Who Cares? Israel Does

It’s clear from recent anti-Israel resolutions that the United Nations doesn’t care what happens in the Middle East.  In contrast, Israel continues unfazed to perform the good deeds that a caring world really should be cheering.

Another two wounded Syrians were brought in for emergency care last week at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriya near Tiberias in Northern Israel.  One of the injured, a 17-year-old, was treated for shrapnel wounds.  Israeli doctors have cared for thousands of Syrians wounded in the endless civil war across the border.  Meanwhile, Israeli surgeons in the South of the country saved the life of Yara - a 4-year-old girl from Gaza - after doctors serving the Hamas government amputated Yara’s leg but allowed necrosis to set in.  Israeli doctors took care of the injury and fitted a prosthetic leg that meant she could walk again.

I almost choked when Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch showed that he could not care less when he mocked Israel for sending medical teams to Nepal.  I strongly urge him to read this article, from Israel’s Dr Giora Weiser, who saved many lives whilst witnessing the appalling devastation and trauma.  Fortunately the local Nepalese have been far more grateful than HRW for Israel’s care and support.

Anyone with even an ounce of care and compassion knows that Israel will go far beyond the call of duty to save innocent lives.  East Timor just became the 50th country to send child patients to Israeli charity Save A Child’s Heart, whose surgeons successfully repaired the congenital heart defect in baby Lisa.  SACH doctors have saved over 3,500 children’s lives.

Israelis care for the disadvantaged in society far more than any other country.  Where but in Israel would the government appoint a Minister for Minorities in order to oversee that pensioners, students, women and the young are sufficiently cared for.  And here are three recent features about organizations that care for specific disadvantaged sections of Israeli society.  First is the Alon Center in Kibbutz Alonim, which caters for the needs of teenagers of normal intelligence with emotional and/or behavioral issues who have been unable to successfully integrate into the regular school system.  Second is ALEH Negev that cares for the severely disabled – founded by Maj Gen Doron Almog, who gave up his army career in order to establish the village.  Finally, here is an amazing video from ESRA that highlights what the English Speaking Residents Association is doing to help the 30,000 plus Ethiopian community in my home city of Netanya.


Israel is well known for its innovative devices that enhance the medical care of patients and the disabled.  One of the most famous of these is the ReWalk exoskeleton that gives paraplegics the ability to walk upright.  And a newly discovered positive side effect is that users become healthier physically and mentally, as the device exercises their body and boosts their self-image.  You would expect mothers to care for their children, but in Israel this goes further.  Israel’s Debby Einatan invented the Upsee harness in 2014 because her son couldn’t walk unaided.  Thanks to her, over 6000 disabled kids can now walk tall with their parents.  The harness can even normalize the child’s hip joint and improve head control.

Care for the elderly is another Israeli priority.  Israel’s EarlySense makes sensors that detect when the vulnerable are at risk of falling from beds or chairs and has just announced a strategic cooperation agreement with Japanese giant Mitsui that will help launch the distribution of EarlySense products in Japan.  On a much larger scale, Korean giant Samsung and Israeli startup Mybitat together are to develop an innovative smart home solution aimed at helping the elderly stay safe while at home.  It combines cloud-based software, advanced sensors and behavior analytics to monitor seniors' daily routine and wellness. 

But even a low-tech solution provides adequate care for the majority of seniors.  Which is why Israeli charity Yad Sarah distributed emergency beepers to 20,000 people who live alone.  Users can contact Yad Sarah, relatives or the emergency services at any time using a button on a bracelet.

No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen, often with painful results.  Israel’s MedaSense Biometrics has developed a monitor to help in the management of pain.  It uses a finger sensor to record vital signs and a unique algorithm to measure pain mathematically.  MedaSense won the title of most innovative medical startup at the IATA Biomed exhibition in May.


To conclude, here are two examples of the uniqueness of Israeli’s caring attitude to the more vulnerable. 
When a student’s baby started crying in one of the Organizational Behavior lectures of Professor Sydney Engelberg, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor picked up the baby, calmed it down and continued the lecture whilst holding the baby.

And finally, Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport halted international flights for 30 minutes when a nest with five hatched falcons was discovered in a navigational antenna. As the worried adult birds circled overhead, the baby falcons were carefully removed and taken to the nearby Ramat Gan Safari to be raised and then returned to the wild.

Israel – where everybody cares.

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

Israel is the Cream of the Crop

The Jewish festival of Shavuot (Pentacost) celebrates Israel’s wheat harvest and the source of the prosperity it generates.  Israel’s agricultural technology is bringing prosperity to those nations willing to recognize the true benevolent nature of the Jewish State.

The theme of Expo 2015, which opened in Milan Italy on May 1st, is “feeding the planet”.  Already 22,000 have visited the Israel Pavilion and marveled at its 70-meter wall where crops grow vertically on minimal irrigation.  One week previously, 35,000 (including 200 Gaza farmers) attended Agritech 2015 in Tel Aviv where Israel’s Netafim installed the biggest agricultural wall in Israel.  Netafim’s drip-irrigation technology is currently growing crops that feed over a billion people.

Also on display at AgriTech was a new technique developed by Hebrew University researchers that extends the life of vegetables for weeks without refrigeration.  In parallel to AgriTech, AgriVest 2015 at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot showcased the top Israeli agri-tech startups.  It featured a competition, won by Israel’s DouxMatok for its development of sweeter sugar that reduces the amount of sugar required in foods.

One prominent visitor to Agritech was Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of India’s Maharashtra state.  Mahasashtra is the second most populous sub-national entity in the world, with Mumbai as its capital.  Fadnavis sees Israel’s agriculture technology as key to stemming the appalling suicide rate, due to poverty, of farmers in Maharashtra.  Staying with India, it is working with Israeli companies to import Israeli grafting technology in order to improve crop yields and pest resistance whilst reducing water usage and the indiscriminate use of fertilizers.

We now cross over to Africa to hear the Tanzania-Israel Business and Investment Forum (TIBIF) 2015 in Dar es Salaam discuss agribusiness and the use of Israel's scientific and technological innovations for the economic development of Tanzania.  1000 miles to the south, Israeli startup Platfarm is running a pilot in Zimbabwe of its platform for farmers in developing countries to improve their production and delivery to buyers.


Back home in Israel, technology is helping to maintain the high quality of Israeli agricultural exports.  Whilst most exporters perform only random checks on their produce, Israeli fruit exporter Eshet Eilon inspects every piece of fruit for quality and ripeness.  It uses spectral imaging at a rate of five tons an hour and rejects anything that contains disease or fungus.  Meanwhile, Israel’s Pointer Software Systems has developed Pickapp, which provides farm managers with real-time tracking of the progress of harvesting and the quality of the produce harvested. 

Israeli farms don’t just produce crops; they also include fish farms, such as those built by Israel’s LivinGreen.  During the past year, LivinGreen led an educational project in Ghana, building fish farms from local materials.  LivinGreen also participated in projects in Ethiopia and China.

It is also traditional to consume dairy products during the Shavuot festival.  So it is timely that Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture has just released the latest figures regarding Israel’s milk production.  Despite a 21% drop in the number of dairy farms since 2005, milk production has increased by 59%.  Milk yield per cow in Israel is the highest in the world.

So I hope you enjoy this video of how Israeli agricultural produce (grapes, tomatoes, wheat, olives, fish, milk, dates and pomegranates) is transformed “from field to fork” into a healthy and tasty culinary experience.

Israeli companies are already heavily involved in futuristic agricultural innovations.  Take for example Melodea and Valentis, who demonstrated their technology at Imaginenano 2015 in Bilbau Spain, Europe’s largest nanotechnology conference.  Both are using cellulose nanocrystals to make a variety of groundbreaking products out of plant-derived waste.  And Israel’s White Innovations are just one year away from launching the Genie – a 3D printer that “prints” nutritious cooked meals.

Finally, the story has just emerged about how Israel prevented a major terrorist attack during the summer conflict with Hamas.  A Hamas terrorist cell planned to use a wheat field to camouflage the exit hole from their tunnel into Israel.  However, some religious Jews from Bnei Brak purchased the wheat just a few days prior to the planned attack.  The Jews wanted to make “Shmura” (guarded) Matzo for Passover and had to harvest it quickly.  When the terrorist cell emerged into the now barren field, they were easily spotted by the IDF, who dealt swiftly and decisively with the threat.

Keep rooting for Israel and reap the rewards.

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

Israel Opens Doors

The modern Jewish state was established after the world closed its doors to European Jewry.  Today, Israeli innovations are opening doors to millions across the planet who had previously thought that their window of opportunity was firmly shut.

Many sufferers from strokes, dementia, fibromyalgia and burns could be released from their “locked-in” existence now that Israel’s Assaf Harofeh Medical Center has opened the world’s largest high-pressure oxygen chamber.  It has a capacity for 150 patients per day and can also treat victims of diving accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, radiation damage and bone infections.  Meanwhile, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, scientists have discovered that the visual cortexes of the blind from birth are similar to those of the fully sighted.  It has provided an open opportunity for the blind to be trained to “see” sounds.

Open-minded Israeli doctors have known for some time that there is a genetic link between over eighty autoimmune diseases.  This has opened a new line of research leading to the discovery by scientists at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem that the rheumatoid arthritis medication Baricitinib is effective in the treatment of Alopecia Areata, whose symptoms are hair loss.  And research by Hebrew University of Jerusalem psychologist Professor Ariel Knafo has shown that children who mimic each other’s body language for mere minutes each day are more likely to open-up to others and share feelings of similarity and closeness.  The findings could open the way to new therapies for developing positive social behaviors in disruptive children.

Israel is open to sharing the credit for discoveries that can benefit humanity.  This has led to many joint research agreements between Israeli and international scientists, including recently with the UK’s Royal Society and also with France’s Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission.  Israel has also opened its doors to Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of India’s Maharashtra state who wants to replicate Israel’s agriculture technology in one of the most populous areas in the world.

Recent news is full of multinational companies wanting to open research and development centers in Israel.  German energy giant RWE AG is opening an Israeli innovation center in order to develop technology for a smart grid metering system that will keep track of how consumers use electricity.  Canadian handset maker Blackberry finally opened up in Israel by buying Israeli device security company WatchDox, whose 100 employees will form the core of Blackberry’s new Israeli R&D team.  And US video production giant Avid Technology’s purchase of Israel’s Orad Hi-Tec and its slick graphic technologies will result in the opening of Avid’s new Israeli R&D facility.

Now that Israel has signed Europe’s “Open Skies” agreement, it has opened up the country to the likes of Europe’s biggest airline Ryanair, which is eager to open up new routes between Tel Aviv and Europe.  The airways are also buzzing with the news that a consortium of top Israeli companies and universities is studying 3D printing technologies that could open up a radical new way of designing and manufacturing aircraft components.

Israel has some beautiful geographic features, including its award-winning beaches, which are now open right through until October.  However, I admit that I was openly surprised to read that the usually anti-Israel UNESCO recently added Israel’s open cave system at Beit Guvrin to its list of World Heritage sites.  Unfortunately, not all openings in the ground are positive, as the recent earthquake in Nepal has proved.  But it again has highlighted the openhearted nature of Israel in sending rescuers and humanitarian aid to save human lives wherever and whenever it can.

In Israel, the door of opportunity is open to anyone who has the desire to succeed.  One such example is Ilit Geller, the female CEO of Israel’s TradAir, who operates in the traditionally “man’s world” of Foreign Exchange trading.  And please watch this video of young Aaron Shapso – a Circassian (Sunni Muslim) from the village of Kafr Kama.  Aaron is the captain of the youth soccer team Maccabi Haifa Nahalal, which is open to children of all religions and ethnic groups.


Finally, Avraham Nagusie epitomizes Israel’s open-door policy. Nagusie was a shepherd in Ethiopia before immigrating to Israel in 1985. He then graduated with degrees in Social work and Law and a PhD in Education. Now at 57, he has opened the door to Israel's parliament by becoming a lawmaker in Israel’s 20th Knesset.


Israel – it’s an open miracle. 

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