Israel's Good News Newsletter to 19th Aug 18

In the 19th Aug 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have discovered that Nitrogen can highlight early cancers.
·         Israeli hospitals are experiencing a record number of births.
·         A new experience in a Tel Aviv street publicizes Israel’s democratic character.
·         Israeli scientists are using jellyfish to filter plastic from the ocean.
·         Two Israeli startups can make protein from chickpeas and print vegan steaks.
·         Two positive BBC programs featured Israeli hi-tech.
·         Two Israeli Paralympic swimmers are European champions.
·         In the latest Nefesh b’Nefesh flight were 27 medics and 3 sets of twins.

·         Click here to see the 12th Aug newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Global impact and Business

      Also (TY Sandra) in German. And new (TY Zachy) the 5th Aug and 12 Aug newsletters in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also, please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the new Facebook page.

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Nitrogen test for early cancer diagnosis. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that in many cancers, the body’s mechanism for producing nitrogen is disrupted so that the tumors can grow faster. These mutations can be detected early on, by analysis of the body’s urea cycle.

Link between near drowning and kidney failure. Rambam Hospital doctors have discovered acute kidney injury (AKI) to be a common complication of near-drownings. Of 95 Rambam patients who nearly drowned between 2000 and 2017, 45% developed AKI. The reason is lack of oxygen and potassium, high blood sugar and constricted kidney blood vessels.

A revolution in blood testing.  This Israel21c article features three Israeli startups that are working on instant diagnosis of viruses and bacteria. I already featured Sight Diagnostics (see here) and Efa (see here). Sonorapy has developed a sensor to identify each pathogen from the unique acoustics it emits in response to soundwaves.

Freezing tumors to be performed in Israel. (TY Hazel) I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s IceCure Medical and its technology for freezing and destroying tumors. Now Haifa’s Elisha Medical Center is the first Israeli hospital to offer IceCure’s treatment for malignant kidney tumors and benign breast tumors.

Find a local doctor while overseas. If sick while on vacation in Europe and the Americas, Israeli startup Air Doctor Ltd will locate pre-vetted doctors that provide services to tourists. Air Doctor’s web interface and app will find and book appointments with relevant local general physicians, pediatricians, gynecologists etc.

New immigrant medics are eager to contribute. In the latest Nefesh b’Nefesh flight there were 27 US and Canadian medical professionals (doctors, nurses, paramedics etc.) who want to get to work as soon as possible. Meanwhile, top liver transplant surgeon Daniel Azoulay has left Paris to join the staff of Sheba Medical Center.

Trust your gut to manage your health. Israeli gut microbiome analysis startup DayTwo Ltd. has partnered with Clalit, one of Israel’s four health care providers. Clalit will offer its members DNA analysis of their gut microbiome and provide personalized nutritional insights based on DayTwo’s technology.

Burning fat or carbs? (TY Calcalistec) Israeli startup Metaflow’s Lumen is a respiratory metabolism tracking device that determines whether you are burning fat or carbohydrates. An AI-based app then provides nutrition and fitness advice based on the test's results and personal goals. Lumen has raised $1.4 million on Indiegogo.

Record numbers of births.  Israeli hospitals reported record numbers of new babies in July, always the busiest month.  The 1,518 deliveries at Soroka in Beersheva was 10% higher than last July’s record. Tel Aviv’s Ichilov recorded 1,014 births - 10% more than average. Israel’s 3.11 births per mother is the highest in the OECD.

I don’t know how, but she swallowed the nail.  Doctors at Baruch Padeh Medical Center near Tiberias removed a 2-inch long (5cm) nail from the small intestine of an 8-year-old Arab girl. She had been using her teeth to pull the nail out of a plastic bottle and when it emerged, she accidentally swallowed it.


Summer camp for special needs. Israeli charity Ezer Mizion runs a summer camp at Moshav Nechalim for 300 special needs children and young adults. Each camper has a personal counselor, a yeshiva student who decided to volunteer in this summer camp instead of spending vacation time with his friends.

Imparting skills to underprivileged teens.  Israeli NGO Unistream runs a multi-year program and an annual competition to give entrepreneurship and leadership skills to 4,000 underprivileged teens. This year’s winners developed an allergen detector, an app to recommend charities and a clothing line for special needs children.

Democracy Pavilion.  Tel Aviv’s new Democracy Pavilion, on Rothschild Boulevard, is an exciting and rich multimedia experience which brings awareness to Israel’s core values of equality, freedom, and diversity. The exhibition is a part of the Independence Trail (see here) which can be followed using an interactive mobile app.

Israeli homes for disabled and Bedouin.  Israel has approved the construction of several new towns in the Negev and Galilee geared to serve the Bedouin and disabled populations. Shibolet, in the southern Galilee, will have a total of 350 units. 500 units will be built at Daniel in the south. 20% are for people with disabilities.

A closer look at Operation Good Neighbor. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Israel has treated about 5000 patients from Syria -both adults and children. The army coordinates their transport, usually at night, to Israeli hospitals mostly in northern Israel.

Two Israeli universities in top 100.  In the 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Israel’s Technion was ranked at number 77, up from 93 last year.  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem moved into the top 100 at number 95 after being in the 101 – 150 section last year.

Partnering to ease African poverty. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and Israel’s Ministry of the Economy are working together to alleviate poverty among Africa’s smallholder farmers. They will leverage Israeli agricultural technology as part of JDC’s new Tikkun Olam Ventures (TOV) program.


$1.8 billion campaign for global innovation. Israel’s Technion Institute has launched a global $1.8 billion, ten-year fundraising campaign. The campaign has already raised 40% of the required funds that will be used to support world-changing, life-saving innovation.

$123 million for research universities. Israel’s Council for Higher Education has approved an investment of $123 million (NIS 458 million) over 5 years to fortify research programs in Israeli universities. It is 83% more than that invested in the last 5-year plan. 90% of the funds will be used for lab equipment.

$24 million to strengthen cyber security. Israel has launched a 3-year NIS 90 million dedicated program to strengthen Israel’s cyber industry. Its aim is to ensure that Israel continues to meet the cyber sector’s biggest challenges, secures its place at the forefront of innovation, and bolsters its global leadership in the industry.

Turning jellyfish into plastic filters.  I reported previously (see here) on Israelis making use of jellyfish. Now, scientists at the University of Haifa are developing a filter made of jellyfish mucus to isolate microplastics in the oceans. The research is part of the International Go Jelly project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program.

Clean technologies for a better environment.  This video summarizes Israel’s work in water recycling, solar energy, wind energy and other alternative energies. More than 400 Israeli companies specialize in developing sustainable technologies.

Cybersecurity wherever you work. More and more employees are working away from their main offices. So, the security of their data and devices needs to move with them.  Israeli startup Meta Networks has implemented a cloud-based solution which protects the employee (and the company) anytime, anyplace.

Get connected like never before. You have HDMI for your TV, Internet, video, audio, and cables all over your house. With the HDBaseT tester from Israel’s MSolutions, the installer connects everything in every room with just a flick of a switch.

Keeping pizza fresh for 8 weeks. Israel-based startup Timeless Foods makes firm disposable plastic containers for vacuum packaging delicate foods. It means manufacturers can vacuum seal delicate foods and produce, thus significantly prolonging their shelf life. Pizza, for example, stays fresh for up to 8 weeks without freezing.

Alternative protein sources.  Israel’s InnovoPro is developing a technology for extracting concentrated protein from chickpeas.  InnovoPro is one of the two winning start-ups in the 2018 Calcalist FoodTech competition.

3D-printed vegan steaks. Tel Aviv-based startup Jet-Eat develops 3D printing technologies for vegan meat substitutes. The printed meat substitute is designed to emulate the appearance, texture and taste of beef and can be cooked like beef. Jet-Eat was a finalist in the 2018 Calcalist FoodTech competition.


17 trillion shekels. As he opened trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) last week, Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon revealed that the State of Israel would be worth NIS 17,638,763,277,054 if it floated on the TASE. This was according to the latest methodology used by the World Bank in a survey of 140 countries.

Indonesia selects Israel transportation app. (TY Tower) The Asian Games (Aug 18 – Sep 2) doesn’t allow Israeli athletes to compete, but the host country Indonesia has chosen Israel’s Moovit as the games’ official mobility app. Moovit is the world’s most downloaded transit app with over 200 million users in 82 countries.

BBC admits Israel is creating UK jobs. (TY WIN) What a contrast to the BBC’s normal biased anti-Israel reporting.  BBC World’s “Talking Business” program included this feature by Jonathan Josephs. It highlights the UK-Israel Tech Hub as the ideal model to expand UK hi-tech business and create jobs post Brexit.

BBC “dragon” funds Israeli startup.  Israelis Yosi Romano and Ziv Leinwand went on the BBC’s “Dragon’s Den” program, winning a £125,000 investment from star “dragon” Touker Suleyman. Their device protects babies from pollution, sucking in air, cleaning it and blowing it into the child’s breathing space in its pram.

El Al buys 16 Dreamliners. El Al has purchased 16 Dreamliners (Boeing 787s) in a $1.2 billion deal, which will gradually replace older Boeing 747 and 767 planes. El Al received its 6th Dreamliner in a ceremony with the PM’s wife Sara Netanyahu who dressed as an El Al flight attendant - one of her previous jobs.

More Israeli hostels.  Good news for backpackers.  Latin American hostel and co-working company Selina and Israel’s Ampa Real Estate have been scouting locations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and the southern Negev desert. Selina intends to open several hostels with a combined capacity of 5,000-7,000 beds within five years.

Warren Buffet buys more Teva shares. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has upped its stake in Israeli biotech Teva by another 6.7%. Berkshire Hathaway now owns nearly $1 billion of Teva shares.

Visa invests in Israeli Fintech startup. I reported previously (Feb 2017) on Israel’s Behalf which provides short-term loans having used hi-tech to decide on a company’s risk profile. Now financial giant Visa is partnering Behalf to “support small business growth”.  Behalf’s clients receive a tokenized Visa Virtual Card.

Gett generates $1 billion of revenue. Israel’s Gett makes 100 million rides a year, mostly with its London and NYC taxis. This generates around $1 billion in mobility services, according to Stockholm-listed venture capital firm Vostok New Ventures Ltd in its latest financial report.

Bringing Hungarians and Bulgarians to Eilat.  Low cost Hungarian airline Wizz Air is commencing twice-weekly flights from November between Eilat and both Budapest and Sofia.  Wizz already operates services from Eilat to London, Vienna, Bucharest, Riga, and Warsaw.


Annual stork migration begins.  The annual migration of the storks has started in Israel. Thousands of storks were spotted flying over the Rotem Plain in southern Israel, according to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). (No connection with the large numbers of Israeli births last month!)

Colombian Superstar Carlos Vives performs in Israel. Award-winning Colombian musician Carlos Vives held a successful concert in Tel Aviv. He tweeted, “Thanks Tel Aviv! It has been a very special night! What an incredible concert, we are very happy to have been here with you to share and learn from here a little more!”

Michael Jackson is to tour Israel. Well, not the superstar himself, obviously, but the “I Am King” tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is landing in Israel for 20 spectacular dates in 2019. Performances begin in Herzliya on Jan 19 and end in Haifa on Feb 20. Catch it in Tel Aviv on Feb 14 and Jerusalem on Feb 16.

Travel magazine awards for 3 Israeli locations. Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2018 World’s Best Awards included Jerusalem (3rd place) and Tel Aviv (4th) in the “5 best cities in Africa and the Middle East” category. The Beresheet in Mitzpe Ramon came 3rd in the “Top Resort Hotels in Africa and the Middle East” category.

Dog TV is now on satellite.  I reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Dog TV channel that allows dog owners to leave their pets home alone but happy.  Dog TV is now available on U.S.-based satellite broadcast provider Dish Network Corporation. It is already on Comcast’s cable Xfinity and AT&T’s DirecTV.

Israel to host Euro Championships of Flag Football. Israel has been chosen to host the European Championships of flag football next year in Jerusalem. The tournament will feature both men’s and women’s competitions and is currently scheduled for June 2019.

Para-Euro swimming champions. Israeli swimmers won two gold medals in the European Paralympic championship held in Dublin, Ireland. Inbal Pezaro, 31, won the women’s 200-meter freestyle final and Ami Dadaon, 17, won the men’s 100m freestyle. Both are members of the ILAN Haifa swimming club.

Medals for windsurfers. (TY Nevet) Israelis Eyal Zror and Liam Segey came 1st and 2nd in the men’s U17 category at the 2018 RS:X Windsurfing Youth World Championships in France. Israelis Naama Gazit and Linoy Geva won silver and bronze in the main women’s event. Geva came 1st in the women’s U17 category.


239 new immigrants fly in.  The 15th Aug Nefesh b’Nefesh flight contained 239 new Olim from 24 US states and 3 Canadian provinces. They included 57 lone soldiers, 27 medics and 90 children including 3 sets of twins.  

When Ray Charles met David Ben Gurion. I just read about world-renowned singer/songwriter Ray Charles’ support for the Jewish State. In 1972 he visited David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, during his 86th birthday celebrations at Kibbutz Sde Boker. “Israel is one of the few causes I feel good about supporting,” Ray Charles said in 1976.

Jerusalem festival re-enacts Jewish history. (TY WIN) The Kings Valley Festival in the Kidron valley celebrates Jerusalem's history, offering family workshops and a chance to see what daily life was like in the ancient city during ancient times.