The Israeli Air Force flies over the Snow-Capped Mountains of Northern Israel.Israeli scientists can destroy kidney tumors in children without harming normal cells. The step-grandmother of US President Obama had emergency treatment at an Israeli hospital in Guinea. Ultra-orthodox Jewish soldiers rescued Palestinian Arabs from a flooded river. An Israeli natural pesticide literally “gets up the nose” of the bugs. Israel’s SodaStream has found a novel way to promote sustainability. An Israeli company is designing and will operate the largest desalination plant in the USA. Israel plans to build a wildlife park in Jerusalem. Some great photos following Israel’s recent stormy weather.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Sharp-shooting cancer. Scientists at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv have isolated the cancer stem cells that fuel the growth of Wilms’ tumors – responsible for kidney cancer in children. They then used antibody medication to target specific molecules in those cells and destroy the tumors without harming any other cells.
Israeli treatment helps bone marrow transplants. Israeli biotech Enlivex has developed a treatment called ApoCell that triggers a response from the immune system to reduce adverse reactions during bone marrow transplants. It prevents Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD), which affects around 70% of transplant patients.
GPS for the brain. (Thanks to Stuart Palmer and Israel21c.) Israel’s Alpha Omega’s products guide neurosurgeons to the required location in the brain. Alpha Omega is run by Imad and Reem Younis – two Christian Arabs from Nazareth, with their mostly Christian and Muslim staff of Israeli University graduates.
Treating Epilepsy from the inside. Israel’s BioControl Medical has reduced epileptic episodes by 50% in recent trials of its FitNeS™ implantable vagus nerve stimulation system. And no side effects.
Obama’s step-grandmother treated at Israeli hospital in Guinea. I had to blink hard when I read this. The 3rd wife of the US President’s grandfather has just undergone emergency eye treatment at the “Shalom” La Paz Medical Center in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital runs the state-of-the-art medical center and the local staff includes around 100 Israeli doctors. Just see some of the photos in the third link.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
“I love the army”. So said Samir – a Muslim Arab who voluntarily enlisted in the IDF. Samir was born in Syria but now lives in Israel. He serves in the Tavor battalion, one of the Home Front Command’s search and rescue battalions, whose men also perform combat activities in addition to their rescue efforts.
Haredi soldiers rescue Palestinian Arabs. Here is a news item that may (but should not) surprise you. Members of an Ultra-orthodox IDF battalion saved the lives of three Palestinian Arabs who were trapped in a car near Nablus in a swollen stream growing violent due to the stormy weather. Plus, another rescue video.
East Jerusalem Arabs want to be Israeli. Haaretz is surprised by evidence of the true wish of Arab residents of Israel’s capital. More applications for Israeli ID cards; more students taking the Israeli matriculation exams; more enrolling in Israeli academic institutions; and a rising number of youth volunteering for national service.
And so much more. Out of the 600 Christians from the Gaza Strip who arrived in the West Bank in the past two weeks to celebrate Christmas, dozens have asked to move to Israel. Dozens of Christian families from east Jerusalem have moved to Jewish neighborhoods in the city. But that’s not the half of it – please read the article.
A Panamanian immigrant’s view of Israel. Vivian Hamui has just arrived in the Jewish State, living and studying with Ethiopians, Russians, Spanish, English, Chinese, Americans, Dutch, Venezuelans and – oh yes – many Arab girls. She doubts if the same situation could occur in any other Middle East country.
From Israel to Africa with love. A delegation including nine Ben Gurion University students are currently in the city of Makele in Ethiopia, taking part in an extensive educational medical program which aims to eliminate neglected tropical diseases. The program includes medical intervention and administering medications, combined with health and hygiene education and addressing the problems of sanitation and water purification.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
It’s Israeli at any angle. Lenovo’s new range of Ideapad Ultrabooks includes the gesture control features of Israeli startup, eyeSight Mobile Technologies. With simple hand movements, from a distance of up to 70cm you can control media player, photo gallery, Powerpoint and PDF reader.
Chips with everything. The Israeli-developed XciteR chipset developed by DSP Group will power TECOM’s new MOCET Communicator – the advanced IP phone for Apple’s iPAD. DSP products are being integrated into a number of High Definition (HD) devices and services.
A natural herbal pesticide. Israel’s EdenShield has discovered natural Negev herbs that insects cannot tolerate. The herbs are converted into solution and sprayed on the netting surrounding fruit and vegetables. When the bugs smell the aroma of the herb they turn tail and fly away.
See Israeli technology at Arava Open Day. Yair Farm is the site for this year’s two-day agritech show. 250 (mostly Israeli) companies will be demonstrating their products to over 30,000 visitors. It has something for everyone – free entrance, a farmer’s market, kids’ activities, and gala evening concerts from top Israeli stars
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli unemployment back down to 6.7%. November’s reduction from 6.9% was accompanied by an improvement in the overall labor force participation rate, which rose 0.2% to 63.9%. The figures demonstrate that more people were actively seeking and successfully finding work in November than in October.
True blue-and-white companies. Eight Israeli companies were awarded the President’s Export Award for 2011. They included Kamada – developers of advanced cystic fibrosis medication. Another, SodaStream was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2007 but in 2011 exported $584 million worth of machines and soda cartridges.
SodaStream promotes sustainability. The successful Israeli drinks-maker SodaStream saves the customer hundreds of plastic bottles every year. SodaStream made a very clever advertisement, which the UK regulators banned for “denigrating plastic bottle makers”. You can see both the original ad and its replacement here.
US-Israeli merger is a “win-win” deal. Israel’s Peer Medical has developed a video system and endoscope to help doctors detect more cancerous polyps and other risks. Peer has merged with Atlanta-based EndoChoice, which markets endoscopes. The ideal “marriage” brings jobs to Atlanta and Israeli technology to the world.
USA buys Israeli laser technology. Colorado’s Spectranetics has acquired the products of Israel’s Upstream Peripheral Technologies. Upstream’s innovations reduce radiation exposure to both doctors and patients when lasers are used to clear blockages in leg arteries and to reduce the time needed to clear those blockages.
Aphrodite has gas. Test drilling at Israel’s Aphrodite-2 exploration well in the offshore Ishai field 100 miles west of Haifa has encountered a gas layer of 49 feet. By late February they will confirm if estimates of 3.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are accurate.
Desalination for San Diego. Israel’s IDE Technologies has won a $650 million contract to help build and then run the largest water desalination facility in the United States. The plant will be constructed at Carlsabad, in San Diego County, California and will produce up to 200,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day.
A year of Israeli hi-tech commercial success in NYC. Many Israeli companies launched onto the New York City stage in 2012 thanks to personal introductions, trade events and roadshows, Israel Technology days, International exhibitions and visits by delegations of US companies to Israel.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Jerusalem’s Gardens are blooming. 2013 developments at Jerusalem’s Botanical gardens include a Children’s Interactive Discovery Path and an expanded and renovated tropical conservatory. Read about these and exciting events for the upcoming New Year for Trees and for the rest of the Spring season.
The most museums per capita in the world. (Thanks to Liba) CNN has suddenly recognized that Israel has many cultural attractions. Here is its top 10 of the Jewish State’s more than 200 museums.
An Israeli reggae violinist. Meet Michael Greilsammer from Jerusalem. He bills himself as the world’s only Jewish reggae violinist, sings in French and plays music that is influenced by the rhythms of Bob Marley, Irish pubs, Gypsy camps and even the Arab street. He has just performed at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
8-year-old Yoav plays Haydn in the Dohany. Enjoy the performance of Israel’s 8-year-old progeny pianist Yoav Levanon as he plays Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D major – without music, note! The setting of Budapest’s Dohany Synagogue makes it even more atmospheric.
THE JEWISH STATE
Israel rescues Afghan Jewish manuscripts. Israel’s National Library has unveiled recently purchased ancient Jewish manuscripts rescued from caves in a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan. The Afghan collection gives an unprecedented look into the lives of Jews in ancient Persia in the 11th century.
Designers push the envelope. Teacher Marlin Nowbakht at Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design believes “Israeli students are very targeted on what they do…. They’re pushing the boundaries of their thoughts. They don’t accept every answer as it is. And there is a lot of creativity within that breaking-the-boundaries kind of approach.”
Israel’s first city wildlife park. (Thanks to Israel21c) “Gazelle Valley” is a 64-acre site in the Givat Mordechai neighborhood of Jerusalem, in the south west of Israel’s capital. The valley is to be turned into the Gazelle Urban Nature Park, preserving the small flock of wild mountain gazelle that live there.
Teaching Diaspora kids about Israel. The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education at Bar-Ilan University has completed an innovative “Israel throughout the Year” curriculum for Jewish day schools in the United States and Canada. Schools can choose to utilize either the colorful print or digital versions.
StandWithUs Conference. Guests of the StandWithUs Fellowship Reunion Conference included Israeli Environment Minister Gilad Erdan and CEO of Google Israel Meir Brand. The StandWithUs Israel Fellowship identifies, educates and empowers Israel’s next generation of leaders and ambassadors.
A late arrival. Among the 18,000 new immigrants to Israel in 2012 was 100-year-old Moises Lederman from Brazil. “I’m only sorry I didn’t come to Israel earlier on, but better late than never,” he said.
Enjoying “good rain”. Here are some of the best Internet images of Israelis making the most of the unusual weather. Eight of the photos are genuine, but five have been enhanced – probably with Israeli technology. See if you can spot the intruders.
Protecting the Jewish State in all weathers. See this lovely photo of an Israeli Air Force squadron flying over the snow-capped hills of Northern Israel. Sends shivers up one’s spine, and a warm glow everywhere else!