Why do they not Boycott Israel?

As promised last week, this article contains just a few of the recent cases of Arabs and Muslims who have benefited by receiving vital medical services from Israel.  These examples totally destroy the lies of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) mob that Israel is ethnically cleansing Arabs from the Jewish State. For those that want further proof, please read my previous blogs on the subject here, here, here, and here.

Again, for my sources to this latest blog, I am using only medical news articles since January 2013 – i.e. just the last four and a half months.

I’ll start with a few examples of Israelis saving the lives of Palestinian Arabs. 
-         In May, the Israel Defense Forces became the first army in the world to use powdered blood products in field operations when dry blood plasma was given to a Palestinian Arab with internal bleeding following an auto accident. The man recovered at Hadassah Hospital and has since been discharged. 
-         Back in February, IDF medics saved the life of a Palestinian Arab motorcyclist who suffered severe abdominal bleeding in a crash with a mini-bus near Shechem, otherwise known as Nablus.  He was then taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah, near Tel Aviv. 
-         In the same month an IDF medical team saved the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian Arab dialysis patient whose life was in danger due to pulmonary edema.  He was then transferred to the Meyer Children's Hospital in Haifa, which specializes in Pediatric Nephrology Dialysis.

Then here is Orit’s story of her service as a medic in the Israeli army where she saved the life of a Palestinian Arab boy caught in machinery.  Later on 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 nationality and moral standards.

Moving on to Gaza:
-         400 Gaza residents were treated at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa last year.  Siblings Ahmad and Hadil Hamdan both suffer from chronic kidney disease and receive regular dialysis treatment at Rambam. 
-         3-year-old Mohammed has no hands and feet and lives at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan because his parents and the Palestinian Authority abandoned him.
-         Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Tel Aviv and an International Christian church have set-up a project called "Rescue the Child" to treat children who receive inadequate healthcare in Gaza and the Territories.

Israel must be doing something right.  World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan made her first trip to the Jewish State and visited Gaza children at Tel Aviv’s Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital. She said, “I’ve come here to learn from your excellent health system”.  WHO reported that in 2012 Israel approved immediately 91.5 percent of PA applications for Gaza residents to receive medical care in Israel proper, while an additional 7.2 percent were approved pending a security check. In total, 210,469 Palestinian Arabs received medical treatment inside Israel proper in 2012.

In Israeli hospitals Arab-Israeli doctors work alongside Jewish-Israeli doctors. At Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, there are some 60 Palestinian Arab doctors in residency.  The director of the emergency department at Hadassah University Medical Center is Muslim cardiologist Dr. Aziz Darawshe from the Arab village of Iksal near Nazareth, who is also chairman of the Israel Society for Urgent Medicine.

Israel views all life to be sacred.  Three young Iraqi children were brought to Israel in order to receive lifesaving medical care from Israel’s international organization Save A Child's Heart.  In addition, Israel Defense Force medics treated
-         Seven wounded Syrians in February – one in a critical condition
-         Four Syrians in March after they approached the Israel-Syrian border seeking medical attention – two were seriously hurt
-         A Syrian suffering from shrapnel wounds in April, who was evacuated to to the Ziv Hospital in Tzfat.
So many Syrians have sought help from Israel that the IDF has set-up an army field hospital near the border fence, similar to that employed in Haiti after the earthquake. The field hospital avoids having to transport serious cases on long, risky journeys to hospitals inside Israel.

Finally, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan may be blowing hot and cold rhetoric at Israel, but his ex-Finance Minister knew where to turn when he needed treatment to wean him off dialysis and avoid a kidney transplant.  Kemal Unakıtan spent nearly two-and-a-half months at the International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy in Tel Aviv, where he received Israel’s groundbreaking stem cell treatment.

I wish a speedy recovery to him, and all Arabs and Muslims who have rejected the BDS call and accepted Israeli medical assistance.

My next blog on this subject will cover Israeli medical innovations and services announced in 2013 that benefit all of humanity.  I’m sure you will know somebody who will need them.

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com

Boycott Israel? Good Grief

There has been much written recently about BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions) against Israel following Professor Stephen Hawkings’ decision to cancel his appearance at the Israeli Presidential Conference in June.  My response is to provide an update to members of the BDS club of my previous articles here and here on the stupidity and futility of boycotting the Jewish State.  For my sources to this latest blog, I am using only medical news articles since January 2013 – i.e. the last four and a half months.  The following is just a small selection – a more extensive list will be posted on my blogsite in the next week or so.

Dear BDS member.  By boycotting Israeli treatments and research you will cause the deaths of millions of children from Hepatitis B because they couldn’t have SciGen’s Sci-B-Vac only third-generation Hep B virus vaccine.  You would have to destroy the research by Hadassah Medical Organization that located the gene that causes recurrent life-threatening infections and bone marrow failure in children.  The babies born deformed and blind from ectodermal dysplasia cannot touch the gene therapy that Israel’s Technion has developed.  Children paralysed by the genetic brain disease Peripheral Neuropathy will just have to whistle for the medication developed by doctors at Hadassah Medical Center – except of course that they can’t whistle. 

BDS members obviously have no wish to cure cancer. 
-         You would boycott Hebrew University Professor Alexander Levitzki’s award-winning cancer therapies.
-         You would dispatch Technion’s diagnosis breath test for lung cancer and stomach cancer to the garbage, despite the fact an Israeli Arab invented it.
-         Gamida Cell’s Nicord and StemEx treatments for blood cancers, leukemia and lymphoma are “No No”s.
-         So is Biocancell Therapeutics’s new treatment for bladder cancer.
-         Melanoma (skin cancer) sufferers can forget the successful T-cell treatment at Sheba Medical Center. 
-         You must not treat patients with aggressive cancers if it requires the multi-antibody combination discovered by Israel’s Weizmann Institute.
-         Ban any work on the Hebrew University’s discovery of a mutated protein breast cancer signal. Then when you developed breast cancer your surgeons would just have to cut away healthy flesh with the tumor, as they would not be allowed to use the MarginProbe breast cancer test from Israel’s Dune Medical. 
-         Children will contract kidney cancer because you prohibited Sheba Medical Center’s treatment of the cancer stem cells that fuel the growth of Wilms’ tumors. 
-         Finally your worst nightmare is to be injected with Weizmann Institute’s microscopic device that searches the body for genetic malfunctions in the cells. 

BDS members have no heart, no brain and no spine, otherwise why would they want to boycott Israeli cardiology, neurology and spinal treatments? 

Heartless BDS members would need to avoid
-         Lev-El Diagnostics’ heart monitor algorithm that identifies heart disease in one hour instead of two days.
-         Enopace Biomedical’s endovascular micro-stimulator, which acts as a pacemaker for the arteries. 
-         Or Dr. Shai Efrati, of Tel Aviv University, whose Oxygen enrichment therapy improves stroke patients even 3 years after their last attack. 
-         And they would never use one of InspireMD’s new self-expanding stroke-preventing stents.

Brainless BDS activists can ignore Israel’s latest neurological discoveries and innovations such as:
-         How regulating the protein Calphotin can prevent Alzheimer’s disease
-         Why the sugar substitute mannitol protects the brain against Parkinson’s
-         Deep Brain Stimulation which treats Parkinson’s disease and helps smokers to quit
-         The pre-natal diagnostic tool for prevention of genetic mental retardation
-         BioControl Medical’s system that reduces epileptic episodes by half.
-         Alcobra’s ADHD medication, which is safer than Ritalin and has few side effects.
-         And certainly Weizmann’s research into how the brain repairs itself.

Spineless BDS bigots will have to forgo
-         Argo Medical’s ReWalk exoskeleton for paraplegics, for which Version 2 was shown to US President Obama; IDF paraplegic Radi Kaiuf used it to complete the Tel Aviv 10km race in less than 4 hours.
-         Mazor Robotics’s robotic spinal surgery which has just been approved for sale in Australia
-         Premia Spine’s artificial titanium joint that restores mobility to sufferers of spinal degeneration
-         Bonus Biogroup, which is generating new bones from a patients’ own fat cells.
-         Cartilage regeneration from a CartiHeal Agili-C implant
-         Diagnosis of walking problems using SensoGo’s gait analysis device

Finally, I can understand that you BDS people have no feelings for humanity.  But surely you must care for animals?  So please don’t boycott the first vaccine effective against canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME), a sometimes fatal tick-borne disease in dogs.  I realise that two Hebrew University veterinary scientists developed it, but you can’t let a poor animal suffer, can you?

Next week, I will post a feature on some of the Palestinian Arabs, Syrians, Iraqis etc. who have benefited from not boycotting Israel.

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com

Good News is Infectious

I have now been compiling my weekly newsletter of positive news articles about Israel for over two-and-a half years.  When I started, I was often met with the comment “Is there any good news?”  These days, only Ha’aretz readers react that way.  In far more cases, people excitedly pass me their own sources of good news stories concerning the Jewish State.  This infectious state of affairs means that some weeks I have to omit stories because there is just too much good news for people to absorb.

I chose this week’s title because of four medical news items highlighting Israel’s work to eradicate the danger to life from bacterial and viral infections.  In the first, Israel marked International Week for Encouraging Vaccinations by announcing that the Prevnar vaccination program introduced in 2009 had reduced annual cases of pneumonia in Israel by 70%.  The rotavirus vaccine, added in 2010, has reduced gastrointestinal illness in children by 60%.  Meanwhile, a group of researchers from the Hadassah Medical Organization has located a gene that explains the reason for recurrent life threatening infections and bone marrow failure in children. 

In Tel Aviv, Reuth Medical Center announced that a six-month trial of Cupron’s anti-bacterial copper-embedded linens, resulted in a huge reduction in patient bacterial infections. Reuth will now be the world’s first hospital to fully deploy copper-embedded textiles in all its patient-related hospital textiles. And to prevent the spread of the super-bug MRSA, Israeli hospitals have imposed a strict set of procedures including isolation wards, dedicated staff, mandatory hand-washing and daily reports, which have cut the incidence of the deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria by over 70 per cent.

Diagnosing infectious diseases and any other ailments will become easier at Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center now that doctors are using the new smart-phone app from Israel’s Elad Systems.  They can retrieve the medical files of patients in real time to view medical tests, prescriptions and sensitivities as well as data on hospitalization, operations and clinic visits.  Israeli medical innovations such as these are responsible for reducing mortality rates and extending life expectancy both in the Jewish State and in the rest of the world.  So it is appropriate that Ben-Gurion University of the Negev recently hosted the eighth European Congress of Biogerontology - the study of longevity and the aging process - a relatively new science, invented by three Israelis some 40 years ago.

A positive attitude can also be infectious, as highlighted by Bedouin IDF officer Lieutenant colonel Magdi Mazarib, the highest ranked member of the elite Bedouin trackers who help protect the borders of the Jewish State.  Comparing life in the Jewish State to every other state in the Middle East, he stated proudly in Al Arabiya, “The state of Bedouin in Israel is better, as far as the respect we get, our progress, education. It’s a different league.”  Perhaps Qatar’s Prince Khalifa Al-Thani has caught his enthusiasm.  He announced his intention this November to make the first official visit to Israel of a member of the Qatari royal family in order to promote high-tech cooperation between Qatar and Israel.  Finally, with this item featuring Turkish TV commentator Ceylan Ozbudak and Muslim scholar Adnan Oktar, there’s almost an “epidemic” of support for Israel.

Not only an infection can be caught.  The perpetrators of the Boston marathon bombings were apprehended thanks to Israeli technology.  BriefCam enabled investigators to summarize an hour of surveillance video footage into only one minute and also zoomed in on people and objects that moved during the filming. The system then tracked the suspects from the beginning of the video.

The interest generated by Israeli technology is truly infectious and the innovative companies themselves often receive industry awards for catching the attention and imagination of their peers.  Israeli “smart-water” network and software management firm Whitewater was named a 2013 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer at a ceremony in New York.  Whitewater was described as one of the “game-changing companies in the field of clean energy technology and innovation.”  Israeli agro-tech Sol-Chip has just won the Technical Development Award in the 2013 IDTechEx Energy Harvesting & Storage Europe Conference in Berlin.  Sol-Chip’s solar-powered sensors monitor the quality of the soil, irrigate automatically and even keep track of grazing cattle. 

I’ll finish by transmitting two further examples of infectious enthusiasm.  It was certainly heartwarming to hear the many positive reasons for making Aliya from dozens of Americans immigrating to Israel with Nefesh b’Nefesh.  But I only hope that Ido Aharoni, Israel’s Consul-General in New York, can spread his message and make it go viral.  “A nation is not defined by its problems. We need to begin a conversation about what we bring to the table as a country.” He continued, “In today’s tech environment it is not about winning debates, but building relationships with people with influence and relevance, people who matter.”

So there you have it.  I hope you’ve now caught the bug!

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Some of the earliest maps of the world placed Jerusalem right at its center.  Today, the world maintains a central media spotlight on tiny Israel.  So following the annual commemoration of Earth Day, which promotes global sustainability, I thought that I’d take you on a virtual tour, focusing on the Jewish State’s central position and how it works to sustain the planet and its inhabitants.

Israel itself commemorated Earth Day in Jerusalem with the opening of the Cool Globes exhibition, which consisted of 18 one-ton models of the Earth each highlighting a solution to environmental problems. This was followed by the world’s first full-length movie screening, powered by solar energy.  Then after the sun had set, the lights were turned off, to highlight the need to save energy.  Even the Israel Defense Force published an Earth Day summary of how it protects not just the people of Israel, but its environment too. This includes wastewater recycling, solar power, re-using water from air-condition units, filtering bacteria from ship water, recycling engine oil and switching to natural gas. 

Israel’s Weizmann Institute has developed some literally “groundbreaking” technology to repair the earth that grows our food.  Eco-friendly catalysts are introduced into the soil to break down the dangerous chemicals in pesticides into inert compounds.  Israeli start-up Catalyst Ag Tech is now commercializing the system.  Meanwhile, 24 Israeli companies including Mekorot, Amiad and Blue I promoted Israel’s technologies to prevent polluting the earth.  They flew to the Wasser Berlin trade fair to market their water and wastewater and management solutions.

Israelis are frequently at the center of environmental projects all over the Earth.  A delegation from Ben Gurion University’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research toured the Galapagos Islands and signed a cooperation agreement with the Directorate of the National Park to promote the conservation of the endangered biological diversity of the islands.  Closer to home, Israeli and Jordanian authorities worked together to save a rare Egyptian vulture. The bird was born in Israel but flew into power lines in the Jordan valley.  The Jordanians contacted Israeli nature organization SPNI, which obtained permission from both governments to collect the vulture.  The injured bird is now recovering at Ramat Gan Safari Hospital.

The needs of the Earth’s population occupy much of Israel’s time and resources.  Israeli biotech SciGen developed and manufactures the most effective Hepatitis B vaccine on Earth.  It is soon to be authorized for use in most countries where it should prevent many of the 1.2 million deaths from the virus each year.  Israel’s success in vaccine development has encouraged the US National Institutes of Health to fund a two-year study at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev into why the measles virus persists in its target cells and establishes chronic infection, long after resolution of its acute phase.  A recent measles epidemic in the UK city of Swansea highlights why this research is so important.

World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan praised Israel’s national health infrastructure on her first visit to Israel.  She said, “I’ve come here to learn from your excellent health system”.  She also visited Gaza children at Tel Aviv’s Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital.  And the Israeli director of Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Professor Kevin (Ilan) Tabb, found himself at the center of attention when his staff treated 24 victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, plus the surviving Chechen bomber.  Professor Tabb is also a board member of Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem.

Israeli universities are world-recognized centers of scientific excellence.  Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have just developed the first photonic topological insulators that prevent light from scattering irrespective of any defects in the materials that they flow through.  The transport of photons of light is central to today’s computing and electronic communications. Meanwhile, 40,000 students have signed up for the new 9-week on-line course “Synapses, Neurons and Brains” presented by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  In addition to the USA, Europe etc., its central fascination has attracted registrations from Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Morocco and Algeria.

Finally, the adoption by the Israeli Government of Europe's “Open Skies” policy will bring even more tourists to the Jewish State than the current record numbers.  But Jorgen Nilsson kept much closer to the ground during his recent journey to the Center of the Earth.  Jorgen - a knight in the Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus - arrived at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem after a six-months, 4,500-kilometer (2,800-mile) pilgrimage from Sweden to Jerusalem.

Stay focused!

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com