History of Israel's Good News Jul to Sep


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In the 8th July 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli model of the immune system is a major medical breakthrough.
·         Israeli technology helps locate boys missing in Thailand caves.
·         Israeli education project doubles the number of advanced math students.
·         An Israeli company boosts the world’s three fastest supercomputers.
·         Three multinationals select Israeli self-driving car technologies.
·         Israel enjoys a good helping of American Pie, care of Don McLean.
·         The first ever blue whale to visit the modern Jewish State.

·         Click here to see the 1st July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology, Business and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Mapping the immune system. Israel’s Technion scientists have built a tool to help treat patients with immune system diseases. “ImmuneXpresso” scans millions of scientific publications to construct a computerized model of the immune system, showing the interactions between immune cells and the human body, across thousands of diseases. https://www.technion.ac.il/en/2018/06/the-immune-system-cracking-open-the-black-box/

Automatic analysis of chest X-rays. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported (see here) on the artificial intelligent (AI) image analysis systems developed by Israel’s Zebra Medical. Now Zebra’s technology extends to chest X-rays with “Textray”, that can identify 40 different common clinical findings. Zebra also raised $30 million of funds.

Europe and Canada approve Israeli bone regeneration.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Datum Dental has developed OSSIX Bone – an innovative solution for bone and tissue regeneration for dentistry. It has just received the CE Mark in Europe and Health Canada approval. OSSIX Bone already has FDA clearance.

US approval for knee cartilage repair system. (TY Atid-EDI) Meniscus (knee cartilage) tears are common for athletes, those engaged in daily sport activities, the elderly, and anyone with cartilage problems. Israel’s Arcuro Medical has developed the SuperBall™ meniscus repair system and has just received FDA clearance.

Go-ahead for bio-ink. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s CollPlant (see here) is developing a proprietary rhCollagen-based formulations intended for use as bio-ink for the 3D printing of tissues and life savings organs.  It has now received grant approval (up to $1.2 million) of additional finance from the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA).

Israeli algae antioxidant protects the skin.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on AstaPure - Israel-based Algatech’s algae-derived Astaxanthin, produced at Kibbutz Ketura. A new clinical trial in Japan provides evidence of Astaxanthin’s protective role against skin deterioration caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.

Advanced security and medical training. Israel’s Advanced Security Training Institute (ASTI) has just completed its latest course, providing 30 US first responders with practical security and medical training. Since 2003, these skills have been passed on to more than 7,000 emergency personnel in the USA.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

IDF’s first female tank commanders. (TY UWI) Following a successful pilot of all-women tank crews, four women made history when they were appointed commanders of IDF tank units. The four were chosen, from the original 15 women tank trainees, to enroll in the Caracal Battalion’s grueling tank commander program.

The first Israeli President to host Arab policewomen.  (TY Hazel) Israeli President Rivlin made history when he hosted 29 Muslim and Christian Arab policewomen at his Residence. Over the past two years, 728 Arabs have joined the Israeli police force, including 74 women, of whom nearly 50 are Muslim.

Israel trains Yazidis to treat Iraqi trauma victims. A group of five Yazidis from Iraq recently received training in Israel in medical clowning to help them treat children in their home country, in need of medical treatment or post-traumatic stress disorder. The Yazidis were brought to Israel by UK NGO “Road to Peace”.

Israelis collect toys for Syrian children.  Less than 24 hours after a Golan Regional Council request, hundreds of Israelis across Israel volunteered to bring goodie bags for Syrian refugee children living on the Golan border.

Training Ghanaians in agriculture. (TY Hazel) Ghana’s government is sending 50 students on one-year paid internships in Israel. The students will learn modern agricultural practices in greenhouse vegetable production, then return to help Ghana set up greenhouses and increase its local production and exports.

Israelis help find missing boys in Thailand cave. Two Israeli rescuers voluntarily joined the international effort to reach 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped for more than a week in a flooded cave in Thailand. The Israelis brought innovative radios from Israel’s Maxtech networks that enabled the divers to locate the boys.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Numbers of advanced math students double. In just three years, Israel has doubled the number of advanced math students in Israeli high schools, particularly in the periphery. There are now 18,000 students studying math at the highest level – crucial for the future of the State of Israel as the Startup Nation.

The Aliya Initiative – training for hi-tech jobs.  The Aliya Initiative is a free, four-day workshop in Tel Aviv that provides Olim (immigrants) with the necessary skills to join the Israeli startup scene. The initiative of Israeli venture capital firm Aleph VC helps find work for immigrants, plus addresses the hi-tech skills shortage.

Saving motorcyclist lives. (TY Atid-EDI) Motorcycle crash fatalities are nearly 28 times higher than for car crash occupants. Israel’s Ride Vision has developed collision aversion technology (CAT), giving any motorcyclist 360-degree predictive vision protection. Ride Vision has just raised $2.5 million of funds.

A personal trainer in your ears.  The VI wireless earphones from Israel’s VI Technologies provide you with a real-time fitness coach, biometrics (heart rate, SPO2 rate, speed and step rate) and premium sounding music in time with your step rate. The company, previously known as LifeBeam (see here), has just raised $20 million.

Motivating you to practice. I’ve reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Tonara and its interactive app to help learn how to play and practice a musical instrument. In the latest version (360), the teacher can assign practice sessions of either time or musical pieces, after which the app uses algorithms to grade.

Reducing phosphorus pollution in Brazil.  (TY Atid-EDI) Trials prove that Rootella BR mycorrhizal inoculant from Israel’s Groundwork BioAg increases phosphorus absorption of crops, increases yield, reduces fertilizer wastage and its polluting runoff. Rootella BR has just been commercially registered in Brazil.

Powering telecom towers in Kenya. I reported recently (17th Jun) on Israel’s Gencell which makes fuel cell-based solutions to create emission-free electricity. Kenyan telecom company Adrian Group Kenya is installing Gencell’s fuel cells to replace the diesel generators powering 800 cell towers in rural Kenya.

Technion inaugurates satellite ground station. I reported previously (14th Jan) that Israel’s Technion Institute is aiming to launch 3 nanosatellites into orbit in late 2018. Israel’s Orbit Communications has just completed building the Technion’s Adelis ground station for monitoring these satellites. An excellent video.

Defending the Internet of Things. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s NanoLock Security has unveiled what it markets as “the industry’s most comprehensive lightweight, unbreakable security and management platform purpose-built for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Devices ecosystem”.  (The old NanoLock was renamed Nobio.)

Faster and faster.  (TY Atid-EDI) The InfiniBand systems from Israel’s Mellanox now support 43% of the World’s 500 fastest supercomputers including the top three.  The 216 include Astra, supporting the US Dept of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and Summit – the fastest computer in the US.

Proving the Concept. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jan 2017) on Israel’s ProoV’s service that allow companies to perform Proof of Concept (PoC) testing on new technology. ProoV has now expanded its strategic partnership with Deloitte to become the testing arm of its Innovation Tech Terminal lab.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

100,000 passengers a day. Up to 100,000 passengers are estimated to pass through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport during the busiest days of July and August, according to Israel’s Ministry of Transportation. The expected total of 5.3 million summer passengers represents a 15% increase on the same period last year.

Easier US-Israel travel for new business investors.  (TY Atid-EDI)  The US and Israel have agreed mutual visa arrangements for potential investors to visit each other’s country. The US E-2 Investor visa and the Israeli B-5 equivalent are to be launched imminently.

Cutting Chinese diamonds. The Shanghai Diamond Exchange has agreed with the Israel Diamond Exchange to transfer the processing of large stones to Israel. Many Chinese diamond processing companies may transfer some of their processing to Israel and some Chinese diamond cutters will relocate to central Israel.

15 Israel startups pitch to 200 UK corporates.  (TY TIP) I previewed (24th Jun) Innovate Israel 2018, hosted by UK Israel Business (UKIB) on 3rd July. The 15 Israeli startups covered the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), vison enhancement, drones, big data, cybersecurity, marketing technologies and nanosatellites.

Where submarine technology is going. (TY Janet C & Tower) I reported previously (May 2017) on Israeli startup Tevva Motors and its UK-based electric trucks that use Israeli submarine technology. Auto component giant Bharat Forge has just invested $13 million in the company, aiming to bring the concept to India.

Round three of Barclays accelerator program. I reported previously (Oct 2015) about multinational bank Barclays and its financial startup accelerator. Barclays has just initiated the 3rd cycle of its RISE program, now mentoring 10 startups from Israel and overseas.

Audi to use Israeli autonomous simulator. I reported previously (29th Oct) that Israel’s Cognata had built a 3D Artificial Intelligent (AI) simulation platform to test autonomous cars.  Now German car maker Audi AG is partnering with Cognata to integrate the simulator at all stages of development and production of its vehicles.

Hyundai connects with Autotalks.  Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Israel’s Autotalks (see here) are partnering to develop the next generation V2X chipset for connected cars.  V2X (Vehicle to external systems) technology improves vehicle and road safety, mobility and is vital for autonomous driving.

Baidu links up with Mobileye. Chinese tech giant Baidu is adding Mobileye as a technology provider to its Apollo autonomous driving platform. Mobileye’s Israeli-developed Responsibility Sensitive Safety model - a set of rules for how cars minimize the chance of an accident - will be integrated into Apollo.

Mindspace expands to Romania. I reported previously (21st May) that Israeli co-working real estate company Mindspace had opened business in a sixth country (the Netherlands). It didn’t take long for Mindspace to move into a seventh country – it has just leased 3 offices in Bucharest, Romania.

Mortgage decision-making for U.S. Bank.  (TY Atid-EDI) The fifth largest commercial bank in the US – U.S. Bank – has selected DECISION Manager from Israel’s Sapiens International to help service its mortgage customers. U.S. Bancorp has 74,000 employees and will use DECISION within its Home Mortgage group.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

See the light. (TY Sharon) The tenth annual Jerusalem Light Festival took place night in the Old City.  The streets were closed from 8pm to 11pm to accommodate tens of thousands of visitors. The light and music video projections were highlights this year. Illuminated inscriptions were in Hebrew, English and Arabic

Absolutely sandal-ous. (TY Janglo) The deep link between wearing sandals and being Israeli is the subject of a new exhibit at the Eretz Israel Museum. In 1961, archaeologists discovered 2,000-year-old sandals in a cave near the Dead Sea. Their resemblance to modern Israeli kibbutznik’s sandals, began a whole new fashion.

Free shows if you made Aliya after 1989.  If you arrived in the Jewish State less than 30 years ago, Israel’s Ministry of Absorption still considers you a “new Oleh” for the purposes of these free Israeli culture shows.

Don McLean rocks Ra’anana. Don McLean was described as the “consummate professional” in presenting his master class of the Great American Songbook to a sell-out audience at the Ra’anana Amphitheater. Although everyone was ecstatic at American Pie and Vincent, the whole concert was pure rock & roll history.

Welcome Bomba Estereo. Colombian band Bomba Estereo is performing for the first time in Israel at Barby’s in Tel Aviv on 23rd July. Bomba Estereo has a characteristic cumbia style, or “electro tropical”. They will perform their latest album “Ayo”. https://www.touristisrael.com/bomba-estereo-tel-aviv-israel/21841/

Jerusalem Film Festival. (TY Janglo) This year’s Jerusalem Film Festival (25 July to 5 Aug) features 180 films from 60 countries. The films are screened at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and other Jerusalem cinemas Events include meetings with filmmakers, cinema workshops, premieres, parties, shows and outdoor events.

IDF’s world-cup soccer ball juggling champion.  IDF soldiers from nine countries competed to see who could keep a soccer ball in the air the longest. England came third; Belgium was second; but watch who won.

Wheelchair tennis silver medalists. (TY Nevet) I reported (May 2017) that Israel were runners-up at last year’s Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup.  They did the same in this year’s competition, beating Japan, South Korea, and the United States, before going down to Australia in the final.

Netanya hosts World Lacrosse Championships. (TY Israelunwired) Jake Silberlicht urges you to support Team Israel at the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships. 48 teams play in Netanya, Israel from July 12 – 21.


THE JEWISH STATE

For the Redemption of Zion.  A bronze coin from 69 CE was uncovered recently during wet sifting by a volunteer at the City of David Sifting Project located near the Mount of Olives in Emek Tzurim, Jerusalem. The coin reads, ‘For the Redemption of Zion.’ The coin was minted just before the destruction of the 2nd Temple.

First visit by blue whale.  (TY Nevet) After the first official UK Royal visit to Israel last week, Israelis and tourists in Eilat were treated to the first-ever documented visit of a blue whale, the largest of all whale species and the largest mammal. The 20-meter whale swam just 300 meters from the beach, before continuing south.

Even non-observant Jews can have Shabbat off.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) has approved an amendment to a Sabbath law that will allow Israeli employees to request not to work on Shabbat even if they are not religiously observant. The law recognizes that many secular Jews enjoy Shabbat traditions,

Celebrating independence.  4th July is a double celebration for many Israelis. On American Independence Day 1976, the IDF mounted a daring operation to independently restore the independence of more than 100 Israeli and Jewish civilians held hostage by Arab and German terrorists at Entebbe airport in Uganda.

Jewish law in the modern world. (TY Sharon) The annual Katz awards are for excellence in implementation of halakha (Jewish law) in modern life. The 2018 winners were Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, and Rabbi Asher Zelig Weiss.

What goes around, comes around.  Here is an account of a volunteer for Israel’s Ezer Mizion “Linked to Life” group. On one day she drives people to visit relatives in hospital; next, she’s being driven to see her relative in hospital; while she is there, she arranges someone to bring another patient’s medicine to the hospital.

Jerusalem’s first Haredi weightlifting competition.  (TY Janglo) Proving that spiritual strength and physical strength are not incompatible. https://www.youtube.com/embed/_DDeEvUC2Vw?rel=0


180701
In the 1st July 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli researchers make tumors glow to help surgeons remove them.
·         Israel delivered aid to Syrian refugees and rescued Syrian children.
·         In an Israeli initiative, 500 children planted 1,000 trees in Angola.
·         Israeli scientists have produced electricity from bacteria.
·         An Israeli startup has invented superfast memory on a USB stick.
·         All of Mexico’s premier league soccer teams will use an Israeli coaching system.
·         Prince William made the first-ever official UK royal visit to the Holy Land.

·         Click here to see the 24th June newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Inclusiveness and Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Stem cell treatment effective against radiation sickness. I reported previously (see here) on the stem cell treatment of Israel’s Pluristem for radiation sickness. Pluristem’s four-year studies show that its placenta-based PLX-R18 cells are effective as a treatment for radiation damage to the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow.

Making tumors glow to guide surgeons. Tel Aviv University researchers have developed smart nanoprobes that turn on a florescent light in presence of cancerous cells. They will help surgeons remove more cancer cells, with the least possible damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The probes identify enzymes common in tumors.

New cancer care center in the Negev.  Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba is opening a brand-new comprehensive cancer center this summer.  The Legacy Heritage Oncology Center and Dr. Larry Norton Institute will fill a profound need in Israel’s south.

Award-winning cancer monitor. TY Nocamels) Newsletter subscriber Yehudit Abrams has founded startup MonitHer which is developing an innovative home-use handheld ultrasound system to check for breast cancer. MonitHer has just won the $360,000 Grand prize at the WeWork Creator awards in Jerusalem.

Increasing recovery rates for stroke victims. (TY Yehoshua) Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer has radically improved the treatment of stroke patients, just by persevering for longer. Whilst the text book states that the first 8 hours after a stroke is crucial, Sheba extends this to 24 hours. Even a 93-year-old recovered.

Free dentures for needy elderly.  For the last two years, Dental Volunteers for Israel (DVI) has been providing free dentures to needy elderly and Holocaust Survivors aged 70 and up (see video). Since 1980, DVI has provided free dental care to Jerusalem’s at-risk children and youth, regardless of race or religion.

US approval for diabetes monitor.  I reported previously (10th Mar) that Israel’s DreaMed received European approval for its Advisor Pro diabetes monitor. Now the US FDA has given its approval. Advisor Pro provides insulin delivery recommendations by analyzing information from diabetes pumps and glucose monitoring.

Tunnel vision adapted to colonoscopies.  Israeli startup IBEX Technologies developed a thin inflatable “sleeve” that transmits live video from places that are too dangerous to enter (e.g. terrorist tunnels or collapsed buildings). Now IBEX spinoff Consis Medical uses the same technology to check inside the human body.

Trauma support to Chicago.  The city of Chicago has one of the worst crime rates in the USA. Faith leader Christopher Harris called in trauma experts from Israel’s NATAL to help relieve the deep emotional wounds to many thousands of Chicago’s victims and their families.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Giving back a lost childhood.  On alternate Friday afternoons in the summer, the Modi’in Ilit Linked to Life Friday Afternoon Field Trip volunteers take local sick and bereaved Israeli children on surprise trips. This project of Israeli charity Ezer Mizion makes their day. It makes their week. And it makes their life.

106 participate in women-only hackathon. A team of five Orthodox students won a 44-hour, female-only hackathon held in Jerusalem. Their winning design, a voice-to-text bracelet relays information from first responders to hospitals in the event of a mass-casualty incident.

Building bridges between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. Eyal Waldman (CEO of Israel’s Mellanox) met Bashar al-Masri, (founder of the new PA city of Rawabi), at a dinner in Washington and became good friends. Now Mellanox employs 100 Palestinian Arabs and at least 10 Israeli companies work in Rawabi.

How Israel treats Palestinian Arab children. (TY UWI) Watch what really happens to unfortunate Palestinian Arab children in the hands of Israelis.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/qjfDvEk9cKk?rel=0

IDF sends aid to Syrians and rescues orphans.  The Israel Defense Forces delivered 300 tents, medical equipment and 58 tons of food and clothing to Syrian refugees living in tent cities close to the border with Israel. They then brought six injured refugees to Israeli hospitals, including four recently orphaned children.

Israeli educational games in Arabic?  Israeli educational games startup TinyTap has just raised $5 million of funds to help it launch learning plans in Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish. It will also be used for promoting the company's partnership with Oxford University Press to start a learning plan for English language learners.

Guatemala renames streets to Israel’s capital.  Cities throughout Guatemala are renaming streets and traffic circles "Jerusalem the Capital of Israel." The first such renaming ceremony took place on the main street of the southern city of Guastatoya. Hundreds waved Israeli flags and stores along the road hung Israeli flags.

Israel and Indonesia agree on tourist visas. Israeli tourists can visit Indonesia (the largest Muslim country) and vice-versa. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson tweeted ““visa restrictions on Indonesian tourism to Israel were lifted, in parallel to lifting of restrictions by Indonesia on Israeli tourists. Good news.”

Heads of 10 US Universities visit Israel. The presidents of ten American universities and colleges are visiting Israel this week on a trip to promote bilateral academic ties. The 17-member delegation will meet the heads of Israeli universities to discuss joint research, commercialization and exchange opportunities.

Pushing back the desert in Angola.  Israel’s Embassy in Angola’s capital, Luanda, led an initiative to bring 500 children to plant a green wall of 1,000 trees between the Namib Desert and the city of Tômbwa, which is threated by desertification. Israel’s renowned drip-irrigation system was deployed to nourish the saplings.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Technology summer camps.  (TY Janglo) In sharp contrast to Hamas’ Gaza summer camps, Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology operates subsidized science and technology summer camps across Jerusalem. Each 5-day camp costs NIS 80 and the three age groups enjoy either Mathematics, Robotics or Creativity.

US-Israel Energy & Water Center. I reported previously (Oct 2016) of the US-Israeli plan to establish a joint energy research center. In March, the US Congress and Israeli Government each appropriated $4 million for the center. Now the two energy chiefs have signed a formal implementation agreement.

Electricity from bacteria.  Researchers from Israel’s Technion have developed an energy-producing system from photosynthetic bacteria, also known as cyanobacteria. The bacteria use photosynthesis to generate energy from sunlight. This energy can be harvested as hydrogen and then used to generate electricity.

8 of 61 WEF’s Technology Pioneers are Israeli. (TY NoCamels) Eight Israeli startups are on the World Economic Forum’s 2018 list of 61 Technology Pioneers. They include Innoviz (see here), Precognize (see here), Vayyar (see here), Aqua Security, Raycatch, XM Cyber, Utilis (see here) and Water-Gen (see here).

Royal approval. (TY Arlene) One of the four startups presented to Prince William on his official visit to Israel was AlgoBrix.- an educational system that teaches young children how write code to operate robots.

More protection for cars. Israel-based international automotive technology provider ERM Advanced Telematics has developed eCyber – a hardware-software product that protects vehicles against ransomware and other cyberattacks. It is unique in that it can be installed by authorized parties after the car has left the factory.

Clean the air, not replace it.  (TY Ourcrowd) Israeli startup enVerid eliminates a leading cause of energy waste in buildings by cleaning the inside air instead of continuously replacing it. EnVerid has just been selected as one of the 2018 Red Herring Top 100 North America Awards finalists.

Making (infused) water out of wine. Anat Levi, CEO of Israel’s Wine Water Ltd, uses grape skins, seeds and sustainable processes to make O.Vine - infused spring water. Grape skins and seeds are rich in phytochemicals - shown to have positive health benefits. A tasty, nutritious product, using waste material from the wine industry.

New Samsung smartphone includes Israeli facial recognition. Samsung’s new smartphone, the Galaxy S10, is reported to feature facial recognition technology by Israeli startup Mantis Vision. Mantis Vision develops 3D scanning technologies used to create 3D content for a wide range of applications.

1,000 times faster than flash. Israeli startup Weebit Nano has developed non-volatile computer memory that is a thousand times faster than flash memory (e.g. on a USB stick) and uses only one-thousandth as much power. The company plans to launch a commercial product in 2020.   https://weebit-nano.com/


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israeli economy stable. Global economy isn’t. The latest Bank of Israel analysis of the domestic financial system shows that it remains stable. However, there is greater likelihood of an economic or geopolitical shock originating abroad. Looking long-term, the strength of most industries in the business sector has improved.

El Al to open Florida school for pilots. (TY Arlene) El Al is to train civilians to become commercial pilots in Florida, USA, commencing in December. The new course is for Israeli citizens, at least 21 years old with matriculation certificates and no previous flying experience. There is a growing shortage of pilots worldwide.

Daily flights to Delhi. The new 3-days-a-week Air India service from Tel Aviv to Delhi is so popular, that it is being increased to a daily service. The route began in March, making history when Saudi Arabia, for the first time, gave permission for an airline to fly direct to Israel over its territory, reducing the flight time by 2 hours.

Helping improve Mexican soccer teams. The Mexican Soccer Federation (FMF) and the Liga MX, the top tier of Mexican soccer, have agreed a deal with Israeli automated sports production company Pixellot. Pixellot’s coaching systems will be deployed at all 18 clubs in the Liga MX, as well as their respective youth academies.

Maximize your sales with Joopy.  Israel’s Incentives Solutions markets the Sales Performance Management platform “Joopy”.  Its features include incentive schemes, analytics and interface to payroll systems. Clients include Nestle, Coca Cola, AIG, Pheonix Insurance, Orange and Teva.

US buys more Israeli tank defense systems. I reported previously (8th Oct) that the US Army had installed Israel’s Trophy Windbreaker active defense system on some of its Abrams tanks. Tests of the system were so successful that the US Army is now buying another $193 million worth of Windbreakers.

More telecoms for Peru.  Peru’s Fitel has awarded Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks another two regional telecoms projects. The Amazonas project is worth $108 million and the Ica project worth $45.6 million. Previous projects won by Gilat in Peru (see here) have been worth nearly $400 million.

Grants for seven more US-Israel projects. The BIRD Foundation has approved another $6.3 million in funds for seven new joint US-Israeli projects. The Israeli companies involved are ARTsys360, Correlor Data Science Intelligence, Diamond Valley, DouxMatok, Manam Applications, Oxitone Medical and Pixellot.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israel’s best rooftop bars. The rooftop bars of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and beyond provide a luxurious way to cool off on summer evenings in Israel. These rooftop bars often are glamorously located in modern boutique hotels, some overlooking historical landmarks and others overlooking the lapping waves of the Mediterranean.

Brazil’s Gilberto Gil to perform in Israel. One of the biggest legends in Brazilian music, Gilberto Gil, is returning to Tel Aviv, Israel for a concert in Raanana on 4th July 2018. Gilberto Gil will bring his world tour “REFAVELA 40”, with other artists such as Mayra Andrade, Bem Gil, Chiara Civello, and Mestrinho.

Ringo Starr performs in Israel.  Ex-Beatle drummer Sir Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band performed a juke-box of 70s and 80s hits during their first-ever Israeli concert. He had a “little help from his friends” including lead members of Santana, Men at Work, 10cc and Toto. “It ain’t easy” at 77, but he was still entertaining.

Helping sick children attend World Cup. Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich has donated a six-figure sum to the Israeli charity "Fulfilling Dreams," which together with other donations, has allowed 30 seriously ill Israeli children, plus their carers, to attend the World Cup in Russia

Israel at the soccer World Cup. Israel’s soccer team didn’t get to Russia, but at least two Israeli tech teams did.  Mtech’s fire and smoke detection systems are protecting the stadiums in Volgograd and Nizhny Novograd. Meanwhile, LiveU’s (see here) transmission technology is used by Fox, Sky, Reuters, AP and Telemundo.

World Cup soccer unites Jerusalemites. I reported previously (6th May) about the World Cup soccer event to be held in Jerusalem for Arab and Jewish kids. Here is the write-up of the 25th June event. It was organized by Kulna Jerusalem (“we are all Jerusalem”). Three more events take place on semi-finals and final match dates.

Streetball Jerusalem. (TY Janglo) From 31st July to 1st Aug Jerusalem hosts the largest street basketball event in Israel with more than 1,000 male and female players. Within the framework of the International Children's Olympics, Safra Square converts into a huge basketball area, with 17 courts facilitating hundreds of games.


THE JEWISH STATE

Biblical evidence uncovered at Shiloh.  The Bible records that after conquering the promised land, Joshua set up the Tabernacle at ancient Shiloh, where it remained for 369 years. Findings all around the site give clear indication of an ancient civilization, with remnants of sacrifices to reinforce the Biblical narrative.

Prince William visits Israel. (TY WIN) Over 70 years after the end of the British mandate and the founding of the modern State of Israel, a member of the British monarchy made a historic first official visit.  On 25th June, Prince William, grandson of the Queen of England, stepped off an RAF jet at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

6,000 celebrate 18 years of Birthright. The Taglit-Birthright Israel initiative celebrated its 18th anniversary with a festive gala in Jerusalem Wednesday.  Some 6,000 participants from around the world, were joined by 1,500 Israeli soldiers at the Sultan's Pool, Jerusalem, for the biggest celebration in the organization's history.