Israel's Good News Newsletter to 10th Dec 17

In the 10th Dec 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli device can detect if a newborn has autism.
·         Israel has helped open a new maternity hospital in Syria.
·         Israeli-developed paint keeps buildings cool.
·         Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel ratify plan for piping Israeli gas to Europe.
·         Israeli actress Gal Gadot is GQ Magazine’s Woman of the Year.
·         (If you hadn’t heard) The US now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

·         Click here to see the 3rd Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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Diagnosing autism in newborns.  I reported previously (16th Apr) how Israel saves lives with early diagnosis of autism in toddlers. Now an Israeli, Raffi Rembrand, father of an autistic son, has invented the SensPD which detects a newborn suffering from sensory overload – a key factor in autism.

US approval for medicated stent.  The US FDA has approved the EluNIR medicated stent developed by Israel’s Medinol for the treatment of blocked or narrow coronary arteries. The stent system has a novel metallic spring tip and the narrowest strut width of any stent on the US market, for use in complex anatomy and disease.

GE to use Israeli tech in ultrasound scanning.  In my last newsletter (26th Nov) I reported that GE Medical are integrating the stroke diagnosis systems of Israel’s MedyMatch into its CT-scanners. This week, GE announced they will integrate the imaging analysis software from Israel’s DiA into its ultrasound devices.

Heart-winning devices.  Two Israeli startups were among the three finalists in the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s Shark Tank Innovation competition held at the 2017 TCT Conference in Denver, Colorado. Enopace won, with its left ventricular neurostimulator (see here). Paragate’s fluid removal device came third.

Success for no-needle glucose meter.  I reported previously (Sep 2013) about the non-invasive diabetes finger monitor TensorTip from Israel’s Cnoga.  The device uses skin color via LEDs to measure glucose levels and has received approval in Europe (CE certification), China and Brazil. It anticipates US FDA approval in 2018.

Saving patients with smart breathing tubes.  Israeli-founded startup ART Medical has developed sensor-based smart tubes to monitor ICU patients on intubation, intravenous feeding and catheters.  They can detect and alert nurses and physicians of pneumonia or any abnormalities with gastric reflux, saliva, urine output etc.

Personalized cancer treatment.  I reported previously (many times) on Israeli companies developing cancer treatments targeting individuals rather than specific areas of the body. Now, Israeli biotech Ayala is partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop treatments for cancer patients known to have a gene mutation.

Newly trained EMT saves her own life.  Sarah - a new Emergency Medical Technician with United Hatzalah - saved her own life when she managed to convince medics at her local hospital that she was suffering from a pulmonary embolism. When cynical hospital staff finally agreed to do a CT-scan, they found a clot in her lung.

Trainee EMT saves life whilst playing tennis.  Joel Atkin, a student of United Hatzalah’s NREMT training program helped resuscitate an older man who had collapsed near where Atkin was playing his daily tennis game. Noticing the commotion, he supervised CPR, provided ventilation and used a defibrillator to get a pulse.


Empowering people with disabilities.  Israel marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd Dec. There are 1.6 million in Israel with disabilities. Israeli empowerment involves cochlear implants for the deaf, a theater for blind/deaf actors, the ReWalk exoskeleton for paraplegics, OrCam, EyeControl and more.

Technology to help disabled visit Knesset.  The Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) has unveiled a variety of assistive devices to make it easier for the disabled to find their way around the Knesset building. They include a tactile map, smart glasses to identify faces and read text via an earpiece, wheelchairs and magnifying glasses.

Blind, but determined to serve.  (TY UWI) Being born blind didn’t stop Ori from enlisting in the IDF. She visited her base many times before beginning her service, to get to know her way around it.

Ethiopian-Israelis make socio-economic gains.  In 1999, 75% of Ethiopian-Israelis could not read or write Hebrew. In 2016, a higher percentage of 12th graders in the Ethiopian National Project (ENP) SPACE Program matriculated than average Israelis. The ENP program is now being rolled out to non-Ethiopian Israelis. 

Ultrasound training for PA doctors.  I reported previously (26th Nov) that Palestinian Arab eye doctors had been trained in Israel.  Now, Palestinian Arab doctors have been receiving training at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva to give ultrasound-guided local anesthetic for patients who cannot risk having general anesthesia.

Palestinian Arab saved in Hebron.  (TY Zev) Israel Border Police saved the life of a Palestinian Arab in Hebron. The man in his 20s stopped breathing and lost consciousness in a house near the Cave of the Patriarchs. IDF soldiers and a medic revived him. The man's family members thanked the officers for their actions.

Israel sets up new maternity hospital in Syria.  The IDF has helped establish a maternity hospital on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Although staffed by Syrian doctors, the incubators, beds and ultrasound equipment come from Israel. Since its recent opening, 30 Syrian women have given birth at the hospital.

EU awards for joint environmental group. The Geneva Center for Security Policy chose EcoPeace Middle East’s Program on Water Security for this year’s Prize for Innovation in Global Security from among 114 entrees from 50 countries. EcoPeace consists of Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Arab environmentalists.

African heads of parliament attend Knesset. Six heads of parliament, from Ghana, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda will attend a conference at the Knesset – Israel’s Parliament. They will discuss gender equality, combatting terrorism, accessibility for the disabled and sustainability.

The only Western head of government.  (TY Israpundit) At Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was only the only Western head of government present, joining ten African presidents. 


Paint uses sunlight to cool buildings. Yaron Shenhav and Gadi Grottas, co-founders of Israel’s SolCold, and Hebrew University Professor Guy Ron have invented a high-tech coating that cools down structures when the sun shines. Photons from the sun hit the material which then emits a higher-frequency photon and loses energy.

Energy efficient buildings.  I reported previously (Jun 2015) about Israel’s Market Tech Holdings rebuilding London’s Camden Market. It also installed the energy analysis system developed by Israel’s SmartGreen, which saves 25% of energy costs. SmartGreen’s systems are installed in Israel, UK, Hong Kong, Poland and Africa.

Huge solar farm to be built in the North.  A new solar power plant with nearly five times more capacity than Israel’s current largest solar array will be built in the north of the country with construction expected to begin as early as the first half of next year. The 250MW plant will provide 2% of Israel’s total output of electricity.

No pollution by 2030.  By the year 2013 Israel will not be using polluting fuels such as coal, diesel or fuel oil in electricity production, transportation, and industry, says Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Dr. Yuval Steinitz.

Eco-friendly concrete.  Israeli marine biologist Shimrit Perkol-Finkel is the founder of ECOncrete, which develops environmentally sensitive concrete products. ECOncrete (not to be confused with Eco Concrete) attracts marine life, increases the structural stability, longevity and aesthetics of urban waterfronts and coastal structures.

Self-healing system for connected cars.  Israel’s Aurora Labs has developed a self-healing platform for connected cars. It detects anomalies in sophisticated automobile software including airbags, steering, brakes etc. Fixes can be applied remotely, avoiding expensive recalls.  Aurora has just raised $2.7 million of funding.

Protecting car passengers.  Israeli startup Guardian Optical Technologies develops sensors that monitor the safety devices inside automobiles. Its new automatic sensor system combines video image recognition, 3D depth-mapping, and motion detection. It can also prevent small children and pets being forgotten in vehicles.

A rescue robot that can walk or fly. The Rooster is a new robot from Israeli startup RoboTiCan that can help reach injured victims of natural disasters where it’s not safe to send a human rescue worker.  Like its biological namesake, the Rooster mostly walks, but when necessary it can hover and fly over obstacles.

Chips for robots.  Israeli startup Inuitive specializes in vision processing and sensing technologies. It uses deep learning algorithms to develop chips and processors that support 3D imaging for uses in robots, drones, augmented reality and virtual reality. Japan’s Softbank is to integrate Inuitive’s chips into its IoT products.

Israeli study – amputees use brain to control avatars and robots.  Israeli scientists have shown that despite losing a hand over 18 months ago, amputees are able to use a brain-computer interface to control the hand of an avatar (virtual representation of a human) and also to direct the movements of a humanoid robot.

Any movie, any language, anytime, anywhere.  Israeli startup Muvix says it is the first in the world to provide movies on-demand in a public space. The Muvix “living lab” in South Tel Aviv had partitioned-off spaces, each with a large TV screen. Viewers watched their chosen film in their chosen language without disturbing others.


New record for currency reserves. The value of Israel’s foreign currency deposits increased to a new all-time record at the end of November of $112 billion – an increase of $770 million from its end October value.

Israel joins Power Africa initiative.  Israeli companies will now be able to take part in the Power Africa initiative to help overcome Africa’s energy crisis and to connect consumers across the continent. The initiative includes accessibility to government agencies, financial grants, professional and legal counsel.  

European gas pipeline project advances. (TY Hazel) Following previous pledges, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding for constructing an underwater gas pipeline from the Eastern Mediterranean region to Greece and Italy, to transport Cypriot and Israeli gas reserves to mainland Europe.

Huge Florida delegation heads for Israel.  Florida Governor Rick Scott is visiting Israel at the head of an almost 70-strong delegation including businessmen and university heads. Scott is a supporter of the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator which helps Israeli startups make inroads in the US.

German car maker buys auto-security company.  I reported previously (Aug 2015) on Israel’s Argus Cyber Security and its systems to prevent electronic car hijacking. Argus has just been acquired by Gemany’s Continental AG, an automotive manufacturer, for an estimated $400 million.

WeWork is working well. The office space rental company WeWork, founded by Israeli Adam Neumann, is now worth $20 billion and has established itself in some 20 countries. WeWork has been buying up several companies recently, the latest being social networking company Meetup.

Big demand for 3D sweetener.  I reported previously (20th Feb) on the new Liteez stevia sweetener, shaped like a meringue, from Israel’s Lampados International. The sweetener is so popular that Lampados is completing a new plant expansion in Caesarea to cope with the growing demand.

Huge Indian order for Ceragon.  I reported previously (many times) on Israel’s Ceragon Networks which provides broadband wireless connectivity for international mobile service providers. Ceragon has just won a massive $66 million order to provide wireless backhaul services to a major Indian mobile operator.


Gunzburg family collection to go online. The National Library of Israel has added the Günzburg Collection to its new digitized platform. The originals will remain in Russia. Some 2,000 Jewish manuscripts and 14,000 books will be added to the archives’ 45,000 manuscripts – more than half of the world’s known Hebrew books.

African American hoopsters in the Holy Land.  David A. Goldstein, in his new book “Alley-Oop to Aliyah: African-American Hoopsters in the Holy Land,” states that since 1976, 800 African-Americans have competed in the Israeli Basketball Premier League. And most professed a deep, genuine love for Israel.

Boy George – “Israel is in my heart”. (TY Nevet) 80s music icon Boy George and his band Culture Club kicked off their world tour in Tel Aviv. He was joined by the three other original members of Culture Club. Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss. “Israel is in my heart,” he wrote on twitter.

Hi Hi, Miss American Pie.  With iconic hits like “American Pie” and “Vincent,” Don McLean is one of America’s most beloved and enduring artists. He will be performing at the Ra’anana Amphitheater on June 16.
McLean did many tours of Israel during the Iran-Iraq War and is “a staunch supporter of Israel then and now”.

Award and acclaim for Gal Gadot.  The influential National Board of Review gave its Spotlight Award to Israeli actress Gal Gadot for her performance in Wonder Woman. She was also named as GQ Magazine’s Woman of the Year.

Stunning photo at the Hula Valley.  Every year some 500 million birds migrate across Israel in their twice a year pilgrimage to and from warmer climes. Photographer Chanoch Seif caught some in flight over Lake Hula at sunrise, with the backdrop of the “Super-moon”. 


Social Media Experts Explore Israel. (TY Sharon) One of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) (see May 2016) groups is Media Magnets - Jewish women with millions of social media followers. 30 Media Magnets recently visited Israel and will certainly be letting their audiences know about the Jewish State.

Highway patrol takes couple to their wedding.  An Israeli bride and groom were on the way to their wedding on Route 4 when their car broke down. A patrolman for Netivei Israel - the government-owned company in charge of Israel’s roads – chauffeured the couple to their wedding himself. He even decorated his car for them.

150 German-speaking Jewish leaders visit Jerusalem.  In the largest gathering of its kind, some 150 young Jewish leaders from German-speaking countries gathered in Jerusalem for an annual event hosted by the Jewish Agency for Israel. Their tracks included hi-tech, archeological discoveries; the social fabric; and education.

90-year-old Holocaust survivor’s first visit to Kotel.  Avraham Takacz, a native of Donetsk and a Holocaust survivor, arrived in Israel as a refugee in 2014 from the battle zones of the Ukraine. For his 90th birthday, he fulfilled a dream and visited the Western Wall for the first time in his life.

Hanukah in Jerusalem. Hanukkah - the Jewish “Festival of lights”, begins on the evening of 12 Dec. This video shows the traditional nightly Hannukiah (candelabra) lighting in Jerusalem’s Old City.

US recognizes that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.  It was a historic moment, just past 8pm Israeli time on 6th Dec when US President Donald Trump announced US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State and began the process of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Czech Republic also announced recognition.

Harvest for the World

The Jewish festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) that has just concluded is also the harvest festival – celebrating the ingathering of crops. It is an ideal opportunity to highlight how Israel is helping combat world hunger and feed an ever-increasing global population. These examples of relevant news article are just from the last three months.

Israel has revolutionized agriculture globally with its scientific innovations. Israel’s Phytech, for example, has developed innovative crop sensors that boost agricultural productivity and are now being adopted worldwide.  Israel’s Kaiima Bio-Agritech is producing high-yielding varieties of essential food and feed crops using its proprietary (non-GMO) seed-enhancing platform.

Crop yields can also be increased by combatting pests. Israel’s EdenShield has developed a non-toxic pesticide with an aroma that repels pests. It is already used in Israel, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Greece and is soon to be launched in the USA, Mexico and the EU. Meanwhile, Israeli biotech Evogene has recently manufactured the first toxin against Western corn rootworm and bred bananas that are resistant to the hugely damaging Black Sigatoka fungus. Another Israeli biotech, BioFeed, has developed a “no-spray” solution to kill the fruit flies that have been devastating mango plantations in India.

Other ways to prevent food wastage is to pick crops at the optimum time.  Israeli start-up AclarTech has developed the AclaroMeter app that works with a smartphone’s camera and the Israeli SCIO molecular scanner, to monitor the ripeness, freshness and quality of fruit and vegetables. The SCIO scanner itself has been sent to US dairy farmers to help them check the nutrition of dry forage and deliver a more consistent diet to their animals.

You cannot grow crops without an adequate water supply and Israeli innovation in water conservation is benefiting water-stressed regions of the world, from Kenya to India to California. Thanks to Israeli drip irrigation, 15,000 farmers in Karnataka, southwestern India, are currently harvesting their first monsoon season crop in years. In another Israeli approach, Ben Gurion University’s desert research farm demonstrates how to grow crops in the drought conditions of a minimal rainfall climate.

Water is of course the basis for fish farming. Israeli aquaculture startup Latimeria breeds fish in desalinated water with salt added to save energy, minimize leakage and prevent harmful bacteria. Additional technology developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem promotes fish growth and is providing a vital food resource in Uganda. The solution is being further developed by Israeli startup Aquinovo.

Israel is devoting much effort to preventing hunger in Africa. Tahal Group – a subsidiary of Israel’s Kardan – is constructing three agricultural centers in Angola and a huge agricultural and water project in Zambia. Meanwhile,  Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame praised Israel’s agricultural technology, saying “Israel has continued to follow through on its commitments and objective of scaling up engagement across Africa.”
And President Faustin-Archange Touadéra made the first-ever visit to Israel by the head of state of the Central African Republic (CAR).  He said to Israeli President Rivlin “we have come to Israel in order to learn – your country is a school for us.”

Two of the most effective organizations working on the African continent are MASHAV and Innovation: Africa.  MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) is continually busy from Burkina Faso to Zambia. Innovation: Africa’s latest successes in Uganda were ably documented in a video featuring the 8-year-old daughter of the Israeli NGO’s founder. Finally, while the international media has been bemoaning inter-tribal disputes in South Sudan, Israel has been distributing food aid to drought-stricken villagers.

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Israel brings overseas farmers to the Jewish State to pass on the knowledge to feed their own populations.  Israel’s Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (AICAT) has changed the lives of  many of its 16,000 foreign students. And 1,200 students from across Africa and Asia have just completed the 13th running of Israel’s unique post-graduate AgroStudies agriculture apprentice training program.  Meanwhile 10,000 high-tech professionals descended upon Tel Aviv for its 5th annual DLD (Digital Life Design) Conference. This year’s focus was on food tech in which Israel has over 500 startups.

Finally, whilst the United Nations Secretary General was being shown Israeli technological innovation to benefit the planet, the recently launched Israeli-developed VENµS satellite continues to orbit the Earth monitoring global agriculture issues and the health of the environment of our planet.

With Israeli innovation,

You shall eat, and be satisfied. 

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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