Every week that passes, Israel increases its reputation as a global provider of essential services. While BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) crazies peddle only lies about the Jewish State, the Rest of the World enjoys the benefits of Israeli innovations and shows clearly that it wants more.
30,000 of Israel’s 3.5 million visitors in 2012 came solely to receive treatment in Israeli medical centers. In addition, Israeli hospitals opened their doors to a further 210,469 Palestinian Arabs. Medical tourists seek Israel’s world-renowned expertise and value for money treatments in numerous areas, including curing brain diseases, laser surgery, heart bypasses and fertility treatment. One visitor was Dr. Jason Bodzin of West Bloomfield, who had stem cell treatment for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Ironically, this is the same condition suffered by Professor Stephen Hawking, who fell into a BDS black hole rather than attend Israel’s Presidential Conference that focused on making a better tomorrow.
Israel’s medical innovations are highly sought internationally. Brazil’s government was “honored” that Israel’s Protalix Biotherapeutics will be supplying and producing its Uplyso Gaucher’s disease treatment to Brazilians. Over in the USA, many thousands of women will want to take advantage of the fact that medical insurance now covers IceSense3 from Israel’s IceCure Medical. The unique minimally invasive cryo-ablation (freezing) system removes breast fibroids and tumors.
We remain overseas where Israeli skills and hi-tech are much in demand. India has requested help from Israel’s MASHAV agency for International Development Cooperation to set up 28 technology centers in 10 Indian states to diversify its fruit and vegetable crops and raise yields. In Nigeria, Israel’s Solel Boneh has been contracted to re-build and widen an 84km section of the Ibadan-Lagos highway in southwest Nigeria. And children at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village near Kigali literally sang the praises of Jerusalem-based Energiya Global, which is building Rwanda’s first solar field.
Billions of mobile phone users may want to download the software developed by Israeli start-up VascoDe. In countries where smartphones don’t work, VascoDe upgrades simple 2G phones so that they can access email, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia etc over standard cellular networks. The airways were also filled with airline executives heading to the Paris Air Show, eager to see Israel’s Elbit demonstrate how its Clear Vision system helps pilots to land planes in any weather conditions.
The world cannot get enough of Israeli start-ups and their skilled staff. Following Waze’s billion-dollar takeover by Google, Fastcompany.com listed its “6 Israeli Startups To Watch”. Wix, Wibbitz, Powermat, Bizzabo, Roomer and Parko can certainly expect much more interest in their products. $10.95 million from the latest round of funding from the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation will encourage fourteen new joint US-Israeli ventures. And you may want to watch this new video from Israel’s Technion Institute that highlights the possible rewards from this kind of funding.
Increasingly, multinationals are eager to invest their own money in order to attract Israeli skills. Deutsche Telekom, for example is growing its own Israeli start-ups by establishing a new incubator. Cisco, on the other hand is recruiting up to 100 local staff directly for its new Israeli development center. The technology giant already employs 2000 staff in Israel.
UEFA president Michel Platini was overjoyed with Israel’s recent successful sporting event - the U21 Euro soccer tournament. "The stadiums were wonderful and well-organized, the pitches excellent and the atmosphere in the stadiums was great with many families with young children attending.” After the tournament, many visitors stayed on to enjoy Tel Aviv’s beach – included by National Geographic Traveler in its top ten choices for the best beaches in the world.
Israelis have also been recognized for their quality products. Exports of Israeli foods and beverages to the United States reached a record $224 million in 2012 – an increase of 50% in five years.
So it is not surprising that many Israeli-Arabs relish the opportunity to support the Jewish State. Despite constant incitement by Arab politicians, Israeli National service by Arabs increased by 76 percent last year. As Arab Muslim graduate Boshra Khalaila states, “I am a liberal free woman, with all the rights that I could enjoy. I compare myself to other women my age in Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, any Arab country. They don’t have the rights that I have.”
Finally, you may recall that in 1998, Miss Israel - Linor Abargil from Netanya - became Miss World. But not so many will know that seven weeks prior to winning the title Linor was brutally assaulted. A new documentary film has just been produced telling Linor’s story. Following the contest, she went around the world, speaking out about her ordeal, meeting with other women who had also been attacked, working with survivors and those who help survivors.
Whatever the circumstances, Israelis are not found wanting.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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