thaw in government relations with Israel.  “"Construction of a pipeline to Turkey is the best way to export Israeli gas”.  Also Turkish remarks during the recent Gaza conflict were very restrained.  Hmm...


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli-Arab rapper looks to make it big.  ‘I’m the American Middle Eastern dream,’ says Sameh Zakout, aka SAZ, a Ramle boy who dreams about making it big in Los Angeles after his stint on an Israeli reality show.  Zakout has an American professional coach, an Israeli manager, an Arab booking agent, and high hopes.

Plenty to do in Israel.  For those tourists who realise that Israel is as safe as ever, here are 10 top recommended events.  Highights include two jazz concerts; an Ethiopian photo exhibition in Netanya; Israel Museum’s “Modern Judaica” exhibition; and a Negev tour “In the footsteps of Ben Gurion”.


THE JEWISH STATE

Ask what you can give to your country.  Lev and Svetlana Hazant, both in their 80s, moved from the Ukraine to Israel 11 years ago but have just finished selling their foreign home.  They decided to donate the proceeds to fund the renovation of an IDF outpost on the Israel-Egypt border.  “What we have is enough”, they said.

Broaden the conversation.  Israeli Consul General of New York, Ido Aharoni, has been encouraging people like me to build relationships with Israel via through its creative contributions.  Hi-tech, agriculture, dance, fashion and TV programs as areas of Israeli creativity that can be inspiring to international audiences.

On-line schooling in bomb shelters.  Just because hundreds of rockets are falling on Israeli homes doesn’t mean that kids have to stop learning.  Israelis put such an emphasis on education that the classroom has gone virtual.  This new program is from World ORT and is called the Schulich Canada Smart Classroom Initiative

Technology helps life under fire.  Call it a silver lining, maybe, but videos and websites are help Israelis stay safe and inform the world about what life is like for Israelis under attack.


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In the 18th Nov 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli surgeons successfully destroyed an inoperable liver tumour with a brand new treatment.
·        Stroke victims are regaining limb mobility using an Israeli rehabilitation system.
·        Many Israeli Arabs in the Israeli army have been describing their pride in combating terrorism.
·        Israel is working with Italy to help combat famine and drought in Senegal.
·        Israeli students have built a home that runs on hydrogen gas from solar power.
·        Global computer storage giant EMC has opened a research & development centre in Israel.
·        Israeli and American volunteers have been providing support to those suffering from Gaza rockets.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

New treatment for liver cancer.  Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem performed the first operation of its kind on liver cancer sufferer Louis Saznovsky.  ‘Irreversible electroporation’ – a direct flow of high-voltage electrical currents – was applied to the malignant tumour, leaving only a few scars where the tumour once was.  Since Hadassah’s first use of the new method, more than 200 such operations have been performed worldwide.

Saving the limbs of diabetics.   World Diabetes Day was marked in Israel by the announcement that leg catheterisations performed at Haifa’s Rambam hospital over the last two years have prevented 521 diabetics from having amputations. The procedure is available in only a few medical centers in the world.

Another Israeli medication shows promise.  Israeli biotech Kamada announced positive results in pre-clinical trials of its Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) protein. AAT has potential for treating bacterial lung infections and also to prevent implant rejection. AAT is the active ingredient in Kamada’s Glassia , used to treat emphysema.

Israel’s medical marijuana industry.  Cannabis is administered without much controversy to over 10,000 Israeli patients, among them aging Holocaust survivors who struggle to cope with disease.  Marijuana is illegal in Israel, but medical use has been permitted since the early nineties for cancer patients and those with pain-related illnesses such as Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Recovery system for stroke victims.  Israeli Medical Device Innovations on display at Medica 2012 in Dusseldorf included Motorika’s ReoTherapy.  Stroke victims retrain their brains using this unique robotic rehabilitation device, which has been achieving amazing results in recovering limb mobility.

A smart pill-box.  (Thanks to Israel21c) About 125,000 people die each year because they failed to take their medication correctly.  Israel’s Vaica has a programmable “smart” pillbox called SimpleMed that sends flashing light and sound reminders when a pill needs to be taken, and can alert a call center when a pill is skipped.

Give a standing ovation for this bed.  Israel’s Vitalgo Systems’ first product is the state-of-the-art Total Lift Bed™ which is the only hospital-grade bed in the world that can elevate someone safely from a lying to a fully standing position – with zero lifting on the part of the caregiver.  (The youtube is a bit unusual.)


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israel’s Arab Bedouin soldiers.  Significant numbers of Bedouin continue to join the IDF and put the age-old Bedouin tracker knowledge in the service of Israel’s national security.  Kasem Juamis, of the village of Zarzir, has just completed the basic training, and was cited by his commanders for being the most outstanding recruit.

Encouraging Israeli-Arab entrepreneurs.  Start-up Weekend Nazareth was sponsored by companies including Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Cisco and Google.  “There is huge potential for creativity and innovation amongst youth from the Arab sector”, said Erel Margalit, founder and chairman of JVP.

Israeli Arabs study Yiddish.  About a quarter of the 400 students studying Yiddish at Bar Ilan are Arabs, says Ber Kotlerman, academic director of Bar Ilan's Center for Yiddish Studies. According to Kotlerman, some of the Israeli Arabs are searching for a way to connect to Jewish culture.  (Translated from Yediot Aharonot)

New generation of researchers.  The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities has established a separate science and humanities academy for young researchers up to age 45.  President Ruth Arnon said that integrating young people was very important in its work as official adviser to the government on research and planning.

Fighting hunger in Senegal.  Italians and Israelis are working together to eradicate hunger and poverty in Senegal.  The program aims to provide the country’s poorest farmers with the technological know-how for integrating irrigation technologies.  It expands an initiative of the local Israeli Embassy begun in 2006.

 “It’s our job.”  Those were the words of outgoing commander of the Israel Air Force International ”Desert Giants” Squadron, responsible for the humanitarian aid delegations sent by the IDF abroad.

The Dream of Success: How Israel and the United States make it happen. These “Dreams” are the promise that with some blood, sweat, and tears, a person can make him or herself into a success. Also, hateful speech is met not with violence, but with counter arguments, moral suasion, and sanction.  Both countries see freedom to speak one’s mind as a natural right, and the best cure for hatred and ignorance is sunlight.  Please read Part 1 and Part 2 of this analysis by James Legee, on the shared values of the USA and Israel.

Strategic alliance with Azerbaijan.  Major discussions between Israel and the Baku government are opening up diplomatic, economic and tourism opportunities between the two friendly countries. 


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Twenty of the best. This year, at the EnergyVest Summit in Eilat, twenty of the most innovative renewable energy start-up companies in Israel will present their technologies to investors from around the world.

A better fingerprint.  The problem with analysing fingerprints is that sweat interferes and low contrast images are formed.  Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have re-engineered the process. Now the gold nanoparticles stick to the oily substances in the fingerprints, producing a crystal clear negative image.

Some new hi-tech ideas.   This Canadian magazine has found some innovative Israeli companies that I hadn’t previously heard of. Interlude allows you to choose the direction that a video takes – thus increasing viewer retention.  Wibbitz actually creates a youtube video from the text on a website.

Green Roof research centre opens.  The University of Haifa has dedicated Israel’s first Green Roofs Ecology Research Center.  Planting gardens on roofs can lower air-conditioning and heating consumption.  It can also provide an urban living space for animals and increase the amount of photosynthesis occurring within a city.

Eco-home runs on Hydrogen.  Students at the Ariel Academic Center have designed a unique ecological home, based on hydrogen gas.  The structure produces energy, using only sunlight and water.  Architect Matithyahu Avsalomov said safe hydrogen storage technology has progressed massively in recent years.

Take an “InnovatioNation” tour.  (Thanks to Israel21c) 15 New Yorkers did exactly that, with the Westchester chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).  Keshet: The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel took them to see behind many of the Start-up Nation’s cutting-edge technology organisations.

NASA to build skyTran in Israel.  NASA’s Ames Research Center has begun work on a futuristic rapid transport system to be piloted in Israel.  Two-person modules will drive along a guide rail suspended from existing power lines. Magnets in the vehicle lift the vehicle and glide it at 60 miles per hour on a cushion of air.

Have you got a Minit?  (Thanks to Israel21c) The Israeli start-up Minit has launched an app that allows users to share one-minute videos from their smartphones and then send back video comments.  The app is branded as “voicemail for video”.  It has commercial potential, such as to collect feedback on a business idea or product.

Make the most of your customers.  Israeli start-up eDealya enables brands to engage with customers that follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  eDealya spots and analyse their social communities’ activities and intentions and responds with a personalised targeted offer in real-time and real-context.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

EMC opens new R&D centre in Israel.  Data-storage equipment maker EMC Corp is opening an EMC Labs in Israel aimed at developing innovative technologies for storage, security and big data.  It will focus on next-generation technology to address the challenges and opportunities in the world of information technology.

Israel is outsourcing the US.  Israel's Ambassador to the US Michael Oren revealed the pace of expanding trade between the two countries. "At a time when the US is outsourcing countless jobs to China, Israel is outsourcing to the US. Many American workers are employed at enterprises of Israeli companies there."

Canada and Israel form joint Tech Fund.  The two countries have founded the Canada–Israel Energy, Science and Technology Fund to advance mutual shared energy interests.

Taste Israel.  Delegates at the SIAL 2012 Exhibition in Paris were invited to do just that at the Israeli pavilion.  The Salon International de l'Agroalimentaire is the largest food innovation observatory in the world.  Israel’s global brands and also its family-run businesses succeeded in attracting buyers from across the world.

Secrets of start-ups.  Israeli start-ups have always been known for relentless innovation. Lately, many Israeli start-ups have succeeded in growing a huge user base in the rest of the world.  Ten Israeli start-up founders share tips and secrets to gaining users around the world and receiving global coverage.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Jaffa Port Street Art.  Short video featuring increasingly up-market Jaffa.  A special project including Designers of the Castro Fashion chain with 11 international leading street artists, who came together to bring street art into fashion.

Israel is fashionable again.  Israeli non-profit organisation Kinetis has brought five of the world’s top followers of fashion to explore Israel's fashionable side, and share it with world.  Kinetis’ founder, Joanna Landau, organized the tour to demonstrate Tel Aviv’s wealth of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Showcasing the Israeli Startups Innovation. The Keshet Media Group, the production house behind most of the TV exports to the US, is hosting the INTV Conference where it’s showcasing some of the Israeli startups innovating Web-TV.

Netanya’s new stadium is a winner.  Our local soccer team has moved into its brand new NIS 240 million state-of-the-art stadium.  The first game ended in a 2-1 victory for the home team over Hapoel Tel Aviv and was Netanya’s first victory in the new season. 

Serena Williams vacations in Eilat.  The top American tennis player and World number three decided to vacation in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat.  Having just beaten Maria Sharapova in the Masters Tournament finals in Istanbul, she had some free time on her hands before training for the next season.


THE JEWISH STATE

“We will stand in for you”.  (Thanks to Haifa Diary) A delegation of twenty doctors from the American Physicians Fellowship for Medicine in Israel arrived in Haifa on US Election Day.  They pledged their readiness to be "drafted" to help Israel in times of national emergency.

“And we are your Ambassadors”.  This year marks the 8th year of the successful StandWithUs" Ambassadors Club" program, at the IDC Herzliya for Israeli public diplomacy. It will be educating 250 students who want to represent Israel to the best of their abilities around the world.

A super scientist to the end.  (Thanks to Israel21c) The sad news that retired Hebrew University Professor Nathan Citri has passed away aged 90 is tinged with a fair bit of pride.  This year he was still developing his medical “superbug” diagnostic kits and obtaining fast-track CE approval, as “I don’t have that kind of time”.

“Embrace the South”. The Keren Kehilot Foundation for Community Revival in Israel aims to help the residents of the South by matching them up with Israeli families who have opened their homes and offered to host these families, so they won’t have to live within 15 seconds of a shelter and can walk outside without fear.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Controls/SendFriend.ashx?print=1&type=0&item=162098


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In the 11th Nov 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have developed a method of repairing the scarring from heart attacks.
·        Israeli rescue teams have been busy in Ghana and on the East Coast of the USA.
·        Timely Israeli innovations help dig victims out of rubble and locate vital fuel supplies.
·        Both Intel and Microsoft have invested in major Israeli projects.
·        The final remnants of the Ethiopian community have begun to arrive in Israel.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
Click here for “Blue Sky Thinking”

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Stem cells when you need them.  Weizmann researchers have discovered that the body’s bone marrow is home to stem cells that can be transformed into different types of mature blood immune cells to deal with a crisis.  The level of detail within the discovery, however, will eventually lead to better medical treatments.

Heart repairs using pig tissue.  The phrase “you cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear” is no longer true.  Israel Technion scientists have used pig tissue to create a thick “scaffold” for heart muscle.  It will allow doctors to rehabilitate the damaged scar tissue caused by heart attacks.

Hope for secondary cancer patients.  Israel is to conduct part of an international investigation into targeted treatment of secondary cancer.  Such patients do not respond to surgery or radiotherapy.  But analysis of the genetic mutations of their tumours may identify medication that could destroy the cancer throughout the body.

A remarkable day in an Israeli hospital.  It was one of those days that newsletter subscriber Jay Wohlgelernter was pleased that he went into work at Schneider Children's Medical Centre in Petach Tikvah. 


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israeli aid to hurricane Sandy victims.  The Israeli global humanitarian organization Israel Flying Aid, which was first to land in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, has been distributing large supplies of gas to hospitals, and food, batteries and generators to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island.

And rescuing Ghanaians from the rubble.  (Thanks to Israellycool)  An Israeli Home Front Command team and a Magen David Adom team are assisting in the relief effort following the collapse of a four-storey shopping mall in Ghana’s capital Accra.

SACH had a mountain to climb.  Israelis and Jews from abroad climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise $200,000 for Holon based Save A Child’s Heart. Since 1995, SACH volunteer medical staff have performed life-saving heart surgery on 3000 children from 44 countries who suffer from congenital defects.

Researchers can raise their kids too.  In a first for Israeli academic institutions, seminars at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will conclude by 3:30 p.m. to enable young researchers who are raising children to attend without sacrificing the time they spend with their children.

India admires Israel.  According to SE Asia expert Professor Nathan Katz, Indian perception of both Jews and Israel is very positive. It is almost affectionate and there is much idealization.

Growing relations with Bulgaria.  President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria revealed that he was born on May 14th 1948 – the same day as the modern Jewish State.  He planted a tree in Jerusalem’s Grove of Nations and hoped “it will grow and flourish just like the friendship between us.”  He also sought more hi-tech co-operation.

Huge rally for Israel.  Thousands of Texan members of the pro-Zionist Christians United For Israel gathered at a “Night to Honor Israel”.  The event raised nearly $3 million to support Jewish and Israeli charities.

Texas tie-up with Weizmann.  The Texas A&M-Weizmann Collaborative Program has awarded over $1.5 million for eight joint research projects to advance scientific discovery. The projects form partnerships between Israel’s Weizmann Institute, Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M Health Science Center.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Dogs can communicate.  This Israeli technology has been around for a while but is worth reporting here.  Israel’s Bio-Sense Technologies has a dog-alarm that can alert you when your dog senses that an intruder is approaching.  It can also be used to tell you if your dog is unwell.  Maybe even if it wants to go “walkies”?

A clean solution to agricultural waste.  The MIGAL-Galilee tech centre has developed a mini-sewage plant to help small wineries, olive oil and cheese-makers deal with the pollutants from their industries.  The mobile system cleans agricultural waste and creates biogas and usable irrigation water as valuable by-products.

Social educational network.  Israeli start-up theLearnia.com is revolutionary in the way students (1st -12th grade) learn and tutors teach. The network combines free videos with social media interaction, enables students to learn with their friends while teachers gain positive feedback from students who appreciate their contribution.

Share top quality photos.  Israeli media technology company ICVT has launched the iPhone app Beamr.  For the first time ever, a virtually limitless number of full-resolution, original quality iPhone photos may be shared at lightning-fast speed via email, Facebook and Twitter.

 “Cars are redundant”.  Israeli designer Udi Rimon essentially rendered Tel Aviv’s cars redundant with his design of Tel-O-Porter – a genius bike trailer that connects to the city’s shared Tel-O-Fun bicycles. Made of aluminum tubes and stainless steel mesh, the trailer doubles as a hand held cart and holds up to 45kg of cargo.

Israeli technology to the rescue.  Tamir Niv has designed a low-cost tool for digging survivors out from under the rubble of an earthquake or other disaster.  His 5-in-1 MultiTool features a shovel, hammer, crowbar, lifting hook and wire cutters. Weighing 7kg it could be come as essential, in vulnerable regions, as a fire extinguisher.

Angel helps Israeli moon landing project.  A substantial donation from an Anglo-Jewish sponsor has boosted Israel’s prospects of landing a spacecraft on the lunar surface.  The SpaceIL project’s mission is to make Israel only the third country ever to complete a successful moon landing.

3D printers can print 3D printers.  The age of the replicating robot has almost arrived.  Israeli printing technology is such that a printer is now able to produce components of itself.  Given enough machines of sufficient power and 3D printers can produce almost anything —cars, planes or even limb prosthetics.

Israel’s Waze helps Americans to fill up.  (Thanks to Israel21c) The White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has turned to Waze, the Israeli app that offers real time traffic navigation updates, to help New Jersey residents suffering from fuel shortages.  It directs users to stations that have fuel.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel rises in WEF Index.  Israel has climbed two places from 26th to 24th in the World Economic Forum’s Financial Development 2012 index of 62 countries.  It is second in the Middle East and North Africa region, after Kuwait.  Improved financial stability has been one of the key areas of improvement over its 2011 position.

Intel invests in Israeli education.  Intel Corporation’s CEO Paul Otellini has launched a $5 million investment in science and technology in Israeli high schools. The project aims to double the number of high school students completing their science and technology matriculation certificate.

Microsoft signs agreement with Israel.  The agreement is intended to develop “shared infrastructure investment” in national information technology projects, and encourage interdependent Israeli technology companies and start-ups.  Microsoft has also begun registering for its next accelerator program where Israeli start-ups will receive $20,000 and help from Microsoft, Israel’s Technion and Georgia Tech College.

Israel’s start-ups see international success.  An in depth feature in the Wall Street Journal on the current status of Israeli entrepreneurship in the USA, UK and Europe.

How start-ups start-up.  Here is an example of how three Israeli companies got the funding they needed to boost their chances of becoming a roaring success.  They include mobile security company Zimperium and Clarisite with its unique EyeView customer support tool.

Go4Europe.  The annual Go4Europe conference brings 1000 Israelis and Europeans together to present Israeli technologies to the European market, promote investment and establish strategic alliances in Europe.  Since 2005, 88 Israeli companies have gone public in Europe – more than in the USA.

Tel Aviv to Manchester UK.  Low-cost airline easyJet has started a twice-weekly service between Ben Gurion and Manchester, England on Mondays and Thursdays.  It also starts its twice-daily flights on Mondays and Thursdays between Tel Aviv and Luton, adding to the current daily flights between those two cities.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Interactive Art.  ''The Pixel's Habitat: From Code to Line'' is a new interactive art exhibition at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Visitors to the exhibit participate in using computer animation to make new virtual creations that are projected on the gallery’s walls and floors.

Another Israeli show for US TV.  The American network ABC has bought Israeli TV show Sabri Maranan.  It tells the story of a typical Jewish family who meet every week for a traditional Shabbat dinner. The title of the programme refers to a blessing over wine.  The US production will be called “Tribes”.

Bubbas on Safari?  The hosts of popular US Public Broadcasting System TV program “Grannies on Safari” have filmed two episodes in Israel.  The globetrotting pair had been in Egypt last year, just in time for the “Arab Spring” protests, emerging unscathed if a little scared. Their Israel trip was quite tame by comparison.

Israel to participate in Junior Eurovision.  For first time since youth song contest was founded 10 years ago, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority is to send its own delegation to the event, taking place in Amsterdam.

Israel’s world champion at 17-years-old.  Naomi Cohen won gold at the 2012 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships in Taiwan. Cohen gives hope to a new generation of Israeli athletes. Shahar Tibi finished fifth, Ofri Givati 10th, Noga Geller 12th and Adi Cohen in 18th place.


THE JEWISH STATE

Top French fire-fighter makes Aliya.  Frank Louie, a senior fire-fighting officer in Paris, had everything he needed. And yet, upon retiring, he decided to immigrate to Israel and volunteer at Eilat Fire Department. 'This is the place for Jews,' he says.

Serving their country with pride.  Eliran Oster only has one arm, but is presently teaching new IDF recruits. His message is that any thing is possible if you set your mind to it. Eliran asserted, “I am seriously thinking of going for officers training. People with disabilities should enlist. Any thing is possible.”

“Wings of a dove”.  That’s the name of the project to bring the last remnants of Ethiopian Jewry to Israel.  237 of the community’s 8000 population have just been rescued from appalling conditions in Gondar and flown via Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv.

Remember to vote for Tel Aviv.  The White City has made it to the final of the “City of the Year” competition.  Please vote for it every day until December 31st.


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In the 4th Nov 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli hospital is curing patients with advanced stage melanoma.
·        The Israeli Government has allocated an extra $75m for Arab higher education.
·        Israel has developed a smartphone for the blind.
·        The Israeli company that makes cardboard bicycles is now making cardboard wheelchairs.
·        Trade between Israel and the USA is at record levels.
·        My video of a tiny percentage of the 500 million birds currently migrating through Israel.
·        An Israeli company responds as a family, when an employee’s son is born prematurely.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Melanoma can be cured – in Israel.  Patients in an advanced stage of metastatic melanoma are being given a new lease of life at the Ella Institute of Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv.  Sheba’s innovative Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL) trials have patients from Europe coming to Israel to be rid of the deadly cancer.

Crohn’s medication works.  Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals has reported success in the Phase IIa clinical trial of Laquinimod in moderate to severe Crohn’s disease.  The announcement was made at the 20th United European Gastroenterology (UEG) conference in Amsterdam.

Ultrasound treatment for bone cancer patients.  The US Food and Drug Administration has given pre-marketing approval for ExAblate targeted focused ultrasound treatment from Israel’s InSightec Image Guided Treatment Ltd.. The approval is initially for bone cancer patients who cannot undergo radiation therapy.

Israeli spinal surgery – in Vietnam.  Mazor Robotics has received its first order in Vietnam for its Renaissance robotic navigation system for spinal surgery. The system will be installed at the Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi, the country's largest surgical hospital, with 1,000 beds.

Genetic link for autism.  New Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center research has found that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) share a root cause with psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  The research accessed anonymous records from over one million Israeli soldiers.

Natural medicines from Jerusalem.  The Natural Medicine Research Unit for the Study of Complementary, Alternative and Integrated Medicine at Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem is exploring some ancient methods to cure modern day ailments.  The centre even germinated a 2,000-year-old Judean date palm seed.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

A Palestinian Christian speaks out.  Christy (not her real name) is on a speaking tour of the UK.  She tells of the false narrative that the world is hearing about life for the Christian community under the PA.  Because of death threats, she now lives in the UK.  If you can get to Crawley or York, she’s worth listening to.

Big investment in Arab education.  Israel is preparing a NIS 300 million investment into higher education for its minorities.  The Council for Higher Education (CHE) said bringing more Arab students into higher education “will allow them to pursue a greater variety of careers and present new opportunities”.

Israeli boarding school for environmental entrepreneurs.  The new Eastern Mediterranean College (EMC) for International high-school students will have two tracks.  The first, focusing on desert ecology and the second on start-up businesses. 40 of the 200 places are reserved for Israel’s Arab neighbours and 40 for Israelis.

Bulgaria is a good friend.  Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.  President Plevneliev was thanked both for Bulgaria’s support to Israel following the recent terrorist attack in Burgas and also to Jews during World War 2.

Sharing with China.  (Thanks to IATI)  Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, MASHAV, has launched a joint project with the China Association for Science and Technology, which has some 5 million members, in a bid to share and promote Israeli knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurship.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

A smartphone for the blind.  The Israeli-developed phone, called Project Ray, vocalises any icon or name touched by a sliding finger and activates it only when the finger is lifted.  It has a special GPS for the blind and an audiobook interface to Israel’s Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped.

A “clean” tech app to check your tyres.  (Thanks to NoCamels)  No need to get dirty or buy an expensive tyre pressure gauge.  Download the TyreCheck app from Israel’s Neomatix and use your Smartphone to scan the tyres.  If you need air, TyreCheck then tells you where to find the nearest air pump and the correct pressure.

Torah for iPad.  While there’s no substitute for the real thing, this app attempts to recreate the feel of standing beside a real Torah. Not only does the Hebrew-lettering mirror the script found in an actual Torah, the app even comes with a “yad” – the hand shaped pointer traditionally used to touch the parchment of the Torah.

Israel inaugurates new Space Centre.  Science and Technology Ministry officials dedicated a “space center” in memory of the late astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon, in the Arab city of Taiba.  It will serve residents of the Galilee Triangle for study, experimentation and enrichment in the field of space and the sciences.

New improved solar tulip.  Do you recall the solar tower shaped like a flower that Israel has built in the Negev desert and also installed in Spain?  Well it has been vastly improved recently and is now much more efficient and with less downtime.  New sites are planned in Mexico and in Arizona, USA.

Cardboard wheelchairs for Africa.  The team that manufactured the cardboard bicycle has now produced a cardboard wheelchair for less than $10. Made from recycled cardboard, plastic bottles and recycled tires, it supports up to 400 pounds, resists both moisture and humidity, and requires no maintenance.

Techno.me.   This annual event in Tel Aviv is a great platform for Israeli start-ups to announce their new products.  One of this year’s stars is called “Learni” - an on-line e-book reading education system that is already in use at 15 Israeli schools.

Great new course.  Over 100 Tel Aviv University students attended the first session of “The Sources of Israel’s Creativity and Environmental Innovation in Israel".  The organisation Kinetis initiated the course to expose the catalysts of creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit of the Israeli people.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

2012 forecasts improve.  Merrill Lynch raised its 2012 GDP growth forecast for Israel from 2.7% to 2.9%, citing recent improvement in the global economy and resilience of the domestic economy in the first half of the year.

US-Israel bilateral trade at new record levels.  Exports between the two countries was $36.9 billion in 2011 – up from the 2007 pre-economic crisis high of $33.8 billion.  Israel is one of America’s top 25 largest export markets (top 10 by capita).  The two countries held a high-level economic policy meeting in Washington.

Still investing in start-ups.  144 Israeli high-tech companies raised $488 million from Israeli and foreign venture capital funds in the third quarter of 2012; 8% more that $453 million raised in the preceding quarter.

They were Israeli.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Three large takeovers of Israeli companies are in progress.  IBM is looking to buy Red Bend (mobile software) for $250m.  Japan’s Fujifilm is offering $750m for Given Imaging (Pillcam’s developer).  Japan’s Sysmex is moving on Dune Medical and its MarginProbe cancer tissue detector.

Map of Israeli start-ups.  This neat application shows dynamically the location of thousands of Israel’s innovative companies.

The secret of Israel’s start-up success – Chutzpah!  When Israelis say you have “chutzpah”, they mean you know what you want and will go for it. They mean you have great tenacity and will do what it takes to achieve goals that others can’t even dream of. It’s what makes Israelis so strong at entrepreneurship.

Working in Israel.  A new book called “A Financial Guide To Aliyah and Life in Israel” teaches about your rights and benefits as an Israeli employee.  Listen to the program “Aliya Fever” on Israel National News radio.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

A Dane discovers Israeli hummus.  Before he came to Israel, Morten Berthelsen thought hummus was a purely vegan thing, but three years in the Holy Land have turned him into an addict. Now he selects outstanding hummus places to include in the travel guide he is writing.

You must stay at this hotel.   Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s annual Hot List elected Israel’s Beresheet Hotel in the Negev as one of the world’s best new hotels. On the edge of the Ramon Crater at 800m above sea level, residents can explore the crater in open jeeps or peruse the ruins of the ancient Nabataen city of Avdat.

Not the new James Bond movie.  The IDF has some gadgets that 007 will soon be asking Q for.

News from the Hula.  500 million birds are currently migrating through Israel’s Hula valley on their way to Africa.  See my video.  Some of the Hula’s other species are making the news recently.  The Hula painted frog was thought to be extinct and the African Monarch butterfly is once again using the lakes on its migration route.


THE JEWISH STATE

The month without a festival now has one.  The current Jewish month of Marcheshvan had no festival to celebrate until 2009 when the Ethiopian (Beta Israel) Jewish community’s festival of Sigd was formally recognised by the Israeli government. 

NYC is Thinking Israel.  Hundreds attended a unique Nefesh b’Nefesh “Think Israel” conference in New York City, addressing Israel and Aliyah related topics - jobs, high education, army service, Masa programs and more.

School for Jerusalem studies.  The Haim Kubersky School for Jerusalem Studies will combine research and history education about Israel’s capital city under one roof.  It includes a two-year research fellowship, courses for overseas students and the training centre for Jerusalem tour guides.

“Improving the world, for Israelis, is a way of life.”  Israeli entrepreneur Roni Einav has revealed much in his new autobiography.  But some of his one-liners are amazing.  “Entering situations of uncertainty is less traumatic because that’s life here.”  “I mix people from different countries in my companies because everyone brings a different brain to the operation.” “The first quality a businessperson needs is the belief in dreams.”

From small beginnings.  Israeli hi-tech Outbrain has grown into an international success.  But it still maintains the personal touch with its employees.  So when the son of its Vice President of Products was born prematurely at 25 weeks, the whole company worked together to support the hospital and the health of the newborn.

From India to IDF.  Ronen Birvdaker, a Jewish Indian from Mumbai, was so moved by the deadly 2008 Islamic terrorist attack on the Chabad centre in his home city that he decided to immigrate to Israel last year. On Wednesday, he completed his training to become a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces’ Golani Brigade.


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In the 28th October 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli university has produced the first atlas of the human brain
·        An Israeli paramedic rushes from synagogue on his wedding Sabbath to save 97-year-old man
·        An Arab woman has become commander of an Israeli combat unit.
·        Read about ALEH Negev – a lifelong facility for severely disabled children and adults.
·        Israeli technology goes to work on the Red Planet.
·        Momentous trade agreement signed to bring vital Israeli medication to Europe
·        Tel Aviv is one of the three finalists of the “World’s Most Innovative City” contest.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

MRI atlas of the human brain.  The Tel Aviv University CONNECT project has scanned 120 healthy brains with a magnetic resonance instrument (MRI) to build the world’s first “atlas” of the microstructure of white matter.  The data could help identify signs of neurological and psychiatric diseases and lead to early treatment.

Protein has link to Alzheimer’s.  University of Haifa researcher Yifat Segev has discovered a link between dementia and the activity level of a protein called eIF2alpha.  Head of Neurobiology Prof. Kobi Rosenblum said that altering the performance of this protein through medication could treat the incurable, progressive disease.

Polymer to extend life of medical implants.  Israel’s MMATech has developed a unique polymer for use in hip replacements, dental implants and other operations.  MP-1 is a tough, low-friction polyimide that will preserve implants for longer than their current average lifespan in the body.

Preventing heart failure.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s BioControl Medical is currently testing its CardioFit electrical stimulation device on 200 patients at risk of heart failure at 50 US medical centers.  CardioFit already has the CE mark from the European Union.

$10 million for heart centre.  Irene Pollin, founder and chairman of Sister to Sister, announced her donation at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America in Jerusalem.  The new cardiovascular wellness institute will counter heart disease - the leading cause of death among women.

Israel turns skyscrapers pink for breast cancer awareness.  The University of Haifa’s tower and the Neve Nof tower on the boardwalk of Bat Yam – the tallest residential building in Israel – were bathed in pink light to remind the public of breast cancer awareness month.

Groom saves 97-year-old on his special Sabbath.  Hatzalah paramedic Arie Jaffe had just finished reading the Torah to celebrate his forthcoming wedding when his emergency (Israeli-made) MIRS device started vibrating.  He rushed outside in time to save an elderly congregant who had been run-over whilst crossing the road.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Arab woman commands IDF combat unit.  20-year-old Christian Arab Mona Abdo has just made history by graduating from the Israeli Defence Forces’ Commanders training course.  She will become a commander in the Caracal combat unit, which has both male and female, Arab and Jewish soldiers serving alongside each other.

Memorial for Muslim Arabs in IDF.  Yousef Juhja from Arara in Wadi Ara has sent three of his sons into the Israel Defence Forces.  One son, Staff Sgt. Sa’id Juhja, was killed by Gaza terrorists in 2004.  Shortly after, the bereaved father built a memorial at his own expense, to his son and seven other Arab soldiers killed in uniform.

Arab teen is top Israeli student.  Hamza Murad, 18, from Bueina Nujeidat in northern Israel is the student with the highest psychometric score and will commence medical studies at the Hebrew University.  Hamza’s mother is a paediatrician, his older sister is studying dentistry, and his older brother is studying pharmacy.

Jerusalem street named after Egyptian female singer.  Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat named a street in Beit Hanina, “Umm Kultum” after the greatest female singer of Arabic music.  In 2012 the Naming Committee approved 145 new street names submitted by local Mukhtars, religious leaders and residents.

4,642 truckloads of goods entered Gaza last month.  September deliveries included 1,444 truckloads of construction materials.  1,308 exit permits were issued for medical patients and people accompanying them.

ALEH opens new school.  Israel's largest network for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities last week dedicated a new school for special students in Jerusalem.  ALEH provides 24/7 rehabilitative and medical care for 650 children around the country. 
I was also privileged to visit ALEH’s Negev village two weeks ago.

Italian army chief is honoured.  The Chief of Defense Staff of the Italian Armed Forces, General Biagio Abrate made his first visit to the Jewish State.  After visiting several sites across Israel, General Abrate discussed military cooperation and mutual security challenges with IDF’s Lieutenant General Benny Gantz.

US counter-terror experts visit Israel.  A delegation of 10 senior counter-terrorism experts from NYC, LA, Houston, Austin, Oakland and Montgomery County (MD) are in Israel through an educational institute of AJC. The program will showcase Israeli technological and operational advances in counter-terrorism tactics.

Six new ambassadors arrive in Israel.  Egypt’s Atef Mohamed Salem Sayed Elahl and Jordan’s Walid Khalid Abdullah Obeidat presented their credentials to Israeli President Shimon Peres.  The ambassadors from Armenia, Ivory Coast, Italy and Malta were also received. 

Israel strengthens PA economy.  Just see all the measures that the Israeli government took last month.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel’s Mars equipment begins its work.  Israel’s cooler for the Chemin chemical analyser was brought into action for the first time when the Mars Curiosity Rover began to analyse its first soil samples.  The first results confirmed that some strange bright particles were of Mars origin and not debris from the landing.

Smart photos on your Smartphone.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Israel’s Flayvr is a free application that accesses your photo library and then automatically organizes your photos into separate albums and offers tools for quick, one-click sharing to social networks.

Generate your own electricity.  Israelis will soon be able to generate electricity independently, channelling electricity from solar panels directly into their homes.  Eitan Parnass, director of Israel’s Renewable Energy Association, praised the Public Utility Authority decision.  “This is the beginning of a revolution,” he said.

India wants Israeli renewables.  Representatives from both the Indian and Israeli governments, as well as leaders from around 50 Israeli renewable energy companies, gathered in Tel Aviv and agreed that India would be an ideal place for Israeli renewable energy innovators to take their business.

We can communicate.  There used to be tremendous hostility to Israel on UC Irvine’s campus.  But earlier this month over 300 attended “From Bluetooth to Brain Waves: the extraordinary ways we'll communicate in 2025” - the launch event of a 2-day Communications and IT conference in association with Tel Aviv University.

Germany gives 10m Euros for Israeli science.  Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research promised that her country is to contribute 10 million euros to the Minerva Centres fund.  The Minerva Foundation funds high-quality research at 30 university centres in Israel, with partners from Germany.

Driverless cars.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Israel’s Mobileye, which specializes in driver-assistance-systems, now is developing an automated driving system based on a combination of cameras, radars and audio sensors, which navigate the car even in a tight urban environment.

Israel’s “big data” technology.  The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce organised a big event at IBM in Atlanta to explore Israeli innovations around “Big Data” - an area of interest major corporations.  C-B4, Personetics and SafePeak explained their solutions to the big issues of data warehousing and large databases.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Making it easier to trade.  Israel and the USA signed a mutual recognition agreement that will ease burdens on US and Israeli companies seeking to export telecommunications products to each other.  E.g. product tests performed in one country will satisfy the regulations of the other.  This should lower prices and boost exports.

EU approves trade pact with Israel.  The European Parliament has approved the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products with Israel. Technical trade barriers will now be removed, bringing thousands of Israel’s life-saving medications to the continent.
And an excellent article by a UK MEP on why this is of major importance.

Hair removal at home.  The US FDA has cleared Israel’s Syneron Medical to market its home-use hair removal system to customers “over the counter”.  Retailers are expected to sell the systems, with Syneron’s patented Intense Pulse Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energy technology, to consumers early in 2013.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli pilots explain reality.  Some of Hollywood’s greatest stunts have been performed using aircraft.  Here, experts from the Israeli Air Force explain why some of the scenes were “pushing the boundaries” of truth ever so slightly.

Kreator returns.  The German heavy metal band first performed in Israel in 1992.  They returned in 2006 and are due to reappear at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv on January 18th.


THE JEWISH STATE

The marbled duck is back.  In the 1990s the marbled duck was in danger of extinction.  A study conducted in the Jezreel valley showed only four of them to be in existence. But thanks to the successful clean up of the Kishon River, this year, 72 of these beautiful ducks were found living in one reservoir alone.

Russia blocks anti-Israel UNESCO votes.  Nothing that the corrupt UN Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization does matters, but it was nice of Russia anyway.  Syria had protested the treatment of Golan Druze, Jordan about Jews praying on Temple Mount and the PA about poor education in Gaza.  The chutzpah!

Many talents.  One of the 129 new Israeli Air Force officers is Second Lieutenant Nerya, who together with his friend Gal Oren (who is also an IDF officer) invented a system to identify and stop water leaks, an invention for which he won three awards.

It doesn’t make sense.  Coincidences or Divine Providence, whatever you want to call it is a common occurrence in Israel. Just ask anyone that lives in Israel or has been here. They will tell you the most amazing stories.  Listen to some of them on Aliya Fever on Israel National News Radio.

“How good it will be next year.”  The Israeli song “Od Tireh” was chosen by six-year-old bone cancer victim Shachar when the charity Ezer Mizion fulfilled his dream of performing in a recording studio.  He brought a few of his friends along – also cancer patients.

Please vote for Tel Aviv.  The White City has made it to the final of the “Most Innovative City of the Year” competition.  Please vote for it every day until December 31st.  http://online.wsj.com/ad/cityoftheyear


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In the 21st Oct edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        How Israel’s Weizmann institute is working to eradicate breast cancer.
·        An Arab couple brought their injured son to a Jewish village in Samaria where paramedics saved his life.
·        An Israeli policewoman was elected vice-president of the International Police Association.
·        Official - Israel is the second most important producer of clean technology in the world.
·        Great new video about Israeli hi-tech, from IATA - Israel Advanced Technology Industries.
·        Israel is starting mass-production of its home-designed cardboard bicycle.
·        A great opportunity to have free tours of some of Jerusalem’s unique buildings.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Fighting breast cancer at Weizmann.  October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Here are some of the many examples of the successful developments from Israel’s Weizmann Institute and current research that could potentially eradicate breast cancer in the future.

Studying brain function in a petri dish.  Ya'ara Saad, a PhD student at Tel Aviv University, has been growing neuron networks from fruit flies in the laboratory.  By measuring electrical activity and synapse development, she is building a platform for testing potential treatments for neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Computer exercises for Alzheimer’s sufferers.  In Harvard’s clinical trial, the NeuroAD system from Israel’s Neuronix not only stopped patients' symptoms from deteriorating, in some cases it actually improved patients' cognitive performance to a greater extent than what is currently available with approved medications.

How SACH repair congenital heart defects.  I’ve reported many of the successful operations performed at Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart organisation on Palestinian Arabs and African children.  Here, for the medical community, is an example of the kind of operation that surgeons perform at Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon.

Getting back in shape.  Israel’s NLT Spine develops products for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) and has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its eSPIN powered discectomy system.  It is for patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD) and already in use in Europe.

A VIP medical assistant.  United Hatzalah’s motorcycle paramedics carried a very unusual person recently – UK Ambassador Matthew Gould.  “I wanted to see for myself the work the volunteers of United Hatzalah are doing,” said Gould. “Thanks to their ambucycles, they move fast, and their speed saves lives.”


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

“Settlers” save electrocuted Arab boy.  A six-year-old Palestinian Arab who was electrocuted was treated by Jews from the Samarian village of Neve Tzuf after his parents brought him in.  Baruch Ram said, “We are fulfilling our duty and helping a person in distress…this is not the first time…we've never gotten a 'thank you'."

Israeli Arab woman shocks Israel’s critics.  Boshra Khalaila from Deir Hana in the Galilee is working for her Masters degree in Tel Aviv.  In South Africa during its “Israel Apartheid Week”, she astounded interviewers and anti-Israel protesters when she described the freedom and rights of Arabs in Israel.  (A long but good read.)

Top international policewoman.  67 countries were represented at the International Police Association in Eilat last month.  The 450 delegates elected Superintendent Gal Sharon to the position of Vice President.  It is an unprecedented achievement for a woman – and an Israeli.

Drip drip drip.  Israeli scientist Daniel Hillel invented drip irrigation and won the 2012 World Food Prize as reported in June.  Here he is interviewed in the Wall Street Journal.  He talks about the successful implementation of his invention in countries such as Jordan, UAE and now Egypt.

A social network to change the world.  At the Webit conference in Istanbul, Turkey, former tech Chief Executive Isabel Maxwell gave a presentation about Israel Venture Network, a 10-year social entrepreneurship network targeting some of Israel’s deprived and excluded citizens.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The cleanest technology in the world (almost).  The Cleantech Group has ranked Israel as second in its 2012 Global Cleantech Innovation Index.  With six companies in the Global Cleantech 100 list, it even beats the “top” country Denmark, which has only two companies in the top 100.

An air gun to extract oil cleanly.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  Israel’s Flow Industries makes an ‘air gun’ for clearing industrial blockages, and it may also provide a better way to extract shale oil.  Instead of the potentially polluting water or acid used in “fracking”, Flow Industries can use Nitrogen, Oxygen or even compressed air.

Silicom in major design win with computer giant.  Israel’s Silicom said that design win for the SETAC-derivative 1-Gbps and 10-Gbps fiber bypass modules was from the security division of one of the world’s largest server manufacturers.  The company's SETAC products make servers more modular.

Argentina hosts Israeli technology seminar.  The Argentinean government hosted a seminar in Buenos Aires about innovative technology in Israel.  Israel was described as a role model for South American nation.  Saul Singer, co-author of the best-selling book “Start-Up Nation” was featured at the event.

UK can learn from Israel’s hi-tech.  (Thanks to IATI) While it may be desirable to try to replicate Israel's success, collaboration is better, says Haim Shani, chairman of UK-Israel's Technologies Hub, a UK Trade and Investment programme.  Christer Holloman, Technology Writer for Sky News gives some examples.

Video of the month – Made in Israel.  If you just watch one youtube this week, please make it this one.  It is the latest video clip from the organisation IATI - Israel Advanced Technology Industries.  It summarises Israel’s hi-tech successes in two minutes - so don’t blink!

DLD Tel Aviv Festival.  DLD (Digital - Life - Design) is a global conference network on innovation, digital, science and culture that connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and investors.  October’s five-day festival includes the DLD conference in Old Jaffa and has an excellent program of events.

Weizmann scientist wins US groundwater prize.  The US National Ground Water Association has awarded Professor Brian Berkowitz the 2012 M. King Hubbert Award for major science contributions to the knowledge of groundwater.  Prof Berkowitz is Weizmann Institute’s head of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israeli cardboard bike to be mass-produced.  Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni said that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months at Ahituv, a farming village near Hadera.

NIS 160m more for recycling.  The Environmental Protection Ministry will award NIS 160 million to local authorities joining the office’s waste separation “recycling revolution.”  The money will allow local councils to buy collection trucks for separated garbage.

IPhone 5 is selling well – in Gaza.  Despite high prices, Palestinian Arabs in Gaza have been rushing to buy Apple’s new smartphone even before they are available to Israelis.  "There are always some people prepared to pay whatever they must just to have the latest thing," a Gaza dealer said.  Israelis have to wait until December.

A fruitful investment.  Israel’s Frutarom is to build a new plant in the Lower Galilee for the production of natural products and plant extracts and to serve as an R&D center for the production of taste and health products.  The Israeli government has given the plant approved enterprise status and eligibility for tax benefits.

Surpass Medical goes to the USA.  Israel’s Surpass Medical develops stents to treat brain aneurysms.  US medical device manufacturer Stryker Corporation has just acquired it for $135 million.  Surpass's key product, the NeuroEndoGraft family of flow diverters, is designed to redirect blood flow away from an aneurysm.

The 5 fastest-growing Israeli start-ups.  (Thanks to IATI)  “The technology economy that has emerged in Israel is one of the most significant happenings in the world today.” Kevin Ducoff of VentureBeat writes about the Israeli companies that are changing the way we use technology to interact and access information.  They include Waze, Codename One, Kaltura, Mobli and StartApp.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Houses From Within.  Oct 25-27 sees a 3-day architectural fest in Jerusalem where visitors will be given free, guided tours of many villas, synagogues, churches, hospitals and private apartments free of charge.

Sewer drain art.  (Thanks to Life in Israel) In Tel Aviv, artists literally brighten up the streets by painting pictures on manhole covers.  It opens up a “hole” new world of art.

Depeche Mode to return.  The concert is expected to form part of their 2013 world tour.  May is the target date, with HaYarkon Park the venue. The UK’s monsters of synth pop last performed here in 2009.

Lord of the Dance 2013.  January will see 15 performances of the exciting Irish tap dancing troupe in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.


THE JEWISH STATE

London to Israel by boat.  I wasn’t sure where to put this article.  In a bid to reduce her carbon footprint, Lianna Etkind from Brixton, London, chose an unconventional summer holiday this year – a voyage to Israel over land and sea.  The voyage aboard a Grimaldi line cargo ship took a week and cost around $520.

Tragedy saves six lives.  Promising teenage athlete Gilad Veturi collapsed and died during sprint practice last week.  He donated nine organs, which were transplanted into six patients waiting for urgent operations.  Gilad’s parents were praised due to their readiness to help others at a time of distress and terrible personal tragedy.

The Jews of Nigeria?  (Thanks to IsraelSeen).  There was a long-told lore that the Igbo people were once Jews. Shmuel (then called Sam) compared Hebrew traditions to Igbo traditions, was astounded. The similarities were so convincing that it sent him off on a journey in the quest to find other Igbo who might be practicing Judaism.

Israelis are also returning.  Among the hundreds of thousands of Jews who immigrated to Israel over the last 2.5 years were 22,470 Israelis previously living abroad.  Most were aged 31 to 39, and included 4,837 academics and researchers, 2,720 engineers, programmers and hi-tech workers plus 681 business managers.

Be’er Sheva gets National Priority status.  The government has declared Be'er Sheva, the capital of the Negev, to be a national priority community. It is investing in Be'er Sheva and in the rapid transportation routes to it, to link it with the centre of the country and also allow it to develop.  

City of David’s Barmitzvah.  Jerusalem’s City of David held its 13th Archaeology conference last month.  The key discovery of year was the 250 cubic meter rock-hewn cistern dating back some 2,700 years to the First Temple period. It included handprints of the plasterers who built the walls of reservoir.

Only Israel.  It’s a good time to publicise some of the major achievements of the amazing Jewish State.


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In the 14th Oct 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israel’s newest university has invented a breakthrough low-wavelength radiation therapy for cancer.
·        Israeli Air Force pilots have inspired development of a medical simulator for surgeons.
·        An Arab-Israeli company uses gold nano-particles in its radiation therapy system.
·        Israel is to host the 2015 International Space Conference.
·        Hadassah culminates its 100th anniversary with celebrations at its Medical Centre in Jerusalem.
·        Indigenous fish have returned to the once polluted, now clean waters of the Yarkon river.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
Click here for “Truth is Stranger than Fiction

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

New cancer radiation treatment.  At Israel’s recently upgraded Ariel University, experiments with sub-millimetre band radiation have proved effective at destroying the DNA of targeted lung cancer tumours.  Lung cancer is extremely resistant to chemotherapy and aggressive radiation therapy would damage healthy cells.

Good news for psoriasis patients.  Israel’s Can-Fite BioPharma announced positive interim results of its Phase II/III clinical trial of CF101 for the treatment of psoriasis, and is continuing to enrol patients in the study.

Vietnam veteran walks again.  Sgt Theresa Hannigan (retired) became a paraplegic whilst serving in the US Army.  Today she walks again thanks to her ReWalk exoskeleton from Israel’s Argo Medical.  Argo announced at the AdvaMed 2012 conference in Boston that they are setting up their US HQ in Marlboro Massachusetts.

OECD praise Israeli healthcare system.  The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has stated in a preliminary report that Israel’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world.  One of the highlights is the early diagnosis of chronic diseases, which reduces complications and prevents hospitalisation.

Surgical simulator, thanks to the IDF.  Dr Warren Selman overheard a discussion on flight simulation between two Israeli pilots and then invented the Selman Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP).  IDF support means it is already used to educate surgeons and once FDA approved it will be used with real patients.

Nobel Prize for Medicine.  Read last week’s newsletter to see the connection between Israel and the Japanese scientist who just won the Nobel Prize for his experiment that turned mature adult cells into stem cells.

You read it here first.  There has been quite a bit of recent media interest in the vaccine being developed by Israel’s Vaxil to prevent cancer re-occurring.  (MFA report was in the good news newsletter of 6th Nov 2011.)


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israeli-Arab Technion graduates go for gold.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  Metallo Therapy is developing a cancer treatment using gold nanoparticles that are injected into tumours to improve the effect of radiation therapy.  Metallo comprises three Arab-Israeli employees – two of them Technion graduates and two of them women.

The Israel benefit Arab neighbours don’t talk about.  Both Jordan and Egypt owe much of their exports to the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) set-up as part of their peace agreements with Israel.  Products originate in Israel and are finished in the Arab countries before being exported to the USA.  As this recent article explains.

“It is time to stop the hatred”.  (Thanks to Adrienne) Abdulateef Al-Mulhim published this article in Saudi Arabia’s Arab News.  “Life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers.”  Also on BBC World.

Israeli gives humanitarian aid, just for its own sake.  Israel gave development aid to 110 countries in 2011.  Most of those countries hold almost no international, economic or political power.  They included Haiti, Nepal, El Salvador, Malawi, Chad and East Timor.  Please read how Israel is currently helping Haiti.

Israel helps Kenya remove Al-Qaeda from Somalia.  The Kenyan army has captured Somalia’s Indian Ocean port of Kismayo, driving Al Qaeda’s Somali terrorist franchise Al Shabaab out of its last strategic stronghold.  Israeli support included planning and intelligence advice, unmanned drones and counter-terrorism training.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel to host International Space Conference.  Israel’s meteoric rise to become one of the world's aeronautic space powers has been rewarded by being named as the venue for the International Astronautical Federation’s Conference in 2015.  Over 3000 scientists attend this annual event.

Where inventors met investors.  The Israeli Patents Exhibition in September was the ideal place for creative minds to market their innovative ideas and get their products off the drawing board and into production.  Israel Solodoch, founder of Nufar Natural Products (and a renowned inventor himself) described the event.

Waze’s new water feature.  (Thanks to NoCamels) The popular Israeli social smartphone navigation application Waze now has a new feature.  As you pass near a lake or river, it tells you if the water is fit for swimming in.  If not, it even tells you who is responsible for the pollution.

Hi-tech in Herzliya.  170 TechAviv members met-up at Herzliya’s Inter Disciplinary Centre last week.  They were treated to a talk by Israeli entrepreneur superstar Jon Medved and demos of two website to mobile transfer platforms UppSite and Folloyu.  Plus a film and free pizza.  That’s how to inspire Israeli hi-tech innovators.

Israel’s largest biogas facility.  The recently inaugurated Be’er Tuviya biogas plant owned by Israel’s Eco-Energy will scoop up the waste of 14,000 cows and in total roughly 15% of all chicken and dairy farms in the country. All that manure will then be used to generate 4MW of electricity for powering around 6,000 homes.

Israel and USA boost eco-friendly ties.  Israel and the USA have expanded their 21-year-old environmental Memorandum of Understanding to include research development, information sharing, green technology development, water sources management, land rehabilitation, air quality and ecological economy ventures.

Energize in Eilat.  Eilat is hosting the ENERGYVEST Summit in November.  Israel’s renewable energy conference will showcase many of the new technological breakthroughs that the Israeli energy innovation industry has to offer.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Maryland’s alliance with Israel.  The Maryland-Israel Exchange agreement is unique in that it proactively finds partners for Israeli companies, and provides a mechanism for both inspiring start-up investment and collecting venture capital resources that will enable the overseas collaboration.  Here is how it works today.

Another Israeli company becomes American.  Israelis Doron Harlev and Leon Amariglio founded the Rhythmia Medical in 2004 and built it into a leading manufacturer of cardiac electrophysiology devices.  Boston Scientific has just bought it for a “hearty” $265 million.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

A late birthday present.  For those that missed King David’s 3052nd birthday in June, I’m forwarding his request to publicise the video of his Tel Aviv street party - in the spirit the recent festive Simchat Torah celebrations.  Thanks to the King David Museum.

10,000 puppet fans.  The Jerusalem Puppet Festival in August was the largest ever held in Israel.  The Train Theatre venue hosted over 100 shows in six days.  For those who missed it, there is still a chance to catch the train.

There’s still time to party.  Temperatures in Tel Aviv are currently in the upper twenties (centigrade) so there is still time to enjoy the top beaches in the world.  Gordon beach features at number 4 on this travel site’s list.

Environmental award for cycle trail.  The 42 km bike trail around the Israeli city of Be’er-Sheva has won a special prize in the annual ECO-Awards run by the European Ramblers’ Association.

Tel Aviv joins Charter of Brussels.  Not to be outdone, the White City has officially joined the European Cyclists' Federation cycling promotion program, also known as the Charter of Brussels.  Over 60 major cities in Europe, all have pledged to promote cycling both through legislating and by creating the proper infrastructure.

Israel qualifies for lacrosse world championships.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel assembled a lacrosse team just two weeks before the European championships.  Israel’s eighth position earned it membership in the Federation of International Lacrosse — and a place in the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship, in Denver.

Six-nil.  Israel had its first win in the 2014 World Cup soccer qualifying competition.  Tomer Hemed scored a hat-trick in an emphatic 6-0 victory over Luxembourg, which may signify a turnaround in the team’s fortunes.


THE JEWISH STATE

Hadassah - a century of achievement.  Hadassah, the voluntary Women's Zionist Organization of America, has been working for the land and people of Israel for 100 years. The celebrations culminate in October at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem – where medical care and research benefits people worldwide.

From lost tribe to Rabbi.  (Thanks to 12Tribe Films and ShaveilIsrael) Yehuda Gin, from the Bnei Menashe tribe of Jews living in India, made Aliya in 1992. He eventually became a Rabbi and now teaches Jews from China about Judaism.

On the wings of eagles.  In 1991 I watched from the runway of Ben Gurion Airport as IAF C4 Hercules planes flew more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews into Israel during Operation Solomon.  21 years later, Ethiopian Airlines chose to make Ben Gurion the first stop for their new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft.

Life begins at eighty.  It did for octogenarians Yakov (85) and Moshet Pedagog (82) who immigrated to Modi’in, Israel with Nefesh b’Nefesh in August.  After long careers in education, they do not plan to relax.

Or maybe 112.  Zechariya Brashi was born in Kurdistan in 1900 and came to pre-state Israel in 1936.  He spends his days studying Torah and writes books about the Jewish mystical text, the Zohar.  His secret to long life - don’t overeat!

Spain backs the Jewish State.  Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez, in her speech in the UN General Assembly, declared Israel to be “The embodiment of the project to create a homeland for the Jewish people”.  She rejected PA Chairman Abbas’s “right of return,” demand for the mass immigration of Arabs to Israel.

Prime Minister studies Torah.  PM Netanyahu returned from the Negev to attend his second study session to honour of his father-in-law who died last year.  The PM said he came from the biblical desert landscape back to Jerusalem to “connect to the foundations of our existence, and there is no firmer a foundation than the Bible.”

Kinneret is at highest Oct level for six years.  The height of Israel’s vital natural reservoir is 1.2 meters above that at this time last year.  As Jews worldwide began their annual prayers for winter rains, Israeli skies opened up and the level of the Kinneret rose for the first time in five months.

Rare Tapir born at Ramat Gan Safari.  The baby is the first male Tapir to be born at the Israeli zoo and was born just 15 months after his sister.  His mother was also born at the zoo – very rare events for the endangered South American species.

Yarkon fish returns after 50 years.  The freshwater Yarkon Bleak fish (known in Hebrew as the Lebanon fish) hasn’t been seen in the mid-stretches of the Yarkon River for several decades.  But thanks to a substantial improvement in water quality, Acanthobrama telavivensis have returned to inhabit their ancient waters.


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In the 7th Oct 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Success announced in NaxVax’s trials for Hepatitis C treatment.
·        Gaza baby saved at Israeli hospital after siblings died at Egyptian hospitals.
·        UNICEF has bought Israeli water purification tablets for use in Syria.
·        Israeli schoolchildren won the 2012 junior equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Physics.
·        The massive production platform for Israel’s Tamar natural gas field has been launched.
·        A great song by the Ein Prat Fountainheads to celebrate the festival of Sukkot.
·        Thousands of Christian supporters of Israel paraded in Jerusalem.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Battling breast cancer.  In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Israel21c has put together a list of the top 10 latest Israeli advances in breast cancer treatment.  They include IceSense3 (freezing tumours), RUTH (alternative to mammograms), Marginprobe from Dune Medical and several treatments currently in trials.

Preventing cancer spreading to the brain.  The most dangerous form of metastasis (secondary cancer) is when it infects the brain.  A team of Tel Aviv researchers has identified proteins secreted by brain cells that attract melanoma cells.  Inoculating mice with non-metastatic cells prevents the secondary cancer developing.

Leukemia cure is due to Israeli.  Patients suffering from acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) are now routinely given all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA).  This causes the cancer cells to return to their normal function – a therapy known as differentiation and helps cure 70% of all APL sufferers.  Differentiation was discovered by Professor Leo Sachs of Israel’s Weizmann Institute.

Success in Hepatitus C trials.  Israel’s NasVax has announced success in the Phase IIa clinical trial of its oral anti-CD3 antibody for treating hepatitis C, a chronic disease, which disrupts the functioning of the immune system.  The treatment also worked on patients who don’t respond to interferon – the current medication.

Do we have your full attention?  The latest research from Dr. Nurit Gronau, of Israel’s Open University, sheds new light on how our brains filter information, prioritize what we see and hear, and digest our surroundings.  To avoid being flooded with stimuli, our brains process within a limited visual field, called the "field of attention."

Japanese make stem cells; Israelis explain how they did it.  A few years ago, Japanese scientists turned adult cells into stem cells.  However, they were baffled why it happened and the process was unreliable.  Weizmann researchers have now worked out the science involved and are confident of making a biomedical breakthrough.

Bionic ears work better together.  Cochlear implants are electronic devices surgically implanted in the ear to help provide a sense of sound.  Now Tel Aviv University researchers have proof that, in certain situations, two synchronised implants have the ability to salvage binaural sound processing for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Gaza woman chose Israeli hospital to save baby.  A Palestinian Authority mother from Gaza is home with a healthy baby thanks to Israeli doctors in Kfar Sava, after a complicated surgery.  Jian Abu Agram, 31, already had lost three babies to rare birth defects at Egyptian hospitals.

4 Gaza children get Israeli kidney treatment.  The four kids, nephrology patients suffering from kidney insufficiency, have been hospitalized for several months in the Children's Hospital at Rambam Health Care Campus, where they have been receiving lifesaving therapy while awaiting kidney transplants.

UNICEF use Israeli water tablets in Syria.  Israel’s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz authorised the sale of “AquaTabs” water purification tablets from Israel Chemicals for use in the UNICEF’s relief mission in Syria.  Syria’s water sources, have suffered significant damage during the 18-months revolt against President Assad.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israelis win High School Nobel Prize.  Israeli high school students beat 80 other countries to win first prize at the 20th annual First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics competition, held in Warsaw.  14 Israelis won prizes including overall first for Yuval Katznelson, for his research of energy in unique gases found in charcoal fibres.

PM takes Technion to the UN.  Israel’s Prime Minister praised Israel’s Technion – one of Israel’s leading hi-tech academic institutions – in his 30-minute speech to the United Nations in New York last Thursday.

Colombia welcomes Israeli water experts.  The Israeli pavilion took pride of place at the Acodal 2012 Water Congress in Bogota, Colombia.  14 Israeli companies were represented.  Colombian companies recognize the Israeli water industry as a world leader in innovative solutions.

Solar Succa.  During the feast of Succot (Tabernacles), the city of Kfar Saba is hosting a unique type of municipal Succa – a “Solar Succa,” to operate on solar energy only.  The solar panels, on the environmentally friendly booth, absorb the sun’s energy during the day and operate LED lights during darkness hours.

October is Israel Innovation Month.  Watch the new video from the Jewish Virtual Library.

Hoozin?  (Thanks to NoCamels) Israeli startup Hoozin has launched a social group-messaging app for mobile smart-phone users that aims to simulate the way interactions between groups of people happen in real life.  Hoozin displays users as if sitting around a table, where messages are ‘stacked’ much like playing cards.

“The largest infrastructure project in Israeli history”.  The 290-meter high production platform for Israel’s Tamar natural gas field is taller than Israel's tallest skyscraper.  The platform has left Texas, after 18 months of construction, and will arrive in Israel on board the largest barge of its kind.  Production at the Tamar field is scheduled to begin in March 2013, and will (hopefully) supply natural gas to the Israeli economy for decades.

Maria is a genius.  Israeli Technion graduate Maria Chudnovsky has just been awarded a $500,000 “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation.  As professor at Columbia University she has succeeded in proving “graph classification theory” and now works on real-world applications of the theory.

Silence is golden.  Rehovot-based Silentium has implemented silencing technology that reduces the noise of data centre computers, air-conditioning systems and even cooker hoods by up to 90%.  Silentium’s “anti-noise” signal destroys the original sound wave and cancels out the noise. It reduces stress and heat and saves money.

Traditional farming needs Israeli technology.  Israel’s Embassy representative Yahel Vilan gave a message to Sri Lankan farmers at AgriTech 2012 in Colombo.  Sri Lankan agriculture is not far behind that of Israel.  It just needs a little Israeli help to bridge the last mile.

Israeli self-cleaning towel system.  UltraClean is an automatic non-touch cotton towel dispenser, with a self-laundering system inside, meaning the towel never needs to be replaced.  Compared to hot-air dryers and paper towels, UltraClean avoids recycling germs, reduces CO2 emissions and eliminates paper-waste.

Future scientists on display in Peres’ Sukkah.  Israeli President Shimon Peres invited young scientists from around the country to display their inventions in his Sukkah.  In 2009 Peres founded the Future Scientists and Inventors program to target the most creative minds among the country’s youth and then push them further.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record tourist numbers in August.  Throughout last month, 248,000 tourists entered the country – a 10% increase as compared with August 2011.  A record number of 2.3 million visitors arrived between January-August 2012, a 7% increase as compared with last year and 5% more than the previous record year of 2010.

Israeli exports up 6%.  Israel’s exports, excluding diamonds, increased by 6% in July and August, compared to the two previous months.  Pharmaceutical products led the way (up 26%) followed by agricultural products (up 19%).

Building roads in Nigeria.  Israel’s Solel Boneh has won a $390 million contract from the Nigerian government to build a road in the Shgamu-Benin area of Nigeria. The project will take three years to carry out

Israeli fashion at the New York trade show.  Three Israeli designers showed their collections at the recent New York trade show.  Frau Blau, Kedem Sasson, and Ronen Chen participated in this year’s Coterie, the biannual trade show in which taking part is a sure sign of a designer’s success.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

American hip hop in Tel Aviv.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Producer Gilat Weiman brought R&B singer Monique Baines and NYC Rapper Clap Cognac to Israel in order to meet Israeli producer / composer Meli One and make the record “Finish Line”.  As Clap Cognac says, music brings everyone together.

Artists bring traditional music to Jerusalem.  At the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival, artists and musicians from Israel and abroad shared a variety of musical traditions.  Events and shows featured esoteric, meditative and ceremonial music from Azerbaijan, Iran, Africa, Morocco, Iraq, Brazil, and India.

Things to do during Sukkot in Israel.  If you’re quick you may catch events and sights including Jerusalem – the largest sukka in Israel, Tel Aviv – biking festival, Jaffa - photography festival.  Plus special programs in the North, the Galilee, the Negev and the Dead Sea.

More things to do.  Ideas include Haifa’s International Film Festival, Bat Yam International Street-Theatre Festival, Dona Gracia Festival in Tiberias, the Negev Bird-watching Festival and Emek Hamaianot.

Livin’ in a Booth.  Happy Sukkot from the Ein Prat Fountainheads

The future of Science Fiction.  Icon Tel Aviv features re-enactments of scenes from comic books and fantasy games, a science fiction film festival, discussions on animation and a superhero costume contest.  This year’s festival will also feature a special workshop on “Scientific Singularities,” that could change life for the better.


THE JEWISH STATE

On your bike.  There’s been a huge jump in Tel Avivians riding on two wheels in the last decade.  About fourteen percent of all Tel Aviv residents use their bikes as the main form of transport to work or school.

An observant reporter in New York.  Last week I included an amusing article about the Israeli press on the way to report on PM Netanyahu’s speech at the UN.  The same reporter describes the lengths he went to in order to keep the Sabbath during the hectic trip that bridged Yom Kippur and the feast of Tabernacles.

Thousands march to support Israel.  Christians from over sixty countries paraded down the streets of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, to show their support for the Jewish State.

Vote for Tel Aviv.  Citigroup are running an on-line poll to select the World’s Most Innovative City for 2012.  As the Hi-tech hub for the Start-up Nation, Tel Aviv must be in with a chance – especially with your help.  Add the following link to your favourite sites / bookmarks and vote every day from 15th October.