There are occasions when I think that the international media must possess a device comparable to Harry Potter’s “cloak of invisibility”. It hides Israel’s achievements so skillfully that most of the inhabitants of this planet must be under the illusion that some unseen magician is responsible for half of the world’s innovations. Well the aim of my blogs is to expose the media’s sorcery and reveal what’s really going on.
Israeli doctors definitely have a magic touch. How else can they perform such delicate operations? Like the two three-hour operations reconstructing the faces of twin 14-year-old Muslim boys at Haifa’s Ramban hospital. A genetic defect caused their cleft palate and nose, and fused fingers. Meanwhile, the Jewish State is the country of choice for Syrian doctors to send the wounded from their own civil war. The latest Syrian casualties to be taken to Israeli hospitals included a 16-year-old boy suffering from gunshot wounds, a 13 year-old girl and two boys aged nine and fifteen. Even the normally anti-Israel Lebanese Daily Star is reporting the phenomena. In total, Israel has now treated over 100 Syrians.
There was a touching encounter recently when 10-year-old Yakub Ivachisad, the Palestinian Arab boy who received one of the kidneys from deceased Israeli boy Noam Naor, was visited in Schneider Children's hospital by Noam’s parents. I was also particularly touched to read about a typical day for Israeli Diana Bletter, interacting with Muslims, Christians, Druze, Ethiopian Jews and a Baha'i woman.
I may now be touching a nerve with some people, by mentioning “dental implants”. Israel’s RegeneCure has developed a safe bone augmentation system using an innovative synthetic membrane. Alternative animal-tissue-derived products can be contaminated. Additionally, RegeneCure’s membrane degrades slowly, giving the natural bone more time to regenerate. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is applying a lighter touch in its medical research for children. It will establish a center focusing on incurable genetic diseases, building new models for testing drugs for children and synthesizing new molecules suitable for them.
As I stated in my introduction, my aim is for the world to see Israel in a new light. They would, if they have been touched by Eye from Zion, an Israeli organization that provides free ocular medical treatment to needy populations around the world. Photographer Vardi Kahana has documented some of those whose eyesight has been restored in a new photographic series entitled “Field of Vision”. Another Israeli humanitarian organization is MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) which is working with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in South Sudan and alleviating the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. The Executive Director of WFP has just visited Israel for the first time, to touch base with MASHAV leaders. In contrast, Arab leaders were completely out of touch when they failed in their bid to block Israel from leading the UN Entrepreneurship for Development Debate. They couldn’t touch Israel as it showcased its agriculture, solar energy and medical equipment to developing countries.
I will now touch on a few of the latest Israeli innovations in the hi-tech arena. When discussing a touchy medical subject with a new doctor, you no longer need to worry that he / she hasn’t got access to your records. One touch of your smartphone and Israeli-developed Hello Doctor will retrieve everything you need. Israeli startup Architip has an app that will touch up the image of any archaeological feature you are looking at. Point your smartphone at the ruin and Architip will display how the site used to look. It will come in handy when viewing the latest discoveries in Jerusalem that prove Jewish connections stretching back at least two millennia. Finally, Israel’s N-trig has announced that its DuoSense touchpad controller provides a single sensor for both pen and touch to Sony’s VAIO® Duo 13 Ultrabook.
Israeli start-ups are a soft touch when it comes to good causes. Israel’s OurCrowd is the first Venture Capital Funding Organization to insist that its portfolio companies donate a portion of equity to a charitable foundation. Start-ups allocate shares to the non-profit Tmura. If the start-up is taken-over, Tmura gives 90% of the share value to charitable projects.
We’ll be touching down this week with a few atmospheric news items. With tourist numbers touching record levels, Israeli Yaniv Emanuel, flew the world’s longest commercial plane – the new Boeing 747-8 into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. One of Israel’s first-time visitors was Dr. Qanta Ahmed who saw the country ‘as God sees it.’ The Muslim physician, and daughter of Pakistani immigrants to the US, was smitten by its magical natural beauty, history and modern achievements that came into vivid focus on a helicopter tour of the Jewish State.
Finally, Israel’s newest pilots now include 21-year-old Lt B who made Aliya from New Jersey in 2009. For many years the Jewish State has worked its magic on the high flier, who said, "I knew from a young age that Israel was an amazing country, and that I was destined to fall in love with it."
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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