Harvest for the World

The Jewish festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) that has just concluded is also the harvest festival – celebrating the ingathering of crops. It is an ideal opportunity to highlight how Israel is helping combat world hunger and feed an ever-increasing global population. These examples of relevant news article are just from the last three months.

Israel has revolutionized agriculture globally with its scientific innovations. Israel’s Phytech, for example, has developed innovative crop sensors that boost agricultural productivity and are now being adopted worldwide.  Israel’s Kaiima Bio-Agritech is producing high-yielding varieties of essential food and feed crops using its proprietary (non-GMO) seed-enhancing platform.

Crop yields can also be increased by combatting pests. Israel’s EdenShield has developed a non-toxic pesticide with an aroma that repels pests. It is already used in Israel, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Greece and is soon to be launched in the USA, Mexico and the EU. Meanwhile, Israeli biotech Evogene has recently manufactured the first toxin against Western corn rootworm and bred bananas that are resistant to the hugely damaging Black Sigatoka fungus. Another Israeli biotech, BioFeed, has developed a “no-spray” solution to kill the fruit flies that have been devastating mango plantations in India.

Other ways to prevent food wastage is to pick crops at the optimum time.  Israeli start-up AclarTech has developed the AclaroMeter app that works with a smartphone’s camera and the Israeli SCIO molecular scanner, to monitor the ripeness, freshness and quality of fruit and vegetables. The SCIO scanner itself has been sent to US dairy farmers to help them check the nutrition of dry forage and deliver a more consistent diet to their animals.

You cannot grow crops without an adequate water supply and Israeli innovation in water conservation is benefiting water-stressed regions of the world, from Kenya to India to California. Thanks to Israeli drip irrigation, 15,000 farmers in Karnataka, southwestern India, are currently harvesting their first monsoon season crop in years. In another Israeli approach, Ben Gurion University’s desert research farm demonstrates how to grow crops in the drought conditions of a minimal rainfall climate.

Water is of course the basis for fish farming. Israeli aquaculture startup Latimeria breeds fish in desalinated water with salt added to save energy, minimize leakage and prevent harmful bacteria. Additional technology developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem promotes fish growth and is providing a vital food resource in Uganda. The solution is being further developed by Israeli startup Aquinovo.

Israel is devoting much effort to preventing hunger in Africa. Tahal Group – a subsidiary of Israel’s Kardan – is constructing three agricultural centers in Angola and a huge agricultural and water project in Zambia. Meanwhile,  Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame praised Israel’s agricultural technology, saying “Israel has continued to follow through on its commitments and objective of scaling up engagement across Africa.”
And President Faustin-Archange Touadéra made the first-ever visit to Israel by the head of state of the Central African Republic (CAR).  He said to Israeli President Rivlin “we have come to Israel in order to learn – your country is a school for us.”

Two of the most effective organizations working on the African continent are MASHAV and Innovation: Africa.  MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) is continually busy from Burkina Faso to Zambia. Innovation: Africa’s latest successes in Uganda were ably documented in a video featuring the 8-year-old daughter of the Israeli NGO’s founder. Finally, while the international media has been bemoaning inter-tribal disputes in South Sudan, Israel has been distributing food aid to drought-stricken villagers.

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Israel brings overseas farmers to the Jewish State to pass on the knowledge to feed their own populations.  Israel’s Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (AICAT) has changed the lives of  many of its 16,000 foreign students. And 1,200 students from across Africa and Asia have just completed the 13th running of Israel’s unique post-graduate AgroStudies agriculture apprentice training program.  Meanwhile 10,000 high-tech professionals descended upon Tel Aviv for its 5th annual DLD (Digital Life Design) Conference. This year’s focus was on food tech in which Israel has over 500 startups.

Finally, whilst the United Nations Secretary General was being shown Israeli technological innovation to benefit the planet, the recently launched Israeli-developed VENµS satellite continues to orbit the Earth monitoring global agriculture issues and the health of the environment of our planet.

With Israeli innovation,

You shall eat, and be satisfied. 

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

History of Israel's Good News - Oct to Dec 2017

In the 31st Dec 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli scientist has boosted the immune system 30-fold to fight cancer.
·         A Syrian baby was airlifted from Cyprus to Israel for emergency heart surgery.
·         A Haifa woman is Israel’s first Arab Rhodes scholar at Oxford University.
·         Israel has set-up the world’s first innovation lab for senior citizen technology.
·         An Israeli company is building a wave-energy power plant in Ghana.
·         A record year for tourism triggers a billion-dollar upgrade to Ben Gurion airport.
·         Two Israeli Paralympic table-tennis players strike gold.
·         4 embassies are moving to Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 24th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel plus additional feature on Economy & Business (with 2200 likes). Also (TY Sandra) in German

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


A better cancer immunotherapy treatment.  I reported previously (many times) of Israeli scientists who are boosting the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Now Weizmann’s Dr Rony Dahan has developed a cancer immunotherapy compound that is 30 times more effective than existing treatments.

AI software helps decide whether to operate.  AI (Artificial Intelligence) software developed by Israeli startup MEDecide is being piloted in several Israeli hospitals, to help doctors decide whether to operate on patients. The software analyzes test results, medical history, medication data and discomfort levels.

AI warns of medical emergencies.  I reported previously (twice) on Israel’s Intensix and its early-warning analysis of deteriorating Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. Now renamed Clew Medical, it has just launched its AI (Artificial Intelligence) platform to prevent life threatening complications in all care settings.

Leukemia diagnosis – don’t delay treatment. Without proper treatment, patients can reach a life-threatening condition within days of diagnosis. Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center has instituted a new protocol to fast-track the treatment, usually starting it the next day. Even health fund payment referrals are arranged.

Knesset workers learn CPR.  Israel’s Knesset (parliament) held the first ever event of its kind - a basic life-saving skills course for the workers of the nation’s top governmental building. The CPR and life-saving course was organized by the Knesset Worker’s Committee in partnership with United Hatzalah EMS organization.

International training for mass-casualty situations. 29 senior medical professionals from 20 countries recently attended a two-week course at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center on responding to Mass Casualty Situations (MCS).  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/world-learns-from-rambam-medical-center-in-israel-response-to-terror-trauma-and-mass-casualty-situations/

Man saved twice at Bar Mitzva party.  Dr. Koby Assaf, Head of Emergency Medicine at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital, was at a Bar Mitzva celebration where he treated a 60-year-old man who had collapsed.  MDA paramedics took the man to hospital, but he returned later after feeling better - only to collapse again! This time Dr Assaf went with him to hospital. http://www.hadassah-med.com/about/news/hadassahs-head-of-emergency-medicine-saves-life-at-bar-mitzvah.aspx

Israeli-Arabs have highest life expectancy. Arab Israelis have the highest life expectancy in the Middle East when compared with the populations of 21 Muslim and Arab countries, a new survey on the issue found.

Syrian baby flown to Israel for heart surgery.  A baby boy born to Syrian refugees in Cyprus has been flown to Israel. He is due to undergo emergency surgery at Sheba Medical Center to correct a severe congenital heart defect. The flight was arranged by Israel’s ambassador to Cyprus on request from the Cypriot Health Ministry.


A truly meaningful haircut. Israeli charity Zichron Menachem spares no effort to collect hair offered by donors or salons and turns it into wigs, supporting children who have lost their hair during cancer treatment.

Children’s peace exhibition comes home.  For 15 years, New York art educator Maureen Kushner led children at 50 Israeli schools to draw pictures of peace. When completed in 2009, the resulting “Peace through Humor” exhibit went on an 8-year world tour. It now resides at Yemin Orde Youth Village near Haifa.

Israel’s first Arab Rhodes scholar.  23-year-old Lian Najami from Haifa is Israel’s first Arab Rhodes scholar. She is fluent in Hebrew, Arabic, English, German and Spanish. Her message: Arab Israelis, who make up some 20 percent of Israel’s citizenry, can succeed in the Jewish state. She has held herself up as living proof.

United Hatzalah has 300 Muslim volunteers. This article is about Sanaa Mahameed – a religious Muslim woman who volunteers as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for Israel’s United Hatzalah. She is the only woman of the 300 Muslim volunteers in the organization, but she calls on others to come and join her.

The melting pot of Israeli society.  (TY Hazel) David Ben Gurion's description of the IDF is particularly true of the Nahal Brigade. 100 of 450 recent recruits had a special status. Typical of the ethnic mix are Amir Rav'e - a 19-year-old Muslim, Netanel Mengistu - an Ethiopian immigrant and Jesse Amar from Melbourne Australia.

Coding skills course to go global.  The UK Israel Tech Hub set-up the Founders and Coders program in Nazareth to teach computer coding skills in 16 weeks to young Arabs and Jews.  It is now exporting the model to Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

Protecting NATO planes. Israel’s Elbit Systems has won a contract to supply direct infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) self-protection systems to NATO for its Airbus A330 tanker fleet. NATO’s Colonel Jan der Kinderen said Elbit’s systems will “greatly add to the safety and operational flexibility of the total fleet”.

Protecting Indian navy. I reported previously (Sep 2014) on the underwater security systems developed by Israel’s DSIT that are protecting European nuclear reactors. Now the Indian Navy has ordered 78 DSIT diver detection sonar devices to protect coastal and offshore sites and vessels from underwater intrusion and sabotage.

A fund to help developing countries that support Israel.  According to Hadashot TV news, Israel has established a fund, dubbed “50 on 50,” which will distribute $50 million in government funding among 50 countries that support Israel on the international stage.

Israel goes international on systems analysis. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel has become its newest member of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Israel joins 24 other countries. Representatives from Israeli universities, government ministries, and the public will constitute the Israel Committee for IIASA.

Israel isolated? Think again. (TY Avi) Israel is the “Innovation Nation” and world leaders are recognizing it.


An innovation lab for senior citizens. (TY Atid-EDI) The Center for Digital Innovation (CDI) is launching in Beersheva what it claims is the world's first innovation laboratory designed to meet the challenges facing today's senior citizens. These include prevention of falls, alleviating loneliness and the treatment of pain.

Harnessing nature to make a better world. (TY Myer) Professor Oded Shoseyov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ) explains how HUJ research on sequoia trees, cat fleas and tobacco has already led to stronger, more elastic materials and better medical implants and treatments. With endless possibilities.

Monitoring the health of the coral reef. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have “genetically bar-coded” 
80% of the 540 species of fish living on Eilat’s coral reef. They can match pictures of the larvae to their DNA sequence. This information will help monitor the health of the reef ecosystem.

Work together – wherever you are. (TY Calcalist) Israel’s XTRMX develops software tools that allow multiple people to edit and review the same video over the Internet simultaneously. It’s as if you are sitting in the same room with the editor. XTRMX is to be offered by Avid Technology, Inc. through their online store.

Voice-activated headphones.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Rubidium has integrated its voice trigger into the 66 Audio® PRO Voice wireless headphones, to produce the world’s first voice-triggered Bluetooth headphones with built-in Amazon Alexa. Users say “Alexa” to start interacting with Amazon’s cloud-based voice service.

Speeding up cybersecurity innovation. The Hessian Israeli Partnership Accelerator for Cybersecurity (HIPA) brings together top talents in cybersecurity from Israel and Germany to jointly work on cybersecurity projects. The partnership is a joint venture of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute.

New Israeli manufacturing center for Flex. I reported previously (30th Apr) that Multi-national electronics manufacturer Flex had opened its new Haifa design center. Flex has now begun building a new production facility at Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut and will take on 200 more staff.

Hyundai to set up Israel smart R&D center. I reported previously (10th Sep) that car maker Hyundai was teaming up with Israel’s Technion to research smart car technology. Now Hyundai is to open a development center in Israel. It will focus on energy, smart cities, artificial intelligence, smart transportation and robotics.

Mellanox to launch startup accelerator. Israeli IT giant Mellanox is setting up an accelerator and support program for startups. It will include over 10 startups and focus on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, storage, high-performance computing, and cloud computing.

Improved recycling of wastewater.  (TY Nevet) Researchers at Ben Gurion University have discovered that treating recycled wastewater using biofiltration is more efficient for irrigation in arid, sandy soils that are found in deserts. It increases the rate of absorption into the sandy soil, thus reducing surface evaporation.

Water training for Swaziland.  Deputy ambassador to South Africa, Lesotho, Mauritius and Swaziland Ayellet Black, with two Israeli experts, led a course on drip irrigation and crop management to 19 local trainers in Swaziland. Severe drought almost crippled Swaziland last year. http://www.jpost.com/International/Israeli-drip-irrigation-experts-guide-Swaziland-farmers-in-agricultural-training-520061

Wave energy for Ghana.  Israel’s Yam Pro is to build a $180 million, 150-megawatt wave-energy power station along a 6-mile stretch of coastline near Accra, the capital of Ghana. Yam Pro’s system captures the energy from breaking waves by converting it into hydraulic pressure, which is then turned into electricity.

Security for East African port. I reported previously (several times) on the perimeter intrusion detection systems of Israel’s Magal Security. Magal has just won a $13 million contract to provide intrusion and cybersecurity systems for an unnamed major international seaport in East Africa.


Great end of year report. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger gives a very upbeat end of year state of the Israeli economy. It includes Israel’s progress since 1987 from the new book “Israel – Island of Success” by Dr Adam Reuter and Noga Kainan.  http://theettingerreport.com/Overseas-Investments/Israel---Island-of-Success.aspx

20% increase in Christmas pilgrims to Israel. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel has broken all previous records for incoming tourism, and are set to end 2017 with 3.6 million tourists - half a million more than the previous record. It includes a 20% increase over the 120,000 Christian pilgrims who visited in Dec 2016.

A $1.4 billion upgrade for Ben Gurion airport. The Israel Airports Authority has announced a $1.43 billion plan to upgrade Israel’s main Ben Gurion airport to cope with an anticipated 50% increase in passenger turnover within the next five years. The airport exceeded 20 million passengers in 2017 – 18% up on 2016.

Plan for 45 regional co-working hubs.  The Israeli Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee is investing $25.5 million (NIS 90 million) in the establishment of 45 co-working tech hubs in Israel’s peripheral regions. The ministry said they expect all 45 to be operational by the third quarter of 2018.

Conference promotes profit and positive social impact. I reported previously (here) on TechForGood, an Israel-based startup accelerator, that organized the Scaling Social-Tech conference – to promote the idea that companies can prioritize socially conscious goals and still be profitable.

Israel’s largest investors’ conference. 10,000 people from 80 countries are expected in Jerusalem on 1st Feb at the 4th annual OurCrowd Global Investor Summit. They include 300 startups, 200 Venture Capitalists and 250 multinationals plus entrepreneurs, investors, government officials and the press.

A Chinese-German-Israeli biotech incubator. Explore Bio is a new incubator for Israeli biotech startups that will launch in 2018. Its parents are Merck Serona (a subsidiary of Germany’s Merck KGaA), in partnership with Shanghai’s WuXi AppTec.  https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3728114,00.html

Bibi opens the LSE. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched the day's trading at the London Stock exchange at 11am on Nov 3rd, pushing the button to officially open London's financial market. He recalled the first trade made by Abraham in purchasing the Cave of the Patriarchs 4,000 years ago, in shekels.


Israeli drama is a hit in Hebrew and Arabic. When Netflix bought his show Fauda, co-creator Lior Raz was disappointed that it was not being remade in English. He believed the dual-language Hebrew and Arabic thriller would be too hard for international viewers to follow. But Fauda has had high ratings and much critical acclaim.

Rainbow of Music concert. (TY Janglo) The Keren Malki Foundation has unique and life-changing programs for children with special needs. It is holding a benefit concert of Hassidic, Israeli, Jazz and popular songs on 10th Jan in Ra'anana. https://www.rainbowofmusic.org/

Jerusalem soup festival. (TY Janglo) The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel has launched its 3rd annual soup festival pop-up concept restaurant. The all-you-can-eat soup kosher buffet at reasonable cost from Nov - Apr at the Inbal’s Sophia Café.

The 5 top winter activities in Israel.  (TY Janglo and ILTV) Skiing on Mount Hermon, Jerusalem’s Winter festival, Christmas and Chanukah, Eilat’s Red Sea Jazz festival and the Feeling Blues dance festival in Tel Aviv.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/I6lHMaF1hrI?rel=0

Eilat is a fun place.  Israel's southernmost city, Eilat is known for being a city full of fun and excitement. Eilat has something for everyone to enjoy, from world class scuba diving to gorgeous desert hikes. It is also planning a new ecological beach, thanks to the transfer of  a section of beach from the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline firm.

Gold medals for para table-tennis Israelis.  Israelis Caroline Tabib and Alon Nigri won gold medals at the 2017 US Para Open Table-Tennis Championship in Las Vegas. Caroline won gold in the singles and also in the doubles, with a Swedish partner. Alon won gold in the doubles with a Korean partner, and bronze in the singles.


3 more countries to move embassies to Jerusalem. Just two days after the president of Guatemala became the first Central American leader to decide to relocate his nation’s embassy to Jerusalem, Honduras and Panama announced that they are following suit. Guatemala’s Foreign Minister said it is “returning to Jerusalem”.

Israel is your home. "Wherever you come from, whatever you look like, however you pray, Israel is your home. Israel is your birthright," PM Netanyahu told thousands of young Jews at an event celebrating 18th years of the Taglit-Birthright program. A record number of participants, 48,000, took part in the program in 2017.

3,633 North Americans made Aliya in 2017. (TY Zev) At least 3,633 Jews from the USA and Canada immigrated to Israel this year, according to Aliya organization Nefesh B’Nefesh. 93 new immigrants arrived at Ben Gurion airport on 27 Dec, joining 103 who were already residing in Israel and made Aliya on the same day.

A new synagogue under the Western Wall.  (TY Janglo) A new synagogue has been inaugurated in the Western Wall tunnels - the result of 12 years of structural support, construction, and archeology work. The synagogue is located opposite the 'Great Stone' in the Western Wall tunnels, near the site of the Holy of Holies.

Help for IDF veterans to pass matriculation exams.  (TY Janglo) IDF combat veterans will receive full scholarships to help them prepare and complete their high school matriculation courses and exams. Israelis need to pass their matriculation exams before they can enter college. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/on-campus/idf-combat-veterans-to-receive-full-scholarships-in-matriculation-preparation-courses/2017/12/19/

Strangers no more.  How can Liron - an Israeli - be a perfect DNA match on Israeli charity Ezer Mitzion’s bone marrow donor database for Jonathan - a South African with leukemia?  Even Jonathan’s siblings aren’t a match.  When they meet this Pesach they may discover that their Litvak grandparents were not strangers at all.

Ice cream for everyone.  After buying ice cream in Jerusalem, David and Tzipporah Speyer WhatsApp’d photos to their parents. Their mum then decided to buy ice cream for Israeli soldiers – 40 of them. Videos and photos were posted onto Facebook and went viral – and became a real “scoop” when they hit the Israeli media.

In the 24th Dec 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli surgeons are re-growing a patient’s leg from his own fat cells.
·         30 wheelchair-bound Israelis got to the top of Masada.
·         An Israeli NGO saved starving villagers in drought-stricken Uganda.
·         Israel plans to use desalinated water to refill the Sea of Galilee.
·         The European Union is guaranteeing loans to Israeli tech companies.
·         Virtual Reality brings history to life at three top Israeli tourist sites.
·         Three archeological discoveries shed light on Jewish life in Biblical Israel.

·         Click here to see the 10th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (new - TY Chagit) 26th Nov version in Hebrew!

·         Click here to read my latest feature article “Into the Hands of the Few”. Also published on the Jerusalem Post, IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, San Diego Jewish World and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


Growing his leg from his own fat cells.  I reported previously (27th Aug) about tech from Israel’s Bonus Bio used to repair bone loss in the arm of a patient at Emek hospital in Afula. Now another patient at Emek has had groundbreaking surgery to regrow part of a shin bone using bone tissue grown from his own fat cells.

Good results for Acute Leukemia treatment. Israel’s BioSight has announced positive results of the Phase 1/2 study of its lead product BST-236, a novel cytarabine pro-drug, as a single agent for induction therapy in acute leukemia patients. It was effective on many patients who had failed with previous standard therapy.

Oxygen treatment for Alzheimer’s. I reported previously (twice) of Israeli use of hyperbaric (high pressure) oxygen to treat many medical conditions from chronic pain to strokes. Now Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that it can also ameliorate symptoms experienced by people with Alzheimer’s disease.

New treatment for NASH.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech ChemomAb has developed a monoclonal antibody designed to treat fibrotic and inflammatory diseases. The antibody’s first target is nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), known also as fatty liver disease. ChemomAb has just raised $10 million of funds.

Fast-track for migraine treatment.  Israel’s Teva has been granted fast-track status for fremanezumab, an anti-calcitonin gene-related peptide (anti-CGRP) monoclonal antibody developed for the preventive treatment of migraine. It also applies to the prevention of cluster headaches, which are similar to migraines in symptoms.

Infection treatment now to target the kidneys. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (several times) on Israel’s Atox Bio and its Reltecimod treatment for Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections. Atox Bio has just raised $30 million to fund trials of Reltecimod in Acute Kidney Injury patients, for which there is no current cure.

Four new UK-Israel stem cell projects.  The Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange (BIRAX) program is investing £1.5 million in four stem cell projects to tackle diabetes, heart disease, leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease. The Israeli organizations are Weizmann Institute, Hebrew University and the Technion.

UK award for Israeli antibiotic resistance research.  Israel’s Team Prismatix - combining scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute and Bnai Zion Medical Center - has won a Discovery Award for its research into rapid diagnostics for antibiotic resistance. The awards are part of the UK Nesta Foundation’s Longitude Prize challenge program. https://www.israel21c.org/israelis-win-uk-award-for-antibiotic-resistance-research/

Space program polymer used for orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center have performed hip and knee replacements using MP1 - a material developed in Israel for NASA’s space program. MP1 was originally developed by Aliza Buchman for the Israel start-up M.M.A Tech.

New emergency control center.  Israel’s Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, inaugurated the national dispatch and command center for United Hatzalah at the organization’s national headquarters in Jerusalem. The center will ensure that EMS volunteer responders are sent to the emergencies that are closest to their location.

One paramedic, one bike, 2,500 calls, 300 lives saved.  In his four years as a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, Meir Farkash has responded to more than 2,500 emergency calls (over 300 life-threatening) on his personal bicycle. In his honor, the residents of Meir’s home town Ramat Hasharon donated an e-bicycle for him to use.


New Israeli law to provide jobs for disabled.  (TY UWI) It is already illegal in Israel to discriminate against the disabled in the workplace. A new extension order requires companies with over 100 workers to have 3% disabled employees. They must also have a person responsible for the employment of people with disabilities.

No mountain too tall.  (TY ILTV News) 30 Israeli adults in wheelchairs had the unforgettable Hanukkah experience of reaching the top of Masada, thanks to the Yad Sarah and Mangishei Derech organizations. One by one they were taken by cable car to the top of the national site. http://www.jpost.com/Jpost-Tech/Health-and-Science/Wheelchair-bound-Israelis-take-to-new-heights-at-the-top-of-Masada-518465

Free programming training for women.  Israel’s Ministry of Labor has launched a joint venture with She Codes, an Israeli organization promoting the inclusion of women into the tech industry. The three-year plan will establish 40 centers to provide free computer programming training for 4,440 women to work in the tech sector.

Three female IAF deputy commanders. Captain “Y”, an F-15 navigator, has been appointed the first female deputy commander of an Israeli Air Force combat squadron. She will be promoted to Major in the summer. Meanwhile, two other female IAF officers were appointed as deputy commanders of a squadron of drones.

Praying side by side.  (TY WIN) EMT volunteers at United Hatzalah exemplify Israel’s inclusiveness.

Co-existence is flowing at SodaStream.  Nice article on Israel’s SodaStream, highlighting the excellent relations within company’s multi-ethnic workforce. For example, the 22-year-old Bedouin female team leader who supervises two Bedouin men, a Palestinian Arab, a Jewish woman and a Russian.

Multi-faith delegation from Bahrain. (TY Zev) A 25-member Bahraini delegation made a 5-day visit to Jerusalem to talk about peace and coexistence. The group included Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, Christians, the leader of a Hindu temple and a Sikh. It was led by Betsy Mathieson, a British ex-pat, now a Bahraini citizen.

Israel promotes UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  UN Development Program rep Roberto Valent said, “The UN is very happy that Israel is advanced in not only its own actions towards the SDGs implementation, but in also providing a platform for others in the areas of gender, gender equality, education, and especially in innovation.” https://unitedwithisrael.org/un-praises-israel-for-combating-poverty-and-protecting-the-planet

Israeli NGO saves Ugandan villagers.  Villagers in Akuyam, Uganda, hadn’t eaten in three days when Sivan Ya’ari and her Innovation: Africa staff visited them in February. They organized an emergency food relief mission and implemented a water-pumping project to raise the long-term standard of living of the village.

Zambia to host first Africa-Israel Summit.  Zambia is to host the first ever Africa-Israel Summit in 2018, according to Zambia’s President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. President Lungu flew to Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and accepted his request for Zambia to host the summit.

Disaster training for the Philippines.  (TY TIP) A Magen David Adom (MDA) delegation recently went to the Philippines to train instructors for emergency medicine teams on dealing with mass casualty incidents. The Philippines has suffered natural and man-made disasters, requiring highly skilled medical and rescue forces.

Technion Institute opens campus in China.  I reported previously (Jan 2016) that Israel’s Technion had laid the cornerstone for its new research center in the southern Chinese city of Shantou. The Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT) is now open and ready to educate some 3,000 students.


Israeli tech in AR headsets. I’ve reported previously (see here) on the Augmented Reality (AR) optical engines developed by Israel’s Lumus. Now Taiwan’s Quanta Computer is to manufacture AR headsets with the Lumus technology inside. The product is expected to be on the market by mid-2019.

The carbon footprint of freight transport. I reported previously (several times) on Israel’s Freightos, which is making international freight transport easier and cheaper. Freightos also makes it eco-friendlier by providing a CO2 footprint calculation on every quote. Customers can then choose the route and mode (air, train, ship etc.).

A refund if prices drop after you purchase.  Most people aren't aware that their credit cards or favorite retailers have price protection policies when products get discounted after purchase. Israeli startup and app Earny tracks the prices of products online and claims refunds for its users when prices of past purchases drop.

The solar energy valley in the desert. The Ashalim thermo-solar power station in Israel’s Negev Desert covers 988 acres with 28,000 tons of steel. With an adjacent thermos-solar plant and 2 nearby photovoltaic plants, they will provide some 300MW of electricity daily into the National Grid – 2.5% of the current total.

Kids use tech to solve real-life problems. “PICO kids” is a program for two thousand children at 31 Jerusalem schools. Mentored by 80-plus university students and local entrepreneurs, they build useful devices, do lab experiments, program computers and use 3D printing and robotics to help (e.g.) the disadvantaged.

A bottle designed for breastmilk.  The award-winning, Israeli designed and manufactured Nanobébé bottle is said to be the first baby bottle designed to preserve essential breastmilk nutrients. The bottle works directly with an expressing pump, allows for quick and even cooling and warming, and provides easy and efficient storage.

Ultra-secure mobile takes on Messi. Israeli startup Sirin Labs is developing an ultra-secure mobile phone using blockchain technology. It has also hired Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador.

Turn your headphones into a biometric sensor.  Israel-based startup Bugatone develops software that enables ordinary headphones to act as sensors. They can recognize you by your ears, take your temperature, start and stop playing music when you put them on or remove them, and more. Bugatone just raised $3 million of funds.

Bringing hi-tech to the building industry.  The Israeli Government and the Israel Builders Association have teamed up with SOSA, a company that connects startups with investors, to set up the Construction Innovation Zone. Its aim is to bring new technologies to cranes, planning and building procedures, and infrastructure.

Israel plans to refill the Kinneret. To increase the level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) after a series of bad droughts, Mekorot (Israel’s national water company) will pump desalinated water back into the Kinneret from the Eshkol water filtration plant - the fourth largest facility of its kind in the world.


The largest cut in tariffs since the 1990s. Israel is to abolish customs and purchase taxes on a wide range of products, including electronics, cosmetics and toys. It will remove about a quarter of the total industrial tariffs in Israel – costing around NIS 800 million a year.

November tourism up 24%.  355,900 tourist entries to Israel were recorded in Nov 2017, about 24% more than Nov 2016 and 70% more than Nov 2015. In the period Jan-Nov 2017, about 3.3 million tourist entries were recorded, a 25% increase on the same period last year. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israeli-tourism-continues-to-rise-with-24-increase-over-last-november/2017/12/10/ 

87 foreign R&D centers since 2014. A total of 87 companies from 18 countries have opened offices in Israel since 2014 to pursue research and development or innovation, according to new report published by Start-Up Nation Central, a nonprofit organization that connects international businesses with Israeli startups.

European finance backs Israeli tech.  The European Investment Fund (EIF), with Israel’s Bank Leumi, have renewed their program offering loans to small and medium Israeli tech companies. Leumi can offer up to $200 million, with EIF guaranteeing the funds as part of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation program.

Microsoft’s new Israel campus.  Microsoft has completed a lease for its new campus in Herzliya Pituach. The company will rent the 10-story 44,000 square meter Sea Tower building currently under construction. On completion, Microsoft Israel will relocate its staff from several Herzliya Pituach locations to the new building.

WeWork goes large in Shanghai. Co-working real estate company WeWork, led by Israeli Adam Neumann, has leased an office building in Shanghai, where in 2018 it intends to open its largest co-working space to date. The ten-story building covers 27,000 square meters.

Technical support at home within the hour. Israeli-founded startup Puls sends a technician within 60 minutes in response to a request to install or repair your electronic device. Accept the fixed price quote on Puls’ website and they dispatch one of 1300 freelance technicians to your home. Available in 43 cities in 22 USA states.

The fastest growing startup. Mobile ad startup YouAppi was the top company in the 2017 Deloitte Israel Technology Fast 50 list. YouAppi helps companies reach users through mobile ads and analytics, and has grown by 16,230 percent in four years. YouAppi’s platform is used by over 2 billion people.

Frutarom’s 11th & 12th acquisitions in 2017.  Israel’s Frutarom has bought Poland’s Fabryka Substancji Zapachowych Pollena-Aroma, one of Poland’s leading producers of ingredients for the aromatherapy and natural cosmetics industries. It has also taken a 51% stake in Brazil’s savory solutions maker Bremil Industria.


Festival of Light meets Light Festival.  Although the Jerusalem Light Festival took place at the end of June, this video of the event was released to coincide with Hanukah – the Jewish Festival of Light.

More historical stamps.  (TY Jacob Richman) Dec 2017’s new Israeli stamps include Israeli submarines from 1959 to 1976, ancient Roman arenas in Israel and 20 years of Or Yarok (Association for safer driving in Israel).

Virtual Reality archaeology tours.  Israeli startup Vortex has developed a virtual reconstruction technology that enables the public to “relive” momentous historical events in 360 multisensory (4D) fashion. Roman and Crusader period “ArchTour” simulations are available at Caesarea, Acre and Jerusalem’s Western Wall Plaza.

Ringo Starr to come to Israel.  Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr - the one-time lovable mop-top drummer for the Fab Four is finally going to make his debut in the Jewish state, on June 23 and 24 at the Menorah Mivtahim Arena in Tel Aviv. He will become the second former Beatle to perform in Israel, after Paul McCartney in 2008.


Birthright trips to Israel for 27 to 32-year-olds.  (TY Janglo) For the first time since its founding, a limited number of Birthright Israel trip options for 27 to 32-year-olds will be introduced this summer in addition to the standard programming available for 18 to 26-year-olds. https://www.birthrightisrael.com/countries

Cycling from Metula to Eilat in 24 hours.  On Chanukah, 11 cyclists lit candles in Metula on the Israel-Lebanon border and then cycled over 500km to Eilat to light candles the next evening. In doing so, they hoped to raise NIS 500,000 for Israeli emergency rescue charity United Hatzalah. Please help them if you can.

Police commissioner lights first Hanukkah light at the Kotel. (TY Leonie) Israel’s Police Commissioner Roni Alshich lit the flame for the first night of Hanukkah at the Kotel (Western Wall). He said, “The lighting of one Hanukkah candle creates and symbolizes the unity of the Jewish people. One nation with one heart."

Mother and daughter discover lamp from Maccabean period. While hiking in the Beit She’an Valley, Ayelet Goldberg-Kedar and her 7-year-old daughter discovered a clay oil lamp dating to the Hellenistic period 2,200 years ago – when Hanukah hero Judah Maccabee fought against the ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Ancient menorah inscription recycled in Tiberias.  An ancient seven-branched menorah inscribed on a large slab of basalt has been unearthed in Tiberias from a Crusader-era building built using the remains of mosque. The slab was originally the door of a 2nd to 4th century CE Jewish cemetery, used to build the ancient mosque.

Menorahs inscribed on early Islamic coins. Researchers in Israel have discovered menorahs prominently adorned on Muslim coins and vessels from the early Islamic period 1,300 years ago. Many 7th to 8th century CE Umayyad dynasty relics showing the seven-branched Jewish symbol are now being exhibited to the public.

Free trees for Jerusalem Christians.  (TY Hazel) The Jerusalem Municipality continued its annual tradition of distributing complimentary Christmas trees to Jerusalem’s residents in celebration of the holiday. 150 trees were distributed on Dec 21, at the Jaffa Gate Plaza upon presentation of a valid ID card.

Publicizing the miracle.  (TY Janglo) Rain in Jerusalem doesn’t prevent Jewish residents from displaying their beautiful Hanukiyot outside their homes.  Specially made glass-fronted boxes help keep the flames burning in all weathers.  And (TY Sharon) eight days of Hanukah are just not enough for Jerusalem.

Allenby enters Jerusalem.  (TY Sharon) 100 years ago, General Edmund Henry Allenby entered Jaffa Gate, to end centuries of Ottoman rule. The historical event was marked by a re-enactment and the opening of a new Tower of David Museum exhibition, "A General and a Gentleman: Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem".

In the 10th Dec 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli device can detect if a newborn has autism.
·         Israel has helped open a new maternity hospital in Syria.
·         Israeli-developed paint keeps buildings cool.
·         Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel ratify plan for piping Israeli gas to Europe.
·         Israeli actress Gal Gadot is GQ Magazine’s Woman of the Year.
·         (If you hadn’t heard) The US now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

·         Click here to see the 3rd Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


Diagnosing autism in newborns.  I reported previously (16th Apr) how Israel saves lives with early diagnosis of autism in toddlers. Now an Israeli, Raffi Rembrand, father of an autistic son, has invented the SensPD which detects a newborn suffering from sensory overload – a key factor in autism.

US approval for medicated stent.  The US FDA has approved the EluNIR medicated stent developed by Israel’s Medinol for the treatment of blocked or narrow coronary arteries. The stent system has a novel metallic spring tip and the narrowest strut width of any stent on the US market, for use in complex anatomy and disease.

GE to use Israeli tech in ultrasound scanning.  In my last newsletter (26th Nov) I reported that GE Medical are integrating the stroke diagnosis systems of Israel’s MedyMatch into its CT-scanners. This week, GE announced they will integrate the imaging analysis software from Israel’s DiA into its ultrasound devices.

Heart-winning devices.  Two Israeli startups were among the three finalists in the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s Shark Tank Innovation competition held at the 2017 TCT Conference in Denver, Colorado. Enopace won, with its left ventricular neurostimulator (see here). Paragate’s fluid removal device came third.

Success for no-needle glucose meter.  I reported previously (Sep 2013) about the non-invasive diabetes finger monitor TensorTip from Israel’s Cnoga.  The device uses skin color via LEDs to measure glucose levels and has received approval in Europe (CE certification), China and Brazil. It anticipates US FDA approval in 2018.

Saving patients with smart breathing tubes.  Israeli-founded startup ART Medical has developed sensor-based smart tubes to monitor ICU patients on intubation, intravenous feeding and catheters.  They can detect and alert nurses and physicians of pneumonia or any abnormalities with gastric reflux, saliva, urine output etc.

Personalized cancer treatment.  I reported previously (many times) on Israeli companies developing cancer treatments targeting individuals rather than specific areas of the body. Now, Israeli biotech Ayala is partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop treatments for cancer patients known to have a gene mutation.

Newly trained EMT saves her own life.  Sarah - a new Emergency Medical Technician with United Hatzalah - saved her own life when she managed to convince medics at her local hospital that she was suffering from a pulmonary embolism. When cynical hospital staff finally agreed to do a CT-scan, they found a clot in her lung.

Trainee EMT saves life whilst playing tennis.  Joel Atkin, a student of United Hatzalah’s NREMT training program helped resuscitate an older man who had collapsed near where Atkin was playing his daily tennis game. Noticing the commotion, he supervised CPR, provided ventilation and used a defibrillator to get a pulse.


Empowering people with disabilities.  Israel marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd Dec. There are 1.6 million in Israel with disabilities. Israeli empowerment involves cochlear implants for the deaf, a theater for blind/deaf actors, the ReWalk exoskeleton for paraplegics, OrCam, EyeControl and more.

Technology to help disabled visit Knesset.  The Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) has unveiled a variety of assistive devices to make it easier for the disabled to find their way around the Knesset building. They include a tactile map, smart glasses to identify faces and read text via an earpiece, wheelchairs and magnifying glasses.

Blind, but determined to serve.  (TY UWI) Being born blind didn’t stop Ori from enlisting in the IDF. She visited her base many times before beginning her service, to get to know her way around it.

Ethiopian-Israelis make socio-economic gains.  In 1999, 75% of Ethiopian-Israelis could not read or write Hebrew. In 2016, a higher percentage of 12th graders in the Ethiopian National Project (ENP) SPACE Program matriculated than average Israelis. The ENP program is now being rolled out to non-Ethiopian Israelis. 

Ultrasound training for PA doctors.  I reported previously (26th Nov) that Palestinian Arab eye doctors had been trained in Israel.  Now, Palestinian Arab doctors have been receiving training at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva to give ultrasound-guided local anesthetic for patients who cannot risk having general anesthesia.

Palestinian Arab saved in Hebron.  (TY Zev) Israel Border Police saved the life of a Palestinian Arab in Hebron. The man in his 20s stopped breathing and lost consciousness in a house near the Cave of the Patriarchs. IDF soldiers and a medic revived him. The man's family members thanked the officers for their actions.

Israel sets up new maternity hospital in Syria.  The IDF has helped establish a maternity hospital on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Although staffed by Syrian doctors, the incubators, beds and ultrasound equipment come from Israel. Since its recent opening, 30 Syrian women have given birth at the hospital.

EU awards for joint environmental group. The Geneva Center for Security Policy chose EcoPeace Middle East’s Program on Water Security for this year’s Prize for Innovation in Global Security from among 114 entrees from 50 countries. EcoPeace consists of Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Arab environmentalists.

African heads of parliament attend Knesset. Six heads of parliament, from Ghana, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda will attend a conference at the Knesset – Israel’s Parliament. They will discuss gender equality, combatting terrorism, accessibility for the disabled and sustainability.

The only Western head of government.  (TY Israpundit) At Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was only the only Western head of government present, joining ten African presidents. 


Paint uses sunlight to cool buildings. Yaron Shenhav and Gadi Grottas, co-founders of Israel’s SolCold, and Hebrew University Professor Guy Ron have invented a high-tech coating that cools down structures when the sun shines. Photons from the sun hit the material which then emits a higher-frequency photon and loses energy.

Energy efficient buildings.  I reported previously (Jun 2015) about Israel’s Market Tech Holdings rebuilding London’s Camden Market. It also installed the energy analysis system developed by Israel’s SmartGreen, which saves 25% of energy costs. SmartGreen’s systems are installed in Israel, UK, Hong Kong, Poland and Africa.

Huge solar farm to be built in the North.  A new solar power plant with nearly five times more capacity than Israel’s current largest solar array will be built in the north of the country with construction expected to begin as early as the first half of next year. The 250MW plant will provide 2% of Israel’s total output of electricity.

No pollution by 2030.  By the year 2013 Israel will not be using polluting fuels such as coal, diesel or fuel oil in electricity production, transportation, and industry, says Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Dr. Yuval Steinitz.

Eco-friendly concrete.  Israeli marine biologist Shimrit Perkol-Finkel is the founder of ECOncrete, which develops environmentally sensitive concrete products. ECOncrete (not to be confused with Eco Concrete) attracts marine life, increases the structural stability, longevity and aesthetics of urban waterfronts and coastal structures.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/KanmayUa2ME?rel=0

Self-healing system for connected cars.  Israel’s Aurora Labs has developed a self-healing platform for connected cars. It detects anomalies in sophisticated automobile software including airbags, steering, brakes etc. Fixes can be applied remotely, avoiding expensive recalls.  Aurora has just raised $2.7 million of funding.

Protecting car passengers.  Israeli startup Guardian Optical Technologies develops sensors that monitor the safety devices inside automobiles. Its new automatic sensor system combines video image recognition, 3D depth-mapping, and motion detection. It can also prevent small children and pets being forgotten in vehicles.

A rescue robot that can walk or fly. The Rooster is a new robot from Israeli startup RoboTiCan that can help reach injured victims of natural disasters where it’s not safe to send a human rescue worker.  Like its biological namesake, the Rooster mostly walks, but when necessary it can hover and fly over obstacles.

Chips for robots.  Israeli startup Inuitive specializes in vision processing and sensing technologies. It uses deep learning algorithms to develop chips and processors that support 3D imaging for uses in robots, drones, augmented reality and virtual reality. Japan’s Softbank is to integrate Inuitive’s chips into its IoT products.

Israeli study – amputees use brain to control avatars and robots.  Israeli scientists have shown that despite losing a hand over 18 months ago, amputees are able to use a brain-computer interface to control the hand of an avatar (virtual representation of a human) and also to direct the movements of a humanoid robot.

Any movie, any language, anytime, anywhere.  Israeli startup Muvix says it is the first in the world to provide movies on-demand in a public space. The Muvix “living lab” in South Tel Aviv had partitioned-off spaces, each with a large TV screen. Viewers watched their chosen film in their chosen language without disturbing others.


New record for currency reserves. The value of Israel’s foreign currency deposits increased to a new all-time record at the end of November of $112 billion – an increase of $770 million from its end October value.

Israel joins Power Africa initiative.  Israeli companies will now be able to take part in the Power Africa initiative to help overcome Africa’s energy crisis and to connect consumers across the continent. The initiative includes accessibility to government agencies, financial grants, professional and legal counsel.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/israeli-government-joins-power-africa-initiative-good-news-for-energy-sector/2017/12/03/ 

European gas pipeline project advances. (TY Hazel) Following previous pledges, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding for constructing an underwater gas pipeline from the Eastern Mediterranean region to Greece and Italy, to transport Cypriot and Israeli gas reserves to mainland Europe.

Huge Florida delegation heads for Israel.  Florida Governor Rick Scott is visiting Israel at the head of an almost 70-strong delegation including businessmen and university heads. Scott is a supporter of the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator which helps Israeli startups make inroads in the US.

German car maker buys auto-security company.  I reported previously (Aug 2015) on Israel’s Argus Cyber Security and its systems to prevent electronic car hijacking. Argus has just been acquired by Gemany’s Continental AG, an automotive manufacturer, for an estimated $400 million.

WeWork is working well. The office space rental company WeWork, founded by Israeli Adam Neumann, is now worth $20 billion and has established itself in some 20 countries. WeWork has been buying up several companies recently, the latest being social networking company Meetup.

Big demand for 3D sweetener.  I reported previously (20th Feb) on the new Liteez stevia sweetener, shaped like a meringue, from Israel’s Lampados International. The sweetener is so popular that Lampados is completing a new plant expansion in Caesarea to cope with the growing demand.

Huge Indian order for Ceragon.  I reported previously (many times) on Israel’s Ceragon Networks which provides broadband wireless connectivity for international mobile service providers. Ceragon has just won a massive $66 million order to provide wireless backhaul services to a major Indian mobile operator.


Gunzburg family collection to go online. The National Library of Israel has added the Günzburg Collection to its new digitized platform. The originals will remain in Russia. Some 2,000 Jewish manuscripts and 14,000 books will be added to the archives’ 45,000 manuscripts – more than half of the world’s known Hebrew books.

African American hoopsters in the Holy Land.  David A. Goldstein, in his new book “Alley-Oop to Aliyah: African-American Hoopsters in the Holy Land,” states that since 1976, 800 African-Americans have competed in the Israeli Basketball Premier League. And most professed a deep, genuine love for Israel.

Boy George – “Israel is in my heart”. (TY Nevet) 80s music icon Boy George and his band Culture Club kicked off their world tour in Tel Aviv. He was joined by the three other original members of Culture Club. Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss. “Israel is in my heart,” he wrote on twitter.

Hi Hi, Miss American Pie.  With iconic hits like “American Pie” and “Vincent,” Don McLean is one of America’s most beloved and enduring artists. He will be performing at the Ra’anana Amphitheater on June 16.
McLean did many tours of Israel during the Iran-Iraq War and is “a staunch supporter of Israel then and now”.

Award and acclaim for Gal Gadot.  The influential National Board of Review gave its Spotlight Award to Israeli actress Gal Gadot for her performance in Wonder Woman. She was also named as GQ Magazine’s Woman of the Year. https://www.timesofisrael.com/gal-gadot-named-gqs-wonder-woman-of-the-year/

Stunning photo at the Hula Valley.  Every year some 500 million birds migrate across Israel in their twice a year pilgrimage to and from warmer climes. Photographer Chanoch Seif caught some in flight over Lake Hula at sunrise, with the backdrop of the “Super-moon”. 


Social Media Experts Explore Israel. (TY Sharon) One of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) (see May 2016) groups is Media Magnets - Jewish women with millions of social media followers. 30 Media Magnets recently visited Israel and will certainly be letting their audiences know about the Jewish State.

Highway patrol takes couple to their wedding.  An Israeli bride and groom were on the way to their wedding on Route 4 when their car broke down. A patrolman for Netivei Israel - the government-owned company in charge of Israel’s roads – chauffeured the couple to their wedding himself. He even decorated his car for them.

150 German-speaking Jewish leaders visit Jerusalem.  In the largest gathering of its kind, some 150 young Jewish leaders from German-speaking countries gathered in Jerusalem for an annual event hosted by the Jewish Agency for Israel. Their tracks included hi-tech, archeological discoveries; the social fabric; and education.

90-year-old Holocaust survivor’s first visit to Kotel.  Avraham Takacz, a native of Donetsk and a Holocaust survivor, arrived in Israel as a refugee in 2014 from the battle zones of the Ukraine. For his 90th birthday, he fulfilled a dream and visited the Western Wall for the first time in his life.

Hanukah in Jerusalem. Hanukkah - the Jewish “Festival of lights”, begins on the evening of 12 Dec. This video shows the traditional nightly Hannukiah (candelabra) lighting in Jerusalem’s Old City.

US recognizes that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.  It was a historic moment, just past 8pm Israeli time on 6th Dec when US President Donald Trump announced US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State and began the process of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Czech Republic also announced recognition. https://www.youtube.com/embed/OAKxZeFc8Jk?rel=0

In the 3rd Dec 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have developed a protein switch to fight cancer.
·         An Israeli charity is providing motorized wheelchairs for disabled toddlers.
·         Israel has sent medical aid to fight plague in Madagascar.
·         A documentary on the Space Station is being made using an Israeli super-camera.
·         Three of the world’s most innovative universities are Israeli.
·         Israel’s Sodastream is turning water into (sparkling) wine.
·         China’s most valuable soccer player is an Israeli.

·         Click here to see the 26th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with additional feature on Global impact. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


Protein switch helps immune system fight cancer.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a protein “switch” that activates the immune system to attack cancer cells. They were able to distinguish cancer cells from healthy tissue by their DNA sequences.

Injection melts fat.  Israeli startup Raziel Therapeutics has developed an injectable molecule that apparently melts away fat cells. The new synthetic small molecule was discovered by Professor Shmuel Ben-Sasson of Hebrew University almost by accident. Raziel is conducting phase 2a clinical testing on 32 US patients.

GE imaging to use Israeli technology. I reported previously (twice) on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform of Israel’s MedyMatch for diagnosing head trauma and strokes from CT-scans. MedyMatch is now partnering with GE Healthcare to integrate its products with the US giant’s imaging solutions.

Prostate device gets European approval.  Israeli biotech Butterfly Medical has received the CE Mark for its novel medical device for non-surgical treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate that affects 105 million men globally. The device is inserted in a 10-minute procedure under local anesthetic.

Autism and the smell of fear.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that people with Autism react differently to certain odors produced by the human body. Experiments using sweat collected from people taking skydiving classes and from those undertaking normal exercise had remarkably different results.

Cancer patients win golf tournament.  I reported previously (twice) on the annual fund-raising “Hole in One” golf tournament of Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion. For the first time, a team of cancer patients also competed.  The team not only won one of the top awards, but the patients benefited from a wonderful day out.

United Hatzalah founder saves a life.  Eli Beer, founder and President of United Hatzalah was flying El Al from New York to Israel when he rushed to save the life of a passenger who was having a hypoglycemia attack. Using a borrowed glucometer, honey and jam he stabilized the patient so the flight could continue to Tel Aviv.

Video shows EMT saving choking drummer. The security camera at a wedding venue captured the dramatic events after the band’s drummer began choking food that he’d swallowed. Luckily, one of the guests was United Hatzalah EMT Mordechai Mammon who used the Heimlich maneuver to save the drummer’s life.


iPads for Jerusalem special needs teachers. (TY Janglo) Jerusalem Municipality and the Athena Fund is providing 463 special education teachers with iPads, along with special programs and applications designed for students with special needs and various handicaps. It will improve teacher-student communication.

Mini-motorized wheelchairs for disabled toddlers.  Israeli charity ALEH is providing disabled Jerusalem toddlers with specially designed motorized wheelchairs, allowing them to take control of their own mobility from the age of one. The small but powerful “Wizzybug” chairs support every part of the child’s growing body.

Diversity award for girls’ tech training program.  I’ve reported previously (23rd July) about the QueenB tech and confidence mentorship and training program for girls of middle-school age. QueenB will be able to do more teaching with $72,000 it recently won at the WeWork Creator Awards, which took place in Tel Aviv.

Fighting epidemics together.  The National Center for Disease Control organized a six-day program on Applied Epidemiology.  Thirty professionals in public health, infectious diseases and Epidemiology took part -  both Israeli medical and research personnel, plus their counterparts from the Palestinian Authority.

Another Israeli resolution passes at the UN.  An Israeli resolution promoting the utilizing of agricultural technology for sustainable development passed the United Nations (UN) Second Committee by a 141 to 1 (Syrian) vote, with 34 (Arab block) abstentions. A record 117 countries co-sponsored the Israeli initiative.

Israel is a strategic asset of the West.  Former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp gives historical and current day examples of how vital Israel is to the security of Western nations. He even suggests a new Balfour Declaration that recognizes the strategic value of the Jewish State today.

How does the UN get aid to Syria?  Via Israel.  The only safe way that the United Nations can send humanitarian aid to war-torn Syria is through Israel. See these UN trucks entering Syria at the Israeli border.

Emergency aid to Madagascar.  (TY Algemeiner) The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South African branch of Magen David Adom have sent medical aid to Madagascar to help combat an outbreak of bubonic / pneumonic plague. The World Health Organization described the outbreak as the worst in 50 years.

Israel to open embassy in Rwanda.  (TY Hazel) Israel is opening a new embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. “This is part of the expansion of Israel’s presence in Africa and of the deepening cooperation between Israel and African countries,” Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said after meeting Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Nairobi.

Israel and NATO to share classified info. Israel and NATO have signed an agreement on the protection of classified information. The agreement will help expand the sharing of intelligence between Israel and NATO.


Israeli VR camera films life on space station.  International Space Station astronaut Paolo Nespoli is making a National Geographic documentary “One Strange Rock” using a virtual reality (VR) camera developed by Israeli startup Human Eyes. The camera will take 3D, 360-degree shots of life and work aboard the ISS.

A prolific inventor.  Assaf Natanzon, Vice President of advanced technology and investment evaluation for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Dell EMC, is the top Israeli on Wikipedia’s list of Prolific Inventors. He has 205 registered patents as at the time of writing (up from 202 in the Israel21c article).

The supermarket in your kitchen.  Israel’s Freshub has already developed a voice-activated smart kitchen device that allows you to order groceries, search recipes, setup cooking timers and play music. Freshub has now partnered with China’s TCL to integrate Freshub’s software into TCL’s Xess mini tablet kitchen assistant.

Why didn’t they buy?  I’ve previously reported on two Israeli companies that try to reduce the numbers of customers who abandon on-line purchases at the checkout.  Now Israeli startup Datacrushers uses algorithms, data and analytics to help Internet vendors correct problems with their site and boost sales by up to 40%.

First marine station launched.  Israel’s experimental Deep-Sea Research Station (Deeplev) has now been made permanent. The station is moored in the Mediterranean Sea, 50km west of Haifa.  Its team of scientists are from Bar Ilan University and the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute.

Navy Iron Dome is now operational.  The Israeli Air Force and Navy have announced that the missile defense system Iron Dome had been declared operational for use at sea, following 18 months of testing. The ship-based system will be used to protect marine targets, such as Israel’s natural gas rigs in the Mediterranean.

Three innovative Israeli universities. Israel was the only Middle East country mentioned in Reuters’ annual list of the World’s 100 most innovative universities. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was 82nd, up 12 spots from last year. Tel Aviv University was ranked at 88 and the Technion Institute of Technology was at 89.

German-Israeli program to boost cybersecurity.  The Hessian Israeli Partnership Accelerator for Cybersecurity program will unite teams of cybersecurity experts from Israel and Germany in projects that will “trigger the creation of innovation and businesses in cybersecurity” in the two countries.

Protecting medical devices from cyber-attack.  Israel’s Medigate develops a platform that protects medical devices such as patient monitors, MRIs and CAT scanners from cyber-attacks once the devices are connected to a healthcare provider network. Medigate has just raised $5.35 million of funding.

New US-Israel scientific exchange.  The first Zuckerman U.S.-Israel symposium was held at Tel Aviv University, promoting academic exchange between the two countries. Zuckerman STEM Scholars presented their research, including 3D color microscopes and echolocation used by bats to find food in the dark.

Innoviz wins CES 2018 Innovation Award. Israel’s Innoviz Technologies has won the CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree recognition in the Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology category for its groundbreaking InnovizPro™ High Definition Solid State LiDAR (Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging).

Genome sequence of wild lentils.  Israel’s NRGene, in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan, has successfully sequenced two wild lentil genomes - the largest legume genomes ever assembled. The research is expected to empower future breeding efforts aimed at enhancing yield and quality of this vital protein source.

Israel launches 1,600 MW rooftops solar project.  The Israeli government has privatized electricity production, enabling home consumers, local authorities, and businesses to produce solar electricity. The project aims to produce 1,600 megawatts, helping Israel reach its 2020 target of 10% of its electricity from renewables.


Economic growth continues.  Highlights of Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s latest report include 3rd quarter GDP at 4.1% (Q2 was 2.5%). Record $1.7 billion worth of Israeli companies acquired by foreign investors.  $1.4 billion raised by Israeli startups in Q3 (up 14% on Q2).  http://bit.ly/2hXCfvx 

Brexit is good for UK-Israel trade.  Business contacts between the UK and Israel are soaring, stimulated by Brexit issues and the current relative low value of Sterling. Recent activity includes the Innovate Israel 2017 conference in London and the UK Israel Business chamber of commerce’s largest delegation to Israel.

Israeli universities help get better jobs.  3 Israeli universities have climbed up the London Times’ Higher Education ranking of graduate employability.  The Technion came top for digital skills and third in corporate links. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University both improved on their 2016 rankings.

Two Israeli startup accelerators in Beijing. The Israeli Ministry of Economy is working with Chinese venture capital firms DayDayUp and ShengJing360 to launch two accelerators for Israeli startups in Beijing. The Ministry of Economy has already announced the ten startups selected to participate in the program.

Sodastream launches sparkling wine. Israel’s Sodastream has launched 'Sparkling Gold,' a fine alcoholic concentrate to be added to sparkling water. The new alcoholic beverage contains 10% alcohol and resembles the taste of a fruity Riesling wine. Sparkling Gold is being piloted in Germany and feedback is very positive.

Amazon to deliver in Israel.? (TY Janglo & ILTV) Amazon.com is in talks to set up its first shipping center in Israel. The world’s largest online retailer will hopefully soon begin operations in Israel, in a move that would lower shipping prices, waiting times, and import fees for Israeli consumers.

Dropbox expands in Israel.  US cloud storage company Dropbox is expanding its activity in Israel and moving to new offices at Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Sarona tower.  Dropbox aims “to attract the leading talent in Israel and allow our teams to work together seamlessly”. Amazon and Facebook have offices in the same building.

Lloyds Insurance offers Israeli service to customers.  London-based insurance market Lloyd’s has signed a deal with Israeli maritime data provider Windward. Windward will provide Lloyd’s member companies with software that forecasts accidents and dangerous conditions like hostilities breaking out in a specific area.

UK Stock Exchange uses Israeli intelligence.  The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has partnered with Israel-based startup Zirra.com. Zirra will provide the LSEG’s fundraising program ELITE with company research tools powered by automated signals, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data.

Israeli video ad companies merge.  Israeli video marketing platform Innovid today announced it has agreed to acquire Israeli real-time data intelligence company Taykey (see here). Innovid will gain access to Taykey’s big data platform and 14 patents including natural language processing and AI-based machine learning.

Alibaba’s first Israeli acquisition.  I reported previously (May 2015) that Israel’s Visualead was helping Chinese online retailing giant Alibaba from trading counterfeit goods. Obviously, Alibaba must have been so impressed, that they bought the company – its first Israeli acquisition.


Tel Aviv Jazz Festival.  The Tel Aviv Jazz Festival (Dec 6 – 8) features premiere productions, live shows, free performances and tributes to the great Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Thelonious Monk. The 20 performers from Israel and abroad include Ravi Coltrane, Daniel Jobim, Ester Rada and Dee Alexander.

“Take That” performs in Tel Aviv.  (TY CUFI) The band, “Take That” rolled back the years at Tel Aviv's Menora Mivtachim Arena with the group's first ever, long-awaited visit to Israel. The 90-minute concert featured 1990’s hits from the band's current line-up, including Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen.

Jerry Seinfeld returns on Dec 30. (TY Janglo) Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld will be returning to Israel on 30th Dec for two shows in Tel Aviv. Seinfeld, who did 4 sold-out gigs in Israel in 2015, will perform at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena.  El Al Matmid club members can get a NIS 100 discount.

View of Jerusalem’s cable car.  (TY Janglo) I reported previously (4th June) that the Israeli Government had approved the plan to build a cable car from Western Jerusalem to the Western Wall.  Now here is a video depicting what the new service will look like. https://www.youtube.com/embed/pwUsmb5CxzY?rel=0

The most valuable player in China.  (TY Algemeiner) Israeli soccer star Eran Zahavi was named this year’s most valuable player in the Chinese Super League (CSL). Zahavi has scored 27 goals for Guangzhou R&F, just one short of the league record. His $7 million annual contract ends in 2020.


A message from a Muslim Arab.  (TY Avi) Mohammad Kabiya is a Bedouin, Muslim Arab. He loves his country. He is prepared to die for it, which is why he served in its army - voluntarily, because his country is free, diverse, vibrant. His country is Israel.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tu-5xxZJxmA?rel=0

From UAE student to IDF soldier.  Michael Bassin now works for Israeli startup FirstImpression.io and has written a book “I Am Not a Spy”. It tells of his time studying in Sharjah United Arab Emirates, also in Cairo, Lebanon and finally in Israel.

Will Smith visits the Western Wall.  Actor Will Smith, star of Men In Black and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was “chillin” by the Western Wall in Jerusalem. He found it to be “a very spiritual, very powerful place” and was “very honored to be here.”  https://www.youtube.com/embed/uIDZGgQPOgQ?rel=0

Miss Israel’s kosher diet.  (TY Janglo) I wrote previously (23rd July) about Rotem Rabi, Israel’s contestant in this month’s Miss World competition in China. But it isn’t easy, as she keeps kosher. “I’m having difficulty with the food,” she said, “almost nothing here is kosher. I’m living on pineapple and cookies”.

Drones discovers ancient Edomite temple.  Drones flying over Israel’s Lachish region have discovered the remains of a 2,200-year-old Idumean (Edomite) palace or temple. Dating from the Hellenistic period, the structure was partly dismantled, probably by the Jewish Hasmonean King John Hyrcanus I around 112 BCE.

In the 26th Nov 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have developed technology to repair severed spinal cords.
·         The UK is to use an Israeli system to help protect the Falkland Islands.
·         The International Space Station now has an Israeli remote-controlled lab.
·         The record-breaking 3-millionth tourist to Israel gets a holiday upgrade.
·         An Israeli company is desalinating water in South Africa.
·         An Israeli designed the dresses for Serena Williams’ bridesmaids.
·         An Israeli Bar Mitzva boy raised funds to power a Ugandan school.

·         Click here to see the 29th Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with additional feature on medical achievements. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


Repairing severed spinal cord.  Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute and Tel Aviv University have reconnected severed spinal cords of rats. Previously paralyzed rodents were implanted with cells induced into a neural phenotype, and regained motor control. It could lead to major advances in treating spinal cord injury.

Predicting diabetes. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (twice) on Israel’s Medial EarlySign and its blood test for early detection of colon cancer. Now Medial has developed an algorithm with a 64% success rate for identifying which of 645,000 prediabetics were at risk of becoming diabetics within 12 months.

Hope for bone marrow failure patients.  Israeli biotech Pluristem has opened clinical centers in Israel and extended the trial of its stem cell treatment for insufficient hematopoietic recovery following hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).  HCT is performed when bone marrow fails for reasons including cancer treatment.

Managing chronically ill patients.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Nov 2012) on Israel’s Vaica and its system for reminding individuals to take their meds. Vaica has now launched Capsuled - a personally customized medication adherence solution.

Medical solutions for disasters.  The Israeli pavilion at MEDICA 2017 in Dusseldorf, showcased specialized emergency medical services products for intensive care, respiratory, cardiac, central nervous system and trauma. Israeli companies presenting included Inovytec, Medisim, CardiacX and Guide in Medical.

Preparing Toronto hospital for disasters. A team of experts from Israel’s Rambam hospital shared their knowledge with Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children on how to prepare for disasters, such as mass casualties. As the city gets larger, the Canadian hospital needs to prepare for taking many casualties at one time.

Treating children in Georgia. Twice a year, for the past five years, doctors from Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center have traveled to capital city of Tbilisi to perform operations on local youngsters with serious congenital defects. The delegation consists of pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists and intensive care specialists.

The most teenage volunteer EMTs. (TY Hazel) 60 percent of the volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) staff of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency-response network, are teenagers – the highest percentage in the world. 11,000 Israeli teenagers work voluntary shifts on MDA ambulances throughout Israel.

Israeli MS treatment featured on UK TV.  The normally anti-Israel UK TV Channel4 aired a rare positive feature about Mark Lewis and the trial stem cell treatment he received for Multiple Sclerosis at Israel’s Hadassah hospital.  https://www.thejc.com/search-for-a-miracle-cure-follows-patient-31-mark-lewis-as-israeli-medics-develop-ms-treatment-1.448893

The highest fertility in the OECD. (TY Atid-EDI) Women in Israel have 3.1 children on average, the most in the OECD. Second is Mexico with 2.2 children and the OECD average is below two. In 2016, the percentage of miscarriages was less than the OECD average and C-sections averaged 17.8% compared to the OECD 27%.

Paralyzed soldier stands in remembrance.  Royal Engineer Chris Baker was paralyzed in Iraq, but was able to stand during for the national anthem at London’s Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, thanks to his Israeli-developed ReWalk exoskeleton.  http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/paralysed-veteran-to-stand-during-cenotaph-parade-thanks-to-israeli-technology/


New bank notes to feature famous women.  As predicted previously (5th Feb), Israel’s new 20-shekel and 100-shekel bank notes are about to be distributed. They feature Israel’s greatest poet, Rachel Bluwstein (1890-1931) and Leah Goldberg (1911-1970) - poet, author, playwright, teacher, literary translator and researcher.

Israeli-Arabs in hi-tech. (TY Hazel) In 2007, there were only some 300 Arab engineers in the industry. Today, there are an estimated 5,000 Arab computer programmers and software engineers employed across Israel.

Gaza eye doctors trained in Israel. (TY Phillip, Hazel & UWI) Two Israeli-trained Palestinian Arab doctors, travel from St John’s hospital in Jerusalem to Gaza every two months to perform eye operations on local Gazans. They have conducted 60 corneal transplants since the beginning of this year.

Opening border to sick Syrian children.  In unprecedented footage, the IDF allowed an Israeli TV crew to film it opening the border gates to Syria, and allowing in a group of 21 mothers and their 23 children, who were then transported to Israel’s Ziv hospital in Safed for medical treatment. Syrian doctors had selected the patients.

Israel has treated 4000 wounded Syrians.  (TY UWI) This video summarizes Israeli help for wounded and sick Syrians since the day in 2013 when seven injured Syrians requested help from the IDF.

No politics between beauty queens. Adar Gandelsman (Miss Israel) and Sarah Idan (Miss Iraq) publicized their friendship ahead of November’s Miss Universe competition. Gandelsman posted on Instagram, “Get to know, this is Miss Iraq and she’s amazing.”  Idan posted “peace and love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”

Security for Central African Republic. I reported previously (16th Apr) that Israel was providing observation balloons and unmanned aerial vehicles to protect UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Atul Khare, has now agreed to expand and upgrade the systems.

The largest ever aerial drill.  1,000 pilots and crews from India, the US, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Israel took part in the 11-day exercise “Blue Flag” launched from Israeli Air Force’s Ovda base. The goal was to simulate extreme scenarios and fly in coalition as realistically as possible.

Iron Dome to protect Falklands.  (TY WIN) Britain is buying Israel's Iron Dome short range missile defense system to protect the Falkland Islands. A UK Defense Ministry spokesman said, "we selected Rafael for a £78 million contract to provide the main computer system and boost our defense of the Falkland Islands."

Science and tech center for South Sudan. Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID has helped build a center for the study of science and technology in South Sudan. 10,000 youth will train at the center in the next 3 years to become engineers, technicians etc. and contribute to the country’s economic and social development.

Electricity for Africa.  (TY WIN) The Israeli government is now partnering with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in order to continue providing Africa with electricity.


World’s first remote-controlled space lab.  A miniaturized laboratory, developed by Israel’s Space-Pharma, has docked at the International Space Station (ISS). Research experiments can now be conducted remotely by scientists on Earth, without involvement from the astronauts, thus vastly reducing costs and time.

Turning Kenyan deserts into forests. The Kenyan government and Keren Keyemet L’Yisrael / Jewish National Fund signed a memorandum of understanding about planting forests in dry climates. Israeli technology can conserve soil, capture rain runoff, monitor precipitation and engage the public with forest conservation.

Secure real-time video transmission.  Israel’s Elsight develops and markets secure video transmission systems for security services and companies with high-value products. It recently launched on the Australian stock exchange and seen its share price quadruple. https://www.youtube.com/embed/8QJOBfinuKg?rel=0

An invisibility cloak is possible.  Scientists at Israel’s Ben Gurion University have developed a material which deflects light away from a viewer’s eyes. Their next step is to use the material to produce a cloak that makes the wearer appear invisible – just like in the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Five new US-Israeli clean energy projects. The US-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program has granted $4.8 million for five newly selected clean energy projects. The Israeli companies involved are Brenmiller, CelDezyner, QDM, SoftWheel and TerraGenic.

The best biopesticide.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (several times) on Israel’s Stockton Group and its innovative pesticide Timorex Gold® made from plant extracts. Now the environmentally-friendly bio-fungicide has been recognized by AgroPages, receiving its 1st Place BEST-IN-CLASS: Provider of Choice Award.

Hi-intensity laser conference.  The Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv is the venue for the Conference on High Intensity Lasers in Israel (CHILI) from Dec 11 – 13. Leading international scientists will discuss the interaction of high intensity lasers with matter, such as laser fusion, X-ray/neutron radiation, and attoscience (pulsating photons).

Kim Kardashian helps design fashion app.  American reality superstar Kim Kardashian West partnered with ScreenShop, an Israeli-founded, New York-based fashion app and the first mobile platform to convert screenshots on a phone into a digital fashion store. The system finds your

Haifa car-sharing is all-electric.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Haifa municipality and Israeli-founded Car2Go have
launched the first shared transportation project of its kind in Israel, based on electric vehicles and charging stations. 100 Renault Zoe cars will operate in the city, with 300 reserved parking spaces.

The flying safety inspector.  I reported previously (Apr 2015) about Percepto – an autonomous drone camera system with multiple applications. Percepto’s new “Sparrow I” provides 24-hour aerial monitoring of complex environments where security is imperative, such as oil and gas refineries, power plants, ports and sea terminals.


The world’s second strongest currency. (TY Atid-EDI) Deutsche Bank has rated the Israeli shekel as the world's second-strongest currency after the Chinese yuan. Over the past 12 months, the shekel has appreciated 6.1% against the basket of currencies, which comprises the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the euro and the yen.

Israel’s 3-millionth tourist.  (TY Atid-EDI) Incoming tourism broke records on 7th Nov, when Wizz Air Flight No. 3257 landed in Israel, carrying Romanian tourist Ioana Isac, the 3 millionth tourist to arrive in Israel this year. Ioana and her partner were treated to a dream vacation courtesy of the Israeli Tourism Ministry.

Budget deficit hits record low.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s budget deficit has reached a new low, thanks to record tax income in October. Receipts of NIS 30.1 billion brought the cumulative deficit over the past 12 months to 1.4% of GDP, less than half of its target. This despite a 9.2% increase in Government spending over the same period. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-tax-collection-sets-new-record-in-october-1001211044

Canadian bank taps Israeli cybersecurity talent.  (TY Walter) The Toronto-Dominion Bank is opening a new office in Tel Aviv to tap Israel’s cybersecurity expertise – a first for any Canadian bank. TD Bank Group, plans to invest up to $5 million annually in its Tel Aviv office.

Business success is plain sailing. 100 US and Israeli graduates of some of the world’s top international universities took part in Israel’s 10th annual Ivy League Yacht Race in the Mediterranean off Herzliya. This, plus other similar events, gives vital business networking opportunities to top American and Israeli alumni.

Israeli acquisition for Frutarom.  Israeli flavors and fine ingredients company Frutarom has made its ninth takeover of 2017. It has bought Israel’s Enzymotec – producer of InFat infant formula and other nutrition products. Enzymotec has around 100 registered patents and adds to Frutarom’s 79 global R&D centers.

Indian business school opens Israeli center.  (TY Hazel) The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore has inaugurated a dedicated Israel Center that aims to serve as a focal point of academic cooperation between the two nations.  https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/11/09/leading-indian-business-school-opens-israel-center-in-bid-to-intensify-academic-economic-cooperation/

UK delegation seeks Israeli market.  A delegation of over 35 British investors, led by the deputy chairman of the Bank of England, made a three-day visit to Israel. It was the largest delegation to date organized by the chamber of commerce UK Israel Business (UKIB), which aims to connect businesses in the two nations.

Chinese roadshow.  15 Israeli companies from the life sciences and information communications technology (ICT) sectors took part in a roadshow to China. The delegation, organized by the Israel Innovation Authority together with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, visited Changzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

50% scholarships to Law School.  (TY Janglo) Israel’s prestigious College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan has launched a merit-based scholarship program for the October 2018 class. It offers to waive from 20% - 50% of tuition fees for English-speaking high-school applicants, based on their academic record.

Jerusalem’s hi-tech and residential hub.  (TY Janglo) Jerusalem Mayor Barkat is initiating the construction of a high-tech, residential, academic and recreational hub above the Begin Road in central Jerusalem. The high-tech and biotech village of 70,000 sqm will contain 1,830 residents including 250 sheltered housing units.

Desalination for Mayotte and South Africa.  (TY Hazel) Fluence Corporation (merger of Israel’s Emefcy and RWL Water) is to supply three NIROBOX reverse-osmosis seawater desalination units for the French island of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean. It follows the company’s recent award of a NIROBOX plant in South Africa.

Mercedes’ Tel Aviv tech hub opens. I reported previously (Nov 2016) that Daimler (owner of Mercedes Benz) planned to launch an Israeli R&D center. It is now open and aims to unify the four mega trends impacting the automobile industry: connectivity, autonomous vehicles, ride sharing and electro-mobility.

Samsung opens Israel car cybersecurity hub. Samsung Electronics has launched its International Cyber Security Smart Mobility Analysis and Research Test (SMART) Range in Israel. Its aim is to protect autonomous vehicles, devices and roadways from dangerous intrusions.

E-passport system for Iceland.  Israel’s SuperCom has won an 8-year contract to build and operate a new central personalization system for electronic passports and national ID cards in Iceland.

Wizz to fly daily to London. (TY Janglo) Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has announced that, from March 25, 2018, it will operate daily flights on the Tel Aviv to London Luton route, instead of the four flights a week it currently offers. Wizz is adding four Airbus A320 aircraft to its fleet based at Luton Airport.


The hidden gems of Jerusalem.  Noam Chen and Jacob Bildner here reveal historical sites in Jerusalem that are inaccessible to the public or literally hidden from sight. They include the Kishle prison, Siebenberg House, the Italian Synagogue, Jason’s Tomb, Helena’s Well, the Mamluk Halls and the Little Western Wall.

Nick Cave performs in Israel, because of BDS.  Australian rock singer Nick Cave is in Israel for two concerts in Tel Aviv, and he says that the anti-Israel BDS movement was his motivation. Cave is performing to sellout audiences in the 11,000 seat Menorah Mivtachim Arena.

Ozzy’s final tour.  (TY Janglo) Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne is coming to Israel next year for what he says is his farewell tour. He will perform with members of Black Sabbath, the English band he founded and previously fronted. Ozzy will perform on 8th July 2018 at Rishon Lezion’s Live Park.

Morrissey’s new pro-Israeli album track.  (TY UWI) A six-minute-long pro-Zionist ballad simply called “Israel” is the last track on Morrissey’s new album “Low In High School”. Morrissey’s pro-Israel stance spans over a period of more than a decade. He even appeared on stage in Tel Aviv draped in an Israeli flag.

Israeli dresses for Serena’s bridesmaids.  At tennis superstar Serena Williams's wedding to Alexis Ohanian, the bride wore white, but her bridal party wore Israeli! Israel’s Galia Lahav designed all seven of the bridesmaids' dresses including that of Venus Williams – Serena’s sister – who was Maid of Honor.

Israeli Judoka wins gold medal in Abu Dhabi.  The Israeli team won five medals at the Judo Grand Slam tournament in Abu Dhabi. Tal Flicker won gold in the men’s under-66kg. He mouthed the words of "HaTikva," the Israeli anthem, during his medal ceremony, as the UAE state had banned the Israeli flag and anthem.


162 “lost” Indian Jews arrive in Israel.  (TY Algemeiner) Two groups, totaling 162 members of the Bnei Menashe Jewish community from northeast India have just arrived in Israel. The immigration of the so-called “lost” Jews was organized by Shavei Israel, which has now brought 3,000 Bnei Menashe to the Jewish State.

The gavel used in the UN partition vote.  Readers may have seen the video of the 29th Nov 1947 United Nations vote that preceded Israel’s declaration of independence. The gavel, used by then-president of the UN General Assembly, Oswaldo Aranha of Brazil, is now on display at the Knesset.

A Pakistani explains why he is a Muslim Zionist.  (TY Avi) I featured Pakistani Muslim Noor Dahri (twice) previously. Here he explains why supports the Jewish State.

Celebrating Torah and Technology.  KamaTech, a startup accelerator for ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs, together with the website Sefaria, organized the first-ever hackathon for Haredi engineers and programmers. Its aim was to find ways to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data in the study of ancient Jewish texts.

35,000 celebrate Abraham’s land purchase.  Jewish ancestor Abraham bought the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron as a burial site for his wife Sarah some 3,700 years ago. Jews recently read the Torah portion containing the details of the event and to mark the occasion, some 35,000 celebrated by dancing at the historic location.

45 survivors celebrate their Bnei Mitzvot. 45 Holocaust survivors in Israel got the chance to celebrate their bar and bat mitzvahs at Jerusalem’s Western Wall. Due to World War II, they were unable to mark their Jewish coming of age at the appropriate time 70 years ago.

Bar Mitzva boy gives light to Ugandan school. (TY Zev) 13-year-old Eytan Kramer from Ra’anana marked his coming of age by raising $18,000 to provide solar power for the Bukalikha Primary School in Uganda. Eytan and his mother then traveled to Uganda to see the lights turned on and give 959 children a brighter future.

102-year-old survivor finds his nephew.  Eliahu Pietruszka (102) discovered his brother Volf’s son, Alexandre, thanks to Yad Vashem. In 2005, Volf wrote a Yad Vashem page of testimony saying that Eliahu was dead.  A cousin alerted Eliahu’s grandson which led to Eliahu meeting with Alexandre in Israel.

Christian support for Israel.  At the 36th annual “A Night to Honor Israel” event in San Antonio, Christian Zionists donated over $2.1 million to 16 Israeli and Jewish non-profits. One of the beneficiaries was Saad v’Marpe (Relief and Healing) whose 700 Hassidic volunteers help patients and their families.

In the 29th Oct 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli artificial cornea will soon help give sight to the blind.
·         An Israeli has been elected President of the World Medical Association.
·         Dozens of Arabs enjoyed hospitality in the Mayor of Efrat’s tabernacle.
·         A new highway has been built to test Israeli driverless car technology.
·         An Israeli autonomous vehicle operates underwater.
·         Amazon and Alibaba are opening Israeli development centers.
·         Israel’s Alon Day won the NASCAR Euro Championship.

·         Click here to see the 8th Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Click here to read my latest feature article “Harvest for the World”.  Also on the Jerusalem Post, IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours and United with Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


An artificial cornea. (TY Nevet) Israeli startup CorNeat Vision has completed the design and development stage of its artificial cornea implant. The CorNeat KPro is produced using nanoscale chemical engineering that stimulates cellular growth. CorNeat is aiming for its first implantation in humans by mid-2018.

50% less deaths from heart disease.  (TY Eli) Israel has seen a 50% decrease in mortality rates from heart disease over the past 15 years and is one of the leading Western countries in heart disease detection, prevention and treatment. In 2000, 20% of patients died one month after their first heart attack. In 2016 it was just 7.5%.

Lonza to open Israeli R&D center.  Swiss-based life sciences company Lonza is establishing a Research and Development center in Haifa. The Lonza Collaborative Innovation Center will leverage Israel's scientific strength in areas such as engineering, software and cell and molecular biology.

5 days after “dying”, infant dances on stage.  Two-year-old Elchanan wandered off from his family’s succah and fell into a nearby pond.  When United Hatzalah EMT volunteers arrived, Elchanan was clinically dead. After on-site and hospital CPR, Elchanan made a full recovery and danced at his Sukkot concert 5 days later.

Computer-generated protein design.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have engineered new proteins, e.g. antibodies or enzymes, that do not exist in nature.  They are designed to have specific properties and can usher in a new age of custom-designed medical treatments. http://www.pnas.org/content/114/41/10900.abstract

Israeli to head World Medical Association. Israel Medical Association Chairman Professor Leonid Eidelman has been elected President of the World Medical Association (WMA), an umbrella body representing national medical associations with more than nine million members around the world.


The first Druze IAF navigator.  Major A joined the Israel Air Force Flight Academy whilst studying at Israel’s Technion Institute. On completion, he became the first Druze navigator in the IDF. Two other Druze men are now following in his footsteps. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5017799,00.html

Dozens of Arabs come to Judean mayor’s succah.  Over 30 Palestinian Arabs joined dozens of Israelis as guests at the sukkah of Efrat mayor Oded Revivi in Judea. The event included music from a joint Muslim-Jewish group, and was attended by Efrat’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.

Israel is important to NATO.  Israel’s Liaison Officer, Lt.-Cmdr. Ortal represents Israel’s naval forces at NATO ’s Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) in London, the central command of all NATO maritime forces. She describes Israel’s role in NATO.

Pakistani and Afghani students attend on-line course.  Students from Muslim-majority nations such as Pakistan and Afghanistan are among those signed up for “The Bible in Light of the Ancient Near East” - an innovative online program offered by Israel’s Bar Ilan University commencing 25th Oct.

Mexican President thanks Israel. (TY Zev) Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto thanked Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for the Israeli search and rescue team sent to Mexico City following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The Israeli team was the first foreign group on the scene, arriving just two days later.

London police chief looks for Israeli help. (TY Hazel) City of London Police Assistant Commissioner Alistair Sutherland made his sixth trip to Israel to see how Israeli techniques and products could be integrated into his police department. He also spoke at the IDC Herzliya’s annual counterterrorism conference.


Robots to the rescue. (TY Eli) The BIRD (Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation has awarded a $900,000 grant to US-based Mantaro Networks. and Beeper Communications Israel to develop unmanned search and rescue technologies that can complement the work of human first responders.

4 new solar farms in the Negev. Israel’s Orad is to build four photovoltaic solar energy production plants in the Negev with an aggregate capacity of 35.5 megawatts. Its subsidiary Solarpower will operate and maintain them for 10 years. Completion is planned by end 2018.

A highway for driverless cars.  Israel has opened a new 1.5 km stretch of Road 531 north of Herzliya for two months, exclusively for five companies to test their technology for autonomous cars. The five are Nexar (dashboard camera), GM (autonomous car). Mobileye, Innoviz (LIDAR sensors and Argus Cyber Security.

The fast lane to autonomous driving.  Israel’s Cognata has developed a deep learning simulation engine to enable autonomous car manufacturers to test thousands of different scenarios based on various geographic locations and driver behaviors, and sharing the road with other users.

Double-helix bridge wins international award.  Beersheva's High-Tech Park Bridge was the winner in the long span category of the triannual Footbridge Awards at the Footbridge 2017 conference in Berlin. The 75-meter bridge, in the shape of a double helix, is also known as the DNA or spectacles bridge.

How is Israel’s moonshot going? (TY Eli) SpaceIL - Israeli representative in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition -  is busy constructing the spacecraft to be launched next year. They have completed the skeleton and the eight engines.  https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5017213,00.html

Another Israeli satellite.  When I reported previously (3rd Sep) on the successful launch of Israel’s VENµS environmental satellite, I missed the fact that the same rocket put another Israeli satellite into orbit. The second one was IAI’s advanced observation Optsat 3000 satellite, for use by the Italian Ministry of Defense.

Preventing pipeline breaks.  Israel’s Precognize uses artificial intelligence to detect glitches in pipelines and prevent leaks by sending out clear alerts. The predictive maintenance technology translates the raw information from sensors into timely warnings.

1989 prediction is proved in 2017.  In 1989, Professor Tsvi Piran of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem predicted (in the journal Nature) that the merger of two Neutron stars would produce a burst of gamma rays. He was either ignored or met with skepticism. Now 28 years later, his prediction was proved correct.

Israeli food technologies. (TY Zvi) This new short video could have summarized my latest blog “Harvest for the World”. It features three Israeli companies previously featured in my newsletters – WaterGen (water from air), Genie (one-minute kitchen) and Evogene (high-yield, resistant crops).

Underwater autonomous vehicle.  While the motor industry is watching Israel developments in driverless cars, Ben Gurion University scientists have developed HydroCamel II, Israel’s first Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The 2.5-meter vehicle will assist the security, oil & gas and marine research sectors.

Intel Israel’s artificial intelligence center.  Intel Israel is hiring dozens of new employees to work in a new artificial intelligence (AI) center being established by the company at its Ra’anana and Haifa campuses. Intel Israel already has 10,000 employees in Kiryat Gat, Yakum, Ra'anana, Jerusalem, Petah Tikva, and Haifa.


Israel gets more competitive.  Israel has leapt eight places to number sixteen in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018. It is the top country in the Middle East and is ahead of Australia, France, China, Spain and Russia. Israel was 3rd in the Innovation category and 7th in Technological Readiness.

Government deficit falls below 2%.  Thanks to Intel’s purchase of Israel’s Mobileye, the Israeli government received $4.1 billion of CGT from shareholders selling to Intel. It reduced government deficit to 1.9% of GDP. The IMF also raised its growth forecast for Israel’s economy to 3.1% for 2017 and 3.4% for 2018.

Chinese tourists discover Israel.  (TY WIN) A growing number of Chinese visitors come to the Holy Land. Israel is encouraging the influx, with direct flights from Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Tourism Ministry has even launched a Mandarin version of its website.

An underrated travel destination.  The UK’s Telegraph lists ten reasons to visit the holy land, including the beaches, weather, nightlife, food, architecture, museums, history and ticket prices.

Israeli wines have the critics in good spirits.  (TY Zvi) Victor Schoenfeld of Yarden Wines explains why wine from the Golan Heights taste so good. Reasons include the Mediterranean climate, different volcanic soils, elevations from 1,200 to 4,000 feet and one of the world’s oldest tradition for winemaking.

A sunny addition to the TASE. I featured previously (30th Apr) Israel’s SolarPaint has developed ultra-thin wireframe and nanoparticle-infused coating to generate solar power. It has merged with Or City Holdings, changed its name to Apollo Power, raised NIS 9.4 million and listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

SolarEdge becomes a Unicorn.  Israel’s SolarEdge Technologies, the world’s largest provider of solar power optimization units, has celebrated a financial milestone. The company has tripled its stock value in less than a year and at $1.2 billion it joins Israel’s growing number of Unicorn companies (worth over one billion dollars).

Amazon to set-up two Israeli R&D centers.  Online shopping giant Amazon is to set up research and development centers with 100 staff in Tel Aviv and Haifa. It wants to further improve its Alexa Voice Shopping system, which allows shoppers to speak their order into a machine rather than typing it into a computer.

Alibaba to open Israeli R&D center. Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is to open a Research & Development lab in Israel. Alibaba has already invested in Israeli startups including Visualead, Infinity Augmented Reality, Lumus and Twiggle. It is also a partner of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).

Wizz Air planes to be Israeli maintained.  The Bedek Aviation subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries is to perform maintenance and provide technical services to Wizz Air. The Hungarian low-cost airline flies from Tel Aviv to 17 European destinations, including London Luton.

Connecting British Telecom customers.  Israel’s AudioCodes has been selected by communications provider British Telecom to provide session border controller (SBC) solutions (for connectivity between IP networks) to be stationed at British Telecom's business customers.


Wonder Woman hosts Saturday Night Live. Israeli superstar actress Gal Gadot, who won acclaim in the title role of the movie “Wonder Woman”, opened the second episode of Saturday Night Live’s 43rd season with a Hebrew monologue.

Pretenders “stand by” Israel.  (TY Hazel) Chrissie Hynde opened The Pretenders’ Tel Aviv gig by waving a giant Israeli flag, and ended it by declaring the crowd to be “the best audience in the world.” The vegetarian singer also proclaimed Israel as one of the leaders in animal rights. Video is of the classic “I’ll stand by you.”

Sir Cliff Richard performs in Israel.  Legendary British singer, Sir Cliff Richard, performed in Tel Aviv and also helped to promote peace amongst Israel’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian youth.  Sir Cliff has visited the Jewish State numerous times over the years - the most recent time before this trip was in 2013. http://www.cufi.org.uk/news/sir-cliff-richard-visits-israel-performs-in-tel-aviv-and-promotes-peace-with-israeli-youth/

Silver medal for Israeli gymnast.  Artem Dolgopyat became just the second Israeli to claim a medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, taking a silver in the floor final in Montreal, Canada.

Silver medal for Paralympic rower. Paralympian Moran Samuel claimed a silver medal at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. It was her third medal in a row, having won silver in 2014 and gold in 2015. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Sports/Israels-Samuel-captures-silver-at-rowing-Worlds-506461

Israeli and Pakistani ATP doubles winners.  40-year-old Israeli Yoni Erlich claimed his first ATP Tour title in almost two years, winning the Chengdu Open doubles event in China with Pakistani Muslim partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. https://unitedwithisrael.org/israeli-pakistani-tennis-players-win-match-together/

Three Israelis win judoka gold medals.  Three Israeli judokas won gold medals at the Tashkent Grand Prix in Uzbekistan. Or Sasson won the men’s over-100 kg class, Sagi Muki won the men’s under 81kg class and Betina Temelkova won the women’s under-52 kg class.  Israel topped the medals table of the 27 competing nations.

Israeli wins NASCAR Euro Championship.  Israel’s Alon Day made local motor sport history by clinching the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship in Zolder, Belgium. Racing for CAAL Racing, Day finished second in 2015 and third in 2016. He is now looking for sponsorship for the US NASCAR Cup Series.


60,000 marched through Jerusalem.  (TY Sharon) 60,000 Christian Evangelicals and other Israel supporters from over 80 countries marched with Israelis at a parade in Jerusalem, marking the Jewish festival of Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Why I’m a Christian Zionist. (TY BIG) Jonathan Farrell is a young Christian Zionist who founded the Exeter University Friends of Israel society. He knows that the Bible mentions the word “Israel” approximately 2500 times and shares his personal story about why he believes Christians should feel duty bound to be Zionists.

In the 8th Oct 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli visor gives surgeons an X-ray view of the patient as they operate.
·         Israeli rescue teams save lives in Mexico and Puerto Rico.
·         Israelis have designed Intel’s fastest-ever microchips.
·         Indian and Spanish investors will be able to crowd-fund Israeli startups.
·         Take That are to perform in Israel.
·         Sukkot (Tabernacles) is Israel’s most beautiful festival.

·         Click here to see the 17th Sept newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical Achievements. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Click here to read “Ten Years” – a special feature to mark the tenth anniversary of my move to Israel.  Also on the Jerusalem Post, IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, San Diego Jewish News and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Click here to read “5777 – What a Year That Was” – My first good news feature to be published in the main paper of the Jerusalem Post (1st Oct 2017 print and on-line edition). Also on my own site (with links and videos) and on IsraelSeen and United With Israel (with 1,400 likes). Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


AR headset for surgeons.  Geordi La Forge’s visor in the Star Trek science fiction series may soon be a reality. Israel’s Augmedics is developing the VIZOR - an Augmented Reality (AR) headset that shows surgeons an X ray-like visualization of the patient. Augmedics has just raised $8.3 million of funding.

Monitoring heart surgery wirelessly.  Israel’s CathWorks has developed innovative non-invasive systems and algorithms to construct 3D images of the coronary tree to help surgeons perform heart catheterizations. The systems use standard angiograms and no additional wires. CathWorks has just raised $15.8 million of funding.

A device for weak hearts.  Israel’s Magenta Medical has developed a catheter for patients with Acute Decompensated Heart Failure (ADHF), where the heart is too weak to pump enough blood throughout the body. Magenta has just raised $15 million of funds. http://www.pitango.com/portfolio/magenta-medical/

Ultrasound delivery of meds.  I reported previously (Sep 2016) on Israel’s Vensica and its innovative method of using ultrasound to increase the porosity of skin tissue and allow treatments to be given without the use of needles. Vensica has just raised $2 million of funds to enable it to begin human trials by end 2018.

Pull your (electric) socks up.  Israel’s ElastiMed develops a leg compression device for daily wear that mimics natural muscle contraction and stimulates blood flow using electrical pulses. The device treats swelling, blood clots, chronic wounds and sports injuries. ElastiMed has just raised $1 million to help fund clinical studies and regulatory filings. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3721868,00.html

A sleeve to prevent post-op leakage.  After colon surgery, there is a 22% risk of intestinal leakage. Israel’s Colospan has developed the CG-100 - a clinical sleeve to protect the inside of the colon. Colospan has received CE approval and has just raised $7.7 million to launch in Europe and fund trials to obtain US FDA approval.

Israeli study featured on BBC radio.  The BBC World Service’s “The Thought Show” featured the study by Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists of declining male fertility.  The BBC praised the study method and allowed lead study author Dr. Hagai Levine to advise listeners on how to improve their lifestyles.

Europe approves Israeli prostate cancer treatment. Readers will remember (8th Jan) when the BBC finally recognized Israel’s Weizmann Institute Tookad prostate cancer treatment. Israel’s Steba Biotech has now been given approval to market Tookad in Europe.  The treatment is already approved for use in Israel and Mexico.

Efficient diabetes monitoring.  I reported previously (Apr 16) on the “Digital Diabetes Clinic” developed by Israel’s GlucoMe. Yiftah Ben Aharon, CEO and co-founder of GlucoMe explains in an interview how GlucoMe helps the diabetic’s doctor make efficient use of the limited time available to review the patient’s condition.

Just enough antibiotics.  (TY WIN) Hebrew University researchers are working on preventing the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They are analyzing the concentrations of antibiotics and their timescales for destroying bacteria, to optimize treatment regimens and avoid the under / over-treatment of infections.

“Chemotherapy will become just a bad memory”.  I reported previously (3rd Sep) of Gilead’s $11.9 billion buyout of Kite - a biotech founded by Israel’s Professor Arie Belldegrun. Kite’s CAR-T technology cures non-Hodgkin lymphoma that kills 7,000 patients annually in the US alone. Prof Belldegrun gave his first interview since the deal. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-chemotherapy-will-become-just-a-bad-memory-1001206978

JNF & Hemsley Trust build new medical center.  The Jewish National Trust, support from the Hemsley Trust, have constructed a brand-new medical facility in Halutza, southwest Israel. Halutza was established in 2005 by Israelis evacuated from their homes during Israel's disengagement from Gaza.

Israeli surgeons save Iraqi Kurdish children.  Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi visited Kurdish children at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon who are receiving medical treatment from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart.  The Ministry has funded heart surgery for about 500 children from Iraq, the PA, Syria and Jordan.  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israel-saves-Kurdish-children-with-heart-disease-despite-Erdogan-criticism-506558

Living safely at Home.  I reported previously (twice) about Israel’s Essence and its @Home smart systems for monitoring the elderly in their own homes.  Essence is one of Israel's 50 largest exporters with global sales of 20 million systems. Two of Essence’s senior executives explain their systems in a recent Globes interview.


Trains connect Arab towns to Tel Aviv. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arabs from the Galilee in northern Israel will join their Jewish neighbors in enjoying a new fast train link from Karmiel to Tel Aviv. New bus lines will link 15 Arab towns with the new stations and residents will get 50% rail fare discounts for two years.

Ethiopian Jew is new Israel UN rep.  Ethiopian immigrant Danielle Daseta, will represent Israel at the United Nations for environmental, developmental and economic issues. Daseta made Aliyah in 1984 during Operation Moses. She has a BA in governance and diplomacy and attended the "Israel@heart" leadership program.

Israel’s Druze Communications Minister.  Ayoub Kara is the first non-Jewish minister to have a portfolio in the Israeli Knesset.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed the Druze MK to the position of Minister of Communications.  He tells of his family background, the Druze, his work and his love for the State of Israel.

Funding hearing loss treatment for Syrians.  (TY Zev) Israel’s Moshe Kahn and the Genesis Prize Foundation have made a six-figure grant to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed for treating hearing loss among Syrian children. They will receive a diagnostic examination, clinical treatments, surgery and rehabilitation.

Post-IDF volunteering in Mumbai.  Prior to dispersing for their post-IDF India trip, 23 Israelis renovated and taught at a school in Mumbai, India. The mission was organized by the "Heroes for Life" non-governmental organization. Although only two weeks, for many of the Indian children it was a life-changing event.

Moslem states warm to Israel (TY Zev) At a meeting in Los Angeles with Simon Wiesenthal Center Director Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa denounced the Arab boycott of Israel and said that his subjects are free to visit the Jewish state. More good news also, from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

US army to use Israeli defense system.  (TY Ruth) The US Army is to install the Trophy active-protection system developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on many of its M1A2 Abrams tanks. The system detects and destroys incoming anti-tank guided missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

71-strong IDF team to Mexico. An IDF rescue unit of 71 specialists has been in Mexico City assisting in operations after the recent earthquake. The team arrived just 36 hours after the earthquake struck and helped save lives. They brought in radio-wave technology developed by Israel’s Camero-Tech that can “see” through rubble for buried victims.  https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5019490,00.html

Israeli aid to Puerto Rico. An emergency response team from Israeli NGO IsraAID, including professionals from its established team in Haiti, is in Puerto Rico. Its priority was to distribute and set-up water filters in the most affected places. It has also been distributing food and hygiene kits and offering post-trauma support.

A great speech at the UN.  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a hugely positive speech at the United Nations, publicizing Israel’s benefits to the world. He concluded, “Israel is becoming a rising power among the nations. And at long last, its light is shining across the continents, bringing hope and salvation to the ends of the earth.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JF9cWmjgEc  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Prime-Minister-Netanyahus-Speech-at-the-United-Nations-General-Assembly-505566

Lights in a Dark Continent.  My friend and fellow blogger Ruth King has written an article summarizing Jewish and Israeli involvement in Africa during the last 70 or so years.

If it weren’t for Israel.  Elise Cooper in American Thinker writes a great piece about Israel’s global role in defense, agriculture, water, cyber-security and medicine. She concludes, “Jews should be proud of Israel – and so should others all over the world.”


Can Israeli water technology save the world? (TY Nevet) Another good Israeli water story by Jeevan Vipinachandran. He writes that Israeli innovation in water conservation is benefiting water-stressed regions of the world, from Kenya to India to California. It can prevent wars from being waged over water scarcity.

More good technology news.  (TY Dan E) One of my subscribers has given me the URL of the site of a new source of Israeli technology and business news.  I will include selected articles in future newsletters.

Israeli technology protects Pope again. I reported previously (Jan 2016) that the Israeli-made Skystar 180 surveillance balloon system monitored Pope Francis on his visit to Uganda.  The balloon system, made by the Yavne-based RT Aerostats Systems, was back in action for the Pope’s recent visit to Colombia.

Eilat’s coral reef is glowing.  (TY Jacques) Researchers from Israel and the UK have discovered Red Sea corals that absorb blue light to make a protein to help them glow in the dark.  This only happens with healthy coral and only in the Red Sea. The study may help save dying corals in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Intel’s fastest microprocessors yet.  Intel has unveiled a new family of desktop computer processors, designed in Israel, that are at least 25% faster than previous versions. The 8th Gen Intel Core processors include the “best gaming processor ever” Intel Core i7-8700K and are built for those who need high performing standards.

Saving the banana.  I reported previously (Aug 2013) about Israeli companies Evogene and Rahan Meristem and their joint non-GMO development of bananas resistant to Black Sigatoka fungus. Now second-year field trials with specialized banana strains have shown effectiveness against the hugely damaging fungus.

Digital employees.  Israel’s Kryon Systems is developing intelligent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions. The aim is to offload mundane processes to a more accurate, efficient and productive digital virtual workforce, enabling enterprises to focus on their core business. Kryon has just raised $12 million of funding.

Turning glass opaque at a touch of a button. (TY WIN & ILTV News) Israel’s Shviro Holon has developed thin flexible polyester clear pockets, filled with a liquid that turns opaque immediately after connection to an electric circuit. The pockets can be stuck on glass partitions, to provide low-cost privacy at a touch of a button.

Now an unmanned helicopter.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has demonstrated its new Air Hopper unmanned helicopter. It simulated the evacuation of a seriously-wounded soldier, including airborne monitoring of vital signs. It also simulated carrying supplies (up to 180kg) to an isolated position in any weather or time.


Economy continues to grow.  The Bank of Israel's Composite State of the Economy Index for August 2017 increased by 0.3 percent, slightly more than previous months. Highlights were the increase in goods exports and in the job vacancy rate.

$600 million funding for startups.  The $350 average monthly influx of funds to Israel startups was boosted in September to $600 million thanks to Via (ridesharing) which raised $250 million. Innoviz (automobile sensors) raised $65 million and StoreDot (fast-charge car batteries) raised $60 million.

Doubling the proportion of hi-tech workers.  In its annual report, the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist) included an operational plan for increasing the proportion of employees in the Israeli technology industry to 15%. More Israelis would get higher salaries and Israel’s growth and competitive edge would be maintained. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-innovation-authority-1001207022

New Spanish and Indian crowdfunding ventures.  Israel’s leading crowdfunding platform OurCrowd has formed a strategic partnership with Cardumen Capital, a Spanish-Israeli venture capital fund to help Spanish investors to invest in Israeli companies and joint Israeli-Spanish technology. In June, OurCrowd formed a strategic partnership with LetsVenture, India’s largest marketplace for startup funding.

Cancer treatment returns to Israel.  Israeli biotech CureTech developed pidilizumab cancer treatment which was sold to US biotech Medivation which the giant Pfizer took over last year. Pidilizumab is an orphan treatment (for rare brain stem cancer) and of no commercial interest to Pfizer. So CureTech has bought it back.

SAP buys Gigya for around $350 million. SAP, the German multinational software corporation, has acquired Israel-founded Gigya, one of the market leaders in customer identity and access management, for an estimated $350 million. Gigya’s web identity software is used by more than 700 of the world’s leading businesses.

Non-toxic pesticide to go global.  (TY Dan E) I’ve reported previously (several times) on the non-toxic pesticide from Israel’s EdenShield which repels pests with its aroma. Edenshield sells in Israel, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Greece and has just raised $2 million to help fund its expansion into the USA, Mexico and the EU.

Israeli startups join Chinese incubator.  Five Israeli startups have been selected for the first class of a new startup accelerator in Beijing, funded by Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry. China’s ShengJing Group (one of the world's largest private equity fund of funds) will provide free professional services to the startups.

Huge growth in digital farming startup.  I reported previously (three times) on Israel’s Phytech and its innovative crop sensors that boost agriculture productivity. Phytech has seen phenomenal growth and has just raised $11 million to support its worldwide deployment.

Flights to Hong Kong now daily.  I reported (28th May) that Cathay Pacific has begun its 4-days-a-week service between Tel Aviv and Hong Kong.  The route has obviously proved so popular that the airline has increased the frequency to daily.

More sales for Sleep Apnea device.  I reported previously (several times) on Israel’s Itamar Medical and its WatchPat Sleep Apnea monitoring device. Itamar has just received a purchase order for an undisclosed amount of WatchPAT devices from the famous US Mayo Clinic for the next 3-years.

Funds for immunotherapy treatment.  I reported previously (three times) on Israel’s Enlivex and its Allocetra / Apocell treatment to prevent Graft vs Host Disease – a common problem after bone marrow transplants.  Elivex has just received $8 million of funding which will help it progress to Phase 3 trials.


200 global artists for Jerusalem Biennale. From Oct 1 - Nov 16, the third Jerusalem Biennale features 17 group and 8 solo contemporary Jewish art exhibitions on the theme “Watershed”. They include photography, video, installation and performance art created by 200 artists from the US, Europe, Argentina, India, Singapore and of course Israel.  https://www.israel21c.org/jerusalem-biennale-displays-works-of-200-global-artists/

Tamar Dead Sea festival.  Israel’s Tamar festival takes place from Oct 8-11 near the Dead Sea with shows at Masada, Kibbutz Ein Gedi and the Neot Hakikar Eco Park. Performers include Jane Bordeaux, Ehud and Eviatar Banai and Hadag Nahash.  http://www.deadsea.com/explore/arts-entertainment/tamar-festival

Take That to perform in Israel.  Iconic British band Take That are to hold a revival concert on Nov 27 in Tel Aviv. Three of the original members, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, will perform the band’s hits from the years of success, 1990 to 1996, when the band also included Robbie Williams.

Two hot Israeli-owned hotels.  Condé Nast Traveller (UK edition) just gave a nod to the Israel-based Brown Hotels boutique hotel chain, naming The Poli House in Tel Aviv and Brown Beach House Croatia as two of the year’s best new hotels in its Hot List 2017.  The Poli house is one of Tel Aviv’s historic Bauhaus properties.

Yom Kippur stops play.  Israeli tennis star Dudi Sela pulled out of his ATP tour match against Alexandr Dolgopolov in China because the holiday of Yom Kippur was about to begin. His original request for an earlier match start was refused. So, at one-set all, Dudi quit and forfeited the $30,000 prize money he was guaranteed.


233 people changed their lives forever.  (TY Avi and Meir) The excitement generated on this Nefesh b’Nefesh Aliya flight from New York is quite infectious.  Watch as 233 people, young and old, religious and secular become Israeli.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/i8E1p3wV00U?rel=0

Bikers to mark Battle of Beersheva.  In October a group of Australians and New Zealanders bikers will ride 100 kilometers to mark the centennial of the Battle of Beersheva. The great ANZAC cavalry charge of WW1 led to the defeat of the Ottoman Turks and the formation of the British mandate that preceded the Jewish State.

A remarkable journey.  As Ed Elhaderi traveled from Jerusalem to Safed to Rehovot, Israel entered his bloodstream.  Hard to imagine that he had been born a Libyan Moslem, educated to hate Jews. He then went to the US University of Wisconsin, met and married a Jewish woman and converted to Judaism.

When Tom Petty toured Israel.  Legendary U.S. rocker Tom Petty, who passed away recently, performed in Israel in 1987 with the Heartbreakers band on his “Temple in Flames” tour. He had a life-changing experience when he visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem. https://www.youtube.com/embed/k-EWgmQu8o0?rel=0

US Embassy staff try New Year foods.  Watch how American diplomats at the Tel Aviv embassy handle Rosh Hashana delicacies gefilte fish and regel krusha (calf’s foot jello).  It may make them move to Jerusalem!

Scholarships for students who do community service. (TY Janglo) For the 2017-2018 academic year, the Municipality of Jerusalem has launched its municipal scholarship fund, which will handout scholarships of NIS 10,000, to 600 students who contribute 140 hours to community service during the academic year.

Forgive Us.  (TY Yaakov Kirschen) I particularly enjoyed this timely cartoon from Dry Bones.

Harvesting lulavs for Sukkot / Tabernacles.  (TY UWI) Fresh lulavs (palm branches) from the trees on Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi in the Beit Shean Valley.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/fEfe2BAD9HE?rel=0

Views of Sukkot.  11 gorgeous pictures that capture the beauty of the harvest festival in Israel.  And (TY Sharon) pictures of Jerusalem moving from the festival of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) into Sukkot.