Israel's Good News Newsletter to 6th Apr 2014


Due to illness (shingles) - the next update will hopefully be 20th April 2014.

In the 6th Apr 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        The results of an Israeli-led study will extend the lives of heart failure patients.
·        Israel continues to surprise the world with its aid for injured and displaced Syrians.
·        An Israeli alert system saved many lives following the Chilean earthquake.
·        An Israeli mom has designed a device for disabled children to walk with adults.
·        Israeli geothermal technology is powering ahead in New Zealand and Indonesia.
·        An amazing self-photograph (“selfie”) of an Israeli pilot flying upside down over Tel Aviv.
·        Archaeologists have revealed a fortress from the time of King David and King Solomon.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Different from all other States” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on San Diego Jewish World and United with Israel.

·        Click here to see the newsletter on JewishBusiness News and IsraelSeen.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Surviving heart failure.  Cardiologist Prof. Ilan Goldenberg from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center led an international study into cardiac insufficiency - also known as heart failure.  It reported that an automatic cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator implanted at an early stage of common heart failure could extend life significantly.

Calcium absorption trial successful.  Israel’s Amorphical has successfully completed a clinical trial of its amorphous calcium. The trial found that the patients' absorption of amorphous calcium was double the average absorption of crystalline calcium.  Amorphical aims to develop a product as a nutritional supplement.

Sleep Apnea treatment for US citizens.  Israel’s Itamar Medical has signed an exclusive marketing agreement with Medtronic Corporation to market the company's sleep apnea diagnostic product to a select segment of the US market - patients with atrial fibrillation..

Innovative endoscope gets USA approval.  The US FDA has just approved the MUSE system from Israel’s Medigus.  MUSE is a unique medical device that allows doctors to examine the stomach and esophagus with a tiny camera. The same device can then be used to stop acid reflux.

How bacteria is controlled in the gut.  Scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute have revealed the sophisticated mechanism that the digestive system uses to balance good and bad bacteria.  A protein cluster called inflammasome monitors the bacterial population and signals the secretion of antibiotic proteins.

US patent for Israeli stem cell technology.  Israeli biotech Brainstorm has received a US patent for its autologous stem cell technology for the treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases.  Brainstorm is preparing for its US upcoming multi-center Phase II trial with its proprietary NurOwn stem cell therapy.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Caring for passed-over kids.  The 120-bed, 345 staff ALYN hospital in Jerusalem rehabilitates children from severe injuries or conditions even beyond the orthopedic. It also has a school for children unable to attend mainstream schools.  8 children live at ALYN full-time because their parents cannot, or refuse to, care for them.

Career skills for Ethiopian-Israelis.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Hundreds of Ethiopians study at Jerusalem College of Technology’s “Education for Ethiopians” program. Similar numbers attend the Ethiopian-Israeli program at Ono Academic College. There are also special tracks at Kibbutzim College and Yezreel Valley College.

The world’s first vegan congress.  Over 700 participants convened at Tel Aviv’s Duhl Center for the inaugural congress of the vegan movement.

Moslem prayer room at Ariel University.  Ariel University, located over the “green line” in Samaria has introduced a Muslim prayer room for its 600 Arab students - around one fifth of all students at the University.

IDF treats 20 Palestinian Arabs after bus crash.  Israel Defense Force medics treated 20 Palestinian Arabs wounded when their mini-bus crashed into a car.  Captain Karin Yamin said, “… saving lives is a priority. Whether the patients are Israeli, Palestinian, Christian or Druze, we take care of them all in the same way.”

Go tell the world. Moslem physician, author and women's rights activist Dr. Qanta Ahmed visited the Technion and praised Israel’s academic freedom, plus its freedoms of expression and religion as unique in the Middle East.  And the way to silence the BDS movement is to publicize Israel’s success.

Surprised by Israeli aid for Syria?  A Syrian medical worker speaking at a conference in Miami Beach said, “The last people I expected to help was the Israelis. We got the image that they are our enemies.”  The usually less-than-friendly-to-Israel Christian Science Monitor was equally impressed in a recent article.  Meanwhile, Israeli volunteers at IsraAid are working with a Jordanian NGO to treat traumatized Syrian refugees.

California receives Israeli “water of life”.  (Thanks to Uri) Paul Miller writes that California is in dire economic straits, experiencing a drought of near-Biblical proportions. That is why it has turned to the People of the Book to help hydrate its economy.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israeli system saves Chileans from tsunami.  No Chileans died in the tsunami caused by the recent 8.2-level earthquake, thanks to the automatic alerts sent by the geo-targeted notification system developed by Israel’s eVigilo. The system was installed after 400 Chileans died in an earthquake and tsunami in 2010.

Nanotech reverses brain drain.  In the past six years, 101 world-class scientists immigrated to Israel to become university nanotechnology faculty members.  Some 750 doctoral students and 850 master’s students currently study nanotechnology and 7,500 nano-scientific papers have been published in the last 3 years.

Water technology to Mexico.  Israeli cleantech Desalitech moved to Boston last year in order to bring its advanced, cost-effective water solutions to Mexico and countries worldwide.  Desalitech uses Closed Circuit Desalination Reverse Osmosis technology to minimize waste generation and energy consumption.

An ecosystem of tech innovation in southern Israel.  Advanced Technologies Park in Beer-Sheva will eventually have 16 buildings on 23 acres adjacent to the main Ben Gurion University campus. Confirmed tenants include Deutsche Telekom, EMC-RSA, NESS, Oracle and incubators Elbit Incubit and CyberLabs.

Building a green future.  Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies is a study building for green construction in Israel.  Set to open in May, its sustainable structure demonstrates Israel’s green technologies and serves as a living lab for green building practices.

Cool Technion technology.  Two student projects from the Control Robotics and Machine Learning Lab at Israel Technion’s faculty of Electrical Engineering. First, a tiny drone follows someone by tracking his face. Secondly, a Kinect device for the blind, that directs a blind person by telling him or her where to walk.

See it in your home before you buy.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israel’s Cimagine can show you what products will look like in your home before you purchase them.  Cimagine lets you download photos from the web or an on-line catalog and place them on a real-time image of your room.

The first robot-cleaned solar park.  Every night, nearly 100 water-free, energy-independent robots from Israel’s Ecoppia clean the panels at the Ketura Sun solar energy farm in Israel’s Negev desert.  They prevent soiling of the panels, which previously reduced energy production by up to 35%. 

Israeli mom invents the Upsee.  Israeli mother Debby Elnatan’s son, Rotem, has cerebral palsy. She would not accept that Rotem would never walk, so she invented the Firefly Upsee. The harness places the child on top of the shoes of an adult who wears specially designed sandals. The child “walks” as the grown-up moves.

Smartphone spellchecker for dyslexics.  (Thanks to Uri) Israel’s Ghotit has just released the Android version of its spellchecker for dyslexics.

Like swatting flies.  The Chief Executive of Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems gives a positive report on the company’s progress with developing the Iron Beam system for intercepting rockets and mortars.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Another A+ from S&P.  Standards & Poors has given Israel yet another top rating.  S&P expected average per capita income to grow to almost $42,000 by 2017, up from $28,000 in 2009.  Meanwhile, confidence in Israel’s stock market has resulted in the largest increase in investment into Israeli mutual funds since 2002.

The year in 2 minutes.  A new Israeli Government video heralds its achievements since coming to power.

Geothermal energy for Indonesia and New Zealand.  Israel’s Ormat Technologies will supply the energy converters for the $1.7 billion 330-megawatt Sarulla geothermal power plant in North Sumatra, Indonesia.  Also, New Zealand inaugurated its 13th and largest Ormat Power Plant – the 100MW Ngatamariki facility.

The ‘Red-Med’ rail link.  Israel, China and Europe are getting excited about the building of a $2 billion, 300-kilometer rail link connecting Eilat, on the Red Sea, with Ashdod on the Mediterranean.  Construction of the alternative to the Suez Canal will commence within 12 months and take five years to complete.

Now that’s what we call an exchange.  Daniel Abrahams is emigrating to Israel and taking his innovative currency exchange comparison website with him.  CurrencyTransfer.com can make significant savings for import-export Israeli businesses.

Mission-driven investing.  Stephen Schoenfeld is the Chief Investment Officer of BlueStar Global Investors, a firm he launched in 2010 with the explicit purpose of driving investors towards Israeli capital markets.  He markets Israel as a sound investment, with Israeli equities increasing by 324% since 1997.

PA increases imports from Israel.  The Palestinian Authority may be telling others to boycott Israeli products, but its imports from Israel in Jan 2014 grew at a rate of 17.2%, while imports from other countries were down 16.4% compared to January of 2013.  Merchants said Israeli goods are higher quality than from Arab countries.

IKEA opens another Israeli store.  Swedish retailer IKEA has opened its third Israeli store, to join those in Netanya and Rishon Lezion. The new 2,700-square-meter facility is in Kiryat Ata, near Haifa.  IKEA expects to sell 25 million products to 5.4 million Israeli customers in 2014.

Israeli telecom reaches Far East.  Bezeq International is the first Israeli telecommunications company to establish a physical presence in the Far East as a result of its deployment of an undersea cable.  The company has established a point of presence in Hong Kong for customers seeking communications services with Israel. 


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Hong Kong likes Tel Aviv.  (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) Time Out Hong Kong classifies Tel Aviv as one of the most vibrant cities in the Middle East.

Hugh Laurie to perform in Israel.  TV’s Doctor House will perform with his ‘Copper Bottom Band’ at the Ra’anana Amphitheater on July 7, 2014.  Laurie is a successful singer and his unique blend of eclectic blues, tango, and South American music is delivered with characteristic sharp humor.

The Nahariya Botanical Gardens.  Lovely video, by Shmuel and Chana of Villa Rimona.

Tel Aviv - the world’s 6th most searched destination.  (Thanks to algemeiner.com) TravelSupermarket.com rates Tel Aviv the sixth most popular destination according to travelers using its site and those using Twitter.

The Selfie of the century.  The Israeli Air Force has gone above and beyond their call of duty with this self-taken photo.  Major Ofer flew the 'Efroni' trainer aircraft upside down above Tel Aviv.  Rabin Square is clearly visible above (or below) his head.

AOL buys Israeli TV series.  AOL has bought the format for Israeli docu-series “Mechubar” (Hebrew for “Connected”) for adapting and broadcasting in the US.  Five participants are given TV cameras to film their own lives for the audiences.  The format has already been sold to Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Ukraine, Estonia and Ireland.  It is the first time AOL has bought a long format produced outside of the US.

Everyone will be watching Israel.  Israel will be the center of attention at the Cannes MIPTV event starting on April 7.  In its “Focus on Israel” series of lectures and screenings, the world’s top television industry executives will learn how such a tiny country has emerged as a silver screen powerhouse.


THE JEWISH STATE

Israelis are happy.  86% of Israelis are satisfied with life in general and more than half of Israelis are happy with their financial situation.  40% also say they expect their situation to improve over the next few years.

Uniting secular and religious.  The hareidi musical duo Aryeh and Gil Gat, who wowed audiences in the Israeli version of American Idol, are now raising funds in Toronto for an Israeli nature trail in honor of fallen IDF soldiers.  From secular lives in Eilat, the brothers became observant but focused on their love of music.

Winning against bigotry.  Sussex Friends of Israel, the Norwegian Cruise Line and others have shown that it is possible to successfully counter those wishing to discriminate against the Jewish State.

“Prime Ministers in Their Slippers”.  Rare photos are on display in a special exhibition at Israel’s Knesset (parliament). It features Israel’s prime ministers after hours, in casual attire and at their most relaxed.

The Start-up Nation is modern Zionism.  Ronn Torossian writes that Israeli start-ups create, build, innovate, create jobs, spark the economy and help make the world better.  They exemplify something great about the Jewish State and the Jewish people.‎ Innovation, guts, brains, hard work – it’s wonderful to see. Zionism 2014.

3,800-year-old fortress excavated.  Israeli archeologists have finished uncovering a massive Canaanite fortress dating back to the time of Kings David and Solomon.  The 3,800-year-old “Spring Citadel” was excavated in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.