This Weeks Sanity Report from Israel May 15 2016
The highlights include:
- Hadassah doctors used hi-tech to save two Palestinian Arabs and a Cypriot baby.
- Israelis are helping victims of the Canadian wildfire.
- An Israeli company won an innovation prize in Abu Dhabi.
- China is getting its first taste of Israel’s Max Brenner chocolate.
- Israelis have won international gold medals in karate and judo.
- Israel celebrated its 68th birthday with torches, fireworks, fly-pasts and parties.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Switching off antibiotic resistance. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found new RNA-control switches (“ribo-switches) for genes encoding antibiotic resistance and discovered that these switches are actually “turned on” by the antibiotics themselves. The switches could be turned off by future treatments.
Israeli doctors save “no chance” Cyprus baby. (TY Beverly) No newborn with a heart defect like that of Cypriot baby Vassilios had ever survived. But Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center was willing to treat him. After an anxious journey to Israel, Hadassah surgeons achieved the “impossible” and after 10 days Vassilios and his happy parents returned to Cyprus.
Hadassah saves Al Quds student with organ failure. (TY Beverly) Palestinian Arab student Sara al Katzroy collapsed whilst jogging. She was brought from Jericho hospital to Jerusalem where Hadassah doctors used a Molecular Adsorbent Recirculation System (MARS) to save her liver. Sara now wants to become a nurse.
Doctors save Palestinian Arab boy who fell into boiling jam. (TY Barbara Sofer) One of Barbara Sofer’s 68 reasons to love Israel includes this amazing report of how doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center managed to save the life of Mohamed – a Palestinian Arab toddler who fell into a vat of boiling jam.
Eye spy. Two people have regained their eyesight after receiving the corneas of the late former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who died March 17 after a long battle with cancer. Avraham Gian, 81, and an unnamed 70-year-old woman received the corneas at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.
Heart implant is a success. (TY Atid-EDI) UK medical journal The Lancet reported the first implants of the interatrial shunts from Israel’s V-Wave (see previous newsletters). In less than 1 hour, each of 10 Canadian patients suffering poor left ventricular function received new implants and were discharged home next morning.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Alcohol/Smoke-free Woodstock. Jerusalem’s Sobar Music Center is presenting the first-ever alcohol/smoke-free Community Woodstock festival on 8th Jun. Sobar provides an exciting and safe environment for teens and young adults from all over Jerusalem.
An Israeli photo for Mother’s Day. Although Mother’s Day is not a holiday in Israel, this photo of an Israeli mother who has just given birth to triplets, will be an eye-opener to anyone believing lies from the BDS idiots.
When things don’t go right. A computer glitch meant that an entry to a Chinese auction run by Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion didn’t get processed. Ezer Mizion called the donor to apologize, refund the donation and give a prize. The donor was so impressed that they not only refused the refund but they donated more.
Aid to victims of Canadian wildfire. Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID is helping many of the 90,000 evacuees from the wildfire in Alberta, Canada. IsraAID volunteers are providing social and psychological support. Once the fires have been extinguished another IsraAID team will go in to help clean up the debris.
US and Israel expand energy cooperation. US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, have signed an agreement to foster R&D, drive down the costs of clean energy technologies and encourage collaboration between top energy scientists.
China signs seven more agreements. (TY Hazel) Israel and China have signed seven academic cooperation agreements with Chinese universities. These include the establishment of joint Israeli-Chinese study institutes, as well as investments in student exchange programs.
Another agreement with NSW. The Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel and the University of Sydney signed an agriculture agreement focusing on teaching, training and research activities in the areas of dairy, poultry and aquaculture. It follows a (1st May) R&D agreement between New South Wales and Israel.
2 million likes from Brazil. The number of Brazilians who have “liked” Israel’s Ministry of Tourism Facebook profiles in Portuguese has exceeded 2 million. It is part of the ministry’s strategy to attract pilgrims from Brazil to visit the Holy Land. Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world.
Thousands of Egyptian Copts visit Israel. (TY Hazel) So far in 2016, at least 5,700 Coptic Orthodox Christians have travelled from Egypt to Israel – one thousand more than for the whole of 2015. The Copts previously banned pilgrimages to Israel, but in Nov 15, the new Coptic Pope Tawadros II came to Jerusalem.
NATO upgrades Israel’s status. (TY Hazel) NATO has upgraded its ties with Israel. Israel will now be able to open offices at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s headquarters in Brussels and complete a credentialing process for its representatives. The step “will help boost Israeli security”, said PM Netanyahu.
Israel at 68 is not isolated. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger writes about Israel’s links with NATO, Turkey, India, China, plus tech giants such as Oracle, Cisco and Intel.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Water tech for Sau Paulo. Professor Jerson Kelman is CEO of SABESP – the water company for Sau Paulo, Brazil’s financial center, with a population three times that of Israel. He has come to Israel to learn how Israeli tech can help SABESP overcome Sau Paulo’s water shortages.
Desalitech wins award – in Abu Dhabi. Israel’s Desalitech won the Breakthrough Water Technology Company of the Year award at the 2016 Global Water Awards in Abu Dhabi. Desalitech’s closed-circuit reverse osmosis desalination system counters the slow build-up of salinity in aquifers and waterways.
Second in International Robotics competition. A team of students from Israel’s Rothschild-Hashomron High School in Binyamina came second at the prestigious international FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis, USA. Over 20,000 students from 24 countries pitted their robots against one another in completing set tasks.
Unhealthy food banned from Israeli schools. New Israeli Education Ministry guidelines prohibit selling or serving of sweets, snacks, and sugary or fatty foods to school and kindergarten students throughout Israel. Replacements include low-fat spreadable cheeses, avocado, whole-wheat pasta and bread, fruit and vegetables.
Cleaning solar panels in India. Israel-based Ecoppia is building a plant in India to manufacture its robotic solar cleaners at a new, state-of-the-art facility near Chennai. Ecoppia’s robotic cleaning system uses controlled air flow to push the accumulated dirt off the solar panels
Don’t pay the bad guys. The technology of Israel’s Tipalti ensures that companies never make payments to individuals or companies that are on government watch lists. Tipalti did $2 billion of sales last year.
Dyson fan shows Israeli air quality status. British engineering giant Dyson has linked up with Israel’s BreezoMeter to allow users of Dyson’s new Pure Cool Link fan to compare indoor air quality, humidity, temperature and pollen count with outdoors. Nearly 9,500 Londoners die annually from exposure to pollutants.
3D printers refurbish Israeli planes. Israel Air Forces’ Aerial Maintenance Unit is using 3D printers to print aircraft parts in order to keep 30-year-old planes flying. The technology has attracted original manufacturers Boeing and Lockheed to see how the upgrades can make the planes perform even better than when new.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Seven million barrels of oil. The latest estimate of Israel’s Hatrurim oil reservoir, north of the Dead Sea, is 7 million barrels – worth around $321 million at today’s prices.
Another $0.9 billion of reserves. Israel’s reserves of foreign currency shot up another $900 million at the end of April to another record – $95.685 billion. The Bank of Israel is trying to counter the strength of the Shekel.
First incubator agreement with China. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Alon MedTech Ventures incubator, is signing a cooperation agreement with Tsinghua University, one of China’s leading universities. This is the first cooperation agreement of its kind between an Israeli technology incubator and a Chinese entity.
Israeli chocolate for China. Israeli chocolatier Max Brenner opened its first branch in China. The Beijing branch, located at THE PLACE mall in the city’s financial district, is the latest of 65 worldwide storefronts. The company also recently opened the doors of its fifth Japanese branch, near Tokyo Disneyland.
Hainan airlines begins Beijing – Tel Aviv route. (TY algemeiner) China’s Hainan Airlines has begun operating a direct Beijing – Tel Aviv route three times a week. Hainan Airlines is China’s largest privately-owned airline. Israel is to increase its annual marketing budget for China from 1 million to 15 million shekels.
Prize for best Olympic startup. Israel’s Hype Start-Up Foundation is offering a 100,000 Euro ($113,000) prize to attract startups, entrepreneurs and veteran companies to develop apps and technology that will enhance the Olympic experience for fans, broadcasters, players, and anyone else connected with the games.
Another purchase for Frutarom. Israel’s Frutarom has paid $8.2 million for Germany’s Extrakt Chemie – maker of natural extracts including some used to treat liver diseases, digestive problems and prevent infections. Frutarom’s fifth acquisition of 2016 is active in Denmark, Switzerland, France, Austria and Australia. Frutarom also has opened a state-of-the-art center for R&D, marketing, and production in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Intel spends $1 billion in Israel annually. (TY Atid-EDI) Global microprocessor manufacturer Intel spends an annual average of $1 billion on procurement from 1,000 different Israeli suppliers. The company has spent $10 billion on procurement in the Israeli market over the past decade.
Security eyes are opened wider. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Magal S3 has acquired Canada’s Aimetis for around $14 million. Aimetis’ IP video management software will enhance the state-of-the-art perimeter intrusion detection systems developed by Senstar – a subsidiary of Magal.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Opening more doors. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (27th Dec) about “Open a Door to Israel” – the nine giant screens, shaped as doors, which visitors open to learn about Israel’s heritage, music scene, family life, education and innovation. Here is a new video about the exhibition, which is now in Paris.
Tel Aviv opens its doors. Open House Tel Aviv (May 26-28) will open up to the public 140 of its most architecturally and historically notable private buildings. http://www.batim-il.org/ToursEng.aspx?batim
Salvador Dali’s Zionist works. A selection of 25 paintings from Salvador Dalí’s little-known “Aliyah” series has gone on private display in New York. The biblical and Zionist-themed paintings were commissioned in 1967 for the 20th anniversary of the state of Israel.
Helen Mirren to host Genesis Prize ceremony. Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren is to host Israel’s Genesis Prize ceremony on 23rd June in Jerusalem. Dame Helen said “My connection to Israel and the Jewish people has truly been a part of making me what I am today, and I am very excited to be returning to this great country.”
Beyonce commissions Israeli designer. Israeli fashion designer, Inbal Dror, is designing a line of dresses for Beyonce’s much-anticipated world tour “Formation.” The award-winning singer fell in love with the dress Dror designed her for the Grammys earlier this year.
20 Eurovision stars visit Israel. (TY Jacques) A month before the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm on May 14, 20 international artists were invited to a three-day-trip across Israel. Plus, a promotional video and a new hi-tech video of the Israeli entry “Made of Stars” set against Tel Aviv’s Azrieli towers.
Good start for Israeli golfer. Israel’s 24-year-old Laetitia Neck, the first golfer from Israel to qualify for the LPGA Tour, surged into a two-shot lead in the opening round of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Prattville, Alabama. She ended the tournament at eight-under-par and tied for 15th place, winning $17,659.
Israel beats Iran to win 12 karate medals. A delegation of Israeli youth won 12 medals in an international Shinkyokushin Karate event in Lucerne, Switzerland, overcoming a team from Iran along the way. Over 300 competitors from 18 countries took part in the event.
Another gold-winning Judoka. Israeli judoka Gili Cohen won the gold medal in the up to 52kg category at the Grand Slam Baku tournament in Azerbaijan. She defeated Italian rival Odette Giuffrida, winning the highest honor of her career so far and significantly increasing her chances of competing in the Rio Olympics.
THE JEWISH STATE
Happy 68th birthday. Jerusalem Post’s Barbara Sofer lists 68 reasons to be proud of Israel as it celebrates its 68th Independence Day. There is one that I hadn’t reported previously – included now in the Medical section. And TY Sharon for this article showing how Israelis journey from Yom HaShoah to Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
Lighting the torches. I reported previously (on 1st May) that Christian leader Father Gabriel Naddaf will light a torch at the Israeli Independence Day torch ceremony. Other honorees include the widow of Israel’s first astronaut, a deaf Holocaust survivor, a Nepal aid worker, IDF soldiers and everyday heroes.
Robots play Hatikvah on xylophone. As part of their holiday series, Technion students have built something special for Israel’s Independence Day – the world’s most Zionist robot.
Come home for a visit. JNF Missions are experiences unlike any other. In addition to visiting many of the cultural, religious and historical highlights of Israel, JNF Missions transcend the boundaries of a standard trip and provide participants with a deeper connection to the land and people of Israel.
Outstanding Zionist immigrants. (TY Janglo) There are six winners of the Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize for 2016. The award recognizes outstanding Anglo Olim – veteran and recent – who encapsulate the spirit of modern-day Zionism by contributing in a significant way towards the State of Israel.
NYC boy donates all his Bar Mitzvah money to Israel. Noah Helfstein from New York has donated all his Bar-Mitzvah money, $76,000, to bring the first-ever “Maker Bus” – a mobile technology lab – to less fortunate children throughout Israel. The advanced 3D printer on the bus allows the production of almost any object.