Israel's Good News Newsletter to 17th Jun 18.


In the 17th June 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have enhanced cancer treatment for children.
·         Israeli medics are saving burns victims from the Guatemala volcano.
·         An Israeli startup recycles kidney dialysis devices into water purifiers.
·         Israel has signed a new free-trade agreement with Canada.
·         A musical based on an Israeli film has won 10 Tony awards.
·         150 musicians and dancers greeted 2000 Birthright participants at Ben Gurion Airport.

·         Click here to see the 20th May newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit (13th May) and United With Israel with extra features on Health, and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Developing a blood test for cancer.  The Californian healthcare company GRAIL Inc is sponsoring a research program to detect cancer early, led by Hebrew University Professor Yuval Dor. The program will analyze fragmented DNA in the bloodstream that derives from tumors, to identify the type of cancer responsible.

Targeting cancer cells in children.  Scientists at Israel’s Technion have developed a system for the selective nanoscale transport of the chemotherapeutic Dasatinib in young patients. Polymer micelles enhanced with sugar carry the chemical to cancer cells alone, thus maximizing its efficiency without harming healthy tissues.

$8.4 million for startups to test health software. Israel has launched an $8.4 million p.a. program that enables startups to try out their technologies with the medical data of the four health services. It is part of the National Digital Health plan (see here) which aims to make Israel a global leader in digital health technologies.

A new view on surgery. Israel’s Beyeonics Surgical (a subsidiary of Elbit) develops Augmented Reality (AR) visualization for surgeons. A head-mounted visor transmits real-time high-resolution imaging of the surgical area, plus patient data, directly before surgeons’ eyes. Beyeonics has just raised $11.5 million of funds.

Cells learn to overcome difficult pregnancies. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center have discovered that the human body’s “natural killer” cells improve their ability to fight diseases affecting the fetus following the first pregnancy. It could lead to new fertility treatments

Israel’s first female ambucycle driver. Sophie Donio from Eilat is Israel's first female EMS ambucycle driver. She is a single working mother, a therapist and a diving instructor who gives up her free time to volunteer with United Hatzalah as an EMT first responder and rush out to save the lives of people she has never met.

A biotech hub at Hadassah. Israel’s LR Group is launching Biohouse - a $14 million network of biotech hubs, initially in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center and then at two other Israeli hospitals, plus Boston and New York. The Hadassah hub can host 40-50 medical device and digital health startups and is already 40% full.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Intel integrates Israeli-Arab workers. Intel has announced a special program to help integrate Arab workers into its Israeli workforce. Led by senior principal engineer Fadi Aboud and team leader Basma Khalaf, Intel will offer its Arab workers special workshops and conferences to boost their careers.

Prime Minister’s Office hosts Iftar meal. Deputy Minister Michael Oren hosted the first-ever fast-breaking Iftar dinner in honor of Ramadan, held under the auspices of Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office. Due to demand (100 guests accepted the invitation) the event was relocated from the PMO premises to the Knesset itself.

Israel Library displays miniature 10th Century Koran. A tiny 10th-century Koran has gone on display for the first time as part of a collection of Islamic texts being shown at Israel’s National Library to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Koran is 68 by 37 millimeters and without vowels or punctuation.

Leaders visit from Indonesia, Bulgaria and Austria. (TY WIN & UWI) Yahya Staquf, secretary general of Indonesia’s 60 million-member Nahdlatul Ulama organization met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, as did Bulgaria’s PM Boyko Borisov and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Israel gives Iranians drought relief advice.  (TY UWI) Israel’s Foreign Ministry has launched a website in Farsi aimed at sharing Israeli water technologies directly with the Iranian people, who are suffering from an unprecedented nationwide drought. The site provides tips on how to save water and improve its use.

World Oceans Day. (TY UWI) Israel’s work to preserve the ocean environment is summarized in this video to mark World Oceans Day on 8th June. https://www.youtube.com/embed/9vYg9qCZaV0?rel=0

Israel’s rescue team in Guatemala. (TY Janglo) Israeli doctors, nurses and paramedics have been helping at two hospitals in Guatemala City, near to where the Fuego volcanic eruption has killed many and displaced thousands. They also brought the innovative NexoBrid gel from Israel’s MediWound (see here) to treat burns victims. https://www.israel21c.org/the-ground-is-so-hot-it-burns-through-their-shoes/


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

R&D cooperation with Italy. Israel and Italy have agreed to promote eight academic and six industrial cooperative projects, covering marine biology and agriculture. Both governments will fund NIS 15 million per year, over the course of two years. Israel will fund another NIS 8 million for joint bio-robotics laboratories.

IDF launches $2 billion project to build tech campus. Israel’s Shikun & Binui and Africa Israel have won the tender to build the new IDF information and communications technology center in Beersheba. The center will serve some 5,000 soldiers and career officers from the IDF’s intelligence units, including its cybersecurity units.

Israeli wireless charging for Black & Decker tools. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Humavox and its microscopic device, small enough to re-charge hearing aids wirelessly.  Now toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker has invested in Humavox, intending to add its technology to Black & Decker products.

Feeling unsafe? Summon a drone.  A team of students from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University are developing Air-Pal - a personal security app to enable local authorities to respond quicker to emergencies. App users can call up a drone that will transmit live video images to public safety organizations.

Water purification by sterilized medical devices. (TY Israel21c) Israel’s NUFiltration has helped solve the problem of what to do with some of the 125 million dialyzers (artificial kidneys used in dialysis) discarded annually worldwide: They sanitize and repurpose these sophisticated filters as water-purification devices for developing countries.  https://www.nufiltration.com/  https://www.youtube.com/embed/l0LNPJ3vavk?rel=0

Saving crops in India. (TY Israel21c) Israeli startup Amaizz is developing a variety of products and services to reduce food losses in grains, cereals, and horticulture by spoilage and degradation throughout the handling, storage, and processing stages. Amaizz has planned an on the ground pilot to take place in 2018 in India. 

Cheap, clean fuel cells. Israeli startup GenCell makes fuel cell-based solutions to create emission-free electricity. Its new GenCell A5 is marketed as a replacement for polluting diesel generators used by telecom companies in remote areas. The cell uses ammonia to produce hydrogen, which then generates electricity.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Warren Buffet helps raise $80 million in Israeli Bonds. Global investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet helped secure $80 million in Israel bond purchases at a gathering in Omaha. He spoke of Israel as “one of the most remarkable countries in the world”. Each attendee pledged to buy a minimum of $1 million bonds.

Israeli startups to star at Paris auto show. Calcalist will lead a delegation of Israeli auto and mobility tech companies to the first-ever Mondial Tech conference at October’s Mondial de l'Automobile (Paris Motor Show). Jean-Claude Girot, Mondial’s general commissary, an ardent Israel supporter, will open the conference.

Huge impact of UK-Israel partnerships. There have been 175 Business deals initiated by the UK-Israel Tech Hub since its 2011 launch. Their combined value of £85 million ($113 million) is estimated to boost the UK economy by potentially £800 million ($1.1 billion) and helps Israeli companies to access global markets.

Canada-Israel trade is booming. Since the original 1997 Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) came into force, bilateral trade has tripled to more than $1.7 billion and fueled job growth in key Canadian sectors. The recently upgraded CIFTA gives almost limitless possibilities for extending Canadian-Israeli partnerships.

Germany leases Israeli drones worth $1.18 billion. The German army is to lease seven of Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) newest Heron-TP surveillance drones for nine years. The €1 billion ($1.18 billion) deal includes training, logistics, infrastructure, project management, operational support and maintenance.

Billion-dollar companies. There are currently 18 Israeli-founded companies worth over $1 billion. They include WeWork ($20 billion), Magic Leap ($5 billion), Tanium ($5 billion), Houzz ($4 billion), Compass ($2.2 billion), Elastic ($2 billion), Infinidat ($1.6 billion), ironSource ($1.5 billion), Payoneer ($1.5 billion) and Gett ($1.4 billion) http://nocamels.com/2018/06/unicorns-companies-israel-valuation-1-billion/


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

More about “Solution Nation”. I reported previously (13th May) on David Wanetick’s book “Solution Nation” describing 62 Israeli companies developing solutions to problems “that threaten to end life itself or materially degrade the quality of life.” This Israel21c article features 10 companies from the book.

10 Tony awards for Israeli-based musical. “The Band’s Visit,” based on an Israeli film won 2018 Tony Awards for Best musical, book, score, direction of a musical, lighting design, orchestration and sound design. Members of the cast won Best actor in a musical, Best actress in a musical and Best featured actor in a musical.

Miss Iraq visits Israel. Miss Iraq 2017 Sarah Idan is visiting Israel, where she has been warmly received as a cultural hero. She again met Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, with whom she had shared a selfie that generated controversy in her country. https://worldisraelnews.com/visiting-jerusalem-miss-iraq-is-embraced-by-israelis/

Hollywood celebrates Israel’s 70th birthday. Israeli Consul General Sam Grundwerg held “Hollywood Salutes Israel,” - a private VIP reception for 700 guests at Universal Studios in Hollywood to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday. Stars included Barbra Streisand, Robert de Niro, Michael Douglas, Bill Maher, and Gal Gadot.

Jerusalem Lights Festival.  (TY Janglo) The 10th annual Jerusalem Lights Festival (Jun 27 – July 5) combines the magical atmosphere of the Old City with innovative and challenging art. Wander through the picturesque alleyways viewing the fascinating light displays and huge video projections on the buildings and walls.


THE JEWISH STATE

Peace prizes for Israeli Jews and Muslims. (TY Janglo) Three pairs of Jewish Israelis and Muslim Arabs were awarded the 14th annual Institute of International Education (IIE) Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East in Jerusalem, recognizing their work toward advancing peace and reducing tensions in the region. https://www.israel21c.org/3-initiatives-awarded-prize-for-israeli-arab-peace-efforts/

Archaeologists discover king’s head.  (TY UCI & Jacques) Archaeologists have unearthed a 3000-year-old 5cm sculpture of a Biblical king from at Abel Beth Maacah, near Israel’s Lebanese border. But which king? It could be the Aramean Ben Hadad or Hazael of Damascus, Ahab or Jehu of Israel, or Ithobaal of Tyre.

Couple makes Aliya on 71st wedding anniversary. (TY Janglo) Chicago natives Devorah ‘Doris’ Levitz (91) and Norman Levitz (93) have just made Aliyah. Devorah and Norman visited Israel at least once a year since their son made Aliyah 40 years ago. Now, they have officially decided to call Israel their permanent home.

Welcome to Israel. (TY Janglo and JPost) A flashmob took over Ben Gurion arrivals hall on May 24, when 150 singers, musicians and dancers, all from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, surprised 2000 Taglit-Birthright participants from 47 groups taking their very first steps in Israel.

Bearing Fruit to Those Who Want It



The Jewish festival of Tu B’Shvat (New Year for Trees) inspired me to look back over the year at the agricultural and environmental benefits Israel and Israeli companies have provided internationally. But I was only motivated to write this blog when I heard that my cousins in Cape Town, South Africa have been ordered to ration their water usage and from April will have their water cut off.  Why?  Because South Africa has refused Israel’s offers to help solve their water management problems.  As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink.”

Down the road from South Africa, Israeli experts in drip irrigation and crop management trained nineteen educators in Swaziland, which was almost crippled by drought last year. In the same continent, but at the other end of the scale, Israeli NGO “Innovation: Africa” has been providing clean water and aid to millions of Africans, including tens of thousands of refugees living in the war-torn Central African Republic.  The NGO also saved the whole village of Akuyam in Karamoja, Uganda where many hadn’t eaten for three days.




Ironically, in late 2016 (before the South African boycott), Israel’s Fluence installed a potable desalination system to solve dire drought conditions in KwaZulu-Natal – a semi-autonomous region in South Africa. No wonder the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithinii, monarch of 12 million Zulus urged (fruitlessly) the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to retain close ties with Israel.

On the other hand, those countries that have accepted Israel’s help are reaping the benefits. Take water, for example. In India, Israel’s WaterGen has launched a pilot with India’s Tata to generate water out of thin air.  




Israel’s water systems are certainly appreciated by the US State of Wisconsin, and by water professionals from Canada, China and the Czech Republic. In Ghana, Israel’s Yam Pro is using water to produce 150 megawatts of wave energy. Meanwhile, Israel’s TaKaDu is preventing major water leakages from Australia to Vietnam, not forgetting Spain, the UK and the USA.




Appropriately, for the Jewish New Year for Trees, here are just a few agricultural items. Israeli charity KKL-JNF was asked by Kenya to help turn its deserts into forests, using Israeli technology that can conserve soil, capture rain runoff, monitor precipitation and promote conservation. Then, just over a month ago the municipality of Jerusalem (Israel’s capital) gave away free fir trees to those Christian residents who wanted them. Finally, take a look at the FarmZee app from Israeli startup Farmster, which is saving Tanzania’s crops from going to waste.by providing farmers (without Internet access) with a special SMS link to buyers for their crops.




There are many South Africans that speak the truth about Israel’s work to benefit humanity. They agree with what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his recent speech to the United Nations.  “So many countries around the world have woken up to what Israel can do for them.” “Israel is the place for cutting-edge technology, in agriculture, in water… You name it, we’ve got it”.

And it won’t cost the earth.