Israel's Good News Newsletter to 10th Dec 23


In the 10th Dec 23 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·       3 Israeli medical treatments save Israelis critically wounded in the war.

·       Israeli women excel in the IDF and in the classroom.

·       An Israeli process can reduce landfill waste by 50%

·       Israel’s economy benefits from “Angel” investors and “Supernatural” resilience.

·       Europe gives financial award to Israeli reduced sugar beverage startup.

·       Israel’s Taekwondo World champion wins another gold medal.

·       Israel’s army fights a war against evil.

·       Watch the Hanukkah lighting at the Western Wall.


·       Click here to see the 3rd Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen and Ruthfully Yours. Also (TY Sandra) for translating it into German here Please forward this newsletter to German-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit the Facebook page.


·       My Hebrew translator is currently unavailable as he is a reservist in the IDF.  A volunteer has kindly offered temporarily to translate a newsletter issue every two weeks into Hebrew. If anyone can volunteer to translate the main sections of my newsletter into another language (e.g., Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, etc.,) even as a one-off, please email me at I do have a Google Translate widget on my blogsite but it does not produce consistently accurate translations.


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No longer alone. (TY Hazel) Thai agricultural worker Wanchai Monsana survived Oct 7 but arrived at Sheba hospital with severe burns, all alone, and unable to speak Hebrew or English. An Israeli woman publicized his plight on social media, and he had dozens of visitors, bringing other Thais, phones, cash, and restaurant meals.  


Ido the tank driver. Another account of extreme bravery on Oct 7. Ido was the sole survivor of his IDF tank crew. He fought terrorists for hours and by distracting them he allowed hundreds of festivalgoers to escape.


Hero of Otniel, savior of Be’eri. When Elchanan Kalmanson heard on Oct 7 about the Hamas invasion, he drove to Kibbutz Be’eri where 1,100 residents were under attack. Driving an armored truck, he rescued dozens of families before going house to house checking for survivors. He gave his life but saved hundreds.





First battlefield blood transfusion saves IDF officer. (TY Ron M) Maj. Or, an officer from the Givati Brigade, survived a life-threatening injury in Gaza by being one of the first patients in the world to receive a fresh blood dose on the battlefield. Listen to the article for details of this historic event.


Oct 7 victims given Israeli burns treatment. Hundreds of Israelis who suffered burn wounds on Oct 7 have been treated with pineapple stem based NexoBrid gel from Israel’s MediWound (see here previously). It contains the enzyme bromelain which breaks down dead tissue in 4 hours, while preserving healthy tissue.  


Smart wound patches save lives. A smart wound patch developed at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and Israel’s Noyad Biomed at Kibbutz Lavi, protects those suffering wounds that have lost blood. The patch (called Rescue Heat) warms up to 42 degrees centigrade, to protect the patient from hypothermia.


AI rehab for IDF soldiers. (TY OurCrowd) The AI-powered exercise platform of Israel’s Kemtai (see here previously) has been selected by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center for physical therapy to soldiers injured in Gaza. Sheba also selected Israel’s COGNIshine (see here previously) for cognitive, emotional and speech therapy.


Positive trials of cystic fibrosis treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s BiomX (see here previously) has reported positive initial results from its clinical trials of BX004. The treatment relieves chronic pulmonary infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. BiomX now plans to initiate a larger Phase 2/3 trial.


Israeli startups partner to develop artificial lung. Israel’s Inspira Technologies (see here previously) has now partnered with Israel’s Ennocure and its infection prevention solutions, to directly oxygenate the blood for people who struggle to breathe alone. It will accelerate the development of Inspira’s ART’s intubation device.


17 ambulances fly to Israel. (TY Nevet) Following Oct 7, Israeli NGO Magen David Adom urgently needed new ambulances. They called Yoav Halper who ships ambulances by sea from the USA. On Friday afternoon, a Boeing 747 landed at Ben Gurion Airport containing the first batch of 17 ambulances donated by Americans.





Women in the IDF. Female participation in the IDF is at record levels. They include combat positions, battle intelligence, artillery, rescue units, border police and patrols. In addition, two women passed the initial vetting process for the elite air force Search and Rescue Unit 669. (Hamas see it as a disgrace to be killed by a woman).


Haredi girls are top at mathematics and reading. The positive results of the international PISA test assessing literacy levels of 15-year-old students highlighted that haredi female students lead in Israel in mathematics and reading achievements. In addition, the gaps between Israeli Hebrew and Arabic speakers have narrowed.


Taiwan officials help Israeli farmers. (TY WIN & I24 News) Israel and Taiwan have much in common. So it was good to see Taiwanese officials come to Israel in a show of solidarity and to help Israeli farmers in the field.  


New species of pseudoscorpions found. (TY Atid-EDI) The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has discovered 9 new species of pseudoscorpions (miniature scorpions) in Israel. Like the 52 previously discovered species, they are harmless to humans, being so small. Israel is diverse in animals, being at the junction of three continents.


Chistian Zionists support tour of Israel. 75 Evangelical and other Christians from 10 nations came to Israel on a “hope, healing, service” tour to support border communities impacted by the Oct 7 Hamas atrocities. The tour was led by the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM) which has set up a $10 million+ crisis fund.





Securing the light railway. Israel’s Cervello (see here previously) has been selected to help secure the 27km Purple Line of the Tel Aviv light railway currently under construction. Cervello’s cybersecurity dashboard will give rail operators real-time intelligence and advanced analytics to monitor railway signaling and detect threats.


Fast-growing non-animal meat. (TY OurCrowd) Israel’s ProFuse Technology (see here previously) has partnered with Estonia’s Geletax to advance cultivated meat production. Using ProFuse’s media supplement and Geletax’s plant-based scaffolds, they produced 5 times more lab-grown protein than with regular methods.


Turning organic waste into cash. (TY Dr Salem) The EcoDrum from Israel’s EcoCity Green takes a wide range of organic waste and converts it into marketable compost in a fast, unique, low-energy, low-cost process. It not only treats organic waste, but also helps reduce landfills which comprise 50% of organic material. (Hebrew video) (Hebrew site)


CO2 removal prototype launched. Israel’s RepAir Carbon Capture (see here previously) has just launched its first Direct Air Capture field prototype. The system uses 600kWh (of renewable energy) per ton of carbon dioxide removed. No harmful components and a negligible carbon footprint. 2025 target for commercial device.


In the desert, solar farms are better than forests. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that dark-colored solar panels on light-colored sandy soil reflects sunlight back into space and doesn’t heat up the atmosphere. This is better than a forest of trees that absorbs carbon dioxide.


The world’s strongest radar. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Arbe Robotics (see here previously) has released the production version of its Radar Processor. It is the most powerful solution in the current market for automotive radars – 10 times the processing power of the leading alternatives and a key stage to fully autonomous vehicles.


Next big things in tech. Fast Company included six Israeli companies in its 2023 list of 119 Next Big Things in Tech. They are Buildots, BrainQ, Lumus, Navan (formerly TripActions), Theranica, and Wiliot.





Israel tech delivers. More positive talk from OurCrowd Founder and CEO, Jon Medved, who spoke in the UAE and on Bloomberg TV’s "Wall Street Week Daily." He discussed the economic impact of the Israel-Hamas war. His message was Israel tech delivers, no matter what. Israeli tech resilience is almost supernatural.


Angel Investor Clubs. The Israel Innovation Authority is to allocate NIS 9 million for the establishment of three clubs of private investors. They will aid Israeli early-stage startups that are struggling to get critical funding during wartime. The clubs will provide crucial support to technological ventures in their early stages.


Thailand’s first Israeli-focused VC fund. Israel’s OurCrowd and Thailand’s corporate innovative powerhouse RISE announced the establishment of Rise OurCrowd Exponential (ROCX), a VC fund focused on 20 – 30 Israeli deep technologies with potential to grow in Asia. The new fund will begin investing by the end of 2024.


NIS 30 billion wartime fund. Israel’s Knesset (parliament) has allocated NIS 30 billion to the war effort, split between military and civil support.


More employees are needed here. Israel’s Matrix IT (see here previously) is looking to recruit another 700 employees. The positions include software developers, info security, project managers, system analysts, infrastructure and comms, SAP implementers, software testers, cloud personnel, and automation developers.


Maintaining US Army connectivity. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks (see here previously) via its Wavestream US subsidiary, has won a nearly $20 million continuation contract to provide the US Army with its all-environments Solid State Amplifiers (SSPA) that sustain anytime, anywhere satellite connectivity.

EU funding for reduced sugar beverages. (TY OurCrowd) Israel’s BlueTree (see here previously) was awarded a 50,000 Euro award from Europe’s EIT Food, the world’s largest food innovation community, supported by the European Union.  It will help BlueTree further implement its technology plans in Europe.

Hanukkah – the time to buy Israeli gifts. Jews in the Diaspora are generously using Chanukah as time to “shop Israel.” Many Israeli vendors have travelled to the US to promote their businesses and sell their wares. They can be obtained at synagogues or online sites e.g., Etsy, JNF-USA, ADI Negev, or Yad LaKashish.

A Vast increase in value. Israel’s VAST Data, which develops an AI data platform, has secured $118 million in Series E funding at a $9.1 billion valuation, more than 3 times its previous value.


Exits, takeovers, and mergers – to 10/12/23: Israeli private equity fund Fortissimo is to acquire Israel’s Cellcom for some NIS 925 million; Israeli cybersecurity Unicorn Wiz has acquired Israeli IT startup Raftt. Israeli global payments startup Nayax has taken over US-based point of sale software developer Retail Pro International at a $36.5 million valuation. Israel’s AppsFlyer has acquired Israel’s Oolo. Israel’s CropX has acquired Australia’s Green Brain.


Investment in Israeli startups – to 10/12/23: Vast Data raised $118 million; Foretellix raised $42 million; Mine raised $30 million; Sensorz raised $4.7 million;





The unity of purpose. The previous newsletter contained a review of “The Genius of Israel” by Saul Singer and Dan Senor. Here now is an interview with co-author Saul Singer. His message is that Israelis are satisfied with life, rather than happy, and much more together than before the war. Hope my wife buys me the book!


Beyonce invites released hostage to concert. US superstar Beyonce has offered an open invitation to Emily Hand, the 9-year-old Irish-Israeli girl recently freed from Hamas captivity. Emily adores Beyonce who heard that Emily’s father had promised to take his daughter to a Beyonce concert anywhere in the world.


Jerusalem Biennale embarks on world tour. The 6th Jerusalem Biennale (see here previously) was all but ready to open in Israel’s capital when war broke out. Now the 35 exhibitions featuring 200 artists will be showcased in the countries where the artists originated, including New York, Buenos Aires, and Italy.


Taekwondo gold medal. (TY Hazel) Israeli (and World) Taekwondo fighter Asaf Yasur won a gold medal at the final (para) grand prix event of the year in Manchester. Asaf lost his hands in an accident when he was 12.


A ball in the net is a good response. A massive crowd of pro-Palestinian supporters shouted abuse at the Israeli national soccer team during their UEFA Conference League match. It only motivated the Israelis who won the game 2-1 and now advance to the knockout stage of the competition.





Alongside the Torah. Jerusalem book publisher Koren produced a special wartime edition of the Book of Genesis and sent copies to thousands of Israeli soldiers. The paperbacks contain Rashi and Onkelos commentaries and can fit in uniform pockets. Koren had already sent 8,000 books of prayer and psalms.  


Jerusalem oil for IDF menorahs. The olive oil that will be used to light the IDF’s Chanukah menorahs has been specially extracted from 182 olive trees planted at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem after the Six-Day War, in memory of fallen IDF soldiers. The oil will light 90 IDF menorahs, including in Gaza (see 2nd link).


IDF-inspired donuts. Jerusalem’s Kadosh bakery is honoring Israeli soldiers with its ‘sufganiya’ collection named for IDF units. Pastry chef Keren Kadosh began with the Golani, as her son is in the 13th battalion of the Golani Brigade. Others match the color of the beret using fillings made from pineapple, pistachio, pecan etc.


Jewish presence in the Land of Israel (part1). (TY Laura) A very useful recent article summarizing the history of the Jews in the holy land, from Roman times through the Mamluk period. Looking forward to part 2.


Donor gives uni $100 million to help rebuild the South.  Philanthropist Sylvan Adams (see here previously) has donated $100 million to Ben Gurion University. The funds are to be “allocated for an extensive plan aimed at advancing education and campus life at BGU while rebuilding and strengthening the south.


Chabad help evacuees in Eilat. 70,000 people, including 16,000 children, who were evacuated from border communities, are now housed in Eilat hotels. Chabad-Lubavitch of Eilat has organized hotel washing machines, social activities, playgroups, story time, new toys, teen clubhouses, cooking, and of course Shabbat services.


New town on Gaza border. Israel has approved plans for a new town, named Nitzana, to be built near the borders with Egypt and Gaza. The 1,500 acres will initially include 1,000+ residential units, public buildings, tourism facilities, some 200 hotel rooms, special housing, education, businesses, and open public spaces.


Roof tiles from the Chanukah period. Archeologists have uncovered roof tiles in Jerusalem from the 2nd century BCE. They must have been in situ when the Maccabees were eliminating the Syrian-Greek Hellenists around 164 BCE - the time of king Antiochus IV and the events that led to the festival of Chanukah.


The Western Wall – the light in our hearts. Watch the Hanukkiah lighting every evening, live, at the Kotel.


How to help Israel.  Here are some sites where newsletter readers can donate to Israeli organizations that provide vital help to Israelis at this difficult time.  Many thanks to those who have already contributed and to those who are helping by donating their own valuable time and resources.


Friends of the IDF (US donors):

or IDF Soldiers Fund in Israel:  (select the English speakers’ option)


American Friends of Magen David Adom (US donors):

or Magen David Adom (Israel):


Zaka (US donors):  or (Israeli donors):  

or (Canadian donors):


United Hatzalah:  or Canada

Leket Food Israel:

JNF USA -  or Canada

Orthodox Union -


Hadassah Hospital Israel:

Laniado Hospital (Netanya)


And many more charities here: (Warm winter clothes for Israeli soldiers)


Buy Israel Bonds to support the Jewish State. (TY Larry B)


Europe -

Canada -