Israel's Good News Newsletter to 24th Apr 16


In the 24th Apr 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         UNESCO and the International Red Cross praise Israeli medical activities.
·         Israel is helping survivors of recent earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan.
·         Israel showcased advanced materials produced using nanotechnology.
·         New Israeli technology located a tunnel from Gaza into Israel.
·         Four Israeli wines triumphed at Dusseldorf’s international wine festival.
·         Two Israelis won European Championship Judoka medals.
·         A Pharaoh amulet was found in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount debris.

·         My highlights blog “Israeli Achievements you cannot Pass Over” has also been published on the Bridges for Peace website.

·         Click here to see the 17th April newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Inclusive and Global, Technology and Entertainment.  Also (TY Sandra) available in German.

Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel.  Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles.  Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

An app to prevent diabetes.  Israel’s Sweetch has developed a clinical-outcome prediction platform, a behavioral analytics engine and risk meter, to stop diabetes before it starts.  Sweetch’s proprietary machine-learning algorithms detect pre-diabetes seven times more accurately than existing clinical evaluation.

US approves treatment for severe asthma. The U.S. FDA has approved Cinqair - the asthma treatment from Israel’s Teva - for adults who have a history of severe attacks despite taking medication.  More than 22 million Americans had asthma as of 2013, and there are more than 400,000 asthma-related hospitalizations each year.

Good results in Leukemia treatment trials.  Israel’s BioSight is pleased with its Phase I/IIa study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its Astarabine treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and relapsed/refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  Full results later this year.  (See also 1st Nov newsletter).

Training 100 medics in the desert.  In Israel’s Negev desert it sometimes takes ambulance services half an hour to reach remote communities. So United Hatzalah is running a training course to increase the numbers of its EMS volunteers from 150 to 250. Its goal is at least one volunteer in every village and kibbutz and to cut the overall response time for EMS personnel throughout the region.

Born in ambulance – just like his Dad.  Chen Sabag was born 32 years ago in a Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance in the southern Israeli town of Netivot.  On March 29, Chen’s son was born to his wife Hadas, in an MDA ambulance near the northern Israeli city of Afula. 

Red Cross praise Israeli disaster aid.  (TY Hazel) International Committee of the Red Cross’s chief surgeon, Dr. Harald Veen, attended Israel’s “Surgical Management in Austere Environments” conference.  He said Israel is a role model for disaster medicine as “Israelis have the knowledge and experience” to excel in emergencies.

UNESCO chief praises Israeli initiative.  At UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova inaugurated the second leg of a photo exhibition showcasing the Israeli Education Without Borders initiative – a project aimed at providing education to hospitalized children.  (See previous newsletters)


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Help Sobar open a safe place for Jerusalem kids.  Sobar’s no-alcohol music bar for Jerusalem youth is hoping to open in May.  Please help make this a reality by donating to their Headstart fundraising campaign.

Ezer Mizion volunteers – no salary is the best salary.  (TY Chani) Esther looks like any other religious woman.  Like most Ezer Mizion volunteers she thrives on giving.  Every day is different – cooking for an exhausted new mother’s family or tackling the ever-growing pile of laundry, Esther is just happy to help.

Credit card for the needy.  (TY SDM) Colel Chabad has launched a special prepaid credit card for needy Israeli families to use to buy food with dignity.  The Eshel Card can be used in selected grocery store chains. 

Seeking integration.  Associated Press (AP) published this article showing that many in the Israeli ultra-orthodox community are seeking employment in Israel’s hi-tech industry.

Israelis pass anti-Apartheid test.  A controversial social experiment was conducted in Israel, placing signs saying “Jews Only” on benches, sidewalks and even on beaches.  Watch what Israelis did to those signs.

Telling the truth about Israel.  (TY Algemeiner & UWI) Judith Bergman writes about Israel’s humanitarian work and begs that everyone tells the world about all the good Israel does.  I certainly would agree with that!

An Israeli water incubator for LA.  The Office of the US President announced 30 water initiatives on World Water Day.  One was the setting up of the Los Angeles Cleantech incubator that will introduce 10 Israeli companies in water, energy, and agricultural technologies to California and their nearly 123,000 farmers.

Israel is still helping Nepal recover.  Contrary to the lies of the BDS supporters, Israel doesn’t just show up at disaster areas and leave.  They are still working in Nepal – a year after the two earthquakes that killed 9,000.

Earthquake aid to Japan and Ecuador.  Israel’s IsraAID is the only foreign humanitarian organization still in Japan providing assistance five years after the devastating tsunami. As such, its volunteers and workers were able to offer almost immediate emergency assistance to earthquake victims in Kumamoto city.  IsraAID has also sent a 15-person search-and-rescue team and medics to Ecuador, in the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 16.  http://www.israel21c.org/israeli-aid-teams-join-relief-operations-in-japan-ecuador/

Warm welcome for Singapore PM.  Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong headed a 60-member delegation to Israel - the first ever by a Singaporean leader.  Lee praised Israel’s innovation and industry and thanked Israel for their decades-long defense aid to his country.

Birthright highlights Israeli achievements.  Taglit-Birthright Israel is opening the “State of Mind” center for entrepreneurship and innovation in Tel Aviv. Tour groups will see Israeli entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology in areas such as agriculture, medicine, defense, cybersecurity, transportation, and aerospace.

Six Israeli universities in world’s top 100.  Six Israeli universities are among the world’s top 100 universities in the 2016 QS World University Rankings by Subject.  They are Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Technion Institute, Weizmann Institute, Ben-Gurion University and Bar-Ilan University.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Almost zero carbon output.  You’ll be pleased to hear that Israel isn’t contributing to any of the perceived chemical impacts on climate change.  In fact, Israel is one of the major innovators of solutions to famine and drought.  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israel-remains-a-leader-in-climate-change-technology/

Cleaner garbage trucks.  Israel is to install emission filters on 500 garbage trucks.  They will filter out 97 percent of the cancer-causing fumes emitted from the diesel trucks, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry, at a cost of NIS 10 million.

Grow more with less water.  A new video showing how Israeli water technology has developed in the last 50 years to produce 700% more crops with the same quantity of this precious resource.

Hundreds attend UK-Israel science conference.  Top medical researchers (250 British, 100 Israeli) attended the annual BIRAX Conference in Oxford, England.  BIRAX (Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange) focuses on regenerative medicine to fight diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart conditions. 

Nanotech materials conference.  600 delegates attended the first-ever Innovations in Advanced Materials conference.  It showcased breakthrough nanotechnologies from Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists for use in everything from sensors and coating materials to electronics and 3D printing.

Very small startups.  Some of the Israeli nanotech startups featured at Jerusalem’s Innovations in Advanced Materials conference have never been mentioned previously in my newsletter.  They are BioNanoSim and TrioxNano (therapy delivery), Voyager Medical (surgical sutures), OphRx (eye-drops), Neteera (bio-sensors). Neoprol (anesthetics), NanoAF (antibacterial coating) and MercuRemoval (toxic chemical removal).

The Israeli “Cyber Olympics”.  Hundreds of kids gathered in Tel Aviv to compete for the title of Israeli Cyber Champ 2016.  The massive gaming project competition aims to encourage students to choose tech as a career.  One sponsor is Israel’s SanDisk – inventor of “disk on key” and a sponsor of the Rio Olympics.

This app will make you laugh.  Comedy.com is a new mobile app designed for high-quality, short-form comedy videos.  Founded by Israelis Barak Shragai and Dor Mizrahi, the startup just launched its free app on both iOS and Android.  Comedy.com has just raised $1.5 million of funding.

Less electricity keeps hotel cool.  Chiller Smart Management System from Israel’s Elencon Systems analyzes weather and location; predicts hourly conditions and switches off air-conditioners without sacrificing comfort. The annual $150,000 cost of cooling the Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center has been slashed by $50,000. 

Smart hotel apps.  Tel Aviv - the Smartest City in the World in 2014 - is leading an integration of Israeli travel apps into 12% of the city’s hotels. The apps, Howazit, Dotz and Aspectiva, will communicate between guests and the hotel and give tourists details of activities and events.

A smarter kayak.  Israel’s Motionize has developed sensors and proprietary algorithms to help kayak paddlers improve their performance.  Motionize's product is already helping the US team train for the Rio Olympics.

Don’t text while driving.  Israel’s Cellebrite - the company that (probably) unlocked a terrorist’s iPhone for the FBI - has launched the “textalyser” to detect drivers who used their phone before an accident.  One in five deaths from road traffic accidents in the UK in the last five years have been caused by drivers using their phone.

Israel’s Iron Mole.  (TY JNi.Media) Israel has developed what is dubbed “The Iron Dome for Tunnels”.  Its sensors and algorithms successfully located a Hamas tunnel reaching 90 feet into Israel from the Gaza Strip.  The USA is interested in the technology for locating tunnels dug by smugglers across the Mexican border.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Check out Ramon International Airport. (TY Hazel) Flights at the new Ramon International Airport in Timna, 10km north of Eilat, are expected to begin taking off in 2017.  The airport is named after Ilan Ramon - Israel’s first astronaut and his son Assaf and will initially handle two million passengers a year.

Motorola’s new Israel innovation center.  US technology giant Motorola Solutions is to establish an innovation center in Israel focusing on cyber, analytics, mobile and the Internet of Things.  Motorola said its Israeli branch is "a strategic asset”.  In the 1970's Motorola’s first center outside North America was in Israel.

An app to connect with young philanthropists.  Israeli start-up PocketCause has developed a digital platform to encourage young smartphone users to donate to non-profit organizations.  Users follow or like a social cause on Facebook and can send messages and donations, through the app, directly to the organization.

Bayer invests in Israeli agriculture.  International giant Bayer has made a $10 million investment in a new fund that Israel’s Trendlines has set up to support Israeli agro-tech start-ups.  In the five-year deal, Bayer will work with Israeli firms developing bio-pesticides, packaging, and crop and animal breeding technologies

Israeli wines win German competition.  Israeli wineries won four gold medals and five silver at the international Mundus Vini Competition in Dusseldorf, Germany, which featured over 5000 global wines.  Galil Mountain Alon 2012 won the prestigious Grand Gold medal. 

Hub Etzion is open.  (TY Sharon) A Hub Etzion Launch Party was held at the first co-working space in Gush Etzion. (See also 17 July newsletter) The hub will utilize working space and offer shared resources to startups.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israel’s new national library breaks ground.  The new National Library of Israel (NLI) broke ground last week, in a cornerstone-laying ceremony led by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem. The stunningly designed 45,000-square-meter building will be completed in 2020.

Jazz player Pat Metheny to perform in Israel.  (TY SDM) Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny will be performing in Herzliya on June 14 and Rishon Lezion on June 15.  Metheny, last visited Israel was in 2011, and is one of the world's important jazz musicians. He has won 20 Grammys and is a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame.

Carlos Santana is coming to Israel.  (TY SDM) Six years after cancelling his previous Israeli concert, Mexican rock legend Carlos Santana will put on a show in the city’s Yarkon Park, on July 30.

Ma’agalim – circles.  Uri Lotan’s animation music video for the song “Ma’agalim” (Circles) by Israeli folk-rock band Jane Bordeaux has had over 70,000 views in just a few days.

Thank you Morgan Freeman.  Hollywood star Morgan Freeman was proud to post a photo of his visit to Israel on his Facebook site.  Please add to the positive comments by thanking him using this link.

Skiing in Israel.  What comes to mind when you think of Israel? Desert? Camels?  How about snow? Or skiing?  Mount Hermon - the highest point in Israel at 2,236 meters (7,336 feet) - is Israel's ski resort.

Things to do in Chol Hamoed (middle days of Passover)  Some ideas of where to go during the intermediate days of the festival of Passover.  Many are free – especially for children.  Note the Geek picnic in Jerusalem.

Israelis win Euro Judoka medals.  For the second year in a row, Israeli judoka Or Sasson won the silver medal at the European Championships in the men’s over 100kg category.  Israel’s Timna Nelson-Levy won bronze in the women’s under 57kg division.


THE JEWISH STATE

Pope’s skull cap raises money for SACH.  Two years ago Pope Francis swapped one of his white skullcaps (calotte) with a TV journalist who has now donated it to an online auction to raise money for the Israeli charity, Save a Child’s Heart. SACH doctors perform life-saving cardiac surgery on children from developing countries. 

If on-line media told the Exodus story.  (TY Aish & UWI) This humorous yet educational video questions how today’s media would have handled the reporting on the Jewish exodus from Egypt over 3000 years ago.

From Biblical town to modern city.  Beer Sheva, the capital of the Negev desert, was one of the towns where Abraham lived. It is now a modern city containing Ben Gurion University, a leading cyber-technology park, interesting museums and a vibrant night life - all contributing to the economic and cultural boom of the city.

Pharaoh’s amulet found in Temple Mount debris.  Archaeologists have deciphered a 3,200-year-old Egyptian amulet found whilst sifting debris dumped by the Muslim Waqf when building on Temple Mount.  It contains the name of Pharaoh Thutmose III, who reigned Egypt from 1479 BCE to 1425 BCE