History of Israel Good News - Jan to March 2012

Israel Good News Archive – 1st Jan to 25th March 2012

In the 25th March edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli biotech has demonstrated that stem cells can repair damage from heart attacks
·        21,500 Palestinian Arab children received medical treatment in Israeli hospitals last year.
·        Thanks to Israel, hundreds of thousands around the world performed “Good Deeds” on 25th March.
·        Israeli scientists have produced organic computer chips and biological power.
·        Intel Corporation views Israel as its main reason for its success.
·        The first showings of the sensational film “Israel Inside” are wowing audiences.
·        Philanthropic organisations Beit Issie Shapiro and Ulpanat Dolev typify what makes Israel great.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Nobody does it better”

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


Israeli stem cells improve heart muscles.  Israeli biotech Pluristem announced that its PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells improve several parameters in acute heart attacks in animals.  Cardiac muscle function improved in mice receiving PLX cells, compared with a control group.  Over 600,000 people suffered heart attacks in the USA last year.

A tower of success.  Hadassah Medical Organization started moving patients into its new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower at Hadassah-Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.  “This is one of the most important buildings in the city,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Lose weight – eat more veg.  And that’s about all you need to know about dieting.  Researchers at Ben Gurion University analysed 12 of the most popular diets and proved that those who consumed large quantities of vegetables and reduced their intake of sugar obtain the best results.  (Thanks to NoCamels – now let’s eat!)

Our cells have backup pumps.  Weizmann Institute researchers have discovered that we have two pump mechanisms that regulate the balance of nutrients in our cells.  “Good-time” and “bad-time” pumps ensure that cells can handle fluctuations in nutrient supply.  What an amazing creation is the human body.

But on the other hand… Prof. Ehud Grossman of Tel Aviv University has published an overview of the hypertension impact of over-the-counter medicines. Some physicians are also unaware of the risks of such medication and that harmful effects may outweigh the benefits.


Israel heals all the sick.  21,500 Palestinian Arab children from Judea and Samaria were treated in Israeli hospitals in 2011, a 171% increase from 2010.  They are included in the 200,000 PA residents given permits to enter Israel for medical treatment last year.

Jerusalem united for the environment.  Muslim, Jewish and Christian clerics gathered in Israel’s capital city for the Interfaith Climate and Energy Conference. The event promoted cooperation among spiritual leaders regarding reinforcing the importance of environmental protection among their individual communities.

US Ambassador visits Beit Issie Shapiro.  On Israel’s ‘Good Deeds Day’, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro visited the unique Israeli organization that develops and provides services annually for some 30,000 children and adults (including Israeli Arabs) with developmental disabilities.  He praised Beit Issie Shapiro as an example of US-Israeli collaboration that really touched people.

A radio program for the deaf.  Israel’s broadcaster Reshet Bet is video-taping its popular current affairs program “Hakol Diburim” (It’s All Talk).  The program is then broadcast live on the IBA website, with simultaneous translation into sign language.  10% of Israel’s population could benefit.

Shlomi bowls them over.  Despite being blind, Shlomi Lazmy is able to enjoy ten-pin bowling to the full, with the aid of a homemade guide rail.  A former competitor in the Paraolympics, Shlomi is a member of Mishkan HaYazamut, an organisation where about 40 people with disabilities interact with Israeli schoolchildren.

Treating children in Ethiopia.  Two senior physicians from Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center are in  the Ethiopian city of Gondar on a medical relief mission.  They are diagnosing sick children using an advanced heart echocardiograph monitor being dedicated for use in the local hospital.

 “Good Deeds Day” goes global.  What began with over 7,000 participants in Israel in 2007 has turned into a worldwide celebration with 160,000 do-gooders last year across the globe volunteering in everything from cleaning nature reserves and donating blood to reading to youth-at-risk.


Taste the Pitaya.  Israel has developed several delicious varieties of the Vietnamese Dragon Fruit.  Full of anti-oxidants and vitamins, the Bilu, Venus and Desert King pitaya have a reddish or purple flesh and are sweeter than the original Dragon Fruit.  They also have a longer shelf life.  Enjoy!

Delicious vegetables from only 2cm of rain a year.  Israeli farmers near the Dead Sea use and modify sophisticated water sensors to ensure their tomatoes and peppers received the optimum benefits from a miniscule water supply.

Organic computers….  Tel Aviv researchers have developed protein-based semi-conductors from organic materials found in the human body. They could replace silicon to become the basis of a new generation of nano-sized technologies that are both flexible and biodegradable.

…. Powered by e-snail.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Scientists at Ben Gurion University together with a team from Clarkson University in New York have managed to produce energy from living snails and cockroaches.  The quantities are small, but practical applications have already been proposed.

Shedding light on dark matter.  Andrea Morandi from Tel Aviv University is a member of one of the two teams of astronomers using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes to map the distribution of dark matter in galaxy cluster Abell 383, located about 2.3 billion light years from Earth.

Digging up the past with hi-tech.  Israel’s Weizmann Institute has a new centre that will research Physical Anthropology alongside the Timing of Cultural Change.  The centre will make use of a new Mass Spectrometry Accelerator that can detect Carbon 14 isotope in minute quantities and perform more accurate carbon dating.

Making homework easier.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Why stay up all night filtering and formatting the information for your essay?  Israeli startup Skills & Knowledge has launched a free app called “sCoolWork” (great name!) to save hours so you can spend more useful time learning about your subject.

Celebrating innovation.  The Hebrew University has launched a permanent photo exhibition “Innovators Way” showcasing 27 Hebrew University researchers whose work led to commercial products in fields such as health, safety, environment and nutrition. Their inventions are a microcosm of those of the Start-up Nation.


Israel has Intel inside.  The computer chip giant hired 700 Israeli staff in 2011 and plans to take on a further 600 in 2012.  The company stated that it had contributed over $4.1 billion to Israel’s economy since 2006.  The Sandy Bridge processor was developed in Israel and is responsible for around 40% of Intel’s revenue.

Sony wants Israeli medical technology.  The electronics giant Sony Corporation is actively seeking to expand its position in the medical field and will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Israeli medical technologies.  It has established a team to review the Israeli market and seek out companies for investment or acquisition.

The all-seeing eye.  Israeli Aerospace Industries has concluded further sales of its leading-edge imaging systems - the MSOP3000 and the Micro-POP.

Serbia opens Israeli shopping mall.  Plaza Centres (a subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Imaging) has opened its 33rd shopping mall and its first in Serbia.  The mall is in Serbia’s fourth largest city – Kragujevac – and is the first shopping mall in Serbia outside its capital city Belgrade.

250 billion barrels of oil.  Here’s another reminder of the massive deposits of recoverable oil, contained in the shale underneath the Jewish State.


The film of the decade.  Don’t miss any opportunity to see “Israel Inside – How a small nation makes a big difference” that tells of the homecoming of Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar - former Harvard professor, who examines the core character strengths that have enabled Israelis to overcome challenges and turn a desert into a flourishing nation.  It was showing in Jerusalem recently.

Passover events in Israel.  Thanks to Janglo, here is a very useful guide to what’s happening during the Passover festival season. It includes Jerusalem scavenger hunts, Dead Sea Music festival, Holon Theatre Song festival, Haifa Children’s Theatre festival, Ein Gev Music festival and sculpting in Maalot.

Too fast to get wet.  Around 1500 athletes shrugged off rain and wind to compete in Jerusalem’s second international marathon. David Toniok, 27, from Kenya, won the race in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 52 seconds — beating last year’s win by fellow countryman Raymond Kipkoech by nearly seven minutes. http://www.timesofisrael.com/kenyan-slogs-out-jerusalem-marathon-win-through-soggy-weather/


What a lot of bottle.  Israel is at the top of the recycling league for recyclable bottles.  77% of glass bottles are returned, one of the highest rates in the world.  In addition, 41% of larger plastic bottles, for which there is no deposit, were returned.

The end of a seven-year drought.  The level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) has risen by two metres thanks to the winter rains and the contributions from Israel’s desalination plants at Ashkelon, Palmachim and Hadera.  When the Ashdod and Soreq plants come on line at the end of 2013, Israel’s water crisis should be over.

Should I take the stairs?  Now there’s no need to wait for an undetermined amount of time for the Shabbat elevator to arrive.  Shlomo Friedman has developed “BeeOnTime” tracking device that informs would-be elevator users in their rooms or apartments when it will reach their floor.

Ulpanat Dolev – transforming lives.  (thanks to Embrace Israel) A heart-warming true story about how teachers and staff at the Dolev School, together with her hosting family, helped Miriam undergo an amazing change.  From being a seriously “at-risk” teenager, Miriam is now training to become a midwife.

I used to hate Israel.  Not any more.  Irish artist Nicky Larkin underwent a personal transformation whilst making a film about the Israeli-Arab conflict.  This has to be the “must read” for this week’s newsletter.
Nicky Larkin’s film “Forty Shades of Grey” will premiere in Dublin in May.


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

·        Israel’s dolphins have helped a trauma victim to regain his speech.
·        An Israeli professor’s discovery has produced three treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.
·        Israel shows the way at the World Water Forum in Marseilles.
·        Eco-friendly pesticide made from edible Israeli oil
·        Last month was a record February for tourists.
·        Nature and Heritage Preservation Week is followed by the Tel Aviv Art Weekend
·        Israeli weddings in the South continue despite continuing rockets fired from Gaza.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries

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


Dolphin therapy – speechless success.  (Thanks to NoCamels) 21 year-old Morad Azva had been mute since an attack in 2007. After medical treatments showed no progress, he was sent to the Dolphin Reef in Eilat for "dolphin therapy". There, he began to communicate through the interaction with dolphins.

A platform to analyse cancer.  (thanks to NoCamels) IBM Haifa has been developing its Clinical Genomics platform since 2007.  It has announced that it can now deliver personal treatment recommendations based on an automated interpretation of pathology guidelines, as well as cases documented in hospital information systems.

US & Israel med schools joint cancer research.  Over the coming months, Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee and University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine will explore the joint development of a cancer centre which will integrate scientific research.

Good results for ovarian cancer drug.  Israel’s Biocancell Therapeutics announced that phase 1/II(a) trials have proved BC-819 to be safe and effective in treating ovarian cancer.

Hopes for advanced prostate cancer treatment.  Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has announced expansion of its trials of its Custirsen drug, combined with chemotherapy drug Jevtana.  The treatment for patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer is a top priority within the Teva Oncology product-line.

Not one, not two, but three brain disease treatments.  US biotech NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals has raised finance to develop brain disease treatment products based on the discovery of Tel Aviv University professor Beka Solomon.  Prof Solomon's discovery is already being used by Elan Corporation (USA) and Israel's NasVax to develop treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


Israel – the only place in Middle East where Christians aren't endangered.  Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Oren compared the expulsion of 800,000 Jews in the 20th Century with the Arab countries' current treatment of their Christian minorities.  If you only read one article this week, please make it this one.

A very special kibbutz.  All members of Kibbutz Kishorit have been diagnosed with a mental or emotional challenge; some have a physical challenge as well. But the 150 members live much as those on any other kibbutz. They go to work, eat communal meals, and enjoy activities such as yoga and acting in plays. Each has an assigned social worker.  (A VGNI first for this controversial site.) 

That’s the way to do it.  Israel’s Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau is to chair a high-level intergovernmental session on Wastewater management at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseilles.  If the UK representative listens to him, he may be able to prevent the hosepipe ban he announced earlier in the month.

Israel joins Nigeria to combat terrorism.  (thanks to Yoeli) Nigeria’s efforts to curb terrorist activities in some parts of the country will soon be boosted as a collaborative endeavour with Israel comes alive.  Israeli’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Moshe Ram said that no more details could be given for security reasons.

Polish Air Force Comes to Israel for First Exercise with IAF.  The Commander of the Polish Air Force, General Lech Majewski said, “We're very grateful to the IAF for sharing its experience. This is one of the best exercises we've been a part of.”

Israel and India are ideal partners.  Indian Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath oversees urban planning in India, which has over 50 cities of more than one million residents. Nath says that joint Israeli-Indian projects include in water, one of India's greatest challenges today.


Disinfect water without bleach.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  The US Food and Drug Administration approved ozone as a water disinfectant in 2001. However, Israel’s Greeneng Solutions has just produced the first method cheap enough to produce an ozone-based disinfecting system.  Ozochef is designed for commercial kitchens.

Cheap recycled paper – from sewage.  I’d rather not describe the process (you can read about it in the linked article) but it seems that Israel’s Applied CleanTech can transform almost anything into writing material.  It certainly gives a new aspect to the phrase “the People of the Book”.

Another perfect photo.  (thanks to NoCamels) Back in October, I reported that a team from Israel’s Technion won the European stage of the Intel Challenge for their idea.  Now Israel’s Macademia Apps has developed “GroupShot to capture the best image of all members of a group.

You can now “tweet” in Hebrew.  Popular micro-blog Twitter has finally launched a Hebrew version.  The interface joins other new language versions, including Arabic and Farsi. Over 13,000 volunteers contributed to the localization project, including Israelis, Iranians, a Saudi and an Egyptian. Twitter's blog said, "Some of these volunteers live in regions where Twitter is officially blocked".  No access problems in Israel, of course!

Eco-friendly Israeli oil gets rid of the bugs.  Dr. Samuel Gan-Mor has developed a blend of edible oils that can be sprayed once a week to keep insects and fungi from munching on tomatoes, zucchini peppers, and grains.  Dr Gan-Mor works at the Israel Ministry of Agriculture’s research centre at the Volcani Institute.

Netanya students win Intel Challenge.  Avishai Katko and Maya Braun of Sharett High School have developed a system using solar rays to disinfect and clean water supplies so they are suitable for drinking. The idea won the Intel-Israel 15th Annual Young Scientists Competition.


SXSW Exhibitors.  Here is a comprehensive list by fellow JPost blogger Levi Shapiro of Israeli companies displaying at South By South West - the 10-day music, film and interactive festival, in Austin Texas.

Israelis find Angels in Los Angeles.  LA, California is an extremely fruitful city for young Israeli companies seeking finance for their innovative business ventures.  At the recent Israel Conference breakfast, Angel investors were very keen to connect with start-up entrepreneurs from the Jewish State.

Start-ups welcome in the Deep South.  With giant Israeli companies ECI in Alabama and Israel Aircraft Industries in Mississippi, Tom Glaser, president of the southeast region of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce wanted to emphasise, “We have many small companies and start-ups operating in the region, including 19 kibbutz-affiliated companies that have set up shop in the hinterlands of North Carolina.”

UK New Media delegation to Israel.  UK minister Ed Vaisey said on his recent visit, “The UK is a world leader in content production, and Israel is a world leader in developing technology that gets content to consumers. So there is enormous potential for collaboration.”

Super SuperDimension.  (Thanks to Israel21c) The top Israeli medical device company for diagnosing lung disease has just been bought out by the global giant Covidian for $350 million.  SuperDimension develops minimally invasive pulmonology devices.

Record February for tourism.  The rains didn’t deter visitors to the Jewish State last month.  The total of 232,000 was 4% up on the previous record in Feb 2010 and 6% more than the same month last year.

More oil discovered.  Almost a weekly item this.  Modiin Energy and Adira Energy Corporation announced Wednesday an oil and natural gas discovery of up to 232 million barrels at their offshore Gabriella and Yitzhak Licenses, which are 24 km northwest of Tel Aviv.

Israeli immigrants can start-up too.  Army service followed by university is key to producing young entrepreneurs in the Jewish State.  But immigrants can get on the start-up ladder too.  Givahim’s “TheHive” is a six-month start-up accelerator for new immigrants to Israel with experience and education. Each immigrant is paired with a native Israeli entrepreneur, investor or other professional. And the benefits are two-way.



Tel Aviv Art Weekend.  (thanks to Avi and Janglo) Tel Aviv has never been short of what to see and do in the field of art and culture, but 2012 is officially Tel Aviv Art Year – so expect a deluge of amazing things to catch throughout the year!  Click here for some of the highlights.

Enjoy a trip to the park.  It’s Nature and Heritage Preservation Week, so don’t miss out on Israel’s national parks.  Please click on this link for a list of events.

What’s in a name?  I don’t expect many readers will be queuing up to buy tickets to Septic Flesh’s concert but apparently they have had several successful hits.  Anyway, the Greek death metal group will be performing at the Reading 3 club in the Tel Aviv Port on June 22.

The next generation of athletes.  There are great expectations for two 16 year-old Israelis in the 2012 London Olympics. Yuval Frielich is a young fencer who won the gold medal at the European Championship in Austria last February. Shachar Sagi won silver in November’s Loralux international Judo competition in Luxembourg.

The lowest bike race on Earth.  (thanks to Rodger) A video of the Veolia Desert Challenge when over 1500 riders came to Israel’s Dead Sea for a two-day festival and competition.


Nothing stops the wedding.  Despite over 200 rockets from Gaza in less than a week threatening over one million Israeli civilians, couples in the South are still going ahead with the most important events of their lives.  If the siren sounds, it’s up the isle and then down the shelter.

Kids under fire cool down in the ice.  Whilst schools in the South of Israel were closed due to terrorist rockets from Gaza, the credit card company Isracard treated many children to a day at the Jerusalem Ice Festival.

More help from our friends.  Christian readers of Israel Today have teamed up with local charities to provide after school activities for children of single-parent or dysfunctional families that cannot provide for all their needs. They even provided a place to sleep, for the most needy kids in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Gilo.

Purr-fect.  Residents and visitors to Israel will have noticed the abundance of feral cats. The British brought them in during the mandate both as pets and to get rid of a rat problem.  Now a new charity called “Meow Mitzvah Mission of Israel” is working to reduce the number of cats on the streets – humanely, of course.

The writing is on the wall.  According to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Jews had no connection to Temple Mount.  So why have a Greek inscription barring non-Jews from Temple Mount?  And the ancient Hebrew inscription “Lebeit hatekiya” in the corner of the Mount, indicating the site where the shofar was blown?


In the 11th March 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An Israeli device could save 200,000 people from dying from sceptic shock in the US alone.
·        A Muslim Israeli-Arab woman is in South Africa, defending Israel against allegations of apartheid.
·        Over half a million Californians will have their water pressure managed by an Israeli system.
·        An Israeli entrepreneur has been asked to help “start-up” Spain’s economy.
·        Nine million people will read about Israel’s achievements thanks to five music bloggers.
·        Many Israelis have two jobs, but one mother of seven children is also a border policewoman.
·        Israel’s natural reservoir (Kinneret / Sea of Galilee) has risen to a meter above the lower red line.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries

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


Fighting Sceptic shock.  Sepsis is the body’s final response to infection and is responsible for over 200,000 deaths in the US every year.  The non-invasive haemo-dynamic monitoring systems from Israel’s Cheetah Medical are used in the management of sepsis and are at the centre of a clinical study into the condition.

Record number of bone marrow transplants in 2011.  In 2011, 183 leukaemia patients received bone marrow transplant donations in Israel. Donors to Ezer Mizion - an Israeli health support organization - provided the bone marrow for the ill patients.

Detecting early stage lung cancer.  Israeli biotech BioView Ltd has announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with OncoMDx of California, to develop a non-invasive diagnostic test for the early detection of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  NSCLC accounts for 85% of all lung cancer cases.

New compound protects against ALS.  Israeli researchers have identified a chemical compound that may lead to prolonged lifespans for patients with Amytotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuro-degenerative diseases.  The compound can induce an increased production of the enzyme telomerase which slows the progression of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Stent implant to prevent strokes.  Israeli inventor Yossi Gross founded Vascular Dynamics in 2008.  Its stent is implanted by a non-invasive procedure into the cerebral arteries and increases blood-flow to the brain.  Vascular Dynamics has just raised $13.2 million to help take the stent through human clinical trials.

Using virtual reality to treat phobias.  The University of Haifa has developed a virtual reality (VR) therapy combined with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to treat the fear of flying (aviophobia) and many other psychological conditions.  Psychology Prof. Marilyn Safir and Dr. Helene Wallach developed the technique, which already shows an impressive success rate.

Nigerian doctors train in Israel.  (Thanks to Yoeli)  A delegation of Nigerian doctors from the University Teaching Hospitals of Abuja, Jos, and Maiduguri, is in Tel Aviv for a 2-week training course.  The course focuses on emergency medical preparedness and response; mass casualty incident management; trauma care and disaster management.

Medical care for victims of bus tragedy.  26 Palestinian Arabs were evacuated to Israeli hospitals following a bus accident South of Ramallah.  Raida Elian is typical – she suffered severe burns and is being treated in Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.  Raida thanked the Israelis for their treatment and for saving her life.

Israeli doctors remove tumour from Ethiopian girl.  Doctors from Israel’s “Eye from Zion” organisation removed a large tumour from the eye of a 10-year-old Kavda Imsak,thereby saving her life.  Israel’s MASHAV and the Jewish Joint organisations paid for Kavda to be brought to Israel and surgeons worked free of charge.


“I love my country.”  “I feel Israel to be my hometown where there’s equality and I have all my rights.”  25-year-old Muslim Bushra Khalilieh from the Galilee presented the Jewish State’s position to South African university campuses during “Apartheid” week.  Her activities were publicised in the Arab news media Ma’an.

Muslim director of Holocaust studies.  Mehnaz Afridi is director of Holocaust studies at Manhattan College. She previously did a five-week fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Arab-Jewish hockey team.  The five Arab players (2 girls and 3 boys) on the Metulla junior ice hockey team come from the Golan Heights and are not even Israeli citizens. “When you play together, you forget that you are Arabs and Jews,” said Mayyas Sabag, a 12-year-old forward from the Druse village of Majdal Shams.

Where women are more than equal to the task.  On International Women’s Day, I read about Captain Merav Buchris - the first female ammunition officer in the history of the Israeli Air Force.  Merav summed up the inspiration behind all successful Israelis.  "It was my goal and dream, and I achieved it.  At the end of the day, anyone can achieve anything and succeed if he or she really wants to and believes in it."

Jerusalem – our undivided capital.  This 11min video shows how all three major religions co-exist in the eternal city of peace.

 “Think Global”.  That’s the motto of the Academic Center of Law and Business in Ramat Gan, which hosted six Chinese and 36 German students as part of an innovative overseas program to jump-start business and cultural ties.  The participants were euphoric over the program and their experiences in Israel.

Getting connected.  Israel, Greece and Cyprus signed an agreement to signal the launch of a trilateral cable project that will ultimately link Israel’s electricity supply with that of the European Union.  The 287 km cable will be more than 2km deep and have a capacity of 2,000 megawatts – one of the biggest in the world.


California water managed by IBM Israel.  IBM’s research centre in Haifa Israel has developed a water pressure management solution, which will control the water supplied to more than 600,000 people in Northern California’s wine country. 

Israeli start-up rescues AT&T.  (Thanks to Yoeli) Mobile giant AT&T is using software from Israel’s Intucell to prevent cell-phone overload.  When too many mobile subscribers swamp one AT&T cell-phone tower, Intucell’s Self-Optimizing Network technology enlists the help of nearby towers to cover some of the users.

It all becomes clearer.  Israeli water purification experiments in space prove that Israelis are succeeding at the outer limits of leading-edge research into cleantech developments.

New Israeli crops on display.  At Agro Mashov 2012, innovative Israel crops included a special plant, which serves as an insulin replacement for those who suffer from diabetes and obesity, as well as new varieties of strawberries and sweet potatoes that were developed in Israel.

The Technion effect.  Israel Technion’s contributions to the world’s scientific progress is amazing.  Graduates have invented memory sticks, instant messaging, PDF compression, Better Place electric cars, quasi-crystals, “NaNose” cancer detector, ultrasound cardiac imaging, and ultrasound tumour destruction. 

Israel keeps the best secrets.  Israel’s Bar-Ilan University hosted the second annual Winter School on Cryptography.  Attending were 130 of the top international brains in the subject that encodes information and secures the Internet from hackers and data leakage.

Israel and USA at the frontiers of science.  (Thanks to Yoeli) The National Academy of Sciences' Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium program has entered into a new partnership with the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.  NAS symposia advance the career of scientists – ten of whom have received the Nobel Prize.

Google takes Peres on a personal search.  Google co-founder Sergey Brin took Israel’s President Shimon Peres on a special tour of the company's headquarters. At the start of the tour, Brin arranged a surprise for the president - a virtual journey back to his childhood in Poland.  “Israel is a pioneer in research and development in Google," Brin told Peres, "and we have a great appreciation for Israeli developers.”

Argentina woos Israel.  The Argentina Israel Program for Industrial Research and Development is offering grants totalling $160,000 for research and development projects that demonstrate innovation and potential application in the market.

How to repair organs? Study the sea anemone.  Three Israeli universities (Hebrew U, Bar-Ilan and Haifa) are to establish a centre for researching the sea anemone Nematostella, which has the ability to restore damaged body parts.  (If they can stop the jellyfish from stinging me during June then I’ll be happy.)

Israeli inventions in time for Purim.  “Burka” spectacles conceal undesired female images; the “Hechsher Sniffer” checks your food is kosher before you consume it; and a “Shidduch” (matchmaker) app for the iPhone.


Starting-up Barcelona.  Entrepreneur Erel Margalit, founder of the JVP Media Quarter in Jerusalem, received a personal invitation from the Catalan Government.  The Spaniards were extremely impressed by Margalit’s part in revolutionizing Jerusalem’s hi-tech industry and hope similar initiatives can help improve Spain’s economic situation.

Exports to Asia surpass USA.  Between Oct 2011 and Jan 2012 Israel’s exports to Asia increased by 9% to $3.1 billion.  Exports to the USA fell 7% to $2.9 billion.  Exports to Europe shot up 21% to $5 billion.

Kibbutz company to launch on Nasdaq.  Caesarstone (owned by Kibbutz Sdot Yam) makes quartz surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms that are sold in 42 countries.  Caesarstone plans to raise $90 million in the first Israeli IPO on Wall Street this year.  Video emphasises hi-tech, clean-tech, design quality and natural beauty.

Spinal implant company gets more backing.  Israel’s NLT Spine has raised $5.7 million for the development of its PROW LIF lumbar fusion product line and other products, and to expand in the US.  NLT Spine’s innovative technology allows for inserting large implants and instruments through a small incision.

Diarise the LA Israel Conference.  31st May 2012 is the start of the two-day Israel Conference in Los Angeles California.  It brings together Israel’s leading innovators and investors in hi-tech, entertainment media, advertising, mobile, content, gaming, e-commerce, energy, clean-tech, security, medical & consumer products.



Music bloggers on-line in Israel.  Five leading popular US and British music bloggers with nine million readers have been brought to the Jewish State courtesy of Vibe Israel – a project run by Kinetis (see below). They will be meeting Israeli musicians, including Koby Farhi, of Orphaned Land, Idan Raichel and Ivry Lider.

And the bands played on.  Top musicians and groups have been queuing up to perform in the Jewish State.  They have included Alain Caron, “Sister Bliss” and “The Afghan Whigs”.

BBC Musician of the Year comes to Eilat.  “Mesmerizing” UK cellist Natalie Clein will perform in two concerts at the Eilat Chamber Music Festival 2012 from March 12th to 17th.

Israeli dramas are a hit in the UK.  The London Evening Standard has suddenly noticed that TV schedules are being swamped by Israeli programs. 


Border policewoman by day, wonder mum by night.  Shifra Buchris has seven children and finds the time to take care of her family all while serving in Israel’s Border Police. “It is not uncommon that when I go out for nocturnal patrols, I get a phone call from my husband to come breast-feed the baby.”

World pomegranate symposium.  They are one of the Jewish State’s seven biblical species so it was only right that Israel should host the first International Pomegranate Symposium.  Speakers included Dr. Fathi Abd Elhadi, of Israel’s Pomeg-Tech and Ahsen Isik Ozguven, of Cukurova University in Adana, Turkey.

Kinetis is really good news for Israel.  I’ve just heard about Kinetis - a young Tel Aviv-based advocacy organization that aims to promote Israel as a vibrant and inspirational source of creativity and innovation.  I suspect that we’ll be hearing quite regularly from Kinetis in this newsletter in the future.

Our PM speaks out in America.  There are some newsletter readers from countries where the media would not broadcast Mr Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC.  This is for their benefit.  Please listen to his words about Iran.

It turned white.  Some purely divine views of the “holy” land under a snowy landscape.  And the level of the Kinneret is still rising.  Remarkable weather – and this weekend we are having a heat-wave!


In the 4th March edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli research has discovered the gene that controls the aging process.
·        Israel’s new Ambassador to Ethiopia is an Ethiopian Jewess.
·        An Israeli-developed wireless laser drill is an extremely handy tool for dentists.
·        Israel is selling NIS 1 billion of Israeli water technology to China.
·        eBay is opening a Research & Development centre in Israel.
·        An Israeli doctor wins a five-year propaganda battle.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries

Click here for “How far can we go?”

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


Understanding the genome.   Dr. Ehud Lamm of Tel Aviv University is at the front line of research into how the genome affects the way our genes change and develop.
And the first article in TAU’s latest magazine shows that the university is at the centre of the race to develop solutions to rare genetic diseases.

Kits to detect drug-resistant infections.  Yissum, the research and development company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, had signed a licensing agreement with a UK company, for the commercialisation of kits that enables immediate detection of drug-resistant infections.

Nanocapsules – controlling drug release.  Scientists at Israel’s Technion have developed tiny containers made of natural materials that can protect the drug inside until it is broken down inside the intestines.  The drug can then target more precisely the required location of cancers, inflammation and other gastro problems.

Switch off your stress.  Weizmann Institute scientists have discovered Corticotropin Releasing Hormone. CRH is a kind of “on-off” switch in the brain for regulating the release of Cortisol (a main stress hormone) in the body. The finding is relevant to research into a number of stress-related neurological disorders. 

Drink wine for a long life.  Scientists from Bar Ilan University, Hadassah University and Hebrew University have discovered that the SIRT6 gene controls the aging process in mammals.  Activators such as resveratrol (found in red wine) increase SIRT6 levels and could extend the human life span.

At the centre of Europe.  The Weizmann Institute of Science and Tel Aviv University, have been chosen as Core Centres of the Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure (Instruct), supporting European biomedical research.  Instruct’s aim is to allow Europe to maintain a competitive edge in cellular structural biology.


Israel to invest $130 million to improve East Jerusalem.  Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has announced that Israel will invest $130 million over five years to improve roads in Jerusalem’s Arab neighbourhoods.

Read all about it.  Please welcome Lola and Norman Cohen to the Israel blogging world and I hope you enjoy reading about their experiences with Israel’s minorities in this month’s stories.

Israel’s first black ambassador.  Belaynesh Zevadiah has several advantages over other candidates for Israel’s ambassador to Ethiopia.  The main one is that she was born there.  Belaynesh immigrated to Israel when she was seventeen.  “This is proof that Israel gives a chance to everyone”, she said.

Equipping South Sudanese women against violence.  A delegation of Israeli experts from the IsraAID organization is conducting the first-ever Gender Based Violence (GBV) training program for social workers in Africa's newest nation.

Israeli CAT Scanner in Detroit.  A radiologist friend has just emailed me from Detroit to say that he has been using an Israeli-made Galil CAT scanner to freeze a kidney tumour.  He was working with an Arab doctor on the Image Guided Percutaneous Cryoablation procedure.

Correction.  It was Cal State University (not Cal Tech) that re-instated its study program to Israel.  Thanks to Dillon (a graduate of Cal State) for pointing out the typo in last week’s newsletter.


Dentists ditch the drill.  (thanks to Israel21c) Syneron Dental Lasers of Yokneam, Israel, has developed the new LiteTouch dental laser.  It is entirely portable, saves energy and, oh yes, it’s much less painful than a drill.

Israel is the No. 2 biggest green technologist.  Not sure how Denmark won the title, but Israel came in second place internationally in the Cleantech Global Innovation Index.

Barcelona’s water is checked by Israelis.  The Low Energy Analyser (LEA) from Tel Aviv’s Blue I Water has just completed a successful pilot monitoring the quality of water in the Spanish city of Barcelona.  The LEA will now be rolled out to over 40 other areas of Spain.

Drinking water out of thin air.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Israel’s Water-Gen specializes in water generation and water treatment. Their technology extracts water from the ambient air humidity, and turns it into drinking water.  The system is operated by solar or electric energy.

Renewable light to the nations.  (Thanks to Yishai Fleisher and www.JewishPress.com) I reported the story previously, but this new 9-minute video shows the first and largest solar power farm in the Middle East – at Kibbutz Ketura.  It will generate 40 megawatts of power – over one third of Eilat’s electrical requirements.

Cheaper mobile charges.  Israeli start-up Onavo’s Extend application compresses downloaded data and saves the iPhone user 80% of roaming charges.  Onavo is just one of the 150 Israeli companies exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

UNESCO promises to include Israel.  We can guess why Israel was excluded from the main body of UNESCO’s report of scientific achievements for the period 2005 to 2010.  After 18 months of protests (and withdrawal of funds by the USA) UNESCO has now promised to add an on-line addendum to the report.


NIS 1 billion of Israeli water technology to China.  In the huge deal, Israeli companies will export water technologies to China, to aid that country with water purification and agricultural projects. The projects will be set up mostly in agricultural areas of the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang.

Two Israeli companies sew seeds together.  Makhteshim Agan - the world leader in branded off-patent crop protection solutions - will become a strategic investor in NRGENE, a leading developer of cutting edge software-based genetic tools for the crop breeding industry.

British trade with Israel soars by 34%.  Britain’s exports to Israel in 2011 were worth £1.7 billion. Israel’s exports to Britain totalled £2.8 billion. British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said, “The people calling to boycott Israel make a lot of noise …  but if someone is concerned about it, just look at the numbers.” 

ISRAWINEXPO 2012.  Over 20,000 visitors, both professionals and the general public, attended Israel’s international wine exhibition at Tel Aviv’s Israel Trade Fairs Centre.  The event featured over 100 exhibitors and included buyers and journalists from all over the world.

Israeli wines are more popular.  The Israeli wine industry recorded a 5.5% increase in export revenue in 2011.  Overseas sales reached $26.7 million including $1.1 million to Asia.

Building drinking water systems in Ghana.  The Israeli-managed Tahal Group (HQ in Amsterdam) has signed a $97.5 million project to design, construct, expand and upgrade the drinking water systems in the Kumawu, Konongo and Kwahu regions of Ghana.

Welcome to eBay Israel.  The company has revealed its plans to turn eBay's centre of activity in Israel into one of its only technology centres in the world. It will recruit dozens of new workers, mostly computer engineers, industrial and management engineers and information system engineers for its R&D centre in Netanya.

Israel R&D is worth billions.  Israel is among the leading exporters of know-how and technology in the world.  The National Council for Research and Development has just reported that in 2010, Israeli companies exported technological services, licensing agreements, patents and the like for a total of $9.5 billion.



Take a tour of the Dead Sea – underwater.  The Dead Sea is one of the most extreme places to dive on the planet. An experienced diver, Avraham Bresler, is now leading tours deep below the world's saltiest sea.

The Hassidic Jimi Hendrix.  Every Sunday night at the Blaze club in downtown Jerusalem you can experience Yossi Piamenta - the Israeli man with the big colourful kippah and grey beard – as he performs super fast guitar solos with Sephardic rhythms.

Chill out in Jerusalem.  As snow descends on Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem prepares for its first Ice Festival, to be held at the Old Railway Station. The festival will feature dozens of massive ice sculptures, depicting major sites around the city, animals and children’s stories. There will also be an ice-skating rink at the site.

Israel’s first ice sportsperson.  Brad Chalupski’s 29th place at Lake Placid marked Team Israel’s entry into the World Championship bobsleigh and skeleton competition.  Brad wore his newly-painted Magen David helmet proudly and was heralded on his first run by one of his fans with blasts on a shofar.


Presents from our friends.  The readers of the Christian magazine Israel Today have donated hundreds of gift bags to Israeli soldiers at the Zeelim base in southern Israel.

Victory in a 5-year propaganda battle.  Dr Yehuda David won his legal battle against the father of Muhammad Al Dura who alleged Israeli soldiers inflicted his wounds.  Dr David proved that Al Dura had those wounds two years previously when he came in for treatment at an Israeli hospital.

Kinneret dam dismantled.  Until January, the level of the Sea of Galilee was too low for the pumps of Israel’s National water company to work, and so an artificial dam had to be built.   Thanks to recent rains this dam has been removed and the level of Israel’s natural reservoir is now well above the lower red line.  With the new desalination plants soon coming on line, the hope is that the dam will never be needed again.

UN condemns anti-Israel terrorism.  For the first time in seven years, the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution condemning attacks against Israelis.  Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor said, “I hope that the Council will now take action to prevent such terrorist acts.”  So do we.

The first official Israeli Chinese Jewish tour guide.  Yecholiya Jin is a Chinese Israeli Jew with roots in Kaifeng, the ancient Jewish community of China.  She is leading groups from China around Jerusalem and to other sites of interest in the Jewish State.  In 2011, 10,000 Chinese tourists came to Israel.

Birthright Israel is worth over NIS 2 billion.  The true value of the Taglit-Birthright program is more than financial, however its direct benefit itself is immense.  Since its inception in 2000, its direct contribution to Israel’s revenue was more than NIS 2 billion.  The value of indirect benefits is incalculable.

It’s Israeli, and it’s mine.  (Thanks to Israel21c.com) The arts and crafts on sale in Tel Aviv’s Nachlat Binyamin market must be made in Israel.  The maker must also be present on the stall to sell them.


In the 26th February edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        A British paraplegic will run the London Marathon using an Israeli “ReWalk” exoskeleton.
·        The Duchess of Cambridge wears coats that were styled on that worn by an ultra-orthodox Israeli.
·        Israel’s National Library publishes Sir Isaac (Law of Gravity) Newton’s notes on Jewish Law.
·        My cousin’s Kibbutz Amiad has made a real “splash” Down-Under.
·        1960’s top jazz bass player Henry Grimes performs in Israel and reveals a 30-year mystery.
·        Israel has excavated and reconstructed a 2500-year old Ramat Rachel royal garden.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries

Click here for “Elemental forces are at work

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


Paralysed Brit to run London Marathon in Israeli exoskeleton.  (thanks to NoCamels and Technion) Paralysed in a horse-riding accident in 2007, Claire Lomas was told by doctors that she would never walk again.  But thanks to Argo’s ReWalk, she plans to complete the 26 mile London Marathon in April.

Opening the blood brain barrier.  Israel’s Brainsway reported positive final results in a clinical trial of its Deep TMS (transcanial magnetic stimulation) device for opening of the blood brain barrier in patients with malignant brain tumours.  This is important for chemotherapy, and new therapies, in order to provide more focused delivery to improve their effectiveness.

Hope for Celiac sufferers.  Israel’s BiolineRX has reported positive results in the preclinical trial of BL-7010, its treatment for celiac disease. The study found that BL-7010 was safe and reduces digestion of wheat gluten, thereby decreasing its toxicity.  Currently, there is no cure or pharmacological treatment for the disease.

Understanding the memory process.  Current research into the working of the brain at the cellular level has led to major new treatments. Watch Prof Yadin Dudai of the Weizmann Institute, 5mins into to this discussion of an international panel of experts at a joint meeting of the European Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society and Haifa Forum for Brain and Behaviour.

A breakthrough platform for effective drugs.  The first and most lengthy step in the process of drug development is the initial screening process, which includes the identification of potential candidates. The technology of AEBi- Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd results in dramatic decrease in the pool of false negative and false positive candidates and a cheaper, faster drug discovery process.


Dalia fixes it.  Dalia Bassa is responsible for all health related affairs between the Israeli Ministry of Health and Palestinian Authority.  In 2011 she helped 100,000 Palestinian Arabs get treatment in Israel.  In 2002 she brought a young Arab boy with 85% burns to Hadassah hospital.  Ten years later she received an invitation to his wedding.

No apartheid here. 100 Israelis from different sectors in society will represent and defend the State in 13 international cities during Israel Apartheid Week.  The “Faces of Israel” mission includes settlers, Arabs, artists, experts in national security, gay people, and immigrants from Ethiopia.

Israel – A haven for Arabs.  Nice short article by David Ha’ivri, refuting slanderous claims about apartheid.

Shelter for homeless Africans.  The Tel Aviv Municipality has set-up shelters for homeless migrant Africans sleeping in Lewinsky Park in South Tel Aviv.  The Municipality currently operates a women's only shelter, a shelter for male drug users, and one for recovering male drug users. The city estimates there are around 700 homeless people in the city currently receiving assistance from the municipality.

French farmers want Israel’s know-how.  A delegation of 20 top French agricultural professionals has been on a weeklong tour, organised by the France-Israel Foundation.  Specific interest areas included Israel’s innovations in irrigation and in milk production.

Israeli water is a “tonic” to India.  Israel and India have signed a key agreement on water treatment technologies last week. The deal includes the development of joint research and development ventures in the fields of resource management, sewage and drainage.

Cyprus loves Israel.  Recent events include the first ever visit by an Israeli Prime Minister to Cyprus; the signing of an agreement that will allow IDF planes and ships to use Cypriot airspace and territorial waters; and the launch of a joint natural gas and oil exploration venture.

Cal Tech reinstates Israel study program.  California State University has reinstated its Study Abroad Program in Israel and has chosen the University of Haifa as its location of choice. The Cal State suspended the program in 2002 due to security concerns.

Start-up World.  Saul Singer co-authored Israel – Start-up Nation.  He knows Israeli skills are in high demand throughout the world.  Countries also want to learn how they can become start-up nations like Israel.  The ideal solution is for Israelis to teach them to use their own skills and to develop partnerships for mutual success.
Saul spoke at the successful business breakfast hosted at Israel’s Embassy in London on Feb 7th.

Kate’s designer inspired by Israeli Hassidic coat.  Katherine Hooker, the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite designer, has told New York magazine that she has based several of Middleton’s slim, close-fitting wool coats on a black silk frock coat that she bought years back in an Israeli second-hand store.


Israeli companies flock to Barcelona.  Israel will have the 4th largest delegation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – the most important showcase event for the mobile industry.  One in every 13 booths will be Israeli. The Israel Export Institute has sponsored 100 companies and dozens more are exhibiting independently.

Technology nurseries.  Israel has facilities for even the smallest of start-ups.  TechLoft’s space is the shared home to a dozen or more seed-stage companies or even pre-seed companies (businesses that haven’t yet reached start-up status). Some of them aren’t companies at all – just teams of people working to formulate an idea.

From Lying to Love.  Israel’s Nemesysco Layered Voice Analysis (LVA) technology detects stress and emotion.  It has security, medical, recruitment and insurance applications. It can even sense when two individuals “click” - on the phone, over skype, or locally on a handheld PDA or smartphone.

What’s the air like today?  Israel’s AirBase Systems develops the CanarIT – a low-cost, effective air quality sensor that logs the level of pollution, analyses it, and delivers warnings, alerts, and information to help people protect their health.

The mysteries of the Universe.  Professor Tsevi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University was part of the NASA team that has discovered planets circling around twin suns, over 5000 light-years away.  The data was collected by NASA's Kepler satellite and has revealed that most suns in the universe exist in pairs.

The stamp of approval.  Based in the Gutwirth Science Park in Technion City, Israel’s NanoSpun won 300,000 Euros in the Nano/Polymer Challenge in Italy in 2011.  It has now been featured on a new Israeli postage stamp - the Technion 2012 Cornerstone Centennial Stamp.  NanoSpun typifies Technion's success in shaping and nurturing Israel as a high-tech global success.

Start-up at the library.  The Tel Aviv municipality has allocated space at the City Library for young Israeli innovators to meet and share their ideas for new businesses.  Avner Warner –Director of Economic Affairs describes Tel Aviv as a citywide incubator ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.

Keep your cool with Xsense.  The quality monitoring system for perishable food from Israel’s StePac attracted much interest at the 4th Georgia Logistics Summit (see also news of the event below).

Newton’s 4th law – the Jewish Torah.  Israel’s on-line National Library has released 7500 digitised pages in Sir Isaac Newton own handwriting revealing that Newton learnt Hebrew and used his scientific approach to study Jewish theology and mysticism.


Israel is the safest country for investing.  According to the Bloomberg “riskless return” ranking, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 Index 7.6% risk-adjusted return over the past ten years was the highest of the benchmark indexes of the top 24 developed-nations.

NICE fights crime in Hawaii.  Several major International banks have purchased Actimize Enterprise Risk Case Manager from Israel’s NICE Systems to identify and report suspicious transactions related to money laundering and terrorist financing.  The latest is the First Hawaiian Bank – part of BNP Paribas.

UBS opens up in Israel.  The Swiss banking giant has launched a Wealth Management business in Tel Aviv.  UBS Israel CEO Kobi Faigenbaum said UBS identified Israel as an important market and decided to deepen its operations here.  UBS ranked Israel alongside Brazil and Russia, and ahead of the Gulf states.

Wireless in America.  Close on the back of last week’s deal with Russia’s Tele2, Israel’s Ceragon has now won a substantial order from Telefonica for its wireless solutions.  They will be installed in Chile, Panama and Venezuela to support Telefonica’s 25 million subscribers there.

Georgia on my mind.  The US State was certainly on the mind of the Israeli delegation to the 4th Georgia Logistics Summit in Atlanta at the beginning of February.  The event attracted 1,600 people and included a sponsored “Israel booth” that was a focal point of meetings.

3D printing in China.  Israel’s Objet Ltd has signed up with Digital China and Shanghai Chengmei Technology to market, distribute and support its products in North and East China.  The Objet Connex™ line of multi-material 3D inkjet printers features the world's only technology to print onto 2 materials simultaneously.

Turning on the lights in Russia.  Israel’s Micro Components Ltd (MCL) has commissioned the first Russian-based production of components for Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).  By 2015 the factory is expected to produce 70,000 panels a month (around 3% of the global market for these components), sufficient for 7million LEDs.

Amiad wins $10m worth of Australian orders.  Kibbutz Amiad builds wastewater treatment systems and filters.  Recent orders include automatic self-cleaning screen filters for a desalination plant near Perth, and pre-filtration of Liquefied Natural Gas, in Southern Queensland.


The best museum.  The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has won Best Museum Award 2012 in the prestigious Travel and Leisure Magazine for its new Herta and Paul Amir Building.  The freestanding concrete-and-glass building comprises complex geometry and light-filled space, as was displayed in the video of the opening ceremony.

The mystery of Henry Grimes.  The leading Jazz bassist of the late 1960s disappeared for over 30 years before resurfacing in 2002.  Interviewed prior to his performance at the Tel Aviv Jazz festival, Henry Grimes reveals what happened.

Bearing South by SouthWest.  SXSW 2012 is an interactive technology, music and film show that takes place each March in Austin, Texas.  Over a quarter of a million visitors attended SXSW 2011.  This year at least 15 Israeli companies are exhibiting their innovations and dozens of Israeli bands will be performing.


A street scene in Jerusalem.  Lovely Aish video “We’ve got to live together” with an important message.

Maori haka – Israeli style.  In time for Purim, Israel’s New Zealand supporters perform the traditional Maori greeting / war dance.  But can you translate the fearsome Hebrew chant?

Defiant and supportive.  The Bielski brothers saved 1200 Jews in WW2 and were immortalised in the 2008 film “Defiance” starring Daniel Craig.  Aharon Bielski, the youngest brother, came to Israel to visit the Givati Regiment, in which he served during the War of Independence.  He told the soldiers, "No army in the world conducts itself as humanely as you do”.