As Israel’s political parties fight another election and form alliances in its aftermath, here are some other perhaps more constructive battles that the Jewish State has been fighting recently.
The war against cancer is one that Israel is determined to win and each week brings a new breakthrough in Israeli treatments. Israel Technion scientists, with their US allies at MIT and Harvard have discovered that chemotherapeutics, delivered in tiny silicon containers with nano-sized holes are able to destroy malignant tumors, whilst avoiding adverse effects on healthy tissue. Then chemotherapy developed by Professor Dan Peer of Tel Aviv University that previously fought ovarian cancer has now been engineered to target Glioblastoma multiforme - the most aggressive form of brain cancer.
Fighting heart disease will become much easier now that researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have revealed that heart disease causes individual heart filaments to lose synchronization. Replacing diseased cells in a structured manner can re-establish a regular rhythm. The battle against brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s will benefit from the results of the Tel Aviv University research study into how brain neuron networks preserve memories. Meanwhile Israeli biotech Kadimastem is winning a war on two fronts with the recent success in pre-clinical tests of its stem cell treatment for the brain disease ALS. Kadimastem has also formed an alliance with Tel Aviv University’s technology transfer company, to use the same technology to induce pancreatic cells into producing insulin and attack diabetes.
In clinical tests, Israeli biotech, Pluristem, is winning the fight against radiation sickness. Pluristem’s stem cells enable recovery from bone marrow failure following total body exposure to high doses of radiation. And another Israeli biotech Advanced Inhalation Therapies has received a major support boost in its mission to beat the effects of cystic fibrosis by being granted Orphan Drug status from the US FDA for its nitric oxide treatment. But if all you want to do is fight the flab, you may want to know that Israel’s Tulip Medical has successfully completed its first clinical trial of its pill that expands in the stomach, inflates like a balloon, and creates a sense of fullness.
Israel is a major force in the war against world hunger and thirst. In India, Israel is well underway in its campaign to open 30 agricultural centers of excellence for Indian farmers. And the US Agency for International Development has just refueled the funding of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s research into boosting crop yields.
The Governor of Embu County in Kenya received an army of Israeli entrepreneurs who will introduce water technology to revolutionize agriculture into the arid, yet fertile soils of Embu. And Israel’s TakaDu is saving billions of liters of water in Australia’s battle against severe drought with its unique leaks and faults detection technology. Yet another Israeli water-tech company, CropX, has just launched its advanced adaptive sensors and software service that increases crop yields whilst saving up to 25% of the water and energy used in irrigation.
Israel goes far beyond the call of duty in the fight to save and restore life. Hundreds of Syrians injured by the fighting in their civil war have been treated in Israeli hospitals - including a 13-year-old boy who was seriously injured by a mortar in the Quneitra region three months ago. He has now been fitted with a prosthetic leg that will allow him to walk again. One battle that Israel will probably lose is that of welcoming the Queen of England to the holy land; however at least her grandson Prince William did meet recently with IsraAID workers who are still in Japan, helping victims in their long fight to recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
My own personal war is against media bias. It is a constant battle to get the international press to recognize Israeli efforts to win equal opportunities for all its citizens. To publicize disabled kids completing the Jerusalem marathon, using Israel-developed Upsee mobility harnesses and trained by 20 police officers. To acknowledge that the brain-damaged, autistic or minorities (e.g. Moslems or even Catholic Filipinos) can – if they want to – serve their country in meaningful and useful ways. To highlight praise from European Union inspectors of Israel's actions to promote reconstruction in Gaza and ease the humanitarian crisis in the Strip. And not to ignore examples of Israeli inclusiveness, such as the press conference featuring the Israeli-Arab Chairman of Israel’s Election Committee where the only International or English language news reporter was Sharon from The Real Jerusalem Streets.
Finally, let’s celebrate the announcement that this year’s ceremony to mark Israel’s victory in its 1948 War of Independence will feature 14winning Israelis who have been chosen to light the ceremonial torches at the Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem. They include hi-tech developers, entrepreneurs, Israeli-Arabs, top women achievers and aid workers. Next year we will be joined by thousands of young French immigrants who want to win the fight to live as Jews.
Israel - fighting for what is right!
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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