History of Israel's Good News Jan - Mar 2013

Israel Good News Archive – 6th Jan to 31st Mar 2013

In the 31st March 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israelis have now won the L’Oréal-UNESCO “Women in Science” prize for three years running.
·        An Israeli-Arab singer won the final of the latest series of Israel’s “The Voice”
·        A nearly blind 12-year-old Israeli girl has started a “theatre for the mind”.
·        An Israeli company uses solar power to turn polluted water into pure drinking water.
·        At last, healthy confectionary - from the land of milk and honey.
·        Israel’s natural gas has begun to flow – it could transform the Middle East.
·        The number of Jews in Israel has exceeded the emotionally significant mark of six million.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
Click here for “You Cannot Passover the Jewish State” (fast-loading, text-only version, no adverts).

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Israeli wins European science competition – again.  For the 3rd year running, an Israeli has won the L’Oréal-UNESCO “Women in Science” prize. Osnat Zomer-Penn received the European award for determining the genetic basis of autism.  Israelis Hadar Gelber-Sagiv won in 2012, and Na’ama Geva Zatursky in 2011.

Teva has double success.  There were two positive results from the latest trials by Israel’s largest biotech.  Patients who started Teva’s Laquinimod MS treatment early halted progression of the disease.  Then Teva’s Azilect add-on treatment for Parkinson’s disease improved patients’ condition significantly.

Another Israeli stent approved.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Tel Aviv’s InspireMD has received CE mark approval for its self-expanding Nitinol carotid EPS stent.  The stent is wrapped with a MicroNetmesh to prevent strokes that are common following stent insertions.

The stamp of approval.  Three of Israel’s latest stamps celebrate Israeli cardiology innovations.  The 3-shekel stamp depicts the Percutaneous Heart Valve.  4.2 shekels will get you the heart stent and on the 5-shekel stamp is a picture of the Implantable Defibrillator.  Many thanks to Jacob Richman for posting the images.

A glucometer on your smartphone.  (Thanks to NoCamels) Diabetics can now measure their blood-glucose level with the Israeli-developed “Dario” attachment to their smartphone.  A lancing device takes your blood and a test strip measures the glucose.  The smartphone displays the result and records it, for sharing with the doctor.


Gaza weekly deliveries:  In the week to 23rd March, Israel delivered 31,953 tons of goods through the Keren Shalom crossing on 1,157 trucks. During US President Obama’s visit, Gaza terrorists fired 4 rockets at Israel, causing damage to houses and trauma to civilians in Sederot.  The crossing was closed subsequently.

My Israel – Abdol Abugosh.  (Thanks to Haifa Diary) “Israel is my home and where my friends – Arabs & Jews – live. Israel is where I have rights and Israel is where my family lives.   I’m proud to be Arab & Israeli.”

Arab –Israeli wins “The Voice Israel”.  19-year-old Arab Christian Lina Mahoul from the northern town of Acre (Akko) won “The Voice Israel” television song contest with a touching version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.  The three other finalists were all women and included a religious Jew, and an Ethiopian.

Please accept our bread.  Jews living in Judea and Samaria had surplus bread that they needed to dispose of prior to the Passover holiday.  Rather than burn it, they distributed them to needy Palestinian Arabs.  It was the 3rd consecutive year that members of the Eretz Shalom movement sent this message of peace to their neighbors.

Israeli army field hospital for Syrians.  Due the number of wounded Syrians Israel has been treating, the IDF has set up a "military field hospital" in the Golan Heights.  The hospital will treat injured Syrians near the border fence to avoid having to send serious cases on long journeys to hospitals inside Israel.

"Arabs and Muslims must learn from Israeli morality."  This is the title of an article by Mahdi Majid Abdullah, writing in “Elaph”, a pan-Arab newspaper based in the UK and Saudi Arabia.  He begins “I regret with most remorse the daily hate I had of Israelis” and then includes a long list of Israel’s positive activities.

When you can’t see, visit Mind Theatre.  12-year old Aviva Krainess from Bet Shemesh lost most of her sight 5 years ago but never stopped dreaming of enjoying stories.  Together with her father, they started Aviva Productions and Mind Theatre.  It’s like a Hollywood movie where you create the pictures in your own mind.

Israeli kids grow food for Africa.  (Originally in Ha’aretz)  Pupils at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium are perfecting a growth system for Spirulina, an algae that’s been dubbed the “superfood” because it contains 70% protein. The algae growing system was developed in Kibbutz Ein Shemer to wipe out malnutrition in Africa.

Israel to star at Expo 2015.  The theme of the Milan Fair is “Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life”. Expo’s CEO Giuseppe Sala said, "The outstanding innovative expertise of Israel in the field of technology for agriculture in arid areas undoubtedly represents a huge added value for the development of the Expo's theme". 


Israel and NYC sign nano-tech agreement.  New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an international partnership in the field of nano-technology between New York State and the State of Israel.  It will enable new investments and high-tech jobs for both.

Fresh water using the power of the sun.  Israel’s SunDwater harnesses the sun’s energy to heat and distill polluted or salty water and turn it into safe, clean drinking water.  Solar mirrors heat the water and turn it into steam, which is then re-circulated back into a holding tank as pure distilled water.

Keeping South Korea’s nuclear reactors safe.  (From Atid-EDI) Waterfall Security Solutions of Tel Aviv has installed its Unidirectional Security Gateways at a South Korean nuclear generator.  South Korea faces real physical and cyber threats and has recognized the value of strong protection for their critical control networks.

An infrared heart monitor – for your bike.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI)  Tel Aviv’s LifeBEAM unveiled its smart bicycle helmet with built-in heart rate sensor. The unique sensing technology is currently being deployed in test trials for fighter pilots and is also being analyzed by NASA for possible use in future space missions.

For smooth video messages, just Glide.  Jerusalem-based Glide has launched a game-changing instant video messenger that makes it easy to communicate with friends and family.  With Glide, video messages are broadcast live the moment recording begins and simultaneously saved to the cloud for on-demand consumption.

An Exodus into science.  Thousands of Israeli children and their families swarmed the interactive exhibits of the Clore Science Garden at Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science on Passover.  Exhibits included a “xylostone”, a solar mirror, the “moon cradle” and activities included building a bridge from trapezoidal blocks.

Israeli sweets are good for you.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s Carmit Candy Industries has launched innovative confectionary to help shed pounds, boost the immune system and promote bone health.  They include a weight-management wafer bar and  chocolate coins with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K.

You can hardly avoid it.  This new video shows just how much Israeli technology impacts on our lives.


It doesn’t sound Chinese.  Israel’s Lexifone, which has developed technology for simultaneous translation of telephone calls, has signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a development center in Guangzhou, China.

Energy Independence Day.  Sunday 31st March 2013 will forever be known as the day when Israel’s natural gas began flowing into Israel’s pipes.  Gas flow from the Tamar natural gas field should end Israel's natural gas shortage, reduce electricity prices and improve the standard of living and the environment.

A miracle in Pennsylvania.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI.)  Ness Technologies of Tel Aviv has expanded its operation with a new development center in Pittsburgh, PA.  Ness (Hebrew for “miracle”) specializes in software product engineering and systems integration, application development, consulting, and software distribution.


The website of Jewish culture.  The website Tarbut IL has been launched, to provide educational resources on Jewish culture to teachers and educators in Israel.  It covers Jewish ethics, social justice, models of Jewish identity, Zionism and Israel-Diaspora relations.

Anthrax hits Tel Aviv. It’s OK, it’s just the legendary US heavy metal band Anthrax who will give a concert at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv on August 13 2013. The band has sold over 15 million records worldwide and is considered one of the founding four of the thrash metal genre, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer.

Israel’s defense beats Northern Ireland.  The Israeli national soccer team won 2-0 away from home, against Northern Ireland in an icy World Cup qualifier thanks to a secret defense weapon – thermal underwear.  They really warmed to the task and scored two late goals to keep them in hot contention in Group F.


Shop for Israel.  UK-based charity Myisrael has launched a free phone app to collect donations for Myisrael’s projects from about a thousand British retailers every time an online purchase is made.  Participating retailers include Boots, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, PC World and Amazon.

The largest seder in the world.  1300 people attended the seder at Kibbutz Naan near Rehovot.  They have their own haggadah and songs and the kids put on a show. But imagine all the washing up!

Thousands receive priestly blessing.  A huge crowd gathered at the Western Wall plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem to celebrate the traditional priestly blessing performed during the Passover festival.  The event is a reminder of the Jewish pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem, over 2500 years ago.

Six million Jews in Israel.  The symbolic figure of six million has been registered by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, along with the fact that Israel now is the country with the largest population of Jews in the world.  It has superseded the United States, which has a population of 5.5 million Jews.


In the 24th March 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli researchers publicize their illuminating projects for Save Your Vision Month
·        Israeli medics gave emergency treatment to another group of wounded Syrians.
·        Israel’s hi-tech innovations and Arab-Israeli programs won over the US President on his recent visit.
·        An Israeli computer security expert saved Facebook – twice.
·        Tel Aviv came second in the competition to find the world’s most innovative city.
·        Israel held Portugal to an exciting draw in a crucial World Cup soccer qualifier.
·        200,000 Jews have written letters in a new Torah scroll

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
Click here for “An Outstretched Arm” (fast-loading, text-only version, no adverts).

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Weizmann scientists can save your vision.  To mark “Save Your Vision Month”, Weizmann Institute’s vision research projects include sensory whiskers, glaucoma medication, photon analysis and brain imaging.

Bladder cancer treatment success.  Israel’s Biocancell Therapeutics Ltd has reported success in the Phase IIb clinical trial of BC-819 for the treatment of bladder cancer in patients for whom chemotherapy or standard treatment using Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) failed.

The ear of the rat.  A team led by Hebrew University neurobiologist Prof. Israel Nelken has discovered much about the brain’s response to sounds by studying the auditory cortices of rats.  The research, published in the journal “Neuron”, could lead to the development of better hearing aids in humans.

The first stem cell conference.  Israel’s first international Meeting of Translational Research on Stem Cells, Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine will take place on April 22 & 23 in Ramat Gan.  Israeli biotechs and academic groups lead the development of cell therapy products for cancer and chronic diseases.

Israel’s role in new anti-psychotic medications.  Prof. Jonathan Rabinowitz, of Bar-Ilan University is the academic head of the NewMeds group on advanced data analysis techniques.  He is working in a EU-funded consortium to find new methods for developing treatments for depression and schizophrenia.

Rabbi Firer – the phenomenon.  (Thanks to EEJH) Rabbi Elimelech Firer never received a formal medical education.  He founded "Ezra Lemarpeh" to provide patients with anything Israel’s National Health Service cannot.  He reviews 200 – 250 medical cases a day; CT scans, MRIs, pathology reports.  He is now raising funds for a new Medical Rehabilitation Center in Sderot.


President Obama wowed by Maantech.  In Jerusalem, President Obama met Sa’id Haruf, one of 600 Arabs working for Intel Israel, who explained the Maantech program to him.  Founded by Cisco CEO John Chambers, Maantech is a hi-tech “finishing school” that helps Israeli-Arabs become more integrated into Israel’s hi-tech scene.  The US president then publicized Maantech when he gave a press conference in Ramallah.

Gaza farmers attend Israeli strawberry fair.  The Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration for the Gaza Strip hosted twenty-nine farmers from Gaza at the annual Strawberry Fair in Qalansuwa, Israel. The event publicises new varieties of strawberries, new growing methods and approved pesticides.

Making nature accessible.  Students from the Bet Chinuch School and the Ben Yehuda School for special education participated in LOTEM's Natural Integration program that brings children from a regular education class together with children from a special education class for joint activities in nature.

Canada trip for inclusive Israeli hockey club.  17 Israeli children (Jews, Arabs and Druze) from the Northern Galilee and Golan Heights are visiting Winnipeg, Canada to play Canadian hockey. The students (aged between 11 and 14) are all members of the Canada Israel Hockey School in Metulla.

IDF medics treat more Syrians.  Israel Defense Force medics treated four wounded Syrians after they approached the Israel-Syrian border evidently seeking medical attention.  Two were seriously wounded and were evacuated to an Israeli hospital for further treatment.

Water for all.  Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the University of Chicago have announced a partnership to collaborate on new water production and purification technologies for deployment in regions of the globe where fresh water resources are scarce.

British charity shares Israeli expertise with the world.  (Thanks to Israel21c) The UK’s Tag International Development organization utilizes Israeli knowledge and expertise to run more than 20 projects in developing nations.  Israeli volunteers and professionals work in Myanmar, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka; and Kenya.


Seven of the best, for the US President.  US President Obama was shown “Israeli Technology for a Better World”.  It featured Phinergy’s long-life electric car battery, Mobileye’s road safety alert system, ReWalk, MinDesktop’s brainwave controller, Robo-Waiter, the Robotic Snake and ElMindA’s brain analysis system.

History on a microchip.  One of the gifts presented to the US President by Israel’s Prime Minister was a gold-plated silicon chip etched by Technion scientists with the US and Israeli declarations of independence.  The chip was affixed to a Jerusalem stone dating to the Second Temple Period (1st century BCE to 1st century CE).

More help for software entrepreneurs.  Following in the footsteps of Microsoft, iApps (Israel’s largest mobile application developer) has started its own incubator for developers at its Herzliya HQ.  iApps Booster is the only incubator in Israel dedicated to building mobile apps.

Hi-tech degree gives entry to Israel.  Thirteen young Jewish men from Morocco joined 25 existing Moroccan engineering and hi-tech students at the Machon Lev academic institution in the Jerusalem College of Technology.  Most will immigrate to Israel upon completing their 4-year degree course.

Israeli saves Facebook twice.  For the second year running, Nir Goldshlager is the No. 1 name in Facebook’s security “hall of fame”.  Goldshlager uncovered a major security flaw that allowed hackers to take control of accounts. When Facebook fixed the breach, Nir discovered a second major problem in the “corrected” code.

Israeli company exposes iPhone security flaw.  (Thanks to Michael and Jane) Adi Sharabani, CEO and co-founder of Skycure, has proved that an attacker could retrieve sensitive information (including the victim’s exact location) and even control the victim’s phone – e.g. quietly changing their GPS destination while driving.

Israel’s young engineers.  A new video showing the work of Israeli start-up Young Engineers that won Amir Asor the “Youth Business International Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Britain's Youth Business International non-profit organization.  Children use LEGO toys to grasp the principles of software engineering.

Netanya pupils top in Intel competition.  Netanya students won top three prizes at the Intel-Young Scientists competition.  Victor Isserov of the Shai Agnon School was joint top with his project on the quantum characteristics of ions and the development of quantum computers.  Victor will represent Israel in the EU science competition in Prague in September.

The next generation of Israel’s cyber defenders.  The Amal network of technical high schools held a nationwide online detection and hacking race at Cisco’s R&D center in Netanya.  The goal is to equip a new generation of top-tier computer experts with the skills to benefit Israel and successfully compete in cyberspace.

“Making” a name for themselves.  The Start-Up Nation is hosting a Mini-Maker Faire, “a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.”  “Making” is the process of taking common household items and “upgrading” them into a new product or technology.  The Makers of today are the high-tech inventors of tomorrow.


Israeli economy improves.  The Bank of Israel's Composite State-of-the-Economy Index for February increased by 0.2 percent. It reflects increases in industrial manufacturing, goods and services exports, and in trade revenue.  December and January values were revised upwards following new updates.

Clean water for Colombia.  Israel’s Amiad Water Systems has been awarded a $7.7m contract by Nirosoft Industries for the supply and maintenance of a pre-filtration solution at a desalination plant in Colombia.

Tel Aviv is the world’s second most innovative city.  Tel Aviv has been ranked the world's second "most innovative city" as part of the Wall Street Journal magazine and Citibank's City of the Year contest.


Free museums during Passover.  Every Passover Bank Hapoalim sponsors free entrance to over 40 museums, national parks, and heritage sites in Israel as part of their social program.  Also see “Things to do in Israel during Passover”.

May is Smokie time.  Do you remember the 1970s hit “Living next door to Alice”?  Smokie have sold over 30 million albums since.  They will be performing in Haifa on May 3 and in Ashdod on May 4.

The 3rd largest sporting event in the world.  The 19th Maccabiah Games will be the largest sports event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA soccer world cup.  9,000 athletes from 72 countries will compete in Israel from July 18-30.

The Tel Aviv 10km race.  IDF veteran Radi Kaiuf, a 46-year-old paraplegic used the ReWalk exoskeleton (as demonstrated to US President Obama) to complete the Tel Aviv 10km race in less than 4 hours.

Thrown together in harmony.  In the seat next to me on my recent trip to the UK was Bjorn Saw of Aikido Alive London.  He had just given seminars in Israel and the Palestinian territories on behalf of Aikido Without Borders, which brings both sides of the conflict together in the friendly martial art.  Please read his guest blog.

Israel was a good match for Portugal.  40,000 fans watched Israel play Portugal in a World Cup qualifier in Tel Aviv.  Israel went 3-1 up but in the end had to settle for a 3-3 draw.


Ten Years of Nefesh b’Nefesh.  In Times Square, New York, Nefesh b’Nefesh were busy answering questions from potential olim about jobs, education and accommodation in Israel.  NbN wants to bring one million American Jews to the Jewish State in its next ten years.

“Hidden” Polish Jews discover roots in Israel.  Many Polish Jews were raised as Catholics and have only recently discovered their Jewish roots.  25 arrived in Israel this week for a special seminar organized by Shavei Israel, an organization that aims to strengthen the connection between descendants of Jews and the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

111 orphans are Bar-Mitzvah’d.  Kollel Chabad held a Bar Mitzvah celebration in Jerusalem for 111 boys who have lost either one or both of their parents.  The event was planned originally for the 11th Nissan – the 111th birthday of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, but was rescheduled due to the visit of US President Obama.

With a little help from our friends.  The Christian organisation “Bridges for Peace” works through Israel’s social services network, soup kitchens and charities, as well as direct distribution to provide 70 tons of food each month to 28,000 poor, hungry people in 52 communities across Israel.

200,000 people write Torah scroll.  A new Sefer Torah (Torah scroll) was dedicated at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on the first day of the Jewish month of Nissan.   200 thousand people from all continents (including 100 thousand soldiers) wrote letters in the scroll over a seven-year period.

Elijah’s flaming chariot?  Israelis watching the skies just after sunset may see a fiery object just to the right of the setting sun.  Dr. Igal Patel, chairman of the Israeli Astronomical Association, says it is the comet Panstarrs C/2011 L4.  But Passover is when Elijah is supposed to announce the final redemption - so who knows?


In the 17th March 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

- Israeli researchers are using cancer cells to help fight cancer.
- Ethiopian-born Miss Israel has a dinner date with the US President.
- An Israeli female professor won the computer industry’s “Nobel Prize”.
- With Israeli software, you can control your smartphone using just your eyes.
- In a noisy room, Israeli voice recognition software can read your lips.
- Barbra Streisand is to perform in Israel for the first time.
- Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits won her 3rd consecutive world championship.

Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
- Click here for “The Jewish State makes Perfect Sense”  (text only, no adverts).

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Using cancer to kill cancer.  Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center have enhanced the immune system using proteins from melanoma (a severe form of skin cancer).  T-cells in the immune system are stimulated to produce cytokines, which can fight other cancers in the body.

Success in trials of stem cells for blood cancer.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Early trials of NiCord (umbilical cord stem cells) from Israel’s Gamida Cell have proved successful in maintaining the health of patients with high-risk hematological malignancies.  The treatment was safe and reduced the time to recovery period.

Colon cancer rates decrease.  Israel is fourth among Western countries in the prevalence of colorectal cancer and 15th in the death rate from the tumor. However, the number of cases has declined in the last two decades - by 17 percent in men and 13 percent in women - largely due to early diagnosis and treatment.

A pacemaker for the arteries.  Israel’s Enopace Biomedical is developing an endovascular micro-stimulator, which reduces the strain on the heart by expanding the arteries to accept incoming blood.  It is implanted by catheter in a 30-minute procedure while the patient is awake and is an alternative to a heart transplant.

Australia approves Israeli robotic spinal surgery.  Israel’s Mazor Robotics has obtained approval from Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for the import and sale of the company's Renaissance navigation robot for spinal surgery.

The missing LINC to deafness. (Thanks to NoCamels.com)   Half of all hearing losses are due to genetic mutations.  Tel Aviv University Professor Karen Avraham found that mutations in the LINC cells of the inner ear of an Iraqi family with a history of deafness could lead to new treatments.


Gaza weekly deliveries:
The Keren Shalom crossing reopened after Hamas closed it last week and 1,118 trucks delivered 31,338 tons of goods. It included three trucks from Turkey – the first since the Mavi Marmara incident. In February, 140,348 tons of goods went to Gaza from Israel on 4721 trucks.  109 trucks of Gaza produce were exported via Israel.

Equal treatment.  Orit served as a medic in the Israeli army and saved the life of a Palestinian Arab boy caught in machinery.  Then she had to treat a notorious terrorist in prison.  She gave him IV fluids and medication - everything he needed, since she was trained to treat those in need regardless of their moral standards, regardless of nationality.

Improving Arab prospects is good for Israel.  Israel’s six-year project to improve its Arab community’s job prospects will also help to bolster slowing economic growth. Manuel Trajtenberg, who helped to draft the plan, said in an interview, “There is a huge potential there for economic gains, economic benefits, first of all for the Arab community itself and for the Israeli economy at large.”

How Israel treats Arab women.  This image sums up the situation very aptly.

Dinner date for President Obama.  The new Miss Israel, Ethiopian-born Yityish Aynaw from Netanya, spoke about her invitation to the exclusive gala dinner in honor of the US leader. "Ten years ago I was walking around barefoot in Ethiopia and I never imagined that one day I would be in the Land of Israel, meeting the Israeli president and the president of the United States.”

Women are more than equal in the IDF.  Data released by Israel’s Central Bureau for Statistics (on International Women’s Day) revealed that in the Israel Defense Forces, 57% of all officers are women.

The sky has no borders.  At the Hot Air Balloon Festival in the Jezreel Valley, the balloons came from the USA, UK, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

Green religious freedom in Jerusalem.  The first International Jerusalem Symposium on Green and Accessible Pilgrimage begins on 21st April. It combines interfaith dialogue with urban sustainability.

A summit to make a difference.  Tel Aviv’s third annual summit for non-profit organizations, AMUTA21C, helps non-profit professionals learn best practices in every discipline and express why they work tirelessly to make the world a better place.

Welcome.  Five new ambassadors (Chile, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia) presented their credentials to the Israel’s President Shimon Peres, marking the start of their service in Israel.  They also expressed their hope to develop technological and strategic connections.

Entertaining children in Kenya.  Israeli celebrity chef Omer Miller cooked a special shawarma meal for 200 Kenyan orphans from the Tumshangilieni Mtoto school in Nairobi.  The meal was served up by members of the Israeli embassy and spiced up with a festive appearance by Israeli percussionist and composer Gilad Dobrecky.


Israeli professor wins Turing Prize.  Professor Shafi Goldwasser of Israel’s Weizmann Institute was joint winner of the 2013 Turing Prize for her pioneering work that brought about computer cryptography – securing transactions on the Internet.  The Turing Prize is considered to be the “Nobel Prize” of computing.

Israeli farmer invents solution for lemon rot.  Rafi Koren, a lemon farmer from Moshav Avigdor near Kiryat Malachi has invented a product that prevents the spread of Mal Secco, a fungal disease affecting citrus trees that has been known to kill entire lemon groves.

Greener soil.  The commercial arm of Israel’s Weizmann Institute has developed a system to protect soil and groundwater from contamination from pesticides.  Environmentally friendly substances called prophyrins act as catalysts to dissolve toxic substances into harmless ones after they have served their pest-killing purpose.

Greener roads.  Israel’s Dimona Silica Industries has developed a road asphalt compound that uses old tires for strength and safety.  The new compound, RuBind, recycles many of the 50,000 tires disposed of every year, and is already in use in Israel’s Beit She’an Valley.

Snake robot for Obama.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will show President Barack Obama a series of technological products by Israel’s high-tech industries in a special exhibit set up in the President’s honor.  The products are in the fields of renewable energy, accident prevention, medicine, search and rescue, and robotics.

The eyes have it.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) The new Samsung S4 will include eye-tracking technology from Israel’s Umoove.  It will allow the smartphone user to scroll through text on the screen simply by gazing down.  The S4 launched on 14 March in New York. Watch this space.

Voice recognition that doesn’t need your voice.  Israeli startup VocalZoom has developed an optoelectronic microphone that is able to extract a person’s voice from almost all surrounding noise – including other people’s voices.  Its optical microphone “reads lips” by sensing vibrations on the face of the person speaking.


Ohio buys $42 million Israel bonds.  In the largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds in U.S. history, the State of Ohio has increased its investment in Israel’s economy to a massive $80 million.

Unlimited coffee.  Israeli start-up CupsTelAviv has a unique deal – all the coffee you can drink, from any of over 40 coffee shops in Tel Aviv.  All for NIS 169 per month (about $45).  I’ll drink to that.

Israeli entrepreneurs start young.  Venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners held its sixth annual “practice session” for Jerusalem kids entering June’s “Young Israeli Entrepreneur” contest. The winner will represent Israel in the Junior Achievement-Young Entrepreneurs Company of the Year Competition next July.


Israeli cooking is the best.  An Israeli cookbook called Seafoodpedia won “Best in World” in its category at the renowned Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, dubbed “the Oscars of international cookbooks.”

Jerusalem’s biblical zoo – A modern day Noah’s Ark.  The Asian lion, Syrian brown bear, Nile crocodile and Persian fallow deer are among the animals mentioned in the Bible that have been saved and are thriving thanks to Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo.

Barbra is to sing in Israel.  Jewish singing legend Barbara Streisand will perform in Israel for the first time ever.  She will sing at Israeli President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday on June 18 at the opening of the Presidential Conference.  She will also perform twice at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv on June 15 and 16.

The best gigs are in Tel Aviv.  The line-up for 2013 includes Ravi Coltrane (Apr 23-24). Shuggi Otis (May 1), Depeche Mode (May 7), Liars (Jun 15) and Alice Keys (July 4).  Check http://www.touristisrael.com/

Yanni’s first Israeli concert.  The legendary composer and pianist, Yanni will be making his first ever performance of Jazz, classical and soft rock in Israel, on June 19 at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv.  This video is of a 2006 performance of the aptly named number (in view of Israel’s recent abundance of water) “Rainmaker”.

“Only for him.”  Israel’s entry for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest on May 15th will be Moran Mazor.  You can listen here to her singing “Only for him”.

World champion windsurfers.  For the third consecutive time, and the fourth in her life, Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits took first place at the RS-X World Championships in Buzios, Brazil on Tuesday.  Fellow Israeli Maayan Davidovich won bronze.  It was the first time that two Israelis stood on the winners’ podium.


One of the best countries to retire to.  A report, by Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM) puts Israel as the 12th best place in the world for retirees.  Using UN and World Bank data, Israel comes ahead of Canada, the USA and the UK in the “safety net” the government provides to pensioners, to live better and healthier lives.

The Argan tree of the Negev.  Yoni and Shoshana Rappaport moved to Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev and their lives are now focused on turning the desert green by planting many thousands of the amazing Argan tree.  It can survive on minimal rainfall yet produces a healthy oil from its fruit.  Please support their work.


In the 10th March 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

Israeli scientists are working to use an alternative area of the brain, for damaged retinas of the blind.
Israeli doctors perform a rare operation to save a baby with whooping cough.
UK media not normally sympathetic to Israel featured an innovative Israeli cancer test.
Despite the civil war, Israel has exported 18,000 tons of Golan Heights apples to Syria.
You can now charge your iPhone5 wirelessly, with Israel’s Powermat.
Relax – your Airbus’s engines are powered by Israeli technology.
A Moslem came second in the women’s race of the Jerusalem marathon, boycotted by the PA.

Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
    Click here for “In Israel every day is Good Deeds Day”
             (fast loading text version – no adverts)

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


From the Start-up Nation to the Brain Nation.  Bloomberg TV’s Countdown program featured Israel’s advances in Neurotech - Brain Science.  The reporter also tried out IDC’s Brain Machine Interface.

Projecting sight for the blind.  Researchers in Optogenetics at Israel’s Technion are working on a substitute for damaged retinas. A light-sensitive protein can turn the ganglion cells in the eye into photoreceptors.  Visual images projected onto these cells stimulate neurons and recreate the image in the brain.  Watch this space!

The unsung Israeli hero of Parkinson’s treatment.  Professor Hagai Berman of Hebrew University will receive he Rappaport Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research as overdue recognition for his work on Deep Brain Stimulation.  Over 100,000 Parkinson’s sufferers have been treated with DBS, one of the most effective treatments for the ailment.

Israel’s brain center gets off the ground.  A groundbreaking ceremony took place at the site of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The new building will be home to the largest neuroscience center in Israel and one of the most ambitious in the world.

UK GlaxoSmithKline delegation in Israel.  The GSK delegation visited the Weizmann Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Hadassit in Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion University, Israel Technion and other institutions. Dr. Duncan Holmes said, “We recognize the huge expertise of Israeli academics in research in this field.”

Rare treatment saves baby from whooping cough.  Doctors at Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya saved the life of a month-old baby who contracted whooping cough before immunization. The baby’s blood was replaced with infused blood and she was soon weaned off her respirator and has now been discharged.

Simply saving lives.  An all-women Israeli company is producing “MediTags” - bracelets that contain medical and personal details in Hebrew and English.  They can store details of allergies in case the wearer is rendered unconscious; or the contact details for an Alzheimer’s patient in case they get lost.

UK Guardian hails Israeli cancer test.  Unique recognition of Israel’s medical success in the UK newspaper that normally only criticizes Israel.  It picked up a British Journal of Cancer article on the innovative diagnosis breath test invented by Israel Technion Professor Hossam Haick.  Also featured on the BBC.


Gaza weekly deliveries:  Unfortunately the Keren Shalom crossing has been shut due to a dispute between the PA and Hamas.  70 trucks are waiting on the Israeli side of the crossing.

Israeli doctor saves life of Arab stone-thrower.  At the height of Arab riots, Dr Micah Shamir quietly entered the PA city of Nablus (Shechem) without an army escort in order to save the life of a Palestinian Arab who had been badly injured after PA doctors called for help.  The Arab is now recovering in an Israeli hospital.

Jews and Christians rescue sick Gaza children.  Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Tel Aviv has teamed up with the Living Bread International Church to heal children who receive inadequate healthcare in Gaza and the Palestinian Territories.  The "Rescue the Child" project was set-up when LBIC contacted the Israeli Army.

Golan Druze export apples to Syria.  Israel will export 18,000 tons of apples grown by Druze farmers on the Golan Heights to Syria over the next three months. It benefits Israel, (keeps the price of the fruit stable); the Druze farmers (able to market their surplus); and the Syrians gain a supply of regionally grown fresh apples.

Environmentally friendly fashions.  Students at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design have created clothes from recycled surplus or defective items donated by a leading retailer.  It is part of a project exploring "design as an engine of social impact."  The new items were then mass-produced and sold on discount.

An excellent question.  Why should anyone in the West boycott Ahava products when Palestinians Arabs in Jericho are selling them?  The BDS movement promotes the boycott of Ahava skin care products, but virtually every tour bus that comes to Jericho is directed into the Ahava Temptation store.

An Israeli dairy farm in Iraq?  (Thanks to SDM) A delegation led by Iraqi Kurdistan's agriculture minister and vice president visited Kibbutz Afikim. They plan to build a dairy farm in northern Iraq according to the successful Israeli model.  According to Ynet, AfiMilk has already established a camel milking facility in Dubai.


A safer car-phone.  Israel’s Accel Telecom’s Voyager car-phone extends your smartphone, with features especially for drivers. Big, easy to access keys, special noise filtration and cancellation plus enhanced volume for clearer conversations, voice activation for calls and commands, a built-in copy of Waze and much more.

Charge your iPhone – wirelessly.  Israel’s Powermat Technologies unveiled its cordless iPhone5 charger at the Barcelona World Mobile Congress. The product includes a charging case, an extra battery which doubles the iPhone's work period and a 7,000-milliampere mobile internal charging pad, for multiple recharges.

Your hi-tech guide to Israel.  (Thanks to Uri) Eye On Israel is a really smart new Windows application to help you explore and navigate Israel.   It contains dynamic maps, videos and information on the best geological and historical sites, plus wildlife, attractions, accommodation and more that I haven’t had time to check out yet.

A cyber nation.  A recent event organized by SpeedMind - Israel offered the opportunity for an inside look into Cyber Technology in Israel.  The government, VC’s and companies offering a variety of products and services for the cyber security market are now investing in and promoting the Cyber Security market in Israel.

Clearly a better image.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Tel Aviv-based Sightec’s super-resolution technology can recognize people with only 3-5 pixels rather than the 400+ required by competitive systems in use today.  Sightec has been acquired by US-based Pongr to enhance its photo-sharing business to a completely new level.

The Chinese connection.  Here is a video of the visit to the Technion from the Chinese Ambassador to Israel.  Long histories connect China with Israel and the Technion attracts top Chinese students to study here.

How water is treated in Israel and California.  (Thanks to Herb)  There are physical similarities between the Jewish State and the South-West State of the USA. So how does each deal with its limited water resources?

Powering the plane.  When you next board an Airbus or any plane with Pratt and Whitney engines, you can rest assured that Israeli technology is helping to power you to your destination.  Bet Shemesh Engines produces components for the auxiliary power units and will continue to do so for at least the next seven years.


Israel’s assets increase.  The value of Israel’s public finances improved by 5.8% (in real terms) during 2012 to NIS 2.7 trillion.

And debts decrease.  Israel is the only Western country to have reduced its debt as a proportion of GDP in 2012.  Israeli government debt was 73.5% of GDP last year, compared to 74.1% of GDP in 2011 and 80% of GDP five years ago.

From start-up to buy-out.  Here is a fascinating interview describing the history of Israel’s Minicom until it was sold to Tripp Lite in 2012.  Eli Sasson came out of the army in 1985 and graduated from Tel Aviv Uni in 1988.  He started a business and built his PC control device in his garage.  Follow his story.

Kids education is now a big game.  Israeli publisher of children’s and family apps, TabTable, has bought Israeli smartphone educational games company Kids Games Club. Together they have produced over 200 educational apps, making the combined Israeli company one of the big players in the market.

Boosting trade with the Philippines.  Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Miguel Varela said he wants to triple two-way trade with Israel during 2013.  He outlined plans during a business matching session and forum in Manila, attended by a 15-member delegation from Israel.

Broadband for Argentina.  Israel’s Alvarion has deployed wireless broadband to Argentina’s seventh largest city of Mar del Plata - gateway to Patagonia with a population of 600,000. Its ”Smart City” network connects municipal centers, including libraries, community centers, schools, hospitals, clinics, and municipal offices.

The first Asian R&D center in Israel.  Singapore-based telecommunications group SingTel and Israeli software solutions provider Amdocs are setting up a joint development center in Israel.  The center will develop innovative products for customers of the SingTel group in the 26 countries in which it operates.


10.5 million visitors to the Western Wall.  2012 data provided by Israel’s police indicates a major boost in Kotel tourism compared to 2011.  The data includes regular worshipers and the many thousands who come for special prayer services on holidays as well as tourists and other visitors.

10 Israeli bands at SXSW Texas.  (Thanks to SDM) If you visit South By South West in Austin Texas next week, you will get an opportunity to hear performances from some of the best Israeli groups.

What to do in March.

Rita rocks the UN.  Here is the full video of Iranian-born Israeli singer Rita’s concert at the United Nations.

20,000 race in Jerusalem marathon.  Runners from 52 countries competed in the 2013 Jerusalem Winner International Marathon.  Ethiopians won both the men’s and women’s races in record times. Note that Radiya Mohammed Roba of Ethiopia came second in the women’s marathon. Meanwhile, the UN cancelled the Gaza marathon because Hamas wouldn’t allow women to race.  Happy International Women’s Day.


A British Muslim’s view of the Middle East.  The founder of www.theisraelcampaign.org Kasim Hafeez writes about the double standards used by human rights activists in relation to Israel and any other country.  Kasim ran in the Jerusalem half marathon to raise funds for the Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center.

Israel destroys landmines.  Israel has begun a project to rid the area of Eilat of over 10,000 defensive landmines placed near the city in clearly marked minefields during the sixties and seventies.  The recovered land will be returned to the city for use in housing and agriculture.

Israel to build nationwide cycling grid.  Israel’s Transportation Ministry has approved a new project to pave 400km of cycling trails across the country.  The project's main goal is to minimize accidents involving cyclists on interurban highways.  The ministry also hopes more people will use this eco-friendly mode of transportation.

Study the Jewish State – in DC.  The Israel Institute opened its doors in the US capital last week with a novel mission: to advance the scholarly study of modern Israel in the United States and around the world.

Going “up” in the World.  David Brent is a NASA engineer who will shortly become an American Israeli.  It is a lot easier than becoming an Israeli American.  He explains that in Israel, the laws of physics are reversed. It is easier to go “up” (Aliyah) than to go down.  David is coming home.


In the 3rd March 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Turkey’s ex-Finance Minister received stem cell treatment in Tel Aviv.
·        An Israeli organization is working under cover to bring aid to Syrian refugees.
·        The new Miss Israel is an Ethiopian immigrant.
·        Israel’s Waze won the MWC Barcelona prize for the best mobile application in the world.
·        Israel has launched the project to send another Israeli astronaut into outer space.
·        A new section of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway will include an eco-bridge for wildlife to cross.
·        Iranian-born Israeli superstar Rita will perform Iranian songs at the United Nations.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Ex-Turkish finance minister has stem cell treatment in Israel.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Kemal Unakıtan spent nearly two-and-a-half months at the International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy in Tel Aviv. He received groundbreaking stem cell treatment to wean him off dialysis and avoid a kidney transplant.

New treatment for psoriasis.  Researchers from Ben-Gurion University and Teva have developed an improved version of an experimental medicine for the treatment of the chronic skin disease psoriasis.  It inhibits the faulty immune system signal interleukin-17 that triggers the inflammation associated with psoriasis.

For kids with disabilities, virtual reality isn’t just a game. (Thanks to Israel21c) A unique-to-Israel use of virtual reality (VR) has been pioneered at ALEH, Israel’s largest network of facilities for children with severe cognitive and physical disabilities.  Residents at ALEH’s Moriah facility in Gedera go on field trips in simulated environments.

Restoring mobility to the spine.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s Premia Spine offers a unique treatment to those suffering from spinal degeneration. Its artificial titanium joint replaces the posterior spinal column totally.  No more pain, full mobility and none of the problems that alternative spinal fusion treatments cause.


Gaza weekly deliveries:  The Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel to Gaza had to be closed briefly due to the resumption of terrorist rocket fire on Tuesday. Despite this, 42,700 tons of goods (1,397 truckloads) entered the Gaza Strip from Israel through the crossing – even more than the previous week.

Israelis for Syria.  An amazing article about Israeli volunteers from www.il4syrians.org working to help Syrians left wounded and homeless by the fighting in Syria.  The 5-mins embedded video features friendship between an Israeli volunteer and a Syrian family. For those who want more, view the youtube video.

IDF airlifts Sudanese refugee’s premature twins to hospital.  The IDF evacuated a Sudanese refugee and her two premature babies from Eilat to Assaf Harofeh hospital in Tel Aviv.  The babies weighed only 900 grams.

A festival for one shekel.  Festival Bashekel features top Israeli and international groups for a ticket price of just NIS 1 – equivalent to 25 US cents.  Hundreds of thousands of young Israelis from marginalized communities have benefited and Bashekel even staged a joint Jewish-Arab festival in Gilboa in 2009.

Purim is for everyone.  The Institute for the Advancement of the Deaf and the national-religious rabbinic association Tzohar held the first ever sign language reading of the megila (Book of Esther) for the deaf and hard of hearing.  More than 600 people attended the reading at the Tel Aviv International Synagogue.

Three Queen Esthers guard the Jewish State.  Like their namesake, Corporal Esther Feldhammer, Sergeant Esther Yaso and Sergeant Esther Pakado chose to stand up and be counted when presented with the opportunity to join the IDF and defend their country.  Women are exempt from combat duty but all three volunteered.

Miss Israel is an Ethiopian immigrant.  Yityish Titi Aynaw, a 21-year-old from Netanya, was chosen to be Israel’s representative in the Miss World 2013 competition - the first Ethiopian-born contestant to win the title.

Asian Science Camp Israel 2012.  (Thanks to 12TribesFilms) 250 of the most talented science students from all over Asia, Australasia and Oceania spent six days in Israel learning, touring and enjoying themselves courtesy of the Hebrew University and the Israeli government. 

March 10 is Good Deeds Day.  Originating in Israel in 2007, GDD now takes place in 50 countries.  The project for this year is volunteering at your local elderly home. Tasks could be anything from working in the garden, helping during meal times, or simply visiting and sitting with the elderly.


Waze is the best mobile app in the world.  Israel’s mobile navigation and traffic community application, Waze, won the “Best Overall Mobile App” prize at the 18th Annual Global Mobile awards at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Smartphones for everyone.  Jerusalem based UIU has developed a system that encourages individuals without smartphones to join the technological revolution.  Even those with visual impairment can use the large fonts and security features.  But did the Times of Israel really have to label people aged 55+ as “elderly”?

Find your way in a Moscow hyper-mall.  Russia is undergoing a retail boom.  The Moscow Mall is one of Europe’s largest with 5000 stores.  So Haifa-based WiseSec’s location application is essential if you don’t want to get lost.  It also provides you with coupons to attract you to visit particular shops.  No GPS necessary.

When stars die.  Eran Ofek of the Weizmann Institute is head of a team of researchers that has discovered the dying signature of stars.  Just prior to becoming a supernova, stars emit gravity waves and eject up to one percent of their mass.  The researchers studied a star, which became a supernova 40 days later.

Israel to train a new astronaut.  The eighth annual International Ilan Ramon Space Conference in Herzliya attracted the heads of 14 space agencies around the world.  Israel announced that it planned to train another astronaut and was invited to join the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

Better fiber-optic security.  Three Israeli university researchers have designed a new encryption method for fiber optic communications.  “It is analogous to many soft sounds of a lovely symphony scattered through a recording of background noise,” said the researchers.  Only the authorized user can enjoy the symphony.

Israeli research is global.  British Ambassador Matthew Gould outlined the scheme for Israeli and UK scientists to work on joint regenerative medicine research.   And Israeli ministers welcomed the first group of post-doctoral students from India and China arriving on six-month research programs with Israeli Universities.

Catching the wind.  Israeli wind sensor company Pentalum Technologies has raised $5.5 million to expand production of SpiDAR, a cost effective device for remote sensing of wind.  The device is 20% of the price of competitors, allowing wind farms to improve electricity production by up to 10% - equal to millions of dollars.

Smart Irrigation.  Israeli start-up 22Seeds is raising finance for Greenbox - a revolutionary iPhone-controlled wireless irrigation system. From the comfort of your home you can program your irrigation valves, optimize water usage, import water programs, integrate with weather forecasts and much more.

No pesticides and no pests.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israeli farmers in the Negev have cut their use of chemical pesticides by about 80%.  They use natural predators – bugs that don’t harm the crops – to get rid of the pests.  Also they allow the land to rest in the July heat to kill off any remaining insects and fungus diseases in the soil.

New website for environment info.  The Israel Union for Environmental Defense has launched a new online website to give eco-conscious Israelis comprehensive information about recycling centers, air and water pollution, cellular antennas, open spaces, beaches and various environmental hazards.

Safer roads for drivers and animals.  A dangerous section of Route 1 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is being improved with a 16km new section.  The NIS 2.5 billion cost includes an eco-friendly bridge, indistinguishable from the surrounding forests, which will allow animals to cross the highway in safety.


Get ready for IBW.  International Business Week at Tel Aviv University starts on March 4th. It brings together aspiring entrepreneurs from Israel and around the world for business-related events and company visits. It connects young innovative minds from around the world and shows them what Israel has to offer.

Israel “occupies” Barcelona.  2,000 high-tech officials left Israel on Sunday to participate in the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, which opens on March 4.  Israel, with 150 companies, has sent the fourth largest delegation to the conference after the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

Waze founder is a top 10 mover.  Ehud Shabtai, Israeli founder of driving navigation startup, Waze received accolades by the mobile industry: The Israeli innovator was nominated as one of the top ten mobile movers by Venturebeat, a leading technology blog.  (Waze won the top award at MWC Barcelona – see above.)

Wix to list on NYSE.  Wix.com Inc., an Israeli provider of online tools that help people build websites, will seek about $75 million in its Initial Public Offering (IPO).  JPMorgan Chase will lead the IPO.

Virginia invests in Israel Agro-technology.  The US State of Virginia estimates that it will invest up to $10 million in the next 2-3 years in Israeli companies that will participate in the Gateway USA: Agritech program.  A delegation from the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) is in Israel to interview potential companies.


Interview with Israeli painter Matan Ben-Tolila.  Jspace News partners with the America Israel Cultural Foundation to bring an interview with one of the many Israeli artists they support throughout the world.  Matan Ben-Tolila lives and works in Jerusalem and won The Mitchell Presser Prize for Excellency in painting.

Israel’s “Master Chef” is gourmet kosher.  Tom Franz – winner of Israel’s “Master Chef” is proud that his buffet is so good that people who don’t observe Jewish dietary laws can’t detect that it’s kosher.

Barbie loves Israel.  Barbie and Ken are the alter egos of Italian couple Enrico Pescantini and Maria Giovanna Callea and their so-called holiday snaps are the final result of a pop-art project the two undertook during a vacation last August, aptly called "Barbie Loves Israel."  The exhibition has been featured in the Italian editions of popular fashion magazines Vanity Fair and Vogue.

World record Harlem Shake.  Tel Aviv became home to the largest “Harlem Shake” dance video yet, hosting some 70,000 people in front of the Tel Aviv Museum.  The video was made during a pre-Purim street party.

Rita to sing at the UN.  Iranian-born Israeli diva Rita will perform “Tunes for Peace,” at the UN General Assembly Hall on Mar 5 in a first-of-its-kind event organized by the Israeli Mission to the UN.  Rita will sing in Hebrew, English and Farsi in front of UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, diplomats and Iranian community leaders.


Returning from China.  Seven descendants of Kaifeng Jews, an ancient community from China’s Henan Province, have come to Israel and reclaimed their Judaism thanks to the charity Shavei Israel.  At its height, 5,000 Jews lived in Kaifeng. Today, about 1,000 Chinese can trace their roots to them.

Israel Give and Tech.  Israel Give & Tech is a brand-new Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, in conjunction with Israel Free Spirit. It's designed for people interested in experiencing how Israel uses its technological innovation for tikkun olam, or repairing the world.  The free 10-day trip will depart from New York in early July.

A word in your ear please, Mr President.  Nadav Shragai, writing in Israel Hayom, urges that we must provide US President Obama with an historical, religious, legal and emotional tour of the Jewish State.  He needs to be shown that the Jewish bond to our land pre-dates WW2 by more than three millennia.

Captain Ziv Shilon returns.  I reported a few weeks ago about the IDF officer whose arm was blown off by Gaza terrorists but who returned to present his battalion with its combat medals.  Well here is the video.  He praised his soldiers and then quoted Psalm 121 “He who neither slumbers nor sleeps will guard over Israel”.


In the 24th Feb 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have discovered a treatment for aggressive cancer tumors.
·        An Israeli researcher has found a link between the immune system and intelligence.
·        Seven Syrians wounded in their civil war fighting were treated in an Israeli hospital.
·        A gigantic Israeli green pepper has broken the Guinness World Record.
·        Intel Israel doubled its profits to $2bn and its revenue accounts for 10% of Israel’s industrial exports.
·        An exhibition by Israel artists in Rome has won the Italian Medal of Honor.
·        The BBC played the Israeli National Anthem on its longest-running radio show.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


A way to treat aggressive cancers.  Current medication for breast cancer targets receptors in the tumors.  But one in six tumors have no receptors and are difficult to treat.  Now, a team of 11 Weizmann scientists has found a combination of two antibodies that mount a pincer attack on these tumors, causing them to collapse and die.

Nano-genetic diagnostics.  Imagine a microscopic device injected into your body that searches for genetic malfunctions in your cells.  If it finds any, it emits a green light to highlight the diagnosis. Weizmann Institute scientists have developed such a device – and are now working on upgrading it to destroy the cancerous cells.

The secret to a good relationship.  Bar-Ilan University’s Psychology Professor Ruth Feldman found couples that stay together have higher levels of oxytocin in their blood when they first pair up than couples that ultimately break up.  Prof Feldman spent years studying the hormone’s role in the mother–child bond.

Get smart – boost your immune system.  Weizmann Institute graduate Prof Jonathan Kipnis has discovered that the T-cells that fight infections also govern intelligence.  Mice without T-Cells cannot perform simple tests, but perform normally when their T-Cells are restored.  Kipnis got the idea from his Weizmann advisor.

 “Bad behavior” causes flare-ups in the gut.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered a pseudo-education system in the colon.  Newly arrived monocytes are taught how to maintain a healthy balance in the gut by resident immune cells. But if you get an infection or eat the wrong food, the new pupils run wild!


Gaza weekly deliveries:  Last week 39,518 tons of imports entered Gaza from Israel on 1,394 trucks.  This included 572 truckloads of construction materials.  Since January 1st, a total of 235,797 tons of imports have entered Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

IDF save PA accident victim.  IDF medics saved the life of a Palestinian Authority Arab motorcyclist who suffered severe abdominal bleeding in a crash with a mini-bus near Shechem, otherwise known as Nablus.  The Arab is now in a stable condition at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah, near Tel Aviv.

Turning swords into SodaStreams.  Watch this video of Palestinian Arabs, Jews and Druze working happily together at SodaStream’s factory in Judea.  SodaStream’s CEO explains that he could have put his factory on the coast, but he wanted to build an enterprise that fostered peace between Jews and Arabs.

Syrians treated in Israeli hospital.  The IDF administered emergency first aid to seven Syrians wounded in battles between Syrian army forces and rebels near the border fence.  They were then taken to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed for further treatment.  One was in a critical condition.

PM hosts children with cancer.  (Thanks to Sidney) In a pre-Purim event Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and their son Yair hosted children with cancer in the Prime Minister's office.  Local entertainers performed and sang with the children and the Netanyahus handed out Purim presents.

Samsung helps kids enjoy Purim.  Samsung sent 10,000 Purim baskets to any Israeli whose friend signed them up for one on the Samsung Mobile Israel Facebook page. Samsung paid for the candy, and for two Israeli charities, Variety Israel and the Enosh Fund, to assemble the baskets.

Putting the record straight about Africa.  A columnist in the Jerusalem Post stated that Israelis were self-centered and ignoring the poverty in Africa.  So I wrote a letter to the editor mentioning just some of the recent work that Israelis have been doing in Africa.  Please respond to unjustified criticism whenever possible.


A search engine for equations.  (Thanks to Uri – Israel Defense) The Israeli start-up Eqsquest has created what is believed to be the first semantic search engine designed specifically for scientific and mathematical equations. Symbolab allows users to search for equations using both numbers, symbols and/or text.  QED!

Prize-winning road safety app.  Israel’s ionRoad mobile in-car safety application has won the Qualcomm Venture Qprize competition as one of the most promising Israeli startups.  ionRoad uses your phone’s native censors to determine vehicle speed and its distance from the vehicles ahead and alert you to a possible collision.

Purifying the water with UV light.  Israel’s Atlantium has developed Ultra-Violet systems (validated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) to render germs harmless without damaging equipment or generating high levels of ozone.  It has just received $3 million of funding to develop new uses for its technology.

Natural anti-freeze.  A team of Israeli, American and Canadian scientists has unraveled the workings of anti-freeze proteins that allow animals, plants, fish and microorganisms to exist in cold climates.  The discovery can help improve food and medicine production around the world.

Priming Israel's Innovation Pipeline.  The President of Tel Aviv University has written a nice piece in the Huffington Post.  He tells about Maor, whose father - a construction worker – insists he goes to university.  12 years later, with a Masters degree, Maor is preparing his siblings to become scientists.

 “Israel is contrary to nature”.  So said Shimon Peres in the latest KKL-JNF video, which explains how Israel is able to turn the arid wastes of the Negev desert into fertile soil for agriculture.  It turns one drop of water into five drops of water.

Israeli world record pepper.  A green bell pepper dubbed “Godzilla” has won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Grown in brackish water with natural pesticides by the company Yofi Shel Yerakot (Beauty of Vegetables) of Moshav Ein Yahav in the northern Arava desert, it weighs half a kilo.

Israeli robots are ideal for China.  The world’s largest economy has a shortage of workers, due to its one child per family policy.  Israel’s small but advanced robot industry has a big chance to grow, by building robots for China, which is set to become the most robot-hungry market in the world.


The Hive is buzzing again.  Gvahim’s next Accelerator program (Hive3) begins in March.  New and returning Israeli immigrant entrepreneurs can receive help to successfully establish a new business.  This includes office space in Tel Aviv University, mentoring, workshops, networking events and exposure to investors.

South America and India to go Blue.  (Thanks to EDI) Israel’s Blue I Technologies has raised $3 million, for expansion into South America and India.  Blue I’s advanced water controllers and analyzers measure parameters such as Chlorine, pH, Redox, turbidity, conductivity and temperature.

Intel Israel has a mega year.  Despite the global economic slowdown, exports by Intel Israel more than doubled to $4.6 billion in 2012 from $2.2 billion in 2011 and now accounts for a tenth of Israel's total industrial exports.  The number of full-time Intel employees grew by 10% to 8,500 and indirect employees to 25,500.

A fridge with Israeli fizz.  The new Samsung Four Door Refrigerator will incorporate a built-in carbonated water dispenser from Israel’s SodaStream International.  Users will be able to select up to three levels of carbonation for their sparkling water. To quote a Samsung VP, “it brings a new experience to the kitchen”.

Ten of the best.  Fast Company magazine lists the ten most innovative Israeli companies, which includes SodaStream as the 23rd most innovative company in the world.

Boeing protects planes with Israeli defense system.  Boeing will offer Elbit Systems-produced directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) equipment with all of its military and civil aircraft.  Boeing is working to integrate the systems on to new and existing aircraft.


Visit the Land of the Biblical Heroes.  A multimedia visitors’ center has been built at Tel Shiloh – site of the Sanctuary (Mishkan) before King David brought it to Jerusalem.  The centre opens during Passover, projecting movies onto transparent windows inside a tower that looks out onto the site where the actual events happened.

Rome displays Israeli art.  Twenty-four renowned Israeli artists are the stars of an exhibition in Rome under the title, "Israel Now: Reinventing the Future."  The exhibition at the MACRO Testaccio Museum has received the Medal of Honor from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

Israel gets more beer.  Gush Etzion residents from Scotland and the United States have teamed up to create Lone Tree Brewery, which works to make “the best beer possible.”  David Shire (originally from Scotland) describes his new product at the International Mediterranean Tourism Market conference (IMTM) in Tel Aviv. 

But watch what you drink.  The Jewish holiday of Purim in Israel is full of fun, but the BBC account makes a clear case for writers not to indulge in unfamiliar alcohol when supposedly committed to accuracy. The BBC has moved the text of the story from the Bible to the Talmud.


Good news – I’m not the only one.  Sarah Honig writes some great things about Israel in her weekly blog.

Turning abandoned quarries into parks.  Israel’s Quarry Rehabilitation Fund has transformed disused limestone quarries on the Golan Heights and in Karmiel into sites of natural beauty for all citizens to enjoy.  The Avital Valley Park will be inaugurated next month.  Binyamina and Zichron Yaakov are works in progress.

MDA’s Overseas Volunteer Program.  Exciting new video showing the opportunities given for volunteers to train with Magen David Adom – Israel’s emergency first response service.

“If we could, we would stay in Tel Aviv forever”.  “The people are wonderful, the food is outstanding, the views are splendid, the soldiers walk around with big guns and huge smiles and they are much nicer than our civil servants." This was the impression that six Serbian bloggers took back to Belgrade. (Thanks to Uri)

The BBC plays “Hatikvah”.  Non-Jewish Zionist writer Julie Burchill chose the Israeli National Anthem as one of her eight records when she appeared on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs.  She also chose “Hebrew Man” by Israel’s Ehud Banai and the theme song from the movie “Exodus”.

You know it’s time to make Aliya when….  Congregants at the Or Avner Jewish day school in Chelyabinsk, Siberia heard a huge explosion during morning prayers followed by a bright flash that lit up the sky.  Outside, a meteorite fell from space, shattering the stained glass windows of the Chelyabisnk synagogue.


In the 17th Feb 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have developed a cure for a disease causing millions of genetic deformities.
·        Israel’s new parliament will have a larger proportion of women than those of the USA or UK.
·        Israeli surfers saved 8 children from drowning in Hawaii.
·        Israeli 3D printers can now print your false teeth.
·        An Israeli company won the top award at the Munich CleanTech Conference.
·        Israel exported 60 million flowers to Europe for Valentine’s Day.
·        The UN heard first hand about the fruits of Israeli technology.

·        Last week’s descriptive newsletter highlights (text-only version)

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


A cure for genetic deformities.  A team including researchers from Israel’s Technion has developed an innovative technique that they believe will cure deformities and blindness caused by ectodermal dysplasia, which affects seven out of every 10,000 babies born in the world. Via in-vitro experiments, damaged cells caused by mutant p63 genes can be greatly improved using a chemical substance called PRIMA-APR246.

Israeli stem cells slow down blood cancer.  Israel’s Gamida Cell Ltd. reported success in the Phase III clinical trial of its StemEx treatment for leukemia and lymphoma.  Compared to a control group, far more patients receiving StemEx survived 100 days or more following transplantation.

Saving life in Armageddon.  Emek Medical Center in Afula, is near Megiddo, the fabled site of Armageddon.  The hospital treats 50% Jews and 50% Arabs.  In 2012, the head of Emek’s intensive care unit traveled with two nurses, to the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, to open a new trauma center and train local staff.

Israeli medical devices wow NYC and Boston.  The Israeli innovations featured at the US road shows included Archmedical’s tissue sampler, BiFlow’s Nitino stent, Medasense’s pain monitor and Moebius’s injectable solution for osteo-arthritis.

QCore’s pumps go global.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) A new distribution agreement with Hospira of Illinois means that the Sapphire medical infusion pumps developed for ambulances and hospitals by Israel’s QCore Medical will soon be available in more than 60 key markets across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Patient monitoring across the USA.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI)  Israel’s EarlySense systems will now be distributed to hospitals across the United States.  A deal with Welch Allyn means that the innovative “under the mattress” sensors may soon be monitoring the vital signs of millions of Americans.


 “Too many Israeli goods in Gaza”.  The rhetoric has changed.  Having found it impossible to pretend that Gaza is under siege, the latest upside-down anti-Israel argument is that Israel supplies too much!  This week 42,898 tons of goods and gas entered Gaza from Israel in 1,445 truckloads.

Israel lets Turkey build Gaza hospital.  Israel has authorized Turkey to build a Turkish-funded hospital in Gaza.  Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that Israel gave permission to transport the construction materials to Gaza as a gesture of goodwill toward Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan will inaugurate the hospital.

More Israeli women lawmakers than in the USA and UK.  The 19th Israeli parliament will have a record number of women lawmakers in Israel’s history. Women now comprise 23 per cent of the Knesset – a higher percentage than in the US Congress (18 per cent) and the UK House of Commons (22%).

Venture philanthropy.  The Dualis Fund is a venture capital fund with a difference.  It provides profit-making opportunities for investors, helps businesses succeed, but also ensures a ‘social return’.  Projects include a restaurant employing at-risk youth and a software company for people with disabilities.

Refugee clinic gets Government aid.  Until recently, Tel Aviv’s illegal migrants received medical care only from volunteers.  Now, Israel’s Ministry of Health has stepped in to provide emergency treatments via a staff of doctors, paid by the Ministry from rented offices at the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station.

Israeli surfers rescue 8 drowning children in Hawaii.  Three Israeli surfers went to the aid of eight children aged between 12 and 14 that had been swept out to sea and were being pounded by the huge waves.  Tzvika Elias, Yair Naftali and Gabi Liptz were hailed as heroes by the children’s parents.

Israeli satellite broadcasts Africa Cup of Nations.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Spacecom has been broadcasting the 29th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa using its AMOS-5 satellite and transmitted every single game from all five South African stadiums to Europe and the Middle East.

Better services for UK Police families. (Thanks to EDI)  Israel’s BluePhoenix has completed a project to replace old computer systems for the UK’s Police Mutual Assurance Society (PMAS).  Now 200,000 UK police officers and their families will receive savings, investments and insurance services much quicker.


Samsung to open Israeli innovation and strategy center.  Samsung's new center in Ramat Gan will focus on Israeli startup companies, Israeli research academia and venture capital funds investing in start-ups.  The new center will be part of Global Samsung, through which the company will expand its activity in Israel.

Printing your dentures?  Compass3D, a leading provider of 3D Digital Solutions has begun offering Stratasys 3D Printing Solutions in Brazil.  The Objet Eden 3D Printers from Stratasys can be used in conjunction with dental, orthodontics and guided implant products.

Saving power in Central America.  (Thanks to EDI)  Digicel Group, the leading mobile telecom operator in the Caribbean, Central American and Pacific regions, has deployed Smart Energy Solution (SES) from Israel’s eVolution Networks.  SES reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions of cellular base stations.

Amiad filters for new desalination plant.  My cousin’s company is in the news again.  The water filters from Kibbutz Amiad have been selected for the protection of ultra-filtration membranes at the Mekorot Group’s new Ashdod Desalination Plant which, from early 2013, will be one of the largest such facilities in Israel.

Projecting a good image.  Israel’s Valens makes the chips for HDBaseT technology, which projects High Definition multimedia over a single cable, and has now enabled the popular display port.  More companies are adopting this technology, which means the future prospects for Valens look very exciting.

You’ve got to Moovit.  Israel’s Moovit application for public transport information is now available in beta in the UK. Already operating in the US, Canada, and Western Europe, Moovit is the first public transport application to harness the power of the crowd, using real-time user-generated information to improve public transport trip planning and navigation.

The best Clean Technology in Munich.  The 2012 Munich Cleantech Conference awarded their very first MCC Venture Award to Israel’s TIGI.  TIGI’s Honeycomb solar thermal collectors generate heat for space heating, domestic or industrial uses at extremely high efficiency.

Sending Benelux packing.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Scodix SENSE digital printing presses are to be sold in Belgium and Luxembourg.  Using CCD cameras and 3D polymers, the system produces unique products, printed materials and packaging to the service provider and the consumer.

A quality camera for your smartphone.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Corephotonics develops computational cameras and tiny electro-mechanical engines to improve focusing capabilities. Corephotonics have raised $5.2 million to put the power of still cameras into smartphones.


Apple opens Ra'anana development center.  The new Apple development center in the Ra'anana Industrial Zone will be the company's third in Israel after it opened a development center in Haifa last year and acquired flash memory developer Anobit in Herzliya.  Most new staff were previously laid off in TI’s global closures.

Magal-S3 swallows WebSilicon.  (Thanks to EDI) Readers often ask why there are few big Israeli companies.  Well here is one that is definitely growing.  Magal, which develops cutting-edge perimeter security systems, has just bought another Israeli IT company – WebSilicon, which builds network management devices and systems.

The worldwide leader in speech analytics.  For the fourth year in a row, Israeli hi-tech company NICE has been ranked as the global market leader in Speech Analytics by DMG Consulting.  NICE holds a 28.3 percent market share and has the largest number of customers.  It was also topped the product satisfaction scores.

Building a virtual cable TV service for Singapore.  (Thanks to EDI) Singapore-based MediaCorp has hired Israeli video startup Tvinci to build a new streaming video service called Toggle that will provide live and on-demand access to streaming video content.  Toggle will have Video On Demand (VOD) content, plus a dozen channels of live TV available for streaming to customers’ connected devices instead of their TVs.

Israel-Cyprus Sign Gas and Oil Explorations Deal.  Israeli firms Delek and Anver signed an agreement to acquire a 30 percent stake in exploration rights for gas and oil off Cyprus's southern shore. Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis told reporters that the signing provided a "new era of Cyprus-Israeli strategic cooperation which includes economic and political dimensions,"

Israeli microalgae company sold for $50 million.  UK’s Grovepoint Capital has bought Israeli start-up Algatechnologies - manufacturer of AstaPure (astaxanthin) - a powerful antioxidant from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. Asta Pure is used as a nutritional supplement and component in cosmetics.

Israeli agriculture biotech sold for $35 million.  The US giant Monsanto has bought the activity of Israeli crop bioengineering company Rosetta Green Ltd – developer of improved genetic strains of wheat, vegetables and other plants such as cotton, biofuels and algae with medical properties.

Israel exports 60 million flowers to Europe for Valentine’s Day.  It may be a day of love and romance for those celebrating Valentine’s Day around the world, but it’s a day of hard work for Israeli farmers. Israel exported some 60 million roses, orchids, Bonsai trees and other flowers to Europe this Valentine’s Day.


From Essex to Israel.  Israel’s bars, beaches, music scene, nightlife, restaurants and tourist spots are just right for this trendy young visitor from England’s South-Eastern county.

Chinese dance around Israel.  The Spring Chinese Dance Festival is a joint effort of the Suzanne Dellal Center and the Chinese Government.  Performances will be held around the country, such as Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Karmiel and Haifa.

A sea of birds.  Some two dozen international bird experts enjoyed a day exploring Israel’s winter home to the birds of the Kinneret basin, the Hula Valley and the Gamla Nature Reserve, prior to beginning a week-long seminar on GPS tracking of osprey migration paths.


"You shall eat the fruit of your own work and you shall be happy".  Israel’s Noa Furman quoted the Torah in her statement to the UN Commission for Social Development.  “We have moved from cultivating apples to designing Apple Computers and harvesting oranges to building Orange mobile phones.”

The magic of Jerusalem.  Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon highlights Jerusalem’s harmony where (for the first time in history, under Israeli sovereignty) Jews, Christians, Muslims, secular, religious, young and old live side by side. He also shows the unbreakable bond between the Jewish people and Jerusalem.

Final section of Eilat railway link approved. The Southern District Committee for Planning and Building has approved the final leg of the future Eilat railway.  The rail link will connect the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, and provide a swifter passage of goods to both Europe and Asia, strengthening international relations, improving tourism to Eilat and significantly reducing air pollution levels.


In the 10th Feb 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israel Technion’s unique cancer breath test device is to go into commercial production.
·        An IDF medical team saved a Palestinian Arab boy suffering from pulmonary edema.
·        World Health Organization says Israel approves 98.7% of requests to treat Gaza patients in Israel.
·        Israel is building a bridge out of recycled shipping containers.
·        An Israeli company is providing broadband Internet to thousands of Mexican rural classrooms
·        Two Israelis won gold medals at the World Judo Championships.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Good news for infertile couples.  A research team from Israel’s Technion has produced human eggs using cells from the amniotic sac that surrounds a baby in the womb.  Experts believe that donation of the amniotic sac will be more acceptable than egg donation from fertile women.

Cancer breath test to go into production.  The eNose early diagnostic breath test for lung cancer developed by Israel Technion Professor Hossam Haick is to go commercial.  The Technion has announced a joint venture with Alpha Szenszor Inc. to produce an economically viable, non-invasive, digital screening tool.

“To reduce suffering and save lives – for the sake of all humanity.”  These are the goals of Israel’s Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, as described in this video.

Man sees new baby after Israeli doctors save his eye.  Moshe Schreibhand of Rishon Lezion went fishing to relax on the night before his wife was due to give birth and a fish hook got caught in his eye.  Doctors at Kaplan Medical Center removed the hook, sewed up his eyeball and saved his sight.


Nature knows no limits.  Founded in 1996, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies accepts 40 undergraduate and master’s students each year, divided equally among Israeli Jews; Arabs from Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan; and international applicants. In 2013 the number will double to 80.

IDF Saves Life of 13-Year-Old Palestinian Arab.  An IDF medical team on Sunday saved the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian Authority dialysis patient whose life was in danger due pulmonary edema.  He was transferred to the Meyer Children's Hospital in Haifa, which specializes in Pediatric Nephrology Dialysis.

Israel upgrades electricity lines to Gaza.  The "Grizim" underground electrical lines that supply electricity from Israel to Gaza's northern region have been refurbished and upgraded. This has significantly increased the capacity of the lines, providing a more stable supply to the 70,000 residents of northern Gaza.

And WHO recognizes Israel’s humanity.  According to a 2012 World Health Organization report, Israel approved 91.5 percent of Palestinian applications from Gaza to receive medical care in Israel proper, while an additional 7.2 percent were approved pending a security check. In total, 210,469 Palestinians received medical treatment inside Israel proper in 2012.

More Israeli women are empowered.  The Hadassah Foundation has awarded grants totaling $200,500 to organizations in Israel and the United States that empower girls and women. The Foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of improving economic security for low-income Israeli women.

Japan honors Israeli tsunami aid.  Two years after a massive tsunami ravaged the eastern seaboard of Japan, the people of one of the hardest hit towns, Yanmei-Sanriku, have inaugurated a statue honoring the assistance that Israel provided in their darkest hour.  Titled “Rebirth and Resurrection” the statue was installed in front of the municipal offices and temporary Israeli hospitals established in Yanmei-Sanriku.

Learning in Israel; healing the World.  Seventy public health professionals from over 20 countries in Africa and across the globe return to Jerusalem to participate in the 2nd Pears International Master's in Public Health (IMPH) Alumni Reunion.  They will learn cutting-edge research and exchange professional experiences. Over 750 professionals from 90 countries have graduated from Israel’s IMPH program since its inception in 1971.


A better hummus and falafel.   Yissum, the Research and Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is introducing new chickpea varieties, which retain high nutritional values and exhibit improved synchronization between flowering and the rainy season to increase yield.

Ginger corrects the spelling.  Ginger Proofreader, from Israel’s Ginger Software, understands language context well enough to make sure you’ve written what you intended to.  So “Hey dude, let’s go grab a bear tonight” would be flagged as being misspelt.

After the "Smart-Phone", meet the "Smart-Shower"  (Thanks to Herb) Israel’s SmarTap has developed an electronic cartridge that can replace the mechanical-thermostatic unit currently used worldwide in showers.  SmarTap offers a “personalized shower experience” even in case of a loss of pressure in the cold water pipe.

Predicting the future.  Israel Technion’s Kira Radinsky and Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz have developed a program that has successfully predicted disease and violence outbreaks with 70 to 90 percent accuracy. The prototype merged two decades worth of New York Times archives and other Internet sources such as Wikipedia to make its predictions.

A longer life with your mobile phone.  Even if there is no evidence for needing its protection against harmful radiation, Israel’s Tawkon mobile phone emissions warning system has several other benefits.  It increases battery life; tells you when reception is poor; and it’s free.  Plus, it may stop your phone from frying your brain!

A very smart Muve.  Israel’s Muve is a new way to move around town.  Described as a CleanTech backpack on wheels, the electric scooter eases congestion but gets you from A to B at a steady 20-25 km per hour.  At $2,000 it is a third of the price of a Segway and has many more features.

A bridge too far-out!  Each year, the world dumps 800,000 aging maritime shipping containers.  Israel is building the first ever bridge from recycled containers, to link the Ariel Sharon Environment Park at Hiriya with the main thoroughfare leading to Tel Aviv.  The bridge even has solar-powered lighting.

Cut crime by focusing on hot spots.  A 16-year study by Professor David Weisburd of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Criminology has shown that 50% of city crime occurs in 5% of the streets. Traditional crime fighting focuses on the criminals but Stockholm Prize-winner Weisburd has changed perceptions.

Israel is on the map.  Israel NewTech is launching the Clean-Tech Map. The Facebook application shows Israeli Clean-tech projects and installations anywhere in the world. Visitors search by either category or by browsing the map. Visitors may then read about each project, view photos or clips, and contact the company.


Broadband for Mexican schoolchildren.  Israeli communications company Gilat has won a contract to supply over 7,000 SkyEdge VSATs in support of the Mexican government's initiative to provide thousands of rural classrooms and government offices with Internet connectivity.

Israel stars at the Super Bowl.  Whilst Baltimore was beating San Francisco, the huge TV screens featured Super Bowl advertising debuts for Israeli drinks maker SodaStream and Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli.

Israel has the best wines - again.  Over 45 Israeli wineries took part in the second annual Wine Seven Two kosher wine exhibition in Jerusalem.  Israel was the center of wine production in Biblical times and today it is becoming so once more.

Hi-Tech in a crater.  The Israeli branch of McCann Erickson is opening an advanced, 21st-century office in the Ramon Crater in the Negev desert.  The McCann Valley Center for Digital Marketing and New Media will employ 120 local full-time staff with support from the Ministry for the Development of the Galilee and Negev.

Record foreign currency reserves.  Israel’s foreign exchange reserves stood at a record $78.417 billion at the end of January 2013 - a rise of $2.511 billion from their level at the end of December 2012.  The previous all-time record of $78.078 billion was recorded in August 2011.

Learning from Israel to start-up in Canada.  (Thanks to Herb)  A group of 11 deans of Canadian business schools visited Israel recently.  Peggy Cunningham, Dean of the Rowe School of Business, suggested Israeli successes in innovation and high-tech companies could be studied and applied in Nova Scotia.


Beersheva - Israel’s Water City.  Beersheva means “Well of the Oath” and is being re-branded as Israel’s “Water City,” with the installation of public fountains and even a manmade beach on the drawing board.  Other culture includes the Forum (the biggest nightclub in Israel), regular street festivals and the Negev Museum of Art.  The Old City area has seen a recent infusion of $10.5 million in renovations.

Mixing music and science.  A conference “Music and Brains: The Surprising Link — An Interface between Music, Cognition and Neuroscience” takes place from Feb 10-13 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Participants will mix cutting-edge science with a variety of musical concerts illuminating the topics.

Music “In D” Negev.  In-D-Negev - a play on the words "indie" and "in the Negev" – is a three-day festival that mixes desert scenery with great beats.  It is a platform for alternative music and lifestyles in Israel. Camping in the desert, living off the land and hearing music nonstop without any frills or neon advertisements

Two Israeli gold medals at World Judo Championships.  Israel's judo team has won two gold medals and a bronze in the World Judo Championship games being held in Tbilisi, Georgia.  Ori Sasson won gold in the 100 kilo and under.  Sagi Muki won gold in the under 73kg event.  Assaf Chen won a bronze in the 81 kilo group.


Cancer sufferer becomes Israeli Air Force pilot.  While training to be a pilot, Lt. T was told he had cancer - but that didn’t stop him. He beat the disease and chose to rejoin the IAF’s Flight Academy. Now he has graduated the course, despite spending long stretches of it in the hospital.

The water crisis is over.  Israel’s Water Authority has officially declared the national water crisis to be over.  Heavy winters rains and snow this year, combined with increased desalination efforts and conservatory behavior on the part of the public, has brought the Sea of Galilee to within two meters (six feet) of its capacity.

A Native and a Zionist.  Ryan Bellerose grew up on a Métis colony in Northern Alberta. Inspired by Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and the raid to release Jewish hostages in Entebbe, Ryan writes movingly about Israel’s epic story and hopes that the Metis keep walking the same road as the Jewish people.

Arab newspaper publishes relatively positive articles on Israel.  London’s Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat recently published two articles that presented a different view of Israel. The articles by Dr. Amal al-Hazzani, an assistant professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, attracted a flood of hate mail, however.

Leo, the dog who came home.  When the shelter at Jerusalem’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was flooded during a downpour this winter, many people came to the rescue and fostered dogs like Leo.  10 days later, Leo ran away and made a 15km trek back to the shelter – a little thinner, but happy.


In the 3rd Feb 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        The new improved version of Israel’s “ReWalk” exoskeleton is great news for paraplegics.
·        Random screening potentially saved 24 Israelis found to have early stage malignant cancer.
·        Israel’s version of “Masterchef” is a multi-racial gastronomic feast.
·        Israeli researchers have proved that a higher fat diet increases life expectancy for the elderly.
·        The fourth largest coffee company in the world is Israeli.
·        The Peter Pan of British Pop – Cliff Richard – is to perform in Israel this summer.
·        A record one million trees were planted in Israel to celebrate the Jewish New Year for Trees.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Paraplegics can now walk even better.  Version 2 of the ReWalk exoskeleton from Israel’s Argo Medical has just been released.  Now one device can be resized to help train different users.  New software programs also make the device easier to use.

Israeli professor advises Euro medicines agency.  Prof. Jonathan Rabinowitz, of Bar-Ilan University has been appointed to the Advisory Group on Promoting Good Analysis Practice in relation to European Medicines Agency (EMA) Clinical Trial Data and Transparency.  He will also co-chair of the Program Committee for the Biennial Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference to take place in Florence, Italy.

The cause of face/heart abnormalities.  One in 4000 babies is born with DiGeorge syndrome, a congenital condition that causes various abnormalities, most often in the face and heart.  Weizmann researchers have solved a piece of this puzzle by investigating the genetic network underlying this syndrome.

Putting bones on the flesh.  Here is an update on the progress of Israel’s Bonus Biogroup and its founder Dr. Shai Meretzki who is generating bones from patients’ own fat cells.  Hospitals in Tzrifin and Afula, have agreed to trial the implanting of engineered bones back into patients as soon as the Helsinki Committee approves.

Random screening detected and cured 24 early cancer sufferers.  When 1,000 apparently healthy Israelis of a median age of 48 were screened at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center for 11 of the most common cancers, 2.4 percent (24) were diagnosed at an early stage with malignancies and treated successfully.

Deep TMS helps smokers to quit.  Of 115 smokers, 84% of those receiving Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) stopped smoking permanently at the end of the 6-month trial. 36% were still not smoking after the six-month post-treatment monitoring period.

Eight massive Israeli brains.  The European Commission has chosen the Human Brain Project as one of its flagship projects.  Participating from Israel is a team of eight scientists from the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Tel Aviv University.

Watch how you walk.  Israeli start-up SensoGo has developed a device that, when strapped to a patient’s leg, performs medical gait analysis.  It records and uploads data about factors such as the patient’s gait, speed, and style of walking. Doctors can diagnose a patient more quickly and efficiently than from current video methods.


We have lift-off. The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Charles Bolden, participated in the launching of the Moona science, environment and space center in Sakhnin (an Israeli Arab town).

Now we’re cooking. The three finalists in the Israeli version of Masterchef are Salma (an Arab-Israeli) Tom (a German convert to Judaism) and Jacky, an Orthodox Jewish woman.

Bedouin eco-village inaugurated.  The Wadi Attir Project celebrated the completion of its “preparation phase” as the Arab Beduin village of Hura in the northeast Negev desert gradually grows into an eco-village full of flora and fauna, as well as renewable energy.  One of the village’s main sponsors is KKL-JNF.

79 football fields long. This week, 1,138 truckloads of supplies entered Gaza from Israel. An average pickup truck is 25 feet long. That means if you put all the trucks that entered Gaza this week in a straight line, you would need more than 79 football fields to fit them all in. Think Gaza is under siege? Think again.

Superhero battles against cancer.  Israeli arts therapist and author Shira Frimer is raising funds to publish a children’s book called Nistar.  It features JJ Barak – a superhero who fights the vile archenemy that children of all races and religions battle on a daily basis. Cancer.  Please support Shira’s project if you can.


Ultra-thin curved circuits.  Israel’s Technion and Yokneam-based CPC are developing the technology to print 50-micron-thin electrical conductors onto transparent curved surfaces.  Currently, the thinnest circuits are 150 microns and are normally only printed onto flat surfaces. 

Israeli research just got even better.  Israel’s Council for Higher Education has added 11 more research centers into its ICORE research excellence program, to reinforce Israel’s intellectual capacities and promote synergy among Israel’s leading research centers at universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutes.

A high fat diet is good for you - but only if you are elderly.  A five-year study at Israel’s Beilinson Hospital says that for the elderly, higher levels of cholesterol mean a longer life, not a shorter one. Patients of average age 82 with higher cholesterol levels (including high LDL) lived longer than those with lower levels.

Desalination will supply 80% of drinking water.  At CleanTech 2013 Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said, “Israel is emerging from times of crisis in the area of water into stability. We have not only continued what has started in the past to develop desalination plants, but we are now building new and we have extending and developed those that already exist.”

Israel’s Navy purifies its wastewater.  The Israeli Navy has installed a bio-treatment facility, which separates contamination from wastewater coming out of the diesel engines of its ships.  Engine wastewater from many ships is collected into a single, large tank. A biological treatment agent is added, which cleans the water to the extent that it may be returned to the sea.

A bride’s bouquet of recycled plastic bottles.  In a booth at the CleanTech exhibition hall in Tel Aviv amid colorful plastic floral arrangements and an intricate bouquet of flowers made of used book pages, Orly Rostoker was waiting for the bride who will walk down the aisle with that bouquet.

A personalized video service.  Israeli start-up Idomoo is the leading provider of Personalized Video as a Service (PVaaS) solutions.  Idomoo delivers personalized and individually relevant messages to the computers, tablets and smartphones of millions of customers.


Russians drink more Israeli coffee.  Strauss Coffee has bought out Russia's Le Café and Instanta and now has the third largest market in Russia.  Even before the acquisition, Strauss Coffee was the world's fourth largest coffee company, and has 6,250 employees.

A new way to invest in Israeli start-ups.  If you are worth several million dollars and have $10,000 to invest, you may be interested in OurCrowd.  Israeli entrepreneur Jon Medved has founded an exclusive club to fund and grow Israeli start-ups into big successful companies.  (Hmmm… I could also do with a few bucks!)

The Tel Aviv Time Incubator.  TechWeekEurope traveled to the sunny city on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, to see first-hand how the Israeli government and venture capitalists work together to keep the country’s technology sector relevant.


Visit Japan on Mount Carmel.  (Thanks to Sidney) The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art on the crest of Mount Carmel in Haifa is dedicated exclusively to the preservation and exhibition of Japanese art works, and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East.

Cliff Richard is returning to Israel.  The legendary UK pop star Cliff Richard is to perform at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena on July 11th.  His previous visits include in 1988 for the 40th anniversary of the State.  He even made the film “His Land” here in 1969.

The race is on.  Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat apparently announced that some kind of F1 race will take place on June 13-14.  The exact route is yet to be defined, but it does appear that this summer F1 cars will be screaming past the Old City walls, and going through Mamila, and buzzing by the King David hotel.


 An African-American Zionist in New Orleans.  Non-Jewish New Orleans University International Relations student Chloe’ Simone Valdary was so incensed by her research into the Arab-Israeli conflict that she created an organization on Campus, “Allies of Israel” to fight Jew-hatred. 

The best rains for 47 years.  The rise in the level of the Kinneret so far this winter is the highest since records began – 47 years ago.  Even before the current week’s storms, the water level was just two meters below the upper red line (when the Deganya dam has to be opened).

Record number of trees planted.  The Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL) reported that a new record has been set this Tu Bishvat, as over a million new saplings will have been planted this past week in forests and parks nationwide.

Fashion with a purpose. A new fashion store opened last year by the Women's Courtyard - a multicultural organization that provides support and assistance for young-adult women in distress and at-risk. It offers great clothes while helping at-risk young women who reside in the cities of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Bat Yam, find a place in the workforce.

Come and see the truth.  “Seeing is believing” is the philosophy behind a Foreign Ministry proposal to bring 3,000 North American non- Jewish campus influentials to Israel to show them the country and combat what Ministry director-general for Public Diplomacy Gideon Meir called the “industry of lies” against the country.

IDF Officer Who Lost His Arm in Hamas Attack Returns to Service. In October, a bomb planted by terrorists on the Gaza border exploded, injuring Givati soldiers on routine patrol along the security fence. The commander of the unit, Captain Ziv Shilon, lost his arm in the attack. Today he is back with his soldiers and in a special ceremony he presented them with their combat soldier pins.

Some respite for Sderot.  The 24,000 residents of Israeli city of Sderot have suffered physical and emotional trauma due to a decade of missile attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip.  But Sderot has no local hospital or rehabilitation facility.  When complete, Sderot’s new Medical Rehabilitation Center will provide physical, occupational, communication, art, sensory and water therapies at no charge.


In the 27th Jan 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli innovative treatment improves the health of stroke victims long after the original attack.
·        An Israeli hospital has cured a genetic disease causing paralysis in children.
·        An Israeli company has developed a device to eliminate noise in public places.
·        India’s eighth largest city has a new Israeli security system to monitor roads and detect crime.
·        Israel had a record date harvest and provides 50% of the world’s Medjool dates.
·        Israel’s elections confirm a US report that Israel remains the only free country in the Middle East.

·        Previous week’s highlights in my summary blog
Click here for “Now for Some Serious Trading”.  (Text only, no adverts)

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Oxygen enrichment helps treat strokes.  Dr. Shai Efrati, of Tel Aviv University tested his theory on 72 stroke victims.  Even those treated 3 years after their strokes showed significantly increased neuronal activity following a two-month course of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

Israel welcomes the “father of fertility”.  Britain’s Lord Professor Robert Winston gave a lecture entitled ‘Manipulating Reproduction’ at Haifa University’s January conference on regenerative medicine.  Attendees included British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, plus leading British and Israeli scientists.

Israeli fertility treatment for New Delhi IVF center.  Cytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI), developed by Benjamin Bartoov of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, is bringing a hope to childless couples in India’s capital city.

UK-Israel partner stem cell research.  British Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX) will grant NIS 25 million over five years for seven joint Israel-UK stem cell research programs.  Stem cells have unique reproductive, renewal, and regenerative capabilities for organs.

US doctors get automatic Israeli license.  US physicians who have passed American MD exams (USMLE) in the past ten years, and who want to settle and work in Israel, will receive exemption from the local licensing exam.  This is the first time that Israeli health authorities have accepted foreign test results for an MD license.

Hadassah breakthrough saves 4 children.  Doctors at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem have discovered the reason for, and a medication to cure, Peripheral neuropathy – a genetic brain disease that causes paralysis in children.  Three infants suffering from the disease are already showing signs of improvement.

Cyclist healed by Israeli cartilage regeneration.  An Agili-C implant from Israel’s CartiHeal has repaired the cartilage of a 47-year-old Slovenian former athlete whose knee cartilage was damaged due to a volleyball injury over seven years ago.  Six months after receiving the Agili-C implant, the patient was on the ski slopes. A year from his surgery, he completed a 180 km cycling marathon.

Genetic causes of mental retardation.  Researchers at Israel’s Schneider Children's hospital and in Germany have identified mutations in genes EIF2S3 and UBE3B as responsible for the development of genetic mental retardation.  The discovery improves the pre-natal diagnostic tool for prevention of genetic diseases.

Israel hosts international IBD conference.  Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital was the venue for a conference of 300 Israeli and international experts in the field of diagnosis and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  “Challenges in IBD Across Ages” brought together experts from the USA, Canada and Scotland.


Helping Gaza civilians while under fire.  Nira Lee made Aliya from Arizona and became an officer in the IDF.  She joined COGAT and provided support to Gaza civilians during Operation Pillar of Defense.  She writes about the work she did and the amazing efforts the IDF made to avoid civilian casualties.

Israeli law school helps the disadvantaged.  The Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University has established eight legal clinics, providing legal assistance and counseling to the general public; all free of charge.

India’s air chief flies in.  The Chief of the Air Staff and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Indian Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, made his first visit to Israel in his current position. He previously served as the first Defense Attaché of India to Israel, from 1997 to 2000.

Israel signs the Kiev Protocol.  Israel has become only the second Middle East country (after Cyprus) to agree to the UN’s Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR). The international environmental treaty demands that governments exercise freedom of information and transparency regarding emissions data.


The work of the NIPI.  Since 1971 the National Institute of Psychobiology in Israel has funded over 400 Israeli scientists.  Dr. Bernard Lerer, a psychiatry professor at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center told a Florida audience about some of the medical breakthroughs that the NIPI has helped develop.

The news is that Israeli cleantech is not new.  People are discovering that the roots of Israel’s innovations in water technology, and renewable energy go very deep.  Netafin (drip irrigation), IDE Technology (desalination) and Chromagen (solar heaters) were established in the 1960’s – and they are still innovating.

We all want a quiet life.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) With Israel’s Silentium, you can now create a “bubble” of silence at home, office or in public places.  Silentium’s anti-noise systems eliminate noise by capturing it and canceling it out by reversing the phase.  The system was demonstrated at CES Expo in Las Vegas.

A new dimension for computers.  (Thanks to Uri and Israel Defense Club) Israel’s PrimeSense developed the movement sensing technology for Microsoft’s Kinetic.  But just look at some of the other amazing ways that PrimeSense’s innovative 3D sensors and microprocessors can be used.

What about a Twizy?  The Israeli city of Kfar Saba is to trial the Renault Twizy – a two-seater car with an electric motor powered by a rechargeable lithium battery.  The 2.3m long Twizy carries two people, one behind the other. The more powerful model with the 17bhp engine can travel 100 km at up to 80km/hr.

Israeli device conquers snow and ice.  Israel Zahavi’s new invention, “Power Wheel” is a removable disc that fits on the hub of the vehicle’s tires. Inside are twenty metal bars that can be manually or automatically telescoped out beyond the circumference of the tire to raise the vehicle slightly and grip the road.

A WiFi security camera.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israeli WiFi chip manufacturer Celeno has teamed up with Quanto – the world’s largest notebook manufacturer – to build a home wireless IP camera network for security, surveillance and home monitoring applications.

Security for Indian city.  Project “Safe City Surat” will install over 5000 security cameras to monitor traffic and crime in Gujarat’s major city.  The architectural software of the project is of Israel-based Verint company. The center includes a 280-square foot video wall and a city mapping capability that provides reports on physical security, fire alarms, water levels, evacuation and disaster recovery plans.

Natural pesticide from strawberries.  The Yissum R&D Company at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has developed a non-toxic, environmentally friendly agent that controls fungus and bacteria in agriculture.  It is derived from yeast isolated from strawberry leaves, and is effective for a large variety of plants.


From Finland to Tel Aviv.  Finnair, the national airline of Finland, will start flights from Helsinki to Tel Aviv from June 7. The flights will run twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, and are likely to have a great impact on increasing tourism to Israel from Finland during the summer months.

And from Kenya.  Israel's Ambassador to Kenya, Gil Haskel, says they are working to restore direct flights between Tel Aviv and Nairobi before the end of the year.  Flights were suspended 10 years ago due to security lapses at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  Resumption will boost tourist trade between the two countries.

Free translation earns more money.  Israeli translation company Babylon has seen its revenue double to $121 million thanks to moving from a paid-for service to a free service with advertising.  Net profit has tripled.  Babylon intends to list on NASDAQ during 2013.

Mobile TVs for Chinese cars.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Siano is to integrate entertainment systems powered with its Multimedia Broadcasting receiver chipset into cars built by BYD - China’s foremost independent automobile manufacturer.

Israeli healthcare start-ups on US road-show.  At the end of January, nine of the most promising, early stage start-ups from Israel in the medical devices and life sciences arenas will arrive to the U.S. for an intensive road-show to meet with potential investors.  They visit New York, Boston, Chicago, Silicon Valley and San Diego.

Cisco acquires Intucell.  (Thanks to Michael H) Some months I featured Israel’s Intucell, when AT&T used its technology to prevent cell-phone overload.  Well Cisco couldn’t resist it and have just bought the Ra’anana-based company for $475 million.  I bet that set the phones ringing!

Date growers celebrate hearty 2012 harvest.  As Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Tu Bishvat – the New Year for Trees, agriculturalists around Israel are celebrating the increasing global success of one of Israel’s most fruitful trees.  Israel supplies 50% of the world’s demand for Medjool dates.

Preparing for Israel’s natural gas.  Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL) has completed construction of a marine liquefied natural gas receiving buoy. The Submerged Turret Loading buoy will be used to deliver imported LNG until Tamar comes on-line and then will provide a backup entry point for Israel’s own natural gas.


Revealing Herod the Great.  The Israel Museum is opening a landmark exhibition "Herod the Great: The King's Final Journey" It will present archaeological finds from the recently discovered tomb at Herodium, as well as from Jericho and sheds new light on the impact of Herod's reign from 37 to 4 B.C.E.

Portuguese Ambassador to visit Secret Jews Institute.  The International Institute for Secret Jews (Anusim) Studies of Netanya Academic College and Casa Shalom (IISJAS)—Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies is honoring HE Miguel de Almeida e Sousa, Portuguese Ambassador to Israel on 31st January.

Life’s a beach.  The travel guide "Lonely Planet" ranks Tel Aviv's beach as the seventh best in the world, rated after Barcelona, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney but ahead of Dubai and Miami.  It wrote that Tel Aviv beaches are safe and clean, and there are changing rooms and freshwater showers scattered along its length.


 “Positive news for 2013”.  This recent article in Frontpagemag.com has interesting comments on Israel’s demographics, its economy, the Arab “spring”, gas and oil discoveries and the international political scene.

Islam is pro-Israel.  Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the secretary general of the Italian Muslim Assembly and the Khalifa for Europe’s Qadiri Sufi Order, is a strong supporter of Israel’s right to exist, as well as Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem, based on his interpretation of Islam.

The only free state in the Middle East.  The US-based Freedom House’s annual report entitled “Freedom in the World 2013” stated, “Israel remains the region’s only free country”, defined as having open political competition, a climate of respect for civil liberties, significant independent civic life, and independent media.

And “the only flourishing democracy in the Middle East”.  The highest ever number of Israelis has voted for a Parliament of political parties that span Left, Center, Right, Men, Women, Arabs, Druze, Jews (secular, reform, orthodox and ultra-orthodox).  PM Netanyahu now intends to form a “broad-based coalition”.

And to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.  “I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy.”

The “magic” is still there.  Operation “Magic Carpet” brought the majority of Yemen’s 60,000 Jews to Israel in the 1950s.  Sixty years later, the last remnants of that ancient community are taking their enchanted flights.


In the 20th Jan 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have discovered an important trigger for breast cancer
·        On average, Israeli men have the longest life span in the world – apart from the Swiss.
·        A Swiss-Bedouin-Jew is proud to serve in the IDF – as are most of his 5,600 close relatives.
·        Two ultra-orthodox Israeli Jewish women have designed a microprocessor for a space vehicle.
·        An Israeli company is providing wireless broadband in the coldest spot in the Western world.
·        An Israeli company developing a safe ADHD medication is launching on NASDAQ.
·        Israel’s huge archives of archaeological discoveries can now be viewed on-line.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Israelis discover breast cancer signal.  Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered protein S6K1. If this protein mutates it turns into a signal for cells to proliferate and cause breast cancer.  The researchers are now working on reversing the mutation as a form of anti-cancer therapy.

15-year-old girl’s donated organs save four lives.  Liel Naomi, who died as a result of edema of the brain, donated organs that saved the lives of four people, aged seven to 68.  Her family said saving lives was foremost, and that the organ donations would commemorate Liel’s life.

Teddy Bear hospital.  Bar-Ilan University’s School of Medicine in the Galilee opened a “teddy bear hospital” in December designed to reduce anxiety about health care among young children.  150 preschoolers learnt not to fear hospitals and doctors by watching simulated treatment on their teddy bears and dolls.

Live long and prosper.  The latest life expectancy figures from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics show that Israelis have among the highest life expectancies on the globe, with an overall life expectancy of 81.7 years – two years more than the OECD average.  Israeli men normally reach 79.9 years, second only to the Swiss.

When nothing else works.  This personal story illustrates how important the new FitNeS epilepsy treatment from Israel’s BioControl Medical will be to those sufferers for whom medication has no effect on their seizures.


A Swiss Bedouin Jew in the Israeli Army.  Sgt René Elhozayel’s Arab Bedouin father met his Jewish wife in Switzerland.  Renés grandfather had 39 wives and most of René’s 5,600 extended family members in the Israel-Arab city of Rahat served in the IDF.  As a medic, René treats anyone from soldiers to illegal African migrants.

Promoting R&D for Arabs.  Israel’s Ministry of Science sponsored a conference on “The Role of Research & Development in Economic Development in the Arab Community”.  The conference was organized by the NGO Triangle Research & Development Center, which addresses topics affecting the Arab community in Israel.

Gaza farmers attend Israeli agricultural exhibition.  Thirty farmers from Gaza were given permits to enter Israel in order to attend an agricultural exhibition.  Ramadan Abu Naja from Gaza said, “We came here to learn about Israeli agriculture. We will take some of the types of produce that we like back with us into Gaza.

The sky is not the limit.  Besides defending the Jewish State, Israel Air Force pilots perform a major service to Israel’s youth.  Children with difficult home lives, spend quality time with IAF pilots as members of the "Squadron Club," where they learn tools for self-expression, coping mechanisms and leadership skills.

Esra project for underprivileged children.  ESRA encourages talented underprivileged teenagers to fulfill their potential by providing them with a challenging program of enrichment and leadership training.  The weekly program benefits 36 children.  The video shows them studying Marine Science at the Mikhmoret center.

JDC-Israel expands project for the disabled.  The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC-Israel) has received an additional NIS 50 million to expand its Israel Unlimited project, which focuses on the development of services for the advancement and integration of people with disabilities in the community.

Mongolia seeks Israel’s environmental help.  A delegation from Mongolia's Ministry of Environment and Green Development visited Israel in December to learn about water pollution management and prevention, and land rehabilitation. Population migration has caused heavy pollution levels in the capital Ulan-Bator.

Bringing smiles to kids in Nepal.  Israeli David Barashi (“Dush the clown”) holds a degree in medical clowning from Haifa University. He is currently in Nepal working to help cheer up sick Nepalese children before they have surgery.  David previously worked with orphans in Ethiopia and tsunami survivors in Asia.


Haredi women develop spaceship microchip.  Two ultra-Orthodox women graduates of the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Lustig Institute have helped develop a microchip for a space vehicle. Verisense -a leading Israeli semiconductor design company - ran the project, for a defense industry company.

An app to help local businesses.  Israeli start-up KitLocate has built a location system that lets retailers find shoppers in their area and offer them deals and coupons.  The innovative software won KitLocate $25,000 in a competition sponsored by MasterCard Israel and Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATA).

Size does matter.  The Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) has launched a new research and development (R&D) and commercialization partnership in nanoscale technologies with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany, New York.

Olive trees in the desert.  Researchers at the Faculty of Agriculture at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have confirmed that planting ten of thousands of olive trees in arid areas in Israel is highly beneficial.  The trees require little water, protect animals and birds, reduce CO2, discourage jackals and make excellent olive oil.

Pushing back the desert.  Israel’s Fourth International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification (DDD) held at the Sde Boker campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, drew more than 500 participants from 60 countries.  One of its sponsors was the UN, which aims to halt land degradation by 2030.

Israel is switching to cleaner fuels.  Israel’s Transportation Ministry is compiling an outline of the necessary safety measures required for the use of compressed natural gas to fuel the country's buses. The ministry will prepare a similar outline for private vehicles within the next six months.

Israeli expert’s mission to save India’s rivers.  Renowned water expert Dr Yoram Oren has been developing nano-filtration membrane separation to purify two of India’s mighty rivers. The Noyyal and the Bhavani have been polluted due to the large scale discharge of toxic effluents from dyeing units along the river shores.

Reinforcing the new corvette.  (Thanks to Israel21c) The new Chevy Corvette C7 Stingray sports car is lighter and stronger thanks to the same very dense plastic composite material that protects US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The material is manufactured by Plasan Sasa, which is based at Kibbutz Sasa in Northern Israel.

Saving water across the world.  Israel’s Miya locates leaks, saving 600 million liters of water every day in Manila, Philippines.   Other projects include the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico and South Africa.

Mobile communications for ships at sea.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Station 711 has launched its upgraded version of Fleetbroadband to give officers and crew a commercial, operational and personal link to the world while at sea.

WiFi in Alaska.  Israel’s Alvarion is deploying its fast wireless broadband service on the North Slope of Alaska, one of the remotest and harshest places on earth.  Alvarion’s rugged equipment will allow the 7500 residents, including workers on the Alaskan oil rigs, to have fast access to the Internet.


Israeli inflation hits 6-year low.  The year-end increase in the price index was 1.6 percent, well within government target projections of 1-3%.  Predictions for 2013 remain low at 1.8%.  Reasons included reduced prices of fruits and vegetables, mobile phone tariffs, Internet services and preschool education.

Israeli companies are on the move.  Israel’s PointGrab and eyeSight have 95% of the market for Gesture technology - the latest feature for personal computers.  The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, revealed PointGrab’s latest deal with Samsung’s smart TVs and eyeSight’s with AMD’s new graphics chip.

More El Al flights to London.  From March, Israel's national carrier is to add four more weekly flights to Luton airport, plus a further five flights in June. By the summer 22 flights will operate from Tel Aviv into the London area every week.  El Al also announced special flight prices and a new frequent flier lounge at Luton.

Hi-tech Haredi conference.  Jerusalem has been hosting a first of its kind conference focusing on hi-tech entrepreneurship, innovation and employment in Israel’s ultra-orthodox sector.  Political leaders, entrepreneurs and technicians discussed government programs and effective ways of raising capital.

ADHD company to make NASDAQ listing.  Israel’s Alcobra will be the first launch by an Israeli life sciences company on Nasdaq since 2010.  Alcobra's MG01CI ADHD medication is undergoing a Phase II clinical trial.  It is a non-stimulant treatment, which makes it safer than Ritalin and has far fewer side effects than Strattera.

China buys Israeli flat panel displays.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) China may be manufacturing the world’s TV flat screens, but their assembly lines need Israeli hi-tech equipment to build them.  Israel’s Orbotech has just won a contract for $40 million of its latest generation automated optical inspection and array tester models.

And 660,000 tons of Potash.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel Chemicals will supply Chinese customers with $264 million worth of Israeli Potash during 2013.  The agreement includes provision for a three-year total of 3 million tons ($1.2bn).  The Potash fertilizer will help grow the crops necessary to feed China’s huge population.

The country is Israel.  A financial organization has just discovered the investment opportunities in the Jewish State.


Arab belly dancers flock to Eilat.  Some 950 dancers from 30 countries – including Turkey, Egypt and Jordan – are participating in the annual International Belly Dance Festival taking place in Eilat's Club Hotel.  The festival is the world's biggest belly dancing event.

More success for “Homeland”.  Television series Homeland, based on the Israeli television show Hatufim, has had another successful year at the Golden Globes, winning Best Television Drama.  Homeland’s Damian Lewis and Claire Danes were honored with the Best Actor and Best Actress awards for their roles in the series.

“Fill the Void” wins at Palm Springs.  The Israeli movie “Fill the Void” was named Best Foreign-Language Film of the Year at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  The film portrays the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Tel Aviv and beat entries from 41 other countries.


The ultimate lecture.  Everything you wanted to know about “International Law” but were afraid to ask.  46 minutes from Professor Eugene Kontorovich that explains the terms “illegal”, “occupation” and “settlements”.

Turkish journalist openly defends Israel.  Hurriyet Daily News writer Burak Bekdil lives in Ankara and frequently attacks the Turkish leadership and defends Israel.  He wrote that Golda Meir was correct in stating “there will not be peace between the Muslim world and Israelis until the Arabs learn to love their own children more than they hate the Jewish people”.

Israel’s archaeology discoveries are now online.  Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) has launched a new on-line Israel Archaeological Archive.  The project consolidates 30,000 Israeli websites and 30,000 antiquity sites.  IAA deputy director Dr Uzi Dahari called it “the largest and most important asset of the State of Israel.”

The Dead Sea has risen.  It may sound like the title of a horror movie, but it is definitely good news.  The measured water level of the Dead Sea has increased by 10cm for the first time since 2003 due to the surging Jordan River and flash floods in the area.


In the 13th Jan 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists can destroy kidney tumors in children without harming normal cells.
·        The step-grandmother of US President Obama had emergency treatment at an Israeli hospital in Guinea.
·        Ultra-orthodox Jewish soldiers rescued Palestinian Arabs from a flooded river.
·        An Israeli natural pesticide literally “gets up the nose” of the bugs.
·        Israel’s SodaStream has found a novel way to promote sustainability.
·        An Israeli company is designing and will operate the largest desalination plant in the USA.
·        Israel plans to build a wildlife park in Jerusalem.
·        Some great photos following Israel’s recent stormy weather.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Sharp-shooting cancer.  Scientists at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv have isolated the cancer stem cells that fuel the growth of Wilms’ tumors - responsible for kidney cancer in children.  They then used antibody medication to target specific molecules in those cells and destroy the tumors without harming any other cells.

Israeli treatment helps bone marrow transplants.  Israeli biotech Enlivex has developed a treatment called ApoCell that triggers a response from the immune system to reduce adverse reactions during bone marrow transplants.  It prevents Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD), which affects around 70% of transplant patients.

GPS for the brain.  (Thanks to Stuart Palmer and Israel21c.)  Israel’s Alpha Omega’s products guide neurosurgeons to the required location in the brain.  Alpha Omega is run by Imad and Reem Younis – two Christian Arabs from Nazareth, with their mostly Christian and Muslim staff of Israeli University graduates.

Treating Epilepsy from the inside.  Israel’s BioControl Medical has reduced epileptic episodes by 50% in recent trials of its FitNeS™ implantable vagus nerve stimulation system.  And no side effects.

Obama’s step-grandmother treated at Israeli hospital in Guinea.  I had to blink hard when I read this.  The 3rd wife of the US President’s grandfather has just undergone emergency eye treatment at the “Shalom” La Paz Medical Center in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.  Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital runs the state-of-the-art medical center and the local staff includes around 100 Israeli doctors.  Just see some of the photos in the third link.


“I love the army”.  So said Samir – a Muslim Arab who voluntarily enlisted in the IDF.  Samir was born in Syria but now lives in Israel.  He serves in the Tavor battalion, one of the Home Front Command's search and rescue battalions, whose men also perform combat activities in addition to their rescue efforts.

Haredi soldiers rescue Palestinian Arabs.  Here is a news item that may (but should not) surprise you.  Members of an Ultra-orthodox IDF battalion saved the lives of three Palestinian Arabs who were trapped in a car near Nablus in a swollen stream growing violent due to the stormy weather.  Plus, another rescue video.

East Jerusalem Arabs want to be Israeli.  Haaretz is surprised by evidence of the true wish of Arab residents of Israel’s capital.  More applications for Israeli ID cards; more students taking the Israeli matriculation exams; more enrolling in Israeli academic institutions; and a rising number of youth volunteering for national service.

And so much more.  Out of the 600 Christians from the Gaza Strip who arrived in the West Bank in the past two weeks to celebrate Christmas, dozens have asked to move to Israel.  Dozens of Christian families from east Jerusalem have moved to Jewish neighborhoods in the city.  But that’s not the half of it – please read the article.

A Panamanian immigrant’s view of Israel.  Vivian Hamui has just arrived in the Jewish State, living and studying with Ethiopians, Russians, Spanish, English, Chinese, Americans, Dutch, Venezuelans and – oh yes – many Arab girls.  She doubts if the same situation could occur in any other Middle East country.

From Israel to Africa with love.  A delegation including nine Ben Gurion University students are currently in the city of Makele in Ethiopia, taking part in an extensive educational medical program which aims to eliminate neglected tropical diseases.  The program includes medical intervention and administering medications, combined with health and hygiene education and addressing the problems of sanitation and water purification.


It’s Israeli at any angle.  Lenovo’s new range of Ideapad Ultrabooks includes the gesture control features of Israeli startup, eyeSight Mobile Technologies.  With simple hand movements, from a distance of up to 70cm you can control media player, photo gallery, Powerpoint and PDF reader.

Chips with everything.  The Israeli-developed XciteR chipset developed by DSP Group will power TECOM’s new MOCET Communicator – the advanced IP phone for Apple’s iPAD.  DSP products are being integrated into a number of High Definition (HD) devices and services.

A natural herbal pesticide.  Israel’s EdenShield has discovered natural Negev herbs that insects cannot tolerate.  The herbs are converted into solution and sprayed on the netting surrounding fruit and vegetables.  When the bugs smell the aroma of the herb they turn tail and fly away.

See Israeli technology at Arava Open Day.  Yair Farm is the site for this year’s two-day agritech show.  250 (mostly Israeli) companies will be demonstrating their products to over 30,000 visitors.  It has something for everyone - free entrance, a farmer’s market, kids’ activities, and gala evening concerts from top Israeli stars


Israeli unemployment back down to 6.7%.  November’s reduction from 6.9% was accompanied by an improvement in the overall labor force participation rate, which rose 0.2% to 63.9%. The figures demonstrate that more people were actively seeking and successfully finding work in November than in October.

True blue-and-white companies.  Eight Israeli companies were awarded the President’s Export Award for 2011.  They included Kamada - developers of advanced cystic fibrosis medication. Another, SodaStream was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2007 but in 2011 exported $584 million worth of machines and soda cartridges.

SodaStream promotes sustainability.  The successful Israeli drinks-maker SodaStream saves the customer hundreds of plastic bottles every year.  SodaStream made a very clever advertisement, which the UK regulators banned for “denigrating plastic bottle makers”.  You can see both the original ad and its replacement here.

US-Israeli merger is a “win-win” deal.  Israel’s Peer Medical has developed a video system and endoscope to help doctors detect more cancerous polyps and other risks.  Peer has merged with Atlanta-based EndoChoice, which markets endoscopes.  The ideal “marriage” brings jobs to Atlanta and Israeli technology to the world.

USA buys Israeli laser technology.  Colorado’s Spectranetics has acquired the products of Israel’s Upstream Peripheral Technologies. Upstream’s innovations reduce radiation exposure to both doctors and patients when lasers are used to clear blockages in leg arteries and to reduce the time needed to clear those blockages.

Aphrodite has gas.  Test drilling at Israel’s Aphrodite-2 exploration well in the offshore Ishai field 100 miles west of Haifa has encountered a gas layer of 49 feet.  By late February they will confirm if estimates of 3.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are accurate.

Desalination for San Diego.  Israel’s IDE Technologies has won a $650 million contract to help build and then run the largest water desalination facility in the United States.  The plant will be constructed at Carlsabad, in San Diego County, California and will produce up to 200,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day.

A year of Israeli hi-tech commercial success in NYC.  Many Israeli companies launched onto the New York City stage in 2012 thanks to personal introductions, trade events and roadshows, Israel Technology days, International exhibitions and visits by delegations of US companies to Israel.


Jerusalem’s Gardens are blooming.  2013 developments at Jerusalem’s Botanical gardens include a Children’s Interactive Discovery Path and an expanded and renovated tropical conservatory.  Read about these and exciting events for the upcoming New Year for Trees and for the rest of the Spring season.

The most museums per capita in the world.  (Thanks to Liba) CNN has suddenly recognized that Israel has many cultural attractions.  Here is its top 10 of the Jewish State’s more than 200 museums.

An Israeli reggae violinist.  Meet Michael Greilsammer from Jerusalem. He bills himself as the world’s only Jewish reggae violinist, sings in French and plays music that is influenced by the rhythms of Bob Marley, Irish pubs, Gypsy camps and even the Arab street.  He has just performed at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

8-year-old Yoav plays Haydn in the Dohany.  Enjoy the performance of Israel’s 8-year-old progeny pianist Yoav Levanon as he plays Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D major – without music, note!  The setting of Budapest’s Dohany Synagogue makes it even more atmospheric.


Israel rescues Afghan Jewish manuscripts.  Israel's National Library has unveiled recently purchased ancient Jewish manuscripts rescued from caves in a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan.  The Afghan collection gives an unprecedented look into the lives of Jews in ancient Persia in the 11th century.

Designers push the envelope.  Teacher Marlin Nowbakht at Israel's Shenkar College of Engineering and Design believes “Israeli students are very targeted on what they do.... They're pushing the boundaries of their thoughts. They don't accept every answer as it is. And there is a lot of creativity within that breaking-the-boundaries kind of approach."

Israel’s first city wildlife park.  (Thanks to Israel21c) “Gazelle Valley” is a 64-acre site in the Givat Mordechai neighborhood of Jerusalem, in the south west of Israel’s capital.  The valley is to be turned into the Gazelle Urban Nature Park, preserving the small flock of wild mountain gazelle that live there.

Teaching Diaspora kids about Israel.  The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education at Bar-Ilan University has completed an innovative "Israel throughout the Year" curriculum for Jewish day schools in the United States and Canada. Schools can choose to utilize either the colorful print or digital versions.

StandWithUs Conference.  Guests of the StandWithUs Fellowship Reunion Conference included Israeli Environment Minister Gilad Erdan and CEO of Google Israel Meir Brand. The StandWithUs Israel Fellowship identifies, educates and empowers Israel’s next generation of leaders and ambassadors.

A late arrival.  Among the 18,000 new immigrants to Israel in 2012 was 100-year-old Moises Lederman from Brazil.  "I'm only sorry I didn't come to Israel earlier on, but better late than never," he said.

Enjoying “good rain”.  Here are some of the best Internet images of Israelis making the most of the unusual weather.  Eight of the photos are genuine, but five have been enhanced – probably with Israeli technology.  See if you can spot the intruders.

Protecting the Jewish State in all weathers.  See this lovely photo of an Israeli Air Force squadron flying over the snow-capped hills of Northern Israel.  Sends shivers up one’s spine, and a warm glow everywhere else!


In the 6th Jan 2013 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli discovery that a medication for Parkinson’s turns sufferers into artists and poets.
·        Order of British Empire (OBE) given to Israeli educator for services to the teaching of English.
·        13% of Israeli exports go to Arab countries.
·        Israelis have developed the basis for computers that can anticipate human needs.
·        Israel is growing frankincense for the first time in over 1500 years.
·        Israel bans cosmetics that involve testing on animals.
·        Accidents and fatalities on Israeli roads are the lowest for 50 years.
·        Good news for man’s best friend – a life-saving vaccine and a TV channel.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


Israeli neurologist discovers positive side effect.  A study by Israeli neurologist Dr. Rivka Inzelberg has identified that patients taking dopamine-stimulating medication (to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease) have contracted artistic or literary creative skills.  Reducing the medication suppresses these new skills.

Calcium control prevents brain diseases.  Hebrew University researchers have discovered that the protein Calphotin regulates the amount of Calcium contained in the body’s cells.  Loss of Calphotin (e.g. due to aging) causes Calcium levels to rise and accelerates cell death. In the brain this leads to diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Approval for Israeli tumor test.  The US Food and Drugs Administration has approved the MarginProbe breast cancer test from Israel’s Dune Medical.  Surgeons performing lumpectomy operations use MarginProbe to ensure that the whole tumor has been removed, thus avoiding the need for further operations.

More power to the brain. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Max Planck Society of Germany are to build a 3 million euro Brain Research Center on the Hebrew U’s Givat Ram site in the nation’s capital.  It is hoped that the research will lead to improved treatment for destructive neurological diseases.

New vaccine for dogs.  (From Israel21c) Two Hebrew University veterinary scientists have developed the first vaccine effective against canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME), a sometimes fatal tick-borne disease in dogs.


More help for educating minorities.  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is creating a program for students from minority backgrounds to encourage access to higher education. To lead these efforts, the University has appointed Prof. Nayef Jarrous as the Minority Affairs Advisor to Hebrew U President Menahem Ben-Sasson.

Penny gets Queen’s honor for the Queen’s English.  English-born teacher, lecturer and writer Penny Ur from Moshav Amnon has just been awarded the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors List for her work promoting English language-teaching methodologies.  Penny made Aliya in 1967.

Asperger’s Birthright tour.  20 young North American Jews with Asperger’s Syndrome have just experienced Israel together on a special Taglit-Birthright tour.  They also met Israelis with Asperger’s at Shekel, an umbrella organization for Israelis with special needs.

Arab states love Israeli produce.  A major Lebanese supermarket chain is selling Israeli goods, contrary to the 64-year-old Arab boycott of the Jewish State.  Amazingly, according to a Tel Aviv University report, Israel’s exports to Middle Eastern markets in 2011 were over $6 billion, about 13 percent of overall Israeli exports.

Only Israel.  Excellent article that sums up the upside-down world we live in.

Israel is one with Newtown.  The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School invoked much empathy from Israeli leaders and organizations.  Both President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu sent condolences.  Israel Humanitarian Aid donated boxes of fresh food to first responders in Newtown.  And Hadassah has raised funds to plant a grove of 3,000 trees in Beersheva River Park, Israel, in memory of the 26 victims.


Two Israeli apps are among Apple’s “Best of 2012”.  Two Israeli applications have made the Apple App Store’s Best of 2012 list.  Any.Do allows users to manage a task list using voice commands or touchscreen technology. GroupShot allows group photos to be edited so that everyone looks their best.

Israel introduces “perceptual computing”.  Using a unique platform developed at Intel’s Haifa center, it will soon be possible for computers to anticipate the needs of their owners.  Intel is offering developers $1 million in prizes to come up with the software of tomorrow, in the Intel Perceptual Computing Challenge.

Waze can help reduce accident numbers.  Ben Gurion University researchers have analyzed data from Israeli GPS navigation application “Waze “to highlight traffic trouble spots where police can be deployed more effectively. The data highlighted slow police response times and unmonitored busy intersections.

The first frankincense tree for 1500 years.  Dr Elaine Solowey of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies has grown a new sapling of the rare and fragile tree at Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev.  Frankincense production at Ein Gedi by the Dead Sea was a major industry until the Romans wiped out the settlement.

Purifying wastewater in Brazil.  Israeli start-up Mapal Energy has completed a project in Brazil for the supply and installation of floating fine-bubble aeration units in the state of São Paulo.  Mapal’s units replaced the existing mechanical aerators, saving 50% of the energy while maintaining the quality of the treated water.

Iron Dome got even better.  Israel’s anti-missile defense system intercepted 85% of the rockets that Gaza terrorists fired at civilians during Operation Pillar of Defense.  But towards the end of the conflict, Rafael engineers managed to improve this to 100% - and halted the firing of the second (backup) missile.

Dog TV.  Flat screen technology has improved sufficiently for dogs to be able to view TV programs.  Israel’s YES channel has now launched Dog TV.  For NIS 9.90 per month you can leave your pet home alone to watch 3 to 6-minute-long programs of soothing, stimulating and scary content, so as not feel lonely or abandoned.

Beersheba opts for trees over houses.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilovich has decided to revoke plans to build 16,000 new housing units in the city's Ramot Gimel neighborhood in favor of planting a new forest.  The urban forest will span across 1,360 acres and serve as the city’s green lung.

The “BIRD” is flying.  BIRD is a major Israel-US fund for Research and Development projects.  It has just announced that it will be providing $9 million for ten new infrastructure projects that address water technologies, environmental recycling, cyber security and firefighting.

Moses definitely went the right way on leaving Egypt.  Harold Vinegar’s 10-minute talk at December’s Globes Israel Business Conference will tell you everything you need to know about Israel’s shale oil deposits.  250 billion barrels of high-quality oil will change the face of the Middle East.


Tamar’s platform arrives.  Israel has launched an offshore platform for natural gas, a step towards energy self-sufficiency for the first time in history.  The platform, taller than Israel’s highest building, is located at the Tamar gas field, 24 miles west of the southern port city of Ashkelon.  Production is scheduled to start in April.

What do you want for your birthday?  Israel’s Jifiti is the first in-store gifting platform that allows users to select, share and redeem gifts at their favorite stores.  I know that my children will love this app (sigh!).

Modernizing Canadian businesses.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Herzliya-based BluePhoenix and Quebec’s WAZ Informatique are converting the out-of-date computer systems of large Canadian companies to modern open standard platforms.  BluePhoenix is the leading provider of legacy IT modernization conversion solutions.


40 years of “Dry Bones”.  For the past 40 years, Israeli cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen has provided profound satire and witty commentary on everyday Israeli news and international events with his “Dry Bones” cartoon in the Jerusalem Post newspaper and on-line.  See Yaakov’s educational project www.Dry-BonesProject.com

Warm up to Jazz in Eilat.  The winter International Red Sea Jazz festival returns to Eilat 17-19 Jan.  Nine ensembles from Israel and abroad will participate in this year's festival presenting fifteen musical performances.  The hotel venues are the Royal Garden, King Solomon and the Royal Beach, and jamming at the Monkey’s bar.

Fed Cup Tennis.  Sixteen countries (including Britain and Turkey) will compete for the Group 1 Fed Cup in Eilat from 6th to 9th February.  This is the third year in a row that Israel has hosted the European competition. 


Cleaning up the rivers.  Israel has increased the budget for rehabilitating polluted rivers and streams.  The new total includes NIS 220m for the Kishon River, NIS 300m for the Beersheba River and NIS 178m for the Alexander, the Yarkon, the Taninim Stream, the Shikma Stream and the Tabor Stream amongst others.

Converting garbage dump into homes.  Israel is to transform a disused landfill site in Netanya into a residential area for 2,062 families and 1,100 hotel rooms.  It involves evacuating 2.5 million cubic meters of waste, increasing Netanya’s famous iris nature reserve and providing much needed housing for the seaside city.

They’ve come a long way.  Fifteen Israeli-Ethiopian teenagers have just visited the birthplace of their parents.  During the trip they began to understand where they had come from and all that they had achieved.  For Zahava it was as if a giant puzzle had been completed.  “This was worth everything to me”, she said.

Israeli schools are improving.  More government funding, longer staff hours and teachers for specific subjects are some of the reasons why Israeli children are getting better test results.  The next goal is to reduce class sizes and tackle the problems affecting children from poor families.

Israel bans cosmetics tested on animals.  Israel now officially bans the import, marketing and sale of any cosmetics, toiletries or detergents whose manufacturing process involves animal testing.  Head of the Knesset's Animal Rights Lobby MK Eitan Cabel said, the law represents "A true revolution in animal welfare in Israel”.

Jewish coins from Biblical Israel.  The Israel Antiquities Authority’s collection of 800,000 coins is one of the largest in the world.  They are solid (often solid gold) proof of the ancient Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.  Jews were even minting coins during the Roman siege of Jerusalem, 2000 years ago.

Israel’s roads are the 10th safest in the world.  It’s true!  The numbers of accidents and fatalities on Israeli roads have been falling steadily in recent years and have now reached a 50-year low.  2012 saw a 25% drop in road deaths.  Reasons include improved infrastructure, technology, publicity and the work of NGO Or Yarok.