This Weeks Sanity Report from Israel Dec 18 2016
The highlights include:
- Israel’s Technion opens its new global cancer research center.
- Muslim states of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan welcome Israel’s PM.
- An Israel drone can identify hazardous material from far away.
- Israeli robots will clean India’s new massive solar park.
- Huge numbers of tourists are arriving for the festive season.
- Ancient “Free Zion” coin discovered in Jerusalem.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Technion opens new integrated cancer center. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel inaugurated the Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC) in Haifa. The center is a first-of-its kind hub for global cancer research, which will expedite the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments through a collaborative “bench-to-bedside” approach. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220756
Israeli wins $25,000 neuroscience award. (TY Karen) Israel’s Dr. Gilad Evrony was awarded the Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology by Science magazine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr Evrony sequences and analyzes the genomes of individual brain cells to detect mutations.
First US medical center to use Israeli hi-tech scanner. I reported previously (Dec 4) that the US FDA approved the P-ARTIS innovative upright CT proton scanner from Israel’s P-Cure. Now the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center will be the first in the US to use it for patients being treated for lung cancer.
Facebook screens live brain surgeries from Israeli hospital. More than half a million viewers have been watching live broadcasts on Facebook of Israeli brain surgeons at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba removing a benign tumor. The purpose was to promote the work at the new brain center.
Israel’s first health informatics program. The Jerusalem College of Technology and the University of Toronto have jointly developed Israel’s first degree program in the field of health informatics. Health informatics involves managing and analyzing data to support the best treatment for patients.
1,000 new defibrillators. In what may be the largest purchase of defibrillators ever made in Israel, volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) organization United Hatzalah recently purchased 1,000 defibrillators – one for each of its volunteers. The aim is that no one in Israel will die from a treatable cardiac arrest.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Jerusalem to distribute Xmas trees. Jerusalem’s Municipality continues its tradition of distributing free Christmas trees to the capital’s Christian residents. On Dec. 20, 150 trees will be distributed at the Jaffa Gate Plaza upon presentation of a valid ID card. Christian areas will be decorated and assistance given for fairs etc.
Islam in Israel – facts and figures. (TY Bennett) Excellent summary of Israel’s 1.454 million Muslim population. E.g. It highlights just how free religion is, with a 500% growth in the number of mosques since 1988 (from 80 then to 400 now).
Why is Israel treating wounded Syrians? (TY BIG) This video was produced by Mohammad Magadli & Mohammad Al-Kassim. It features Moslems who cannot understand why Israel is treating Syrian wounded.
Twice as much water for Jordan. (TY Bennett) Israel’s national water carrier Mekorot is to build a new pipeline from Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) to Jordan. It will provide Jordan with 100 million cubic meters of water annually, roughly double the volume Israel currently supplies to the kingdom.
Hands-free Smartphone reaches 1200 users. Latest news on Israel’s Sesame Enable smartphone for the disabled (see previous) is that it now has reached more than 1,200 customers globally, including in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, in the three years since it was set up. See video of the phone’s paralyzed co-founder.
Helping Ugandan children. Project TEN, a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has set-up its third volunteer center in Africa. Partnering with a coalition of organizations, the center in Namulanda, Uganda (between Kampala and Entebbe) will focus on education, healthcare, agriculture, and the arts.
Israel welcomes new Turkish Ambassador. Mekin Mustafa Kemal Okem presented himself to Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and officially assumed the post of Turkey’s first ambassador to Israel in five years. He hailed a “new beginning” in bilateral ties and called the Jewish state Ankara’s “partner and friend.”
What Israel can do for Rajasthan. (TY Karen) Israel’s MASHAV has three centers of excellence in the Indian State of Rajasthan. They are working on producing high-quality seedlings, intensifying cultivation, better irrigation and fertilization. Israel can also help increase milk production, crop shelf-life and pest control.
PM visit to Muslim Azerbaijan. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed bilateral agreements governing tariffs, agricultural cooperation, and to advance further cooperation in science, technology, health, trade, and other economic matters. http://www.thetower.org/4292-netanyahu-israels-ties-with-azerbaijan-symbolize-muslims-and-jews-working-together/
PM visit to Muslim Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that his country has requested Israel’s help in training its special forces as part of cooperation in the fight against terror. He also expressed his country’s desire to increase cooperation with Israel in the fields of agriculture and technology.
Israeli help for the world. Excellent article featuring the latest work by Israel’s MASHAV provide agricultural training to hundreds of thousands of people from 130 countries. The second link is to Israel21c’s stunning online exhibition, showcasing Israel’s humanitarian aid work around the world.
Generating healthcare solutions for poor in India. The Pears Challenge, run by the Pears Program for Global Innovation at Tel Aviv University, is focusing on creating affordable healthcare solutions for low and lower-middle income Indians. The winners of the 2017 challenge will be flown to India to meet investors and clients.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s Cyber Conference. The biennial International HLS & Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv featured the top Israeli security and cybersecurity companies. It attracted thousands of delegates from 80 countries, including a delegation from South India, comprising government departments and private companies.
New security technology from Elbit. Israel’s Elbit Systems presented its new Emergency Scenarios Virtual Reality (VR) Trainer for emergency response teams at the Homeland Security and Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv. It also unveiled GroundEye, which provides data and high resolution imagery for crises monitoring.
Energy professor wins top Israeli award. Professor (Emeritus) David Faiman of Ben Gurion University has been given the David Ben Gurion award for his life’s work researching and promoting renewable energy. The prize is awarded to those whose “actions fulfill David Ben-Gurion’s vision and follow his legacy.”
Nevada and Israel sign landmark deal on water innovation. Nevada’s WaterStart public-private joint venture and Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority signed a memorandum of understanding on water-use innovation, to pave the way for Israeli water companies to set up facilities in the arid state of Nevada.
Drone identifies hazardous materials. Israel’s Laser Detect System (LDS) has developed the SpectroDrone that can identify explosives and other hazardous materials from several meters away. The system uses a multi-wavelength laser, range-finder, high resolution camera and an algorithm and can be placed on a UAV, robot or vehicle.
Facebook conference in Israel. Facebook is holding its first Israeli developer conference, to help creators of Israeli technologies develop their products in line with the social network’s plan to create a connected world. Over 600 Israeli developers are attending, along with Facebook officials, engineers and product managers.
A coke bottle that takes a selfie. Coca-Cola Israel and Tel-Aviv based creative agency Gefen Team have designed a Coke bottle that takes a selfie photo of the drinker. The novel device easily attaches to a half-liter Coke bottle. It then senses the exact moment the bottle reaches a 70-degree tilt, the ideal angle for taking selfies, before snapping a photo.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Gett a ride share in New York City. Commuters in New York City can now use their Israeli Gett app to request a “Gett Together”. For $3 they will be picked up by a professional driver and dropped off along set routes during designated commuting hours. Other passengers using the same route may share the vehicle.
$4.5 million order for aircraft communications. Israel’s ORBIT Communication Systems received a $4.5 million order from one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers for development and supply of prototypes of an advanced system for the management of aircraft audio communication. Follow-on orders are expected.
New delicious variety of pomegranate. The “Wine” (Yayin) pomegranate is a new strain of the ruby-red fruit developed by Israeli farmers at Zamiri Nurseries of Moshav Yesud HaMa’ala. They are juicy, tart yet sweet.
Israeli robots to clean Indian mega solar park. Israel’s Eccopia is to install its water-free, robotic solar panel cleaning system at the 10,000-hectare 2,255 MW Bhadla Solar Park being constructed in Rajasthan, India. Dust storms reduce solar panel efficiency by 40%. The Eccopia system will also save over 1.5 billion liters of water.
Fixing your English. Israeli startup Mailfixer is a real-time, editing service created to help non-native English speakers communicate better. Send in your text and within five minutes, someone is working to turn the text into a quality document.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Jaffa clock tower seals restored. Tel Aviv municipality has restored the original marble seal of Sultan Abd al-Hamid II on the landmark 1903 Jaffa Clock Tower. The seal was one of four on the structure and the only one that has survived the passage of time. In 2001, three glass replicas of the seal were installed to take the place of the three marble plaques that did not survive.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists. Israel’s Tourism ministry expects around 120,000 tourists to Israel in December, of whom half are Christian. On Dec 24, the ministry will offer a free shuttle for pilgrims travelling between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Tourists and pilgrims at Rachel’s Crossing will be greeted with a small gift in the spirit of the holiday.
Jerusalem is one of the best places to travel to. (TY Janglo) Travel & Leisure magazine has included Jerusalem in its list of top places to visit in 2017. It writes “Jerusalem has now emerged as a culinary force to rival Tel Aviv”. It recommends the Mahane Yehuda Market and the new boutique Brown Jerusalem Hotel.
Ashley Blaker comes to Israel. (TY Janglo) Ashley Blaker, comedy writer, producer and the UK’s only Orthodox Jewish comedian, makes his first Israel comedy tour. Star of the sell-out UNGEFILTERED tour and producer of UK’s hit TV program “Little Britain”, he will perform from Jan 1 – 5 in Netanya, Yad Binyamin, Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem and Raanana.
THE JEWISH STATE
Jerusalem Monopoly game. (TY Bennett) A new version of the favorite board game Monopoly is being launched. Jerusalem Monopoly will be in the shops in time for the 50th anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem. It may even be available in time for Hanukkah.
Ancient “Free Zion” coin unveiled. Israel’s Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev unveiled a coin discovered during a recent excavation of a road in Jerusalem. The coin was one of a series minted during the Jewish revolt against the Romans in 67 CE. Regev noted that Israel re-unified Jerusalem in 1967 and its 50th Jubilee is next year.
Cousins re-unite at Yad Vashem. Sisters Henia and Rywka Borenstein made Aliya in 1948, believing that their entire family had been wiped out in the Holocaust. But their cousins Fanya and Gennadi had made Aliya in 1990 and have just been re-united, thanks to the Borensteins’ testimony in the Yad Vashem database.