History of Israel's Good News - July to Sep 2017

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In the 16th July 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have identified the trigger for Alzheimer’s disease.
·         Israeli and PA emergency services held a major joint training exercise.
·         The first State visit to Israel by the Central African Republic.
·         A major Israeli project is initiated to discover Dark Matter.
·         Tourism to Israel soared by 28% in June.
·         Guns N’ Roses rock Tel Aviv.
·         Jonah and the Whale have been discovered in the Galilee.

·         Click here to see the 9th July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Karen) in Portuguese.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,000 previous news articles.
·         Click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute genetically sequenced every cell in the brain’s immune system (microglia). In Alzheimer’s disease, they found Disease-Associated Microglia (DAM) trying to keep the brain healthy, but restrained due to insufficient or mutated key regulatory proteins like TREM2. It may lead to new therapies.  https://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/life-sciences/over-dam-cells-rejuvenate-brain  https://www.youtube.com/embed/UCA43LiwSg0?rel=0

Preventing breast cancer in diabetic women. (TY Nevet) Diabetic women recovering from the aggressive HER2-positive form of cancer double the risk of recurrence if they take insulin. Now a Phase III trial led by scientists at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital has shown that the anti-diabetic treatment metformin can prevent recurrence. http://www.hadassah.org/news-stories/new-study-led-by-hadassah.html

Shedding light on cancer.  (TY Nevet) Israeli biotech Todos Medical has developed the “Total Biochemical Infrared Analysis” (TBIA) method for screening of solid tumors. The patient’s white blood cells are exposed to a spectrum of light. Analysis of the results reveals where the immune system has responded to tumor presence.  

Six Israelis win Howard Hughes awards.  The prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded 5-year grants of $650,000 each to 41 international biomedical scientists. Six of them (14.6%) are Israelis – three from the Weizmann Institute, two from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and one from Israel’s Technion. 

An autism database. (TY Nevet) Ben-Gurion University scientists and Soroka University Medical Center doctors have established the hospital-university-based (HUB) autism database to benefit scientists, patients and their families. One goal is to help identify different autism subtypes, likely generated by different causes.

Extending the margins.  I’ve reported previously (several times) on MarginProbe from Israel’s Dune Medical and how it detects whether all cancerous material has been removed during breast cancer surgery.  Now MarginProbe is to be extended for similar testing during surgery for prostate, colon, lung and pancreatic cancer.

UK diabetics love their Dario.  Clinical Commissioning Groups in three UK regions have named the Dario™ Blood Glucose Monitoring System the first choice of all patients with type 1 diabetes, for “Smart meters with carb counting.” It comes after Dario’s launch of a direct-to-consumer channel in the UK.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

NIS 3 million for special needs tech.  The Israel Innovation Authority is funding projects worth 3 million shekels to develop solutions for those on the autistic spectrum, the visually impaired and wheelchair users. 

International women entrepreneurs see the Startup Nation.  30 women entrepreneurs from 30 countries came to Israel to get inspiration at Startup Tel Aviv.  They heard from Israeli women like Fiona Darmon, CEO of JVP Media Central.  They pitched to top angel investors and venture capitalists and received useful feedback.

Jewish-Arab tech center is 3 years old.  I last reported (Mar 2015) on the Moona co-existence tech hub in the Galilee two years ago when 50 Jewish and 50 Muslim students attended the research center. Now some 750 students graduate from its activities every year and 30 schools participate in the scheme.

The art of co-existence.  In the Israeli-Arab Galilee village of Sakhnin, the Sakhnin Biennale is an alternative art festival featuring artists from Israel and from 65 other countries. The village has become a meeting place for northern Israel's diverse population which includes Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities.

Training to save lives together.  Israeli Emergency Services and the Palestinian Authority Civil Defense Forces (PCD) held a joint drill to enhance their skills and improve their response to real events. Participants included Israel’s Magen David Adom, the PA’s Red Crescent and fire-fighters from both sides.

The power to distribute electricity.  For the first time, Israel has handed over control of an electricity substation to the Palestinian Authority. The Israel Electric Corporation also trained Palestinian Arabs to maintain the site near Jenin. Substations will soon be handed over in Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus (Shechem).

Rwandan president praises Israel.  During his visit to Israel, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame highlighted the blossoming cooperation between the two countries in technology, agriculture, energy and security. “Israel has continued to follow through on its commitments and objective of scaling up engagement across Africa.”

First state visit from Central African Republic.  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.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NYT discovers Israel-Arab research project.  I reported previously (Dec 2012) that the BBC reported on the Middle East SESAME synchrotron project without mentioning Israel’s involvement. Over 4 years later, the New York Times reports on the project and amazingly (for the NYT) does mention Israel.

If dark matter exists, Israelis will find it.  (TY Nevet) Dark matter is hypothesized to be far more abundant than ordinary matter but no-one has detected any – until now. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is to develop Israel’s first dark matter detector.  It utilizes atomic spectroscopy, magnetic sensors, lasers and optics, atomic clocks, and advanced electronics.  https://aabgu.org/bgu-develop-israels-first-dark-matter-detector/

Double security award.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Dome9 Security (mentioned here in Jan 2012) has won “Best Cloud Security Product” in the 2017 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards.  It was also Editor’s Choice for Cloud Security Solutions in the 2017 Cyber Defense Magazine Awards. Dome9 just received $16.5 million of funds.

Keeping traffic moving in Nevada.  (TY Karen) The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada and Israeli startup WayCare, are launching a pilot program to help predict and prevent crashes and subsequent traffic jams.  WayCare will use real-time and historic data to alert the RTC to send out patrols.

Efficient delivery of your products.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Bringg is the leading on-demand delivery platform for enterprises. It has clients in over 50 countries – the latest being the Panera Bread network of bakery-cafes. The system dispatches and tracks orders and customers see the location of the delivery driver.

An Israeli startup walked into a bar.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (July 2013) on Israel’s Weissbeerger and its technology to monitor beer taps in a bar. This new video shows how the data produced is used by the brewery to identify consumption patterns and ensure a top quality drink is delivered to the customer.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

June tourism up 28%. 303,000 tourists entered Israel in June 2017, 28% more than in June 2016. Jan to June saw a 26% increase in visitors, to an all-time-record of 1.74 million. Estimated revenue from incoming tourism in this period was NIS 9.4 billion. Tourism from the USA (the largest in total) increased by 20%

Ben Gurion is world’s 8th best Airport. The readers of Travel + Leisure magazine voted Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport as the 8th best airport in the world. Rankings were based on travelers' experiences of access, check-in, security, food, shopping and design.

Naples or Venice?  (TY Janglo) EasyJet are launching regular flights from Tel Aviv to Venice and to Naples. There are three flights a week to Venice, starting 31 Oct and two flights a week to Naples, starting 4 Nov. These routes bring to eleven the number of easyJet’s scheduled services to Europe from Tel Aviv.

Stiff race for top Israeli talent.  In the Israeli tech industry, workers are in greater demand than supply as the 112 recruiting companies confirmed at the employment fair held at the private university IDC Herzliya. Also, many youngsters want the challenge of starting their own company rather than joining an existing one.

Delek strikes oil deal.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Oct 2015) that Israeli oil company Delek had taken a 19.7% stake in Canadian-UK oil exploration company Ithaca which is active in the UK’s North Sea waters.  Delek has now taken-over control of Ithaca for around 470 million Canadian dollars.

TaKaDu’s first US customer.  Israeli water event management company TaKaDu has won its first US customer – Knoxville Utilities in the State of Tennessee. TaKaDu will allow Knoxville to detect, analyze and manage network events and incidents such as leaks, bursts, faults, operational failures and more.

Tubi 60 goes global.  Tubi 60 is an Israeli-made alcoholic drink with a secret mix of some 60 natural herbs and fruit essences. Developed and distilled by Hilal and Yanai Tubi, the vegan herbal spirit is available at most Jerusalem bars and clubs. It will soon also be found on liquor shelves in Texas, Brooklyn, Oslo and Berlin.

That’s the ticket.  (TY Atid-EDI) New York based ticketing platform company SeatGeek has bought Israeli ticketing software company TopTix for $56 million. TopTix will power SeatGeek Open – a radically new approach, in which artists sell tickets through popular ecommerce websites, travel tools, and messaging sites.

Getting the flavor of Brazil.  (TY Karen) I reported previously (Oct 2014) that Israeli flavors and fine ingredients giant Frutarom was expanding into Peru and Chile with its purchase of Montana Food. Frutarom has continued its South American acquisitions, buying 80% of Brazilian ice-cream maker SDFLC for $33 million.

How an Israel sells his car.  Israeli Eugene Romanovsky went to great lengths to sell his 1996 Suzuki Vitara by making an elaborate video using visual effects that has generated millions of views. With dramatic music, the car appears to out-run dinosaurs, races a cheetah, escapes an avalanche and drives to a desert mountaintop.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

What to bring back from Israel. (TY Yuval) This video from AIPAC suggests some of the best souvenirs for tourists to take home from a trip to Israel. But a warning - they may take up quite a bit of space in your suitcase.

Israel’s trendiest beaches.  (TY Janglo) Here is the young-person’s guide to the best beaches along the 185 kilometers (115 miles) of sandy Israeli Mediterranean coastline, as well as the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). Covering Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Herzliya, Kinneret, Hadera, Carmel, Tel Dor. Caesarea and Nahariya.

The magic of Jaffa. (TY Avi) The smells of the sea flavored with black coffee and spices from the markets, Levantine culture combined with European, ancient mixed with new – this is Jaffa. One of the oldest port cities in the world. Today's Jaffa is a vibrant city that never ceases to surprise and innovates.

Guns N’ Roses rock for 3 hours.  Rock legends Guns N’ Roses performed to 60,000 fans in Tel Aviv.  The tour was named the “Not in this lifetime” tour because Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan reunited, in spite of Axl’s 2014 prediction that they would never re-establish the band. The video features “Sweet Child of Mine”.

See the Pretenders in reality.  American musician Chrissie Hynde and her band The Pretenders will perform on 23 Sept at the Menora Mivtachim Arena, Tel Aviv.

NBA champs sign top Israeli.  (TY Janglo) Omri Casspi’s phone rang at one-minute past midnight on the day that the Israeli basketball star became a free agent. It was the owner of NBA champions Golden State Warriors in California, offering Casspi a one-year contract.  It was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Jerusalem streets closed for Maccabiah Night Run. (TY Sharon) Tens of thousands took part in the Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run – not just those participating in the Maccabiah Games.  Many of the streets in Jerusalem were closed whilst the runners completed the 5 or 10 km routes or the half Marathon.


THE JEWISH STATE

One million reasons to love Israel.  Here, some Israeli children give perceptive views about their country.

200 new Olim arrive from France. (TY Janglo) The largest Keren Hayesod-Jewish Agency flight of olim from France this summer has landed at Ben-Gurion Airport. Israel’s Health Ministry now recognizes French medical degrees, and a new bill automatically recognizes medical credentials of immigrants from EU countries.

900 on Montreal Mega Mission. More than 900 people, one of whom is 100 years old, came to Israel on the Federation CJA’s Montreal Mega Mission. The trip attracted 100 first-time visitors to Israel and 116 return visitors from the last trip organized by Federation CJA in 2014, which had (only) 600 participants.

From Cuban prison to freedom in Israel.  Alan Gross was sent to prison in Cuba for five years for setting up Internet access for Cubans. He was released in Dec 2014 and made Aliya in May.

Haredi platoon’s first parachute drop.  the Haredi Hetz platoon of the IDF’s elite Paratroopers Brigade successfully conducted their first drops after completing a rigorous parachuting course.

The top 10 finds proving Jerusalem belongs to Israel. (TY Avi) Ze’ev Orenstein takes us on a tour of the City of David in Jerusalem to completely dispel recent ridiculous UNESCO resolutions.

Found in the Galilee - Jonah and the Whale.  (TY Janglo) Archaeologists excavating a 1500-year-old synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee have unearthed mosaics featuring the Biblical stories of Jonah and of the Tower of Babel. Previous digs at the site have revealed mosaics of Noah’s Ark and the Splitting of the Sea.



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In the 9th July 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israelis have discovered an entirely new mechanism to defeat cancer.
·         An Israeli device is the first to instantly measure dehydration levels.
·         Over twice as many women than men work in the Israeli medical industry.
·         India’s Prime Minister made an historic and successful visit to Israel.
·         Israel has a new research center for the science of quantum mechanics.
·         Israel’s Mazor Robots has just sold 16 robot surgery systems.
·         Britney Spears’ first Israeli concert was the biggest by a female artist.
·         Listen to VeryGoodNewsIsrael interview on the radio.
·         New Muslim Tanzanian ambassador to Israel recited Jewish prayer of renewal.

·         Click here to see the 2nd July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Karen) in Portuguese.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,000 previous news articles.
·         Click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

The protein that kills cancer cells.  Professor Varda Shoshan-Barmatz of Israel’s Ben Gurion University has developed many new treatments to kill cancer cells by targeting the protein VDAC1 that controls cell death. A new Israeli biotech, Vidac, is trialing these treatments. VDA-1102 ointment for pre-skin cancer is in Phase 2.

New treatment for Huntington’s disease.  Israeli biotech Mitoconix Bio is developing a new treatment for Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. It works by inhibiting mitochondrial splitting. Mitochondria contribute to important brain functions, including regulation of cell growth.

Early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Suaad Abd-Elhadi has won a Kaye Innovation Award for a new tool to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Her lipid ELISA detects the cellular secretion of the protein alpha-Synuclin, present in the pathways that Parkinson’s disease travels along.

Preventing epileptic attacks.  (TY Nevet) Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben Gurion University have discovered that high levels of a micro-RNA called miR-211 reduces the brain’s susceptibility to epileptic seizures. Therapeutics that increase miR-211 production can lead to new treatments for epileptics.

Israel can wipe out Hep C.  Israel’s Health Basket of treatments for Health funds includes protein and polymerase inhibitors that are effective in curing patients from Hepatitis C. The treatment costs $100,000 per patient, but that cost is reducing. Experts say that the treatment will wipe out the disease within a decade.

The first medics course in sign language.  I regularly include (see here) articles to show how important Israel regards sign language for communicating with the deaf and the hearing-impaired.  Now United Hatzalah has organized Israel’s first-ever course to teach sign language skills to volunteer United Hatzalah medics.

“Respect” for MDA.  The family of Sacha Baron Cohen (alias Ali G) has donated two medicycles, costing £15,000 each, to Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom. Daniella Baron Cohen dedicated them to her late husband Gerald (Sacha’s father). On the back of one of the vehicles is Ali G’s famous slogan “Respect!”.

EMET prize for cancer research.  Professor Zelig Eshhar of Israel’s Weizmann Institute and Professor Alexander Levitzki of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University shared the EMET Life Sciences award for their cancer research. Eshhar’s award was for his adaptive immunotherapy treatment; Levitski for his protein kinases inhibitors. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Creating-a-better-generation-498393

Check you’re not dehydrated.  Currently, dehydration can only be formally identified in hospital using blood tests or urinalysis. Now a non-invasive device from Israeli startup sZone can measure your hydrations levels at home or even whilst running. sZone is vital for athletes, the elderly, children, and the chronically ill.

Cured of tremors during Israel visit.  Parkinson’s sufferer Yocheved Mintz was part of a group visit to Israel’s Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. One of Rambam’s doctors mentioned the hospital’s cutting-edge work on curing Parkinson’s patients of their tremors. Yocheved asked for the treatment, and now she is cured.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Women lead in Israeli Life Sciences.  (TY Jacques) The percentage of Israeli women (70%) working in the field of Life Sciences (medical research, bio-techs, medical device companies) far exceeds that of men (30%). Women are filling roles, not just as employees but as entrepreneurs, investors, head researchers and CEOs.

Women top VC funds.  Women have top positions in Israel’s Venture Capital industry. Anat Naschitz is managing partner at Orbimed; Michal Geva, founded Triventures; Anat Segal founded Xenia; Ronit Segev Gal founded TLV Partners; Fiona Darmon is a JVP partner and Merav Rotem Naaman is MD of Verizon Ventures.

Marathon world record for Israeli amputee. (TY Nevet) Israel’s Eitan Hermon set a world record of 2:56.53 hours in the marathon for single-leg amputee runners in Vienna. Hermon is supported by Tikvot, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization which rehabilitates Israeli victims of terror and wounded soldiers through sports.

New ambassadors.  Israeli President Reuven Rivlin received new ambassadors from Nepal, Honduras, Brazil and (for the first time) from Tanzania. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Pres-Rivlin-calls-for-UN-support-from-new-ambassadors-to-Israel-496983

London Mayor gets Israel’s help.  London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said he has sought advice from Israel about how to better combat urban terrorism such as the Manchester and London Bridge attacks. He said police visit Israel and are in regular touch with their contacts.  http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/exclusive-sadiq-khan-sought-counter-terrorism-advice-from-israel-after-spate-of-uk-attacks/

Indians experience Israel.  Smita, Kandlarp and Roy are from India and are currently studying and working in Israel. They share their Israeli experiences, ahead of the visit of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Taking India-Israel relationship to a new level. (TY IsraPundit) Even before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Israel, he was talking positively about India’s deep ties with Israel. He believes the two nations are soulmates. They share the same a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.

India’s PM arrives.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the first visit to Israel by a sitting Indian premier. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu greeted Modi at Ben-Gurion Airport, along with the top tier of Israel's leadership - an honor afforded to only a few select leaders, such as US presidents and popes.

USS George H.W. Bush arrives in Israel.  Aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush docked in Haifa for a visit intended to enhance US-Israel relations. It is the first visit of a US aircraft carrier to an Israeli port since 2000. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed by helicopter on the ship and hailed it as a symbol of freedom.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Top positions in Arab rankings. (TY Nevet) UAE-based Center for World University Rankings, judged Israel’s Technion first in the world in the field of aerospace engineering. It also came 4th for Computer Science – Theory and Methods and 8th for Information Systems. Tel Aviv University also achieved two top 10 places.

A truly great scientist.  Professor Jacob Ziv of Israel’s Technion faculty of Electrical Engineering received the 2017 EMET Prize for Exact Sciences. He previously won the 1993 Israel Prize and in the video he receives the 2009 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award. His data-compression work was vital for data communications.

A Quantum leap.  Israel’s Bar-Ilan University has opened its new center, the Quantum Entanglement in Science and Technology (QUEST) for research and development of quantum technology. Its applications include secure quantum networks, cryptography, quantum computation and biomedical sensors.

Texas welcomes Israel water industry.  The first Israel-Texas Water Conference in Austin, Texas was attended by 200 key players from the Texas water industry and government. It featured five innovative Israeli water companies: Elbit Systems, Amiad Water Systems, BioPetroClean, Master Meter and Netafim.

Gold award for innovative suitcase. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (Nov 2015) about the Israeli-developed G-RO suitcase with its large wheels that roll over any terrain.  G-RO has just won a gold medal for innovative luggage at the 2017 International Edison Awards. G-RO has literally re-invented the wheel for world travelers.

Another smart suitcase.  (TY Nevet) Israeli startup Samsara’s smart case is made of aluminum and contains a power supply to charge your laptop and smartphone. It also alerts you if it gets separated from you or someone opens it without your permission. Samsara wanted to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter. It raised over $248,000

Ashdod to be lab for smart transport systems.  Ashdod, Israel’s sixth-largest city, is setting up a joint venture called “Living Lab” with Mobileye, MIT and Microsoft. Its database will be available to startups, government and academics working to build smart transport systems. Ashdod already has “Reway” – its smart bus program.

EcoMotion 2017.  (TY Hazel) The 2017 EcoMotion Conference in Jaffa featured 200 companies, representing Israel's growing smart vehicle community. Most interest was centered on autonomous cars, the Chinese impact, electric power supply and startups of every kind.



ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Reserves now at $108.7 billion. Israel’s foreign currency reserves increased by $1.3 billion in June to an all-time-record of $108.706 billion.  The natural gas reserve fund increased to $11.39 billion.

UK-Israel Tech Hub model vital to Britain. (TY BICOM) London’s City AM reports that strong digital growth in Tel Aviv is a benefit to the UK, and praises the UK-Israel Tech Hub created in 2011. The article notes that this model is “more important than ever as we leave the EU”.

Virtual currencies to support local businesses.  Israeli startup Colu’s digital wallet allows customers to pay local businesses instantly in a virtual currency (e.g. Liverpool local pound) from their smartphone. Starting with Tel Aviv, Haifa, London, Liverpool and Barbados, Colu has instigated a true “peer-to-peer” economy.

IAI is on the acquisition flight path.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has launched a buying program for cybersecurity companies. It has invested millions of dollars in Holland’s Inpedio BV and Hungary’s Cytrox. Esti Peshin, general manager of IAI’s Cyber Division, said IAI is planning further cybersecurity acquisitions.

WSJ features six Israeli startups.  (TY Janglo) Of the 25 leading startups selected by "The Wall Street Journal," in its article "Tech companies to watch," six - almost one quarter - are Israeli. Furthermore, three of the four cybersecurity companies on the list are Israeli.

Intel spends NIS 5.76 billion in Israel. In 2016 Intel Israel procured NIS 5.76 billion of goods and services, 75% of it from small and medium-sized suppliers. Intel currently has 10,200 employees in Israel. It recycled 270,000 cubic meters of water in 2016 and reduced its production of greenhouse gases by 16,000 tons.

Commercial success for Mazor robot surgeons. (TY Aviram) Israel’s Mazor Robotics has received sixteen purchase orders for its Mazor X system from customers in the U.S. It expects to report record revenues for the second quarter of 2017.  https://www.reuters.com/article/mazor-robotics-results-idUSL8N1JX1TH

$250 million exit for cybersecurity startup. International cybersecurity giant Symantec is acquiring Israeli cybersecurity company Fireglass for an estimated $250 million.  Fireglass was founded only in 2014 and its 40 employees have a cyber solution that eliminates ransomware, malware and phishing threats in real-time.

Israel’s first all-vegan supermarket.  Israel’s first 100% vegan supermarket HaGal HaYarok has opened in Tel Aviv’s Shuk HaCarmel. Besides well-known vegan brands, it stocks baked goods of all kinds, plus hard-to-find and exotic ingredients. It also sells its own HaGal HaYarok private label products.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Weizmann’s House is “iconic”.  Weizmann House in Rehovot, home of the first president of the State of Israel, has re-opened after extensive restoration and conservation. Due to its unique features, the international organization “Iconic Houses” has added Weizmann House to its ranks – the first Israeli building to be included.

Britney’s record-breaking concert.  US pop star Britney Spears gave her first-ever concert in Israel, performing in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park in temperatures of around 28° Celsius (82.4°F). With 60,000 tickets sold, it was the largest concert ever for a female artist in the history of Israel.

Jerusalem’s giant solar-powered radio.  (TY Janglo) To mark Jerusalem’s 50 years of reunification, a three-meter-high solar-powered Panasonic digital radio has been installed on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall. Broadcasting from 10am until 10pm, one of its five channels features recordings from the 1967 six-day war. http://www.timesofisrael.com/nostalgia-plays-on-giant-jerusalem-radio/

Jerusalem Light Festival. (TY Sharon and Janglo) ‘Interactive’ was the theme of this year’s Jerusalem Light Festival. There were 39 installations, some with live musicians. Highlights included the Hurva synagogue, Horizontal Interference, Impulse seesaws and Interactive Shadows where images changed when visitors moved.

Radio Rabbi interviews VeryGoodNewsIsrael.  This Newsletter’s editor was interviewed on the Radio Rabbi (Barbara Aiello) program, broadcast in Florida USA on 9th July at 08:30 EST.  Please check the link below for the July 9th show later today, during the week or afterwards.  https://rabbibarbara.com/radio-rabbi-shows/

Israeli 3-year-old trick shots.  (TY Janglo) Nice video of Israeli 3-year-old Matan Shaulov doing trick shots with a soccer ball. He could be the next Ronaldo, Yossi Benayoun or Eyal Berkovic. https://www.youtube.com/embed/15khv-35aHs?rel=0

The Maccabiah Games.  The Maccabiah is the world’s largest Jewish athletic competition, taking place every four years in Israel.  The 2017 Maccabiah is from July 4 - 18 and features about 10,000 athletes from more than 80 countries, plus around 22,000 additional fans.   http://www.maccabiah.com/2017/events

US Football Hall of Famers in Israel. 18 Pro Football Hall of Famers came to Israel on a weeklong goodwill visit sponsored by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. They attended the dedication of Kraft‘s sports complex in Jerusalem, with a regulation-size football field, and visited the Old City, Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea.


THE JEWISH STATE

Revisiting the land of his captivity.  Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, a former Prisoner of Zion, became the first Israeli to address the Russian parliament. In Hebrew, he told of his imprisonment by the Soviets 33 years ago for teaching Hebrew. In Russian, he praised diplomatic and economic ties between Israel and Russia.

201 Olim arrive on 4th July.  (TY Jacob Richman and Janglo) 201 North Americans became citizens of Israel on July 4th when their El Al Boeing 777, chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh, landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. The 201 passengers on the first Aliya flight of the summer included 34 families and five sets of twins.

Hallelujah – the return to Jerusalem.  (TY Janglo) The City of David has launched “Hallelujah” Nighttime Presentation - the story of the Jewish return to rebuild ancient Jerusalem. The thrilling, outdoor cinematic experience features cutting-edge video mapping technology that reveals a story, 3,000 years in the making.

Tanzanian Muslim ambassador says Hebrew prayer.  Job Daudi Masima, Tanzania's first-ever ambassador to Israel, is a Muslim. But he put on a kippah to greet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin with the Shehecheyahu prayer (the blessing said on new occasions) in Hebrew to mark the beginning of closer ties between the two countries. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/231106

Indian PM meets little Moshe. India’s Prime Minister Modi met 11-year-old Moshe Holtzberg, whose Chabad emissary parents were murdered by terrorists in Mumbai in 2009. Moshe declared his wish to visit India and one day direct Chabad’s mission in India.  PM Netanyahu said he would take Moshe on his next visit to India.

 

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In the 2nd July 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Europe has approved an Israeli implant to prevent strokes.
·         During Ramadan, Moslems in the IDF proudly protect Israel while fasting.
·         Tennessee Police cars will carry portable Israeli child booster seats.
·         Weizmann Institute counters BDS with BDS (Build Dialog through Science).
·         Israeli cybersecurity protected organizations from recent global virus attacks.
·         A Shanghai company is to train Israeli startups to do business in China.
·         Israel welcomes Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
·         Archeologists found a 1500-year-old menorah etching in Caesarea.

·         Click here to see the 25th June newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel, with a special feature on Health. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Karen) in Portuguese.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,000 previous news articles.
·         Click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Hypertension treatment is on the right pathway.  (TY UCI) I reported previously (Mar 2012) about the invasively implantable MobiusHD device from Israel’s Vascular Dynamics which reduces high blood pressure. MobiusHD is undergoing trials, has CE approval and is on the FDA’s Expedited Access Pathway program. It has also just received $10.4 million of funds. https://www.youtube.com/embed/I-WUGvm5z-8?rel=0

Europe approves Israeli bladder cancer test.  (TY Hazel) I reported previously (Jun 2014) on the non-invasive urine test of Israel’s Nucleix for monitoring bladder cancer treatment. Following a multi-center, 400-patients clinical trial, Nucleix has received the CE Mark allowing it to market Bladder EpiCheck in the E.U.

Boosting the immune system to beat melanoma.  Dr. Michal Lotem is head of the Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at Hadassah Medical Center. Instead of going after the cancer, they target the immune system, boosting it to respond more aggressively to the disease.

Diagnosing heart attacks when it happens. Israel’s CorAlert is developing a non-invasive monitor that can diagnose heart failure in real-time. Sensors on the arm and chest, a pressure cuff and a proprietary algorithm estimate Left Ventricular End-Diastolic Pressure (LVEDP), an indicator of heart failure.  CorAlert’s CEO Amir Marmor explains on ILTV. https://www.youtube.com/embed/nMYxyXJpKSo?rel=0

Father’s brain injury triggers brain rehab startup.  (TY TIP) After her father suffered a brain injury, Israeli neuroscientist Son Preminger founded Intendu – which has developed motion-based adaptive video games for brain training and rehabilitation. These adapt in real time to the cognitive and physical abilities of the user.

Life is a see-saw.  When Israeli charity Ezer Mizion told a young law student she was a 100% bone marrow match for a 40-year-old female cancer patient, she jumped at the chance to save a life.  But the patient’s health deteriorated and the operation was canceled. Then one day, during law exams, another window opened to save the woman. http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/saving-a-life-the-see-saw-remains-on-up/

We never stop innovating to save lives.  Eli Beer explains how the United Hatzalah model of life-saving has revolutionized the field of pre-ambulatory emergency care in Israel and the impact that it is making around the world. The latest 180 new ambucycles was the largest dedication of emergency vehicles in Israel’s history.

Massive investment in Israeli Life Sciences.  Israeli Life Sciences companies received $823 million in funds last year, representing 20% of all investments in Israeli high-tech. There are currently around 1,350 active life-sciences companies in Israel – of which 42% are in the medical devices sub-sector.

Syrian refugees meet Israel’s Dream Doctors. This video features two of Israel’s medical clowns - one Jewish and one Christian Arab - who bring relief and break down social barriers, one giant puffy red nose at a time. They may look silly, but they are revolutionizing the way Syrian refugees see Israel.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

More Israeli Wonder Women.  (TY Sharon) The Facebook group Israeli Women Entrepreneurs' Network (IWEN) has 700 members and helps Anglo female entrepreneurs in Israel. It recently organized a retreat for 43 members. They announced an Israeli first – a women's cooperative in Jerusalem for tourists’ gift shopping.

Moslems in the IDF observe Ramadan. (TY Janglo) The IDF respects Muslim soldiers who protect Israel during the long hours of the fasts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. After sunset each night, the army prepares for them the special celebratory iftar meal.

Tracks for Peace.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel unveiled a plan to give Jordan, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq access to the Mediterranean through Israel’s ports in Haifa and Ashdod, in a plan called “Tracks for Peace.” The Haifa to Beit She’an railway would link to the PA at Jenin and extend through Jordan, into Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

Tracks for bicycles.  (TY Atid-EDI)  Israel is to build 150km of interurban bicycle lanes connecting the cities of Ra'anana, Herzliya, Ramat Hasharon, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Givat Shmuel, Yehud, Or Yehuda, Rishon LeZion, Yehud, Holon and Bat Yam. The tracks will contain electric charging stations.

Fish farms in Uganda.  (TY Nevet) I reported previously (in 2011) about Israel’s work to clean up Lake Victoria. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has since been working with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, to develop fish farms that have restored indigenous species of fish previously devastated by the lake’s invasive Nile Perch.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/cy8MFePPulo?rel=0

US Police use Israeli portable booster seats.  Bradley County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, USA has teamed up with Israel’s mifold to place 10 special car seats for youngsters in patrol cars. Newsletter readers may remember mifold’s innovative portable car booster seat (see here) that brings the seat belt to the child.

Jerusalem re-unification celebrated at the UN.  Israel held a special event at the United Nations celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s liberation and reunification during the 1967 Six-Day War. Hundreds,of participants, including ambassadors and diplomats from around the world enjoyed a special performance by Israeli diva Sarit Hadad. https://unitedwithisrael.org/jerusalems-reunification-celebrated-at-the-un/

Israel awaits Indian Prime Minister’s visit. On 4th July, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make the first ever visit to Israel by a sitting Indian prime minister. The Israeli cabinet has already approved a series of measures aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Netanyahu-hails-historic-visit-by-Indian-prime-minister-497844  


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Building Dialog through Science (BDS). Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have launched a new website IsraelBDS.org that features the many and varied scientific studies that rely on close collaboration between Israeli researchers and those in different countries. No Boycott, Divestment or Sanctions please.

Latest joint US-Israeli projects.  The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D (BIRD) Foundation is to invest
$7 million in joint US-Israeli projects including for autonomous vehicles, biotech, homeland security, nanotech and digital health. The Israeli companies are Atvio, C4 Systems, Check-Cap, Isorad, Melodea, Nutrino Health, OpSys and Pill Tracker.

Jerusalem’s Tech & Gadget library. (TY Janglo) The library at Q5 (the fifth quarter) in Jerusalem doesn’t lend out the usual books. Instead it offers top tech & startup books, laptops, smartphones, tablets, processors, kits for assembling robots and cool new gadgets. Its customers include designers, developers and entrepreneurs.

Jerusalem’s special-needs innovation center.  (TY Janglo) ALYN Hospital, Israel’s only pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility, is creating an Innovation Space in Jerusalem for inventions to help special needs kids. The one-stop shop provides a state-of-the-art prototyping lab, expert support and in-house trialing.

More security for cars.  Upstream Security is the latest Israeli cybersecurity startup to focus on the automobile security arena (see here for others). Upstream claims to be the first to offer a cloud-based platform that detects and prevents large-scale attacks on connected and autonomous cars. Upstream just raised $2 million of funds.

Managing a smart home.  Israel’s Techsee is a global leader in Visual Support Technologies for the Smart Home.  Techsee is building a massive database of every interaction and resolution to help customers resolve any recurring technical problem via their smartphones. Techsee has just raised $7.5 million of funds.

Faster Virtual Reality.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Apr 30) that Israel’s Giraffic achieved high-speed streaming for Virtual Reality (VR) systems.  Now another Israeli company, Inception, has developed multi-track real time streaming and spatial audio for a seamless interactive VR experience.

The best of CyberTech 2017. CyberTech Tel Aviv featured the most innovative and advanced cyber-security technologies. From applications that prevent hacking, to rescue systems that save lives. CyberTech 2017 attracted over 12,000 participants from 65 countries. Israeli cyber products repulsed recent global virus attacks.

Israeli cybersecurity companies team up. (TY Atid-EDI) The power of Israeli cybersecurity systems has been amplified with a partnership between Israeli companies Check Point and Safe-T. Check Point’s SandBlast for scanning files integrates with Safe-T HDS to ensure all company data is checked, wherever it comes from.

Chooze a name for your child.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup Chooze has launched an iPhone app that helps expectant parents choose the perfect baby name.  Chooze uses the latest in cognitive psychology to help parents decipher their subconscious preferences for names.  https://www.chooze.io/


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel beats 2016 targets. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s 2016 revenue totaled 321.1 billion shekels ($88.02 billion), higher than the Government’s 2016 target of 312.3 billion shekels ($85.61 billion). Also, the Finance Ministry set itself a deficit goal for 2016 of 2.9%, whereas the actual deficit was only 2.1%.

And economy keeps growing.  The Bank of Israel's Composite State of the Economy Index for May 2017 increased by 0.3 percent.  There were significant increases in Industrial Production, manufacturing inputs and revenues for trade and services.  Previous figures for February, March and April were also revised upwards.

Training Israeli startups for the Chinese market.  Israel’s Zvi Shalgo, founder Shanghai’s PTL Group, is offering a free boot camp to ten Israeli startups who want to learn how to do business in China. It includes 5 days of intensive training, presentations, networking with entrepreneurs and visits to leading companies.

Israeli-UK fund to invest in education tech. MindCET, the technological arm of the Center for Educational Technology (CET), has announced the founding of a fund for investment in edu-tech in cooperation with the UK government. The fund, called TaskForce, will initially invest $250,000 in each of 4-6 ventures annually.

US ag-tech fund expands in Israel.  US Venture Capital fund Finistere Ventures, which specializes in agricultural technology, is expanding its activities in Israel. It “sees Israel as a center of excellence in ag-tech” and has appointed two executives to invest in Israeli innovations for the agricultural and food value market.

Promoting French investment.  French Tech met the Start-up Nation at Innovatech 2017 in Paris. The conference focused on food tech, life sciences, auto tech and cybersecurity. It was attended by 250 leaders from the French hi-tech industry, along with 15 Israeli companies and directors of Israeli venture capital funds.

Tell me what you want.  A new website Bekarov (in English it means “coming soon”) is a unique Jerusalem-wide crowdsourced mapping initiative. Residents tell the municipality what businesses are missing from their neighborhood and entrepreneurs can decide if there is a new business opportunity.

Then get a grant to open a new business.  (TY Janglo) New immigrants and returning residents may be eligible for grants up to NIS 43,000 and other benefits if they open up a new business in Jerusalem.  The Israeli government aims to encourage new businesses in Jerusalem and reinforce existing enterprises.

jFrog eats up CloudMunch. I reported previously (Jan 2016) about Israel’s jFrog, which develops products for managing and distributing software. jFrog has just acquired CloudMunch in the US. CloudMunch’s Insights software allows developers to see how their DevOps flow is working, make adjustments or adopt new tools.

Israeli post measures up. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) about Israeli startup MySize whose SizeUp app measures your body for clothes with the sensors of your smartphone. Now the Israeli Postal Service and Mysize are to trial a pilot solution to measure all types of packages using only a smartphone.

First sale of Israeli 3D heart CT scanners. I reported previously (Nov 2011) about the innovative 3D CT scanners from Israel’s Arineta. GE Healthcare has just given Arineta its first commercial order – for 12 scanners, to be sold to GE customers for $1 million each.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

New and expanded nature reserves.  Israel is adding and expanding five nature reserves. The new reserve is Katzir (in Wadi Ara). Makhtesh Ramon (the Ramon Crater), will become a national park. Lahav Darom, Har Giora, and Harei Yehuda are to be expanded.  All will be free to the public. 

Virtually Israel. Virtual Reality (VR) is the way to experience Israel without flying across the globe. Virtually Israel is a one-of-a-kind VR experience showcasing Israel’s most prominent cities.  Pause the video and click on the compass on the top left of the screen, to rotate your view of the Dead Sea and Jerusalem.

Jersey Boys come to Israel.  (TY Janglo) The legendary Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (a.k.a. the Jersey Boys) are performing for the first time in Israel on 4th July at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv.  Famous for “Sherry” and Grease. “Oh what a night” – they’ll certainly help us “hang on to what we’ve got”!

The most valuable player in Czech Republic.  Israeli soccer star Tal Ben Haim has signed for four seasons with Sparta Prague. The fee of 2.9 million euros ($3.2 million, NIS 11.5 million), makes his transfer the most expensive in the history of the Czech league. Last season, Ben Haim scored 19 goals for Maccabi Tel Aviv.

First Israeli in US NASCAR race.  Israel’s Alon Day won the NASCAR Whelen Euro race at UK’s Brands Hatch and got a call to compete at the Sonoma Raceway in California. Although he finished 32nd out of 40, he became the first Israeli to compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - the sport’s top league. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-first-nascar-driver-completes-debut-race/


THE JEWISH STATE

UNESCO chief stresses Jewish links to Jerusalem.  Although her committee denies Jewish links to Jerusalem, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova has emphasized the historical Jewish connection to the city.

1500-year-old menorah etching. Archaeologists excavating the ancient port of Caesarea discovered a mother-of-pearl tablet inscribed with a menorah, dating from the 4th or 5th century. It was likely part of a box housing a Torah scroll and is the first artifact of its kind made of the precious material bearing a Jewish iconograph.

Student leader gets married on Temple Mount. The head of the Students for Temple Mount Movement, Tom Nissani, betrothed his fiancée in a minimalist ceremony on Temple Mount.

Israel’s outstanding Anglos.  (TY Janglo) Nefesh B’Nefesh 2017 Bonei Zion Prizes, for immigrants from English-speaking countries who have made a major impact on Israel, were awarded to Prof Benjamin Corn, Beth Steinberg, Rabbi Chaim Brovender, Gerald Steinberg, Yoram Raanan; Capt Libby Weiss, and Scott Neiss.

Meet the new arrivals.  (TY Janglo) Come and see the future outstanding Anglos as they arrive on the latest Nefesh b’Nefesh flight to arrive in Israel on 4th July. Tel Aviv will be busy, with the Indian Prime Minister arriving and the Frankie Valli concert in the evening!

Ancient colored fabric found in Solomon’s Mines. (TY WIN) Israeli archeologists have discovered striped clothing worn by skilled workers at copper mines in Timna, in southern Israel, during the time of Kings David and Solomon, over 3000 years ago. Dry desert conditions preserved the blue and red plant-dyed textiles.