Israel is in Europe too

The United Kingdom has recently been totally absorbed with the Jun 23rd referendum on whether the UK should Remain or Exit the European Union.  The arguments in favor of the Remain camp appear to hinge on its claim that the UK’s economy would collapse if it terminated its EU membership.  UK citizens should not panic, however, but instead take a closer look at the “Israeli model”.

The modern State of Israel has been an “adopted” member of many European entities for some time - mainly due to the unwillingness of surrounding Arab countries in Asia and Africa to accept the Jewish State into “their” continents.  Israel is not a member of the EU, but the current relationship has many mutual benefits.  Using news articles since the beginning of this year, here are some examples of how the relationship benefits both Israel and Europe.

Trade / Economy / Business

Israel has just joined the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol).  Eurocontrol provides advanced control and navigation aviation services for managing and planning air traffic flows over European airspace to reduce delays in flight times.  In another important European transport project - Fresh Food Corridors (FFC), Israel organized the first ever “reefer” (temperature-controlled containers) block train loaded with Israeli fruit and veg from the Slovenian port of Koper to Rotterdam. It arrived 6 days earlier than ships that currently sail non-stop from Israel to Rotterdam.  And Israel is to connect its power grid to continental Europe via a 1,518 km subsea power cable, known as the EuroAsia InterConnector. It will allow Israel to sell its excess electricity generated from natural gas to anywhere in mainland Europe.

Israel’s hi-tech startups are extremely successful in Europe. Eco Wave Power has just completed the installation in Gibraltar of Europe’s first grid-connected wave-energy system.  Stratoscale has won a Red Herring Europe 2016 award for its solution that can get you up and running using Cloud services in a few minutes, whatever computer hardware your company currently uses.  Israel’s Pashut Yarok is exporting “shockpads” - plastic foam safety surfaces for children’s playgrounds - to countries in the European Union. Meanwhile, Israel’s Amiad has opened its first UK office, in Swansea - home of Welsh Water, to support increasing demand in the UK and Europe. 

Israeli startups frequently win European competition prizes.  Israel’s Capitalise won one of five Best in Show awards at London’s FinovateEurope 2016.  The platform uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to read the text of an investor’s investment strategy and convert it into executable market trading instructions.  Staying with in financial arena, European investors are so keen to invest in Israeli companies that International finance giant BlackRock launched an exchange-traded-fund (ETF) that allows them to invest directly in Israel’s top 25 listed companies. 

Europe’s health owes much to Israel’s unique relationship with the continent.  Hardly a week goes by without an Israeli treatment or medical device receiving CE approval.  The latest include LifeSeal, the no-leak sealant solution for patients who have undergone gastrointestinal (GI) surgery.  Another is the neuroAD transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and cognitive training from Israel’s Neuronix that is used to treat Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Sometimes Israel’s proximity to Europe makes medical approval easy – which is why Australian, Canadian and US kids travel to Europe (and Israel) for the ApiFix non-fusion treatment of their Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (twisted spine). 

Israel has just become the first country outside Europe’s geographic borders to be accepted as a full member of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA).


Israeli technical expertise really is out of this world.  Israel’s Windward tracks vessels entering Europe and identifies any that broadcast a fake identity.  Israel has been involved with the European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission, from day one.  Israel’s Rafael Industries made the vital hydrazine thrusters for the Schiaparelli landing module, which on 19th Oct will slow the decent of Schiaparelli to just 2 meters above the Mars surface. 

Hagihon - Jerusalem’s water company - has been awarded a key role on the 4-year EU project to improve governance and social awareness of water environmental challenges.  It involves setting up a Digital Social Platform to share details of water scarcity, security, quality and water consumption-related issues.  Israeli startups receive dozens of grants from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.  One such is Electroad, developer of Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) that will charge electric buses from the road they are being driven on.  No need for a battery or charging spots. 


Tiny Israel often makes a big splash at European sports events.  Gal Nevo took home the silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley at the European Swimming Championships in London.  Alex Shatilov claimed his sixth career medal (a bronze) at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Bern, Switzerland.    Ron Atias (ranked 80 in the world) won the taekwondo under-58 kg silver medal at the European Championships in Montreux, Switzerland.  Or Sasson and Timna Nelson-Levy won silver and bronze respectively at the European Judo Championships.  But the biggest recent successes were gold, silver and bronze medals for Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team at the European Championships in Israel. 

Finally, 8,000 Jews from France decided on their own EU-Exit last year as Aliya from Western Europe hit record levels.  UK Aliya was also up by 25%.  But as Superstar Elton John told 40,000 ecstatic fans at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, there could have been no nicer place for him to open his eight-week European tour. 

Israel – it’s practically holding Europe together!

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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Just look at Miriam now

In the Synagogue this week we read the “Song of the Sea” and how the prophetess Miriam (Moses’s sister) led the women in song and dance to celebrate the Hebrews’ escape from Pharaoh’s army.  Miriam is attributed with reuniting Moses’ parents and providing a miraculous well of water that travelled with the Hebrews in the wilderness.  Today, Israel’s women are at the forefront of Israel’s phenomenal innovations and achievements, as evidenced in these examples from the past few weeks.

I’ll begin where I left off in my last blog, in which I contrasted the Biblical splitting of the Sea of Reeds to Israel Technion Professor Lilac Amirav’s splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen with 100% efficiency using nanotechnology and solar energy.  Another female Professor, Anat Lowenstein from Tel Aviv University, was selected by Ophthalmologist Magazine in the top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology. It noted that “her contribution to, and influence in the field of medical and surgical retina cannot be underestimated.”  Women certainly lead the way at Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, where they are in charge of the departments for Infectious Diseases, Women’s Ultrasound, At Risk Mother & Child unit, Respiratory clinic, Interventional neurology, Ophthalmology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric unit, Geriatric medicine, Neonatology, Pathology and more.

Female Israeli researchers frequently make medical breakthroughs. For example, Dr Ruth Shemer of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem recently co-authored a disease diagnostic method called methylation which has identified pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, diabetes, traumatic brain injury and MS.  In another recent report, Maya Ben-Yehuda Greenwald – a PhD student at the Hebrew University – has developed nanotech antioxidant protection for skin and organs. 

Staying in the medical arena, Dana Chanan is the CEO and cofounder of Israel’s Sweetch which has developed an app to detect pre-diabetes and provide diabetics with the tools to prevent the disease developing.  Meanwhile, heading up the non-profit Pears Program for Global Innovation is Israel’s Dr. Aliza Belman-Inbal whose Grand Challenge Israel has just awarded a 500,000-shekel prize to Israeli startup BioFeed for developing its solution for eradicating the Zika virus.

Israeli women are taking “tikun olam” (repairing the world) to new levels.  As Elana Kaminka, Deputy Director of Israel’s Tevel b’Tzedek highlights, contrary to the lies of the BDS supporters, Israel doesn’t just show up at disaster areas and leave.  They are still working in Nepal – a year after the two earthquakes that killed 9,000.  And Sivan Ya’ari is the founder of Innovation: Africa, which has brought clean water and renewable electricity to one million people in 104 rural villages in Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, DRC and Ethiopia.

Here in the Jewish State, most of the leaders of Israel’s social programs are women.  One major international program – Good Deeds Day – was initiated in 2007 by Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison.  This year’s event has been adopted by 70 nations and involved millions of volunteers.  Without mentioning any other names, take a look at organizations such as Ezer Mizion, whose volunteers help cancer sufferers and their over-stretched families. Or Sobar, which is establishing a no-alcohol music bar to provide a safe place for Jerusalem youth.  Or the Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding School, in Israel’s Arava desert, which provides riding therapy for 200 special needs children and adults each week. 

Before you shout, “But what about Israeli-Arab women?” please read about Faiza, an Israeli-Arab doctor who works in the intensive care unit at a major Israeli private hospital.  She has ten siblings - most of them graduates of Israeli universities.  Or about the young Muslim and Christian women joining the Israel Defense Forces.  Israel certainly opened the eyes of Dr. Carol Jahshan, the daughter of a Lebanese refugee from Haifa who grew up in Beirut before moving the USA.  She has just completed a 3-month working collaboration at Israel’s Bar Ilan University.  And Jamila Hair, the 76-year-old female Druze owner of an Israeli soap factory, amazed the audience and media at the Festival of Women in Segovia, Spain, when she spoke about the peace between her Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze women workers.  Interestingly, the Druze revere Jethro (father-in-law to Moses) who joined up with the Hebrews when he heard about their Exodus from Egypt.

Twelve Israeli women featured in Timeout’s article to mark International Women’s Day.  They work in TV, women’s collectives, alternative medicine, art, fashion, community, advertising, dance, incubators, Africa, ceramics and aviation.  The future is also bright, with girls at Israel’s state schools having excellent opportunities to achieve success.  One such girl is 10th grade student Tamar Barbi from Hod Hasharon who just discovered a new "Three Radii Theorem" whilst studying mathematics at the highest level in Israel.

In Israel, women can become whatever they want, whether it is an Olympic wrestler like Ilana Kratysh, or a spy like Sylvia Rafael.  They can win medals for rhythmic gymnastics or - as with Timna Nelson-Levy and Yarden Gerbi for judo,

Finally, however, perhaps (as King Solomon wrote) there really is nothing new under the Sun.  Because just a few weeks ago a rare 2500-year-old seal, inscribed with the name of Elihana bat Gael in ancient Hebrew letters, was unearthed at the City of David in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.  The seal, found in a building from the First Temple period, showed that the owner was probably a successful businesswoman.  And maybe even a good prophet!

Israel – it’s the land of opportunity.

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