The Goals of the Jewish State

Last week was filled with news comprising one of Israel’s main goals - to repair the world.  But in case you were swamped by negative stories, here are some of the uplifting highlights.

The saving of innocent life is the top goal for Israelis.  Whilst the death toll in Syria’s civil war rises, Israel continued to treat hundreds of Syria’s wounded at its medical centers and IDF field hospital.  Meanwhile, the IDF Medical Corps and the American Air Force Medical Department signed a pact to share and develop techniques and technologies that will save lives during humanitarian rescue missions. Away from the battlefield, thanks go to the anonymous donor who responded to an urgent request on Janglo – one of Israel’s favorite information boards.  Doctors at Israel’s Beilinson Medical Center transplanted his kidney into a desperately ill mother of five in Ashdod.

Israel’s humanitarian goals have just received a major boost at the United Nations.  Israel joined the Western States UN human rights sub-group and has also been awarded observer status of the UN Pacific alliance.  It has already begun to help address global social and humanitarian issues.  Israel is simultaneously providing aid to hundreds of individual countries, such as supporting Jamaica’s economic recovery by helping turn the island into a global logistics hub.

Israel’s water technology underpins the Jewish State’s goal to eliminate drought.  EU’s President totally missed the point that if our neighbors truly sought peace, there would be ample water supplies for the whole region.  Israel’s brand new Sorek desalination plant can produce 624,000 cubic meters of water a day, but ironically EU policy prevents European countries working with Israel to build facilities to treat Palestinian Authority wastewater.  Israel is also working to eliminate famine.  Take a trip to the Vidor Family Visitors’ Center in Israel’s Arava to see how a desert has been transformed into the jewel in the crown of Israeli agriculture.

The goals of Israeli medicine are not only to save life, but also to alleviate suffering.  Israel’s Medigus is launching its flexible endoscope for the treatment of acid reflux.  The simple outpatient procedure can benefit over 16 million people with acid reflux who do not respond to medication.  And Israel’s LabStyle Innovations is distributing its Dario blood glucose-monitoring device in Australia, which will make life much simpler for some of the 1.2 million Australians officially diagnosed with diabetes. 

Many see Israel’s goal as a light to the nations.  Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar agrees, reporting that Israel is strategically vital for a secure, prosperous and influential Europe.  And believe it or not, the UK wants Israel to bring technology to the Arab world. The UK-Israel Tech Hub has organized the Go Global Program for Digital Arabic Content Entrepreneurs.
Israeli startup Cyactive certainly has an ambitious goal – an end to all computer viruses.  Cyactive detects the core of any virus, because 98% of the code inside a new virus is copied from existing viruses.  Tel Aviv’s SoftWheel has a well-rounded goal – a comfortable ride whether in a wheelchair, bicycle or aircraft.  But to achieve this goal, SoftWheel has literally re-invented the wheel.  Its “selective suspension” extends or shrinks the wheel’s hub when encountering an obstacle, dramatically reducing the shock transmitted.

Four Israelis recently achieved some spectacular individual goals.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem doctoral student Yossi Kabessa won the Singapore Challenge gold medallion and $100,000 at the Global Young Scientists Summit in Singapore. He designed a system to detect dangerous materials in large water supply systems.  Weizmann Professor Yair Reisner won one of Israel’s Rappaport prizes for his leukemia treatment using stem cells from incompatible donors.  The other winner was Dr. Yaakov Nahmias from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who discovered that the grapefruit molecule naringenin can block viruses.  But the goal that wowed the sports world is the one scored by Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer player Barak Yitzhaki.  He performed the famous bicycle kick to perfection.

Finally, it’s everyone’s goal to try and stay in good health.  Anyone planning to make a new life in the Jewish State will be happy to hear that the cost of fruits and vegetables in Israel are lower - sometimes significantly lower - compared to prices of fruits and vegetables in the United States and Western Europe.  With Israeli technology, we can all hope to achieve the goal of a long and fruitful life, as enjoyed by Rabbi Zechariah Barashi, who at 114 is the oldest Jew in the world.  Rabbi Barashi’s mind is a sharp as it was in 1936 when he immigrated to Israel from Kurdistan.  He says, “I have had the fortune of living in Jerusalem for 75 years. I’m in heaven.”

Israel can help us all reach our goals.

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to

Israel Cannot Lose

Israelis know that the Jewish State cannot afford to lose a single war or conflict.  In fact prevention of any loss of innocent life is paramount to Israelis.  And a determined “refusal to give up” is almost a national character trait that can be seen in many other aspects of Israeli society.

Israel is one of the top countries working to prevent or reduce loss of life from cancer.  Researchers at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center have just made a major breakthrough by discovering how breast cancer develops resistance to anti-cancer drugs.  The finding should help develop new treatments.  And only Israelis can learn how a killer virus can prevent loss of life.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have identified how the HIV virus suppresses the T-cell immune response and can help fight the battle against deadly autoimmune diseases.

Israelis apply the “preventing loss of life” principle right across the world.  Anat from Israel’s is called “Syria’s Israeli guardian angel”. Her 200 volunteers include former Israeli commandos, doctors, social workers, nurses, and Arabic-speaking trauma specialists who provide relief to thousands of Syrian refugees.  Israel has also not lost track of the hundreds of thousands who lost everything in Typhoon Haiyan.  Agricultural developers from Israel’s Tahal Group are providing technology assistance to help recovery operations in the Philippines province of Davao del Sur.  Americans and Europeans are also currently experiencing extreme weather conditions. Many will therefore appreciate Israel’s ClickSoftware which reduces the huge losses suffered in those countries by helping to schedule employees responsible for repairing damage from storms, fires, earthquakes, gas leaks and burst water mains.

Israeli hi-tech is already the world’s best hope of preventing massive loss of life through drought and global starvation.  At Tel Aviv’s recent WATEC water technology conference, the JNF showcased its innovations for preventing the loss of precious water resources to other drought-ravaged countries and demonstrated how to make non-arable land better suited for agriculture.  Next, take a look at AgriTask from Israel’s ScanTask - the new “Waze” of agriculture – that helps farmers make decisions on irrigating, planting, harvesting and the use of pesticides.

Staying in the water, Israel’s Amiad is benefiting from new US Navy regulations designed to stop the loss of water pollutants from its ships.  All new vessels assembled at the Navy’s Virginia shipyards will be fitted with Amiad’s water filters, including the massive new USS John F Kennedy aircraft carrier.  And whilst we’re afloat, I must highlight that Israel’s Ben Gurion University and Canada’s Dalhousie University are to jointly build an Internationally recognized Ocean studies center in Eilat.  Among the many aims of the center is to avert the loss of endangered marine species.

Two Israeli organizations have recently promoted the Jewish value that no child should lose the opportunity for a decent education.  The first is the Haifa Center for Children with Learning Disabilities (Chi.L.D.) - a dynamic learning and therapeutic center providing children and families with vital educational, social and therapeutic services.  The second is the amazing Israel Center for Excellence through Education, which has developed the CIJE Excellence 2000 program now being exported to the US, Australia, Austria, India, Poland and Singapore.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is helping to ensure the Jewish State does not lose connection with its lost tribes by sponsoring the immigration of another wave of members of India’s Bnei Menashe to Israel, reuniting them with their families and ancestral homeland.  And Israeli artist Irene Orleansky has partnered with the Abayudaya Jewish Community of Uganda to create "Shalom, Mirembe!" as part of a music collection from Israelites and Jews of Africa and Asia.

Here are two recent examples where Israel strives not to lose the connection between its people and their heritage.  Firstly, the Yad Ezer La’Haver ("helping hand to a friend") association arranged for twelve Holocaust survivors to celebrate a joint bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah ceremony, as they lost the chance to mark their coming of age during their youth.  “At the age of thirteen I was in Auschwitz," said one of them. "There wasn't really anyone to talk to about celebrations."  Secondly, please watch this new 7-minute documentary featuring Jewish families who lived in Jerusalem’s Old City for generations, but lost their homes when the Arab Legion evicted them in 1948 after the State of Israel was declared. They returned 19 years later in 1967 after Israeli forces liberated the Old City during the Six Day War.

Finally, we return to the Israeli determination not to lose a single soul.  On a recent Shabbat morning, two religious students visited our local Netanya Laniado Hospital to distribute sweets and wish everyone a “speedy recovery.”  They sang to a 60-year-old woman who was close to death and by Monday she had revived, amazing the medical staff. “Thanks to them I am alive,” she said.

With Israel’s winning, life-giving team - you cannot lose!

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to

Israel is Their Only Hope

When I see news of Syrian civilians being barrel-bombed by their government and others needlessly starving to death, it is clear that only Israel can pull this crazy world out of its spiraling descent into self-destruction.

In the last few weeks, floods of wounded Syrians have been seeking and receiving treatment in Israeli hospitals.  A Christian group even rushed a Muslim Syrian Kurdish child from Iran-dominated Iraq to Israel, to repair the hole in her heart. At the IDF field hospital on the Syrian border, soldiers apply a core Jewish value: “Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world”. We then witnessed the surreal spectacle of Arabs on Al-Jazeera TV questioning as to why the Syrian army, Hezbollah and other Islamic military groups cannot be more humane like the Israeli army. 

Every week the Jewish State gives hope to the sick and disadvantaged around the world.  Just look at some of the latest medical discoveries and innovations from Israeli universities and bio-techs.

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have just discovered a cure for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) - the 13th biggest killer in the Western world.  They have patented low-level laser treatment to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing that will transform the lives of the 200,000 new patients diagnosed with AAA in the US each year.  Still with the Hebrew U, researchers there have developed a peptide to counteract enzymes in high blood sugar that cause brain cell death - the reason why diabetics have a much higher risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  And doctors throughout Africa are anxiously waiting for HUJ researchers to announce their solution to the malaria parasite.  The deadly disease is responsible for more than one million deaths each year.

Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found a pathway to a cure for the two currently untreatable forms of Gaucher’s disease.   Scientists at Tel Aviv University have developed a computer algorithm that identifies genes involved in the aging process.  The findings provide hope of developing medication to transform old diseased cells back into healthy ones.

Israel’s bio-techs have recently delivered hopeful news for many desperate patients.  Novocure’s clinical study of its NovoTTF therapy for pancreatic cancer demonstrated a significant decrease in cell count and reduced tumor volume. BiondVax announced that tests prove its universal flu vaccine matches all six pandemic flu strains in the world today, including bird flu strains H5N1 and H7N9 that have spread to humans and killed hundreds of people.  Oramed’s Phase 2a clinical trial of its ORMD-0801 oral insulin capsule for the treatment of type 2 diabetes met all primary and secondary endpoints. And MS patients can now stop four of their seven daily injections of Copaxone now that the US FDA has approved Teva’s more effective 40-ml dose.

The flood of illegal African migrants has put a huge strain on the Jewish State, but for some of those fleeing civil war, Israel appears to have been their only hope.  I certainly admire Israel’s volunteer doctors who treat them at Tel Aviv Central Bus station’s clinic.

The world’s increasing numbers of hungry families depend on Israeli agricultural innovations.  The latest includes a low-cost system from Israel’s Energy Industry Ltd. to grow vegetables in extreme cold.  It injects hot water into fine tubes to distribute heat over wide surfaces for large greenhouses and has been sold to the government of Georgia where temperatures drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius.  Meanwhile, Israel’s Haifa Group has just launched a free mobile app (iOS or Android) that helps farmers determine the precise amount of fertilizer and nutrients needed for each type of crop.  And at the end of next year, Israel will see the launch of the Venus Vegetation and Environment Monitoring Micro-satellite that is our key hope for preventing catastrophic deterioration in the state of the planet.  Israel Aerospace Industries is building the hull of the satellite and Israel’s Elbit is building the camera.

Israel is uniquely securing world cities from terrorism.  The new security system from Israel’s Magal, for example, protects Mombassa - Kenya’s seaport.  Meanwhile Russian police worried about the Sochi Winter Olympics are traveling to Israel for counter-terrorism training in order to respond to Islamists who have been murdering civilians in Russia’s North Caucasus regions.  And at Israel’s first-ever cyber-technology show, Cybertech 2014, Prime Minister Netanyahu hailed Israel’s 200 computer security companies as making the Jewish State one of the few players that can save the Internet from hackers.  In addition, the new facilities built by Lockheed Martin, EMC and IBM will turn Beersheva into a world-class cyber-security center.

I conclude, as I began, with a plea that this message is brought home to our neighbors in the Middle East and to the rest of the world.  Embrace the Start-up Nation, as have the many Palestinian Arabs hoping to better themselves.  Such as those at SodaStream who have made vociferous appeals “not to boycott us”.  Or the hundreds of Arab students studying at Ariel University in Samaria, as observed by the Czech Ambassador to Israel on his recent visit there.

As Israel’s Prime Minister said at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, “We have no choice – to survive we had to innovate.” 

We now all need Israeli innovations to survive.

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
For a free subscription, email a request to