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.
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.)