History of Israel's Good News Apr to Jun 2018

180520
In the 20th May 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli blood test is proved to eliminate 90% of unnecessary antibiotic use.
·         Israel has appointed its first female Druze judge.
·         An Israeli camera has produced the first 3D video footage from outer space.
·         Israeli hi-tech exports increased 26.8% in the first three months of 2018.
·         An Israeli-founded insurance company gives its unused funds to charity.
·         The US and Guatemalan embassies have opened in Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 13th May newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Reprogramming cancer cells.  I reported previously (9th July) that Ben Gurion University Professor Varda Shoshan-Barmatz had discovered that suppressing the protein VDAC1 inhibits tumor growth. Her team’s latest research shows that small interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs) can reprogram the cancer cells back to normal-like cells.  Ointment for pre-skin cancer is in Phase 2 trials. http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/bgn/pages/news/cancer.aspx

Improved fertility treatment. Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University are developing a new, single-dose fertility treatment based on a new telomerase-activating compound, which can improve both male and female fertility. It can also help protect the fertility of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

US Government funds Israeli flu vaccine trial. The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is sponsoring a US-wide Phase 2 trial of the M-001 Universal Flu vaccine from Israel’s BiondVax.  A 9,630-person, EU-financed Phase 3 trial is already scheduled.

Reducing overuse of antibiotics.  I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s MeMed which has developed ImmunoXpert – a fast test to determine whether an infection is bacterial or virus. ImmunoXpert is now EU approved and a recent study shows it can reduce unnecessary antibiotic use by nearly 90%.

Treatments for rare diseases.  Five Israeli bio-techs at Israel’s MIXiii-Biomed 2018 are developing new therapies for “orphan” (rare) genetic diseases. They include ART Bioscience (Duchenne’s), Eloxx (cystinosis), SpliSense (Cystic Fibrosis), NewStem (Fragile X Syndrome) and Minovia (mitochondrial diseases).

Analyzing the genes for better treatments.  Israel’s Genoox employs machine learning algorithms to analyze large amounts of genetic data, helping doctors and clinicians to personalize treatment and researchers to develop new therapies. Genoox was selected by Israel’s Ministry of Health for its 100,000 Genome Project.

DIY ultrasound for pregnant mothers. (TY Hazel) Israeli startup PulseNmore.is completing development of a revolutionary handheld ultrasound device that will allow pregnant women to check on the health of their baby using a smartphone. On its website, PulseNmore says it’s in stealth mode, so shhh! this new “baby” is asleep.

AI to treat brain disorders.  Israel’s BrainQ is developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to treat neurological disorders. These identify high resolution spectral patterns in a patient's Electroencephalogram (EEG) that can be used to treat patients after strokes or spinal injury with tailored electromagnetic therapy.

Stimulating the brain to relieve migraines. I reported previously (Oct 2016) on one Israeli bio-tech that had developed a non-invasive neural stimulation device to reduce the pain from migraines.  Here is another – Neurolief’s neuro-modulation stimulates the brain stem, preventing secretion of agents that can trigger pain.

Wiping out mosquito-borne viruses. (TY ToI) Israel’s Senecio has invented and implemented innovative technology for the mass releases of sterile mosquitoes to disrupt the breeding of the virus-spreading insects. It is a vital part of the battle to end diseases such as malaria, Zika virus, yellow fever, Chikungunya etc.

A robot that rehabilitates patients.  (TY TIP) Scientists at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University have designed a robotic arm that plays tic-tac-toe. Patients can play against the robot to exercise upper limbs following surgery or strokes. Patients were more motivated to compete against the robot than against computer-controlled lights. 


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israel’s first female Druze judge. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Judges' Selection Committee has selected attorney Sausan Alkassem as a judge in the Haifa District Labor Court.  Alkassem will be the first Druze judge in Israel. She was previously senior deputy to the legal advisor of the National Insurance Institute.

Ramadan Kareem. Watch Israelis send season’s greetings to Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan in Israel, the Middle East and the world. Their wishes include “an easy fast”, “blessed celebration”, “a good month” but, even more importantly, “Peace!”

World’s first boutique Bedouin hotel. Israel is to establish the first-ever boutique Bedouin hotel - a 120-room, four-star hotel in Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam, Northern Israel. The Ministry of Tourism is granting up to 33% of the building cost and has also approved a budget for the establishment of a tourism infrastructure in the village.

March of Life The three-day March of Nations conference culminated in the March of Life’s annual parade of over 3,000 Christians from approximately 40 countries who filled the streets of Jerusalem.

Forbes brings 700 entrepreneurs to Israel.  For the first time, this year’s Forbes Under 30 events centered on one venue – Tel Aviv – and all 700 selected under-30 entrepreneurs from 38 countries came to Israel; many for the first time. They heard from business leaders and superstars, pitched to VC companies and saw the country.

What did Ma say? (TY Nevet) I reported previously (6th May) that Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, was making his first visit to Israel. He called the country “inspirational” and its history mirrored the struggles and success of Alibaba. Israelis never gave up, despite few resources; its most valuable asset is the human brain.

Health tech for Northern England.  The UK’s Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and UK Israel Tech Hub are to bring Israeli health and medical technology innovations to the North of England. NHSA’s Suzanne Ali-Hassan and UK Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey signed an agreement at Tel Aviv’s MIXiii Biomed.

World Bee Day.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on how Israel is saving the bee from Colony Collapse Disorder and re-populating bee populations in other countries. The UN has now declared May 20th as World Bee Day. Here is a video of how Israel helps maintain and increase its own bee community.

Bringing Israeli tech to Indian farmers.  Tel Aviv University and Indian philanthropic organization TATA Trusts have launched the Indian Centre for Agri & Allied Tech (I-CAT).  The advanced research and development center will bring Israeli expertise and innovation to farmers of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Free trade deal with Panama. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and presided over the signing of a free trade agreement that the prime minister said held “phenomenal potential” for both countries. It will reduce or eliminate bi-lateral customs duties.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

EcoMotion 2018. Israel’s sixth annual Ecomotion smart transportation conference is attracting an impressive list of auto industry VIPs. They include Volkswagen’s heads of Audi, SEAT and Skoda; a senior delegation from Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and senior execs from Toyota’s AI Ventures and Research Institute.

Fast and accurate subtitling. Israeli startup VerbIT produces a transcription of video content. This can be to add subtitles for the hard-of-hearing, enhancing educational courses, converting podcasts to text etc. VerbIT uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human monitoring to achieve a 4-hour turnaround. See ILTV video.

It’s how you say it.  Israel’s Voicesense has developed a speech analytics program that can predict behavior from speech patterns. It has applications for sales systems, call centers etc. It also recognizes changed patterns which can give early warning of a medical condition.  Watch Voicesense’s CEO Yoav Degani on ILTV.

Protecting crops against insects.  (TY NoCamels) Israel’s Evogene’s partnership with US Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. (MBI), has identified microbes with genes that can protect soyabeans, corn and cotton against insects. Selected genes are now being advanced to soybean validation in greenhouse and field trials.

Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free yoghurt. (TY NoCamels) Israel’s Yofix Probiotics produces yoghurts for those who cannot tolerate lactose or soy. They’re made from grains, seeds and fruits with prebiotics and probiotics.  They’re now adding yoghurt drinks, desserts, frozen yoghurt and ice cream to the range.

Turning seaweed into a superfood. (TY NoCamels) Israel’s Seakura is one of a few companies that grows seaweed on land (in purified seawater). Seakura’s “superfood” Sea Lettuce and Red Seaweed contain more protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-oxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. Available in the UK.

Security for Boeing’s 3D printing.  (TY Nevet) There are several Israeli companies (see here) using 3D printers to print airplane parts and many more globally. Now Israel’s Assembrix has been contracted by Boeing to protect Boeing’s intellectual property during the 3D print manufacturing of parts.

Try on clothes on-line.  Israeli startup Zeekit’s innovative technology maps your image and then superimposes onto it garments from on-line stores to show you wearing them. It even has Artificial Intelligence “Styler.ai” to recommend items to you. Works with Amazon fashion, Topshop, H&M, Bloomindales and many more stores.

Escaping fires and stopping poisonous gas leaks. (TY ToI) Israel’s Salamandra Zone has developed technology that can contain poisonous gas leaks.  It can also generate high pressurized air to ventilate lift shafts and allow elevators to be used in the event of a fire in a high-rise building. https://www.salamandra-zone.com/

The view from Heaven. (TY NoCamels) I reported previously (3rd Dec) about the Israeli 3D virtual reality (VR) camera on board the International Space Station. The first episode of “One Strange Rock” aired in the US on March 26, 2018.  It is the first ever 3D VR film seen from space. Click the navigation arrows n the top left.

In-car AR navigation.  The Israeli iOnRoad team of Harman International (a subsidiary of Samsung) has developed augmented reality (AR) navigation for the next generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class vehicles. It will be the first time AR technology is used in vehicles, displaying the car’s actions in real-time to the driver.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

GDP up 4.2%. Israel's economy remains robust with the latest figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics showing that Gross Domestic Product grew at an annualized rate of 4.2% in the first quarter of 2018. Most areas of the economy showed huge growth, with exports of software and communications products up 26.8%.

70 Awesome things about the Israeli economy. (TY Janglo) The “Living Financially Smarter in Israel” group has listed 70 ways that Israel’s economic and financial system works to benefit its citizens. They include Aliya money, free ulpan, free savings for children, cheap health care and 66 others. Click for more.

Incubating AI. Israel’s Shin Bet Security Agency and Tel Aviv University (TAU Ventures) are launching Xcelerator – for startups working in Artificial Intelligence (AI), primarily natural-language processing (NLP) technologies, robotics, and data science. Initially, six startups will receive $50,000, workspace and mentoring.

Joining Google in the Cloud.  (TY NoCamels) I reported previously (May 2016) about one Israeli startup that says it can migrate a company’s data center onto the Cloud in minutes. Here is another, Velostrata, which had been an Israeli startup, until it was recently bought by Google and has now become part of Google Cloud.

Intel’s $5 billion factory expansion. I reported previously (27th Feb) that Intel planned a $5 billion expansion of its Kiryat Gat factory.  It has now submitted a detailed plan to the Israeli Government which granted a $380 million incentive. Intel Israel exported $3.6 billion of tech products in 2017 and its 2018 plans are impressive.

Insurance with a heart. Israeli-founded, US-licensed insurance company Lemonade relies on automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to keep costs down. It processes new business and claims in minutes and at the end of the year any surplus funds set aside for claims that is unused gets donated to charity. 

Office space in six countries.  I reported previously (Mar 2017) on Israel’s Mindspace – one of the growing number of Israeli companies leasing shared office space globally. Mindspace has just acquired Dutch shared space provider KleinKantoor, taking Mindspace’s operations into its sixth country.

Credit Suisse’s $250 million for medical investment. Credit Suisse is injecting $250 million into Israeli life-sciences Venture Capital fund aMoonII. The fund invests in mid- to late-stage life science companies in the field of digital health and bio-techs that operate in Israel, the US and Europe.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

New Tel Aviv nature museum.  The new Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv has five floors of exhibits displaying 3,000 items, including Israel’s last bear (1916), cheetah (1911) and crocodile. All animals displayed died of natural causes, often coming from Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo or the nearby Ramat Gan Safari.

Art is transforming Jaffa.  Jaffa now has several new art galleries to attract tourists. They include Magasin III,  Gordon Gallery’s South Tel Aviv site, Beit Kandinof, Cuckoo’s Nest, Alamac√©n and Galerie Charlot.

The sands of time.  (TY Pamela Levene) For Israel Independence Day, non-Jewish sand artist Kseniya Simonova produced this beautiful 7min video installation depicting the 20th century history of the Jewish people. It has an inspiring message at the end. “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" is sung by Ofra Haza

Thou Shalt Innovate.  Scott Richman of AJC Westchester/Fairfield is a great Israel advocate.  On the Israel@70 edition of his twice-weekly radio show he interviewed (among others) Avi Jorisch, author of “Thou Shalt Innovate” - a book I highly recommend.  Listen from 20 minutes.

Concert for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Daniel Italiaander is an entrepreneur who made Aliya from Holland 20 years ago.  Then his son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Daniel now is on the board of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Israel which has organized a benefit concert in Ra’anana on May 28.


THE JEWISH STATE

The US Embassy opens in Jerusalem, Israel. Here are my favorite highlights from this historic event.
US Ambassador David Friedman’s opening speech: https://www.youtube.com/embed/y7czrlktzlQ?rel=0
US President Trump’s speech and unveiling ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/embed/f_iokRz9bkE?rel=0
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/embed/pW8oixA-LG4?rel=0
Pastor John Hagee’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/embed/gaD-MNUuhaI?rel=0

Welcome Guatemala to our capital.  In 1948, Guatemala was the 2nd country (after the USA) to recognize the State of Israel.  On 16th May 2018, Guatemala became the 2nd country (after the USA) to move its embassy to Jerusalem - capital of the State of Israel.  (Open link to see United with Israel at the opening ceremony).

Next week Paraguay.  I reported two weeks ago (6th May) that Paraguay’s President hoped to relocate his country’s embassy to Jerusalem before the end of his term in mid-August.  Well, he’s certainly beaten that target as it will be moving this coming Tuesday – 22nd May.

Jerusalem capital of Israel.  As it says at the end of the video “Then, Now and Forever”.

$17 million extra to excavate in Jerusalem. (TY WIN) Israel Antiquities Authority has allotted an additional $17 million to the ongoing excavations in the City of David, just south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Israel – the center of Jewish life.  (TY Nevet) 140,000 Jewish children are born in Israel every year.  In the Diaspora - 80,000 pa.  Israeli Arabs - 41,000 pa.  Plus, net Aliya - 20,000 pa.  It’s a demographic miracle. It was underlined when Ezer Mizion found an Israeli bone marrow DNA match for an Italian Jew with Leukemia.


180513
In the 13th May 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli breakthrough promises a future of safe medicines, pesticides and fertilizers.
·         Israeli pure oxygen treatment saved the leg of a Palestinian Arab boy.
·         A Bedouin Arab mother is an Israeli ambulance driver.
·         Israeli research may have saved the Hawaiian coral reef.
·         Israeli conferences in May are attracting many thousands of international visitors.
·         Frutarom’s $7.1 billion takeover is Israel’s second-highest ever exit.
·         Israel won the Eurovision song contest.
·         Israel celebrates Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day.

·         Click here to see the 6th May newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Eliminating major side-effects. A breakthrough by Israeli scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Weizmann Institute can reduce side-effects in chemicals.  Treatments (e.g. thalidomide) contain both right and left-sided molecules. One type causes the side-effect and magnets can remove the “bad” sided molecules.

99% success for freezing tumors.  I’ve been reporting on Israeli-based IceCure for some time (see here). It has just reported results of clinical trials showing 99% effectiveness in eliminating cancerous breast tumors through freezing with liquid nitrogen without surgery. Of the 146 trial patients, the cancer re-occurred in only one.

European patent for bio-turmeric extract. Israel’s Arjuna has produced BCM-95 - an All-in-One formulation of natural curcumin & ar-turmerone, the most potent component of turmeric with its highest level of oral bioavailability. BCM-95 has just received a European patent to accompany its patents in the US and globally.

Transforming sinus diagnosis and treatment.  Israel’s 3NT Medical is developing and trialing its Sinusway platform of specialty single-use endoscopes and therapeutic devices for advancing care of ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders. 3NT has just raised funds to complete development and commence marketing Sinusway.

Using gut bacteria to fight disease. I reported previously (May 2017) on one Israeli biotech using the human microbiome (stomach bacteria) to fight cancer, IBD, acne etc. Now Israel’s Evogene’s new Biomica subsidiary is also developing microbiome therapies, for antibiotic resistant bacteria, immuno-oncology and GI disorders.

Eye surgeon sees no boundaries.  Dr Morris Hartstein made Aliya from the USA in 2009. Since 2014 he has been performing eye operations on patients from Ethiopia, Gaza and the Palestinian Authority. He also visits Ethiopia where he treats up to 500 patients each visit - mostly Falash Mura Ethiopians seeking to make Aliya.

On-line spectacle prescription.  I reported previously (Feb 2016) on one Israeli smartphone app to check your glasses prescription.  Now here’s another – Tel Aviv based GlassesUSA checks the prescription of your existing spectacles. It allows you to scan simple prescriptions and lenses using an iPhone.

Saving life is all in the air.  (TY Margaret) I’ve reported previously (see here) on the hyperbaric (pure oxygen) treatment conducted at Israel’s Yitzhak Shamir (formerly Assaf Harofeh) Medical Center. Recent amazing results include repairing the brain of a blast victim and saving the leg of 7-year-old Muhammad from Jenin.

80 years of excellence.  Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center celebrates eight decades of operation in Northern Israel. It treats over two million Israelis (Jews, Moslems, Christians, Druze etc.), plus Palestinian Arabs and Syrians. An innovation hub with cutting-edge technology, it delivers medical excellence to Israel and the world.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Lone soldiers celebrate Passover.  Thanks to the charity Yahad - United for Israel's Soldiers, 250 Israeli lone soldiers were able to mark the Jewish festival of Passover with a pre-seder feast. For most of them, it was their first Seder away from their countries of birth and their families.

Protecting the environment. Israeli NGO Zalul (Hebrew for “clear”) leads the fight to reduce plastic waste in Israel and encourage recycling. It helped introduce payment for supermarket plastic bags and other projects to reduce pollution.  Zalul CEO Maya Jacobs went on ILTV to explain more.  Good summary on their website.

Female Muslim ambulance driver. (TY Avi) I reported previously (31st Dec) about United Hatzalah’s female Muslim paramedic. Magen David Adom is also training Bedouin men and women to become medics. This I24 News video features ambulance driver and trainee paramedic 27-year-old, mother-of-four Warud Abu Abed.

Thanks to Israel for our freedom. (TY Hazel) Like many Israeli Christians, IDF Captain (res.) Shadi Halul is grateful that “the Jews returned to their homeland and created freedom for the Jews and the Christians in Israel.” https://www.jns.org/amid-independence-day-celebrations-how-israels-minorities-view-their-status-in-the-jewish-state/

PA to control its own electricity. (TY Hazel) I reported before (16th July) that Israel transferred an electricity substation over to the Palestinian Authority. The PA has now taken responsibility for most of the PA’s entire power supply. The Israel Electric Company and PA together will construct four new high-voltage power plants.

Trilateral summit.  The leaders of Israel, Cyprus and Greece convened in Nicosia for their fourth summit since launching a trilateral partnership in 2016. The main issue discussed was the feasibility of laying a pipeline from Israel to Cyprus and then to Greece and Italy.

Saving Hawaiian coral. Hawaii state legislature passed a ban on sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone (BP-3) after researchers from Ben-Gurion University and the USA provided significant evidence that BP-3 has caused coral bleaching. Oxybenzone caused deformities, endocrine disruption and DNA damage that kills the coral.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Thousands see Israeli innovations.  Israel hosts four major international exhibitions in May where innovative Israeli technology is on show. FoodTechIL (May 7); AgriVest (May 8); AgriTech Israel (May 8-10); MIXiii-Biomed (May 15-17); https://www.israel21c.org/thousands-come-to-tlv-to-see-advances-in-food-ag-biomed/

Israel hosts global science conference.  23 science ministers are scheduled to attend “The First International Ministerial-Level Scientific Conference: Thinking Out of the Box,” in Jerusalem.  Even more countries plan to send lower-level delegations, including chief scientists. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/23-Science-Ministers-to-attend-innovation-mega-event-in-Jerusalem-555950

Driverless trucks.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is unveiling new products that could potentially revolutionize mining and quarrying. IAI's robotics factory has developed technology for utilizing autonomous vehicles in heavy mechanical equipment used in mining and development work.

Where to rent or buy in NYC.  Israel’s Localize.city (a subsidiary of real estate data company Madlan) has launched a website that allows anyone to search any address in New York City, receive a view of what it's like to live there today and learn about future changes.  Localize.city has just raised $8 million of funds.

Spreading its roots. I reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Rootility that develops root-focused plant breeding methods that increase crop yields, and improve plant tolerances to heat, cold, and soil borne diseases. Rootility has just raised $10 million of funds to help it expand international sales and the crops it develops.

IBM accelerates Israeli startups.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on IBM’s Alphazone startup accelerator which has been supporting and advancing Israeli startups since 2014. Gil May Tal – IBM Israel’s Head of Startup & Development Ecosystem – went on ILTV to describe Alphazone’s successes and its 2018 program.

Ironic? Another system to detect plagiarism. Funny – I reported only two weeks ago (see here) of an Israeli system to detect where students copy material and pass it off as their own original work.  Now here is another one.  Idan Frost went on ILTV to explain his system, called “Originality”.

Mimic nature to make better designs. I reported previously (31st Dec) on the Hebrew University’s use of nature to make a better world. The organization Biomimicry promotes these types of solutions that meet global challenges (e.g. Israel’s Seevix’s artificial spidersilk fibers). Biomimicry’s Tel Aviv conference is on Jun 14.

If you can Screenshot it, you can find it.  I reported previously (26th Nov) on the launch of Israeli-founded Screenshop which uses photos of an object on your phone to find the object for sale on-line. CTO & co-founder Jonathan Caras said on ILTV that his company has had more partnership requests than it can handle.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Unemployment down, exports up.  Israel’s unemployment rate fell to 3.6% in March - a new record. Exports of services in Feb 2018 totaled $4.2 billion - 6.9% higher than January. Exports of services by the high-tech sector totaled $2.2 billion in February - 7.3% more than in January.

Investment in startups up by 50%. 181 Israeli startups raised $1.52 billion in the first quarter of 2018 – 50% more than in the first quarter of 2017.  The upward trend continued in April.

Frutarom exits for $7.1 billion.  Israeli flavors and fine products company Frutarom has been taking over similar businesses all over the world for several years (see here).  However, it has now been swallowed up by the mighty US Flavors & Fragrances Inc (IFF) for a whopping $7.1 billion – the second largest Israeli exit ever.

BriefCam acquired by Canon. (TY OurCrowd) I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s BriefCam and its innovative video content analytics platform. BriefCam has just been bought by Japanese giant Canon Inc. to help it expand its video technology and solutions to global customers and partners.

Wizz launches 6th Romanian route. Hungarian airline Wizz Air is to operate a new route from Sibiu in Romania to Tel Aviv starting July 14. Wizz Air already operates direct flights to Israel from Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Craiova, and Iasi.  79,000 tourists visited Israel from Romania in 2017.

Amazon builds up in Israel.  Although it hasn’t confirmed its Israeli operations, Amazon has assembled a temporary modular office for 300 workers in Haifa’s MATAM business park while a 12,000 sqm building is being built nearby. It has also leased space in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Sarona Tower and is hiring Hebrew translators.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

“Solution Nation”. David Wanetick has written and published a new book about Israeli technological prowess, “Solution Nation: One Nation is Disproportionately Responding to the World’s Most Intractable Problems”. It analyzes 62 emerging Israeli companies, all of which are developing solutions to life-threatening problems.

70 years of Independence Day posters.  Here is a selection of some of the most important and beautiful Yom Ha’atzmaut posters issued over the past 70 years - taken from Israel’s State Archive.  They present a moment in Israel’s history: concerns and achievements during the past year, as well as hopes and goals for the coming one.

Netta wins Eurovision Song Contest for Israel. Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision song contest with “Toy” scoring 529 points, nearly 100 points ahead of second place Cyprus. Israel will therefore host next year’s Eurovision competition, which will bring thousands of fans to Jerusalem. 

Shakira to perform in Israel in July. Shakira, the world-famous Latina singer, will perform in Tel Aviv in July - her first ever concert in Israel. I reported on Shakira previously (Jun 2011) when she visited a joint Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem in her role as UK Goodwill Ambassador.

Ringo Starr extends his Israel tour.  Fans of ex-Beatles drummer Ringo Starr have been so enthusiastic, his 23th June Tel Aviv concert sold out. So, he’s doing another performance on 24th June. Ringo and his All-Starr Band are coming to Israel for the first time ever, as part of their “Give More Love” world tour.

Another Heading.  (TY David L) The 16th May Tel Aviv screening of “Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel” is a sell-out (see here). There will now be another chance to see this remarkable film on June 4 at the Lev Smadar in Jerusalem. All proceeds go to the Team Israel Olympics 2020 effort.

Cycling teams from Arab states in Jerusalem. Teams from the United Arab Emirates & Bahrain competed in the Israel stages of the Giro d’Italia cycle race. The eight cyclists from Team Emirates included Fabio Aru who said, ““Sport and cycling unify people, this is a fact,”.  Also, see this one-minute video of the event.

The first velodrome in the Middle East.  Tel Aviv is officially home to the Middle East’s first indoor velodrome cycling racetrack. The world governing body for sports cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale, has formally certified the Sylvan Adams National Velodrome to be Olympic Standard.


THE JEWISH STATE

Bridging Israel and the US. Bar-Ilan University has inaugurated a new Impact Center for Research on Judaism in Israel and North America (RJIN). Headed by Prof. Adam Ferziger, the new center aims to develop models to improve relations between Jews in Israel and America. It includes a think tank and an MA program.

The home of hope.  (TY UCI) The world is still celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday.  This video was made by UK ex-Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, to mark the event. https://www.youtube.com/embed/NgXurQd8e6s?rel=0

The miracle that is Israel today. (TY Martha) Writer Joseph Puder puts Israel’s last 70 years into context. He highlights the revival of the Hebrew language, population and infrastructure growth, cultural integration, its transformation into a technological powerhouse and associated economic success.

Signs of the times.  (TY WIN) Jerusalem Municipality workers (including the Mayor) have been putting up new street signs in Hebrew, Arabic and English, directing travelers to the new US embassy.  Note that the last sentence in the video commentary is wrong - many other countries are moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). A list of events to mark the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.  If you hurry, you might just be able to make it to some of them. Also, see how Jerusalem has grown in the last 10 years.

Jerusalem – the heart of Jewish life and history. This video shows seven examples of archaeological evidence that the city of Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Official seals, parchment, burnt stone walls, ritual baths, siege weapons and Temple floor tiles.

United Jerusalem.  Last year (see here) I included a long video featuring a selection of the residents of Jerusalem, capital city of Israel.  It showed that despite their different faiths and different levels of religiosity, they all get along with each other.  This version says it all, in just two-and-a-half-minutes.

Bar Kochba coin found on Lag B’Omer.  The life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is celebrated on Lag B’Omer. His mentor Rabbi Akiva supported Bar Kochba in his 134-136 CE revolt against Roman occupation of Judea. So, it was apt that this year on Lag B’Omer, archaeologists found a coin minted by Bar Kochba’s supporters.


180506
In the 6th May 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have found a vital link to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
·         Israeli doctors have saved the lives of many children from Kurdistan.
·         An Israeli startup produces realistic animal-free meat.
·         Israeli desalination will rescue Mexicans from drought.
·         BMW has selected Israeli sensors for its driverless cars.
·         Italy’s top annual bike race has started - in Jerusalem.
·         Guatemala is the first embassy to fly its flag in Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 29th Apr newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours (plus compliment), Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Early cancer detection. Scientists at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University and Soroka Medical Center have developed a new non-invasive method to detect the breast cancer biomarker early and accurately. They analyzed breath using electronic nose gas sensors, and urine using gas-chromatography mass spectrometry.

Zebrafish clue to infant crib deaths. Scientists at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have found a link between body temperature and disturbed sleep from neuronal noise that may explain Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Their research was advanced by analyzing the effect of rising water temperature on the activity of zebrafish.

Innovative solutions for wounded veterans.  200 Israeli tech innovators participated in a 3-day “make-a-thon” in Tel Aviv to address a variety of challenges faced by 12 wounded war veterans (7 Israelis, 6 Americans and one French). “Makers for Heroes” organized by non-profit RESTART, is the first international event of its kind.

Protein shake helps children grow.  I reported previously (May 2015) on the high-protein growth supplement developed by Professor Moshe Phillip at Israel’s Schneider Medical Center. Professor Phillip then co-founded Nutritional Growth Solutions (NG Solutions) and launched its “Healthy Height” shake in the US and Europe.

The “secret” of Israeli longevity.  (TY Nevet) National Geographic Travel suggests reasons for Israel’s consistent position near the top of the world’s longevity scale. It cites the combination of a Mediterranean-style diet, low alcohol consumption, strong family and cultural values, and an excellent healthcare system.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Teaching Israelis to fish. (TY David L) There is a Jewish motto – give a poor person a fish and he will eat for a day.  Teach him to fish and he will feed himself.  Israel’s Chaim BePlus provides courses in personal financial management to young adults aged 17-21 to give them the tools to become independent and self-sufficient.

Haredi women cyber graduates. Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Social Services has announced the first graduates from its cyber training course for Jewish ultra-Orthodox women. The Government regards inclusion of the Haredi in Israel’s lucrative tech industry as vital for Israel’s economic growth and stability.

Israel’s world-class universities.  (TY Nevet) US entrepreneur Stephen Grand highlights the good value of Israeli universities. Factors include lower faculty salaries and student costs and hence more undergraduates; focus on academic papers and research; advanced labs; and international partnerships (industry and academia).

The diversity of the IDF.  (TY Nevet) Good article discussing the role of the IDF in Israeli society. Developing skills, training for civilian life; developing leaders; integrating immigrants; learning colloquial Hebrew; encouraging minorities; and promoting fair and equal treatment for every individual.

Connecting Jews and Arabs through soccer.  Israeli non-profit Kulna Yerushalayim (We are all Jerusalem) is organizing a summer soccer event for some 200 Jerusalem Jewish and Arab kids. It will include live music, sports legends and screenings of the World Cup matches on the ancient walls surrounding the Old City.

Time Magazine’s most influential people.  “Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot and WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann are two Israelis named by Time Magazine in this year’s “100 most influential people”.

The first Israeli President to visit Ethiopia. President Reuven Rivlin has made the first visit by an Israeli head of state to Ethiopia. He and his delegation sought “to deepen our friendship and cooperation with Ethiopia”, particularly in water technology, health, agriculture, food security, cyberspace and countering terrorism.

Saving Kurdish children. (TY UWI & I24 News) Christian charity Shevet Achim has been bringing sick children from Kurdistan to Israel for life-saving treatment in Israeli hospitals, such as Sheba, Tel Hashomer.

Israeli-style farm for at risk Tanzanian kids. In 2017 Tanzanian community developer and environmentalist Fabian Bulugu volunteered at Kaima - an organization that uses organic farming to give Israeli high-school dropouts an income and a fresh start on life. Now Fabian is building a similar social farm in Tanzania.

New Tanzanian embassy. Tanzania is opening its first embassy in Israel on May 8th.  The grand opening of the embassy in Ramat Gan will be attended by Tanzania's Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked visited Tanzania in March.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

7 Edison Awards.  Edison Awards recognize and honor the most innovative products and business leaders in the world. This year Israeli companies won 4 gold awards and 3 bronzes. Gold went to SolarEdge, Insightec, Livia (iPulse Medical) and Secdo. Bronze went to Anagog, NovoCure and Innoviz. (see all in IsraelActive)

4 Fortress awards. Four Israel-based and Israel-founded cybersecurity companies won 2018 Fortress Cyber Security Awards from Business Intelligence Group. They are Dojo Labs (see here), Deep Instinct (see here), Zimperium (see here) and Cymulate (see here).

Tech training for Israeli diplomats.  Prior to overseas assignments, Israeli diplomats will now receive training in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The program was designed by the Israeli Innovation Authority, the Israeli Export Institute, the Ministries of Economy and Science and Technology, and local tech companies.

Using data for social good.  The sixth Data Mining for Business Intelligence conference in May at Ben-Gurion University will be preceded by a Data Hackathon for social good. Prizes up to NIS 10,000 are offered for solutions to adverse medication interactions, malicious IoT devices and improving weather prediction.

How to back-up the Internet?  (TY TIP) Israel hosted a unique international conference, “Web Archiving: Best Practices for Digital Cultural Heritage” at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. It addresses the problem of preserving 30 years of historical material on the Internet in case an important site is shut down.

Get back in the air fast.  Israel’s Pzartech is working with the Hanger Labs innovation hub of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to reduce aircraft downtime during maintenance. Pzartech’s systems helps to speedily identify and obtain the relevant mechanical parts.  Pzartech is now adapting their system for vehicle maintenance.

Animal-free meat can look like meat.  Aleph Farms is one of several Israeli startups developing “cultured” meat (see here) grown in a clean environment and not in animals. Aleph’s product is closer to farmed meat in shape, texture and taste due to its Technion-developed 3D technology that grows it from 4 types of animal cells.

The world’s 16th greenest city. (TY Nevet) Tel Aviv is the 16th greenest city in the world, according to the latest study by online travel specialist TravelBird. The aim of its GreenCities index is to analyze both natural and man-made areas and recommend the best urban destinations for eco-conscious travelers.

Safer and more efficient cycling. Israeli-founded startup Watteam has developed a device and mobile app that measures the actual amount of force a cyclist is using, to help enhance performance and prevent injuries. Watteam has sold 2,000 units since its Sept launch and has just raised $5 million of funding.

Desalination plant for Mexico.  Fluence Corporation (a merger of Israel’s Emefcy and US RWL Water) is to build a 5.8 million gallon/day seawater desalination plant that will supply 100,000 residents of the Mexican state of Baja California. The Mexican government has declared a drought in the area since 2014.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Tourism smashes records again. (TY Nevet) Israel welcomed 949,000 tourists in the first 3 months of 2018 – up 29% on the same quarter of 2017. March’s year-on-year increase was 34%, with the biggest increases from Poland (136%), Sweden (90%), Spain (68%), Germany (55%) and France (49%).

3rd China-Israel route for Hainan Airlines.  Hainan Airlines is to begin a direct route to Tel Aviv from the Chinese city of Guangzhou. The airline already flies direct from Tel Aviv to both Beijing and Shanghai. In its first year of operation Hainan flew over 76,000 passengers between Tel Aviv and Beijing.

Video goes into reverse.  In 2012, electronic giant Cisco Systems bought Israeli video software company NDS for $5 billion. Cisco is now focusing on core business and has sold the NDS unit back to its original controlling shareholder Permira Holdings for $1 billion.  NDS’ original CEO Abe Peled will become its new Chairman.

Alibaba founder visits Israel.  Chinese business magnate and investor Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba arrived in Israel with a delegation of 35 people. He is to receive an honorary doctorate at Tel Aviv University and tour the country. Alibaba has invested in several Israeli companies (see here) and is opening offices in Tel Aviv.

Israeli sensors for driverless BMWs.  I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Innoviz and its LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) sensors for autonomous vehicles. Now BMW is to employ Innoviz sensors in its upcoming autonomous vehicle production platforms. BMW aims to launch self-driving cars by 2021.

Big demand for grasshopper protein. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Hargol which aims to solve the world’s protein shortage with its farmed grasshoppers. Hargol already received $5 million worth of orders from customers in the U.S. and Europe and interest from Ikea, Whole Foods, Diego (Guinness) and Pepsico.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Heading Home. (TY David L) I reported previously (18th Mar) on the new film "Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel" showing in the US. Now, the Israel Association of Baseball (IAB) is screening the film on May 7 in Ra'anana and on May 16 in Tel Aviv. All proceeds go to the Team Israel Olympics 2020 effort. 

Ronaldinho’s Israeli football school.  Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaucho has launched the Ronaldinho Soccer Academy, a football school in Jerusalem for Israelis aged 6 to 16. “I am very excited to help Israeli children of all faiths raise their game to the highest levels,” Ronaldinho said during a news conference.

The first Israeli in NBA playoffs. Just before his 21st birthday, Tel Aviv-born T.J. Leaf became the first Israeli national to play in the NBA playoffs. The Indiana Pacers put him on court for the final three minutes of their 121-87 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Gold and 3 bronzes for Israeli Judokas. At the European Judo Championships in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Sagi Muki won gold in the 73–81 kg division. Israelis Tal Flicker (under-66 kg) and Peter Paltchik (under-100kg) won bronze, whilst Gefen Primo won a bronze medal in the women’s under-52 kg category.

Why an Italian bike race starts in Israel. (TY Chloe) In WW2, famous Italian cyclist Gino Bartali used his bicycle frame to smuggle forged documents, saving 800 Jews from death. His bravery made him a hero and inspired the Giro d’Italia 2018 to begin in Israel - the first time the race has opened outside Europe. Great video.

Special winners. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (see here) about Israel’s blind golfer Zohar Sharon. Six-time world champion Zohar has just won the ISPS Handa 2018 US Blind Golf Open in Green Valley, Arizona. Meanwhile shooting Paralympian Yulia Chernoy won bronze at the 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Grand Prix in Szczecin, Poland.  https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-blind-golfer-and-disabled-shooter-win-medals/


THE JEWISH STATE

The next Jerusalem embassy – Paraguay. Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes told attendees at a special event marking Israel’s 70th anniversary that his country would relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Cartes said he hoped to perform the relocation before the end of his term in mid-August.

Guatemala is the first. Although it isn’t official yet, the Central American state of Guatemala has become the first country to physically relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.  The Guatemalan flag was seen flying high in the sky above the Malha Technology Park in the Israeli capital, its new location. The official opening is May 14.

Israel is exceptional.  (TY Nevet) Evelyn Gordon’s pre-Independence Day article explains why 90% of Israelis classify themselves as Zionists. Also, despite “complaining” being almost “the national sport”, Israelis are among the world’s happiest people.  https://www.jns.org/opinion/israel-proves-exceptional-once-again/ 

Hi-tech reveals hidden text in Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls digitization project has used advanced imaging technology developed for NASA to reveal script invisible to the human eye. New fragments were discovered and identified from the books of Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Psalms, Jubilees and the Temple Scroll.

Descendants of Chinese Jews return to their roots.  Five young women from the ancient Chinese-Jewish community of Kaifeng underwent formal conversion in an emotional ceremony at the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court. The five made Aliyah in Feb 2016 via the nonprofit Shavei Israel, which supported them afterwards.


180429
In the 29th Apr 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have mapped the role of each human gene and its mutations.
·         An Israeli program will generate thousands of hi-tech jobs for Israeli Arabs.
·         Twin Israeli teens have devised a system to help prevent wildfires.
·         An Israeli startup makes no-sweetener chocolate and ice cream for diabetics.
·         An Israeli company operates the 5th most convenience stores in the US.
·         Tel Aviv has opened a 1 km interactive Independence Trail.
·         A paralyzed man used Israeli technology to complete the London Marathon.

·         Click here to see the 22nd Apr newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.
·          
·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

New pathway to treat Parkinson’s.  An Israeli-led international study has discovered that proteins called BMP5/7 are essential for the latest stem cell replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease. The proteins help to stimulate the production of dopaminergic neurons, which Parkinson’s patients lack.

New vaccine for Alzheimer’s. Professor Eitan Okun at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University has developed a vaccine that primes the body to attack amyloid beta protein accumulations in the brain, one of the signature signs of Alzheimer’s disease. He is also working on early diagnosis using MRI detection of amyloid protein in the brain.

US approval for stroke detection. I reported previously (28th Jan) that Israel’s Viz.ai had received the CE mark (European approval) for its brain scan analysis system for detecting strokes.  Now the US FDA has also approved the system. http://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3736574,00.html

Treating bipolar depression. Tel Aviv University researchers have confirmed the effectiveness of bipolar depression sufferers combining mood stabilizers with anti-depressants. 81.7% of patients using both avoided re-hospitalization (for manic episodes), compared to only 57.6% of patients who did not receive the combination.

Alerting patients to ALL relapse risk. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech Curewize successfully completed the clinical trial of its lead product ProALLBM on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. ProALLBM reveals patients' risk of relapse with just one bone marrow sample. They can then be given early treatment.

An atlas of the human genome.  Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have generated an atlas of the human genome. It includes the roles that genes play in health and disease, plus the effect of over 180,000 gene mutations.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/jerusalem/hebrew-u-scientists-use-stem-cells-to-generate-atlas-of-human-genome/2018/04/23/   https://www.nature.com/articles/s41556-018-0088-1

Trauma training for South African medics. I reported previously (3rd Sep) on the work of Israeli emergency NGO United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit in Houston Texas.  Now the unit, headed by its director Miriam Ballin, is travelling to Johannesburg, South Africa to train 60 Jewish EMTs there.

Merck partners Israeli meds tracker.  I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s MediSafe’s and its medication tracker app. Now the medical giant Merck KGaA is to work with MediSafe to develop a custom version of its mobile application for tracking treatment of cardiometabolic conditions.

rhCollagen factory opens. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Collplant and its proprietary plant-based technology to produce rhCollagen (recombinant human collagen). CollPlant has just opened a new facility in Rehovot, for producing rhCollagen to make tissue repair products and 3D printing of human tissue.

Ovarian failure patient has healthy son. Sigalit suffered from “premature ovarian failure” that typically causes loss of normal ovarian function, resulting in infertility. After many years of suffering she was about to have a hysterectomy. Then she discovered she was pregnant and, aged 40, gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Cornerstone laid for new Zaka HQ. The cornerstone has been laid for a new ZAKA volunteer organization’s world headquarters in Jerusalem. ZAKA’s volunteers assist ambulance crews, aid in the identification of the victims of terrorism, road accidents and other disasters, and ensure proper burial where necessary.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Annual Israeli-Druze festival. (TY WIN) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and many Israeli politicians joined in the annual Druze festival celebrations. Many Druze traveled from afar to visit the Tomb of Jethro near the Sea of Galilee. Jethro (father-in-law to Moses) is one of the main prophets of the Druze religion.

$5.6 million for Israeli-Arabs hi-tech jobs. (TY UWI) Israel’s parliamentary committee for Arab affairs has allocated $5.6 million (NIS 20 million) to a new program that will provide thousands of Israeli-Arabs with jobs in the local tech sector. The funds will be used to establish tech workspaces and improve roads in Arab towns.

Israeli Arab lit Independence Day torch. I reported previously (Aug 2014) on Israeli Arab Professor Ahmed Eid who is Head of General Surgery at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. Professor Eid proudly lit one of the twelve torches at the 69th Anniversary Independence Day ceremony last year.

A new lease of life. Another talk by Sivan Yaari, CEO of Innovation: Africa, this time at UK’s Manchester Grammar School. The solar electricity and water generating facilities provided by the Israeli NGO means no more famine in poverty-stricken African villages – and has even kick-started an entrepreneurial spirit.

Israeli solar power is vital to Liberia. I reported previously (Nov 2016) that Israel’s Energiya Global is to install Liberia’s first ever solar field. I hadn’t realized that the 10MW plant will supply 25% of the country’s generation capacity. Following its civil war, Liberia is rebuilding its power infrastructure from scratch.

250 US delegation for Embassy opening.  A huge delegation of 250 American dignitaries will arrive in Israel to attend the official dedication ceremony for the US Embassy in Jerusalem on 5th May. They include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israeli gas and oil exploration.  Geologist Eitan Aizenberg discovered Israel’s giant natural offshore gas field, Leviathan. He reveals that talented Israeli graduates are now exploring for oil and gas in South America, Malta, Ireland and the Philippines, using Israeli supercomputers to analyze 3D seismic tests.

Preventing the spread of forest fires. 17-year-old twins Gilad and Neta Drori have developed a system to identify wildfires before they spread. Their system takes aerial photos taken by satellite or cameras attached to observer balloons, which then analyses and compares them using an algorithm for image processing.

Israel’s drone conference. Ran Kleiner of Israel’s Drone Master is co-hosting “The Drone People 2018” – Israel’s annual conference that provides a complete overview of Israel's growing Drones community.

Israel’s involvement in Orion space project.  The launch date for EM-1 - the first of NASA’s Orion deep space exploratory missions - has been moved to Dec 2019 when it will test the innovative radiation protection suit from Israel’s StemRad. EM-2, scheduled for 2023, will use over 100 parts 3D printed by Israel’s Stratasys.

Preventing bird strikes at airports. (TY UWI) I reported previously (Jan 2014) about Tel Aviv University scientist Yossi Leshem and his innovative methods for protecting airports from the risk of birds colliding with planes.  This recent video by TIP to promote the book “Thou Shalt Innovate” highlights Yossi’s work.

A simple robot to pick fruit and more.  (TY Hazel) Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University have developed a low cost, low energy robot resembling a snake. It has applications from picking fruit to search and rescue to repairing satellites. https://www.israel21c.org/new-snake-robot-could-pick-fruit-or-fix-satellites/

Israeli agricultural novelties. Comedian Yuval Haklai takes us on a light-hearted tour of some of the latest Israeli agricultural innovations on show at the Arava 2018 Agricultural Exhibition. They include natural pesticides and pollinators, the world’s smallest tomato, winter-grown raspberries and medicinal plants.

Visual artificial intelligence.  I reported previously (Aug 2012) about Israeli startup Cortica which had developed an image analysis system with marketing potential. Cortica has since applied its self-learning visual intelligence technology to autonomous cars, drones, media, robotics, smart cities and medical image analysis.

Detecting when students cheat. Israeli startup Copyleaks Technologies has developed a system to help identify plagiarism (i.e. where students copy material and try to pass it off as their own without attributing the sources). Copyleaks’ system understands the ideas behind the texts – i.e. not just an exact word comparison.

Monitoring cargo in transit.  Israel’s Contguard provides real-time data analysis for managing cargo in transit. It provides IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled shipment monitoring, real-time data and business intelligence to manufacturers and suppliers who ship goods globally. Contguard has just received funds from Citi Bank.

We deliver in 15 minutes. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup GetPackage offers delivery services inside Israel within 15 minutes after the order is made.  The company monitors each delivery and the route taken. It is now setting up infrastructure on the US East Coast, with a database of 7,000 registered delivery people.

Tools to develop AI products.  Israel-based Allegro.AI offers a development and management platform for artificial intelligence (AI) technology. It simplifies the process of developing and managing AI-based services such as autonomous vehicles and drones, security, and logistics, with a special focus on computer vision.

Chocolate and ice cream for diabetics. Israeli startup A1C Foods develops chocolate and ice cream that do not impact blood sugar levels. Instead of substituting real sugar with artificial sweeteners, traditional ingredients like flour and sugar, are mixed with a patent-pending formulation that lowers their glycemic index.

3D-printed veggie burgers. (TY WIN) Israeli startup Chef-It is developing a 3D printer that can “print” and grill/bake/fry a hamburger made of cellulose plus plant-based proteins, fats and flavorings. Chef-It co-founder Professor Oded Shoseyov of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University has already made a prototype of the printer.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

At 70 - Israel's economy exceeds expectations. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger compares Israel’s situation now to that earlier in its history.  The statistics are quite staggering. Population, GDP, employment, national debt, exports, foreign investment, inflation, life expectancy, women in work and much more.

Israel - Island of Success.  Promotion video for a new book “Israel - Island of Success” by Noga Kainan and Adam Reuter. It asks and answers questions such as, “Why is Israel a success?”, “Is this success sustainable?” and “What is Israel's probable future? “  https://www.youtube.com/embed/MnNEO9DIf1o?rel=0

The largest group of tech investors to visit Israel.  A delegation of 300 international Kauffman Fellows to their Annual Summit is the largest contingent of global VCs ever to come to Israel as a group. The venture capitalists represent the likes of Microsoft, Intel, Google, BlackRock etc. and are invested in some 500 startups.

New health fund raises $200 million. Israeli life-sciences venture capital firm aMoon Partners has raised $200 million for a new fund aMoon II that will invest in digital health life-science companies. The final target for the fund is $500 million. The $200 million fund, aMoon I, was set-up two years ago and is invested in 16 startups.

Amsterdam to Eilat. Air France – KLM subsidiary Transavia Airlines is to fly twice weekly during the winter months from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to Ovda, north of Eilat. 17,700 Dutch tourists entered Israel in the first quarter of 2018 – a 37% increase on 2017 and 80% up on 2016.

Lab for food-innovation startups. Israel’s Frutarom is setting up FoodNxt, a lab for startups and ventures specializing in food innovation to address obesity and diabetes, to find protein alternatives, natural, healthy foods and more. The lab in Migdal HaEmek will provide financing, advanced equipment, and a support team.

Smart videos for Chinese soccer teams. Israel-based startup Pixellot has sold its video production systems to Chinese Premier League’s Jiangsu Suning Football Club as the first of its deal with China Sports Media. Pixellot’s automated multi-camera system gives a panoramic view of sports events for coaching purposes.

The US’s 5th largest convenience store business. Israel’s Arko Holdings has completed a complex deal for the purchase and lease of 267 US fuel stations and convenience store sites, including E-Z Mart. Arko’s GPM subsidiary now controls 1,224 sites and fuels another 138 stations in 22 states – the US’s 5th largest operator.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Front row at Israel’s birthday show.  My friend Sharon was in the Press stand at the 70th Anniversary Yom Ha’Atzmaut show on Mount Herzl Jerusalem.  Here are her photos of the event and afterwards.

Tel Aviv’s new Independence trail. (TY Janglo & Jacques) Tel Aviv’s new day/night interactive 1km Independence Trail uses a unique mobile app to guide tourists past 10 heritage sites. A map is also available in Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

Israel loves The Backstreet Boys.  (TY Hazel) Following their successful Israel concert in 2015 (see here) The Back Street Boys performed again in front of 15,000 enthusiastic fans in Rishon Lezion Live Park.

19 more Israeli summer concerts. Up-coming Israeli performances include Jamiroquai, Azealia Banks, Milky Chance, Enrique Iglesias, alt-J, Matisyahu, Jessie Ware, Sofi Tukker, The Stranglers, Ringo Starr, Avenged Sevenfold, Gilberto Gil, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice in Chains, Ziggy Marley, Beach Boys and Grandmaster Flash.
And (hot off the press) it’s certainly not “ironic” that Alanis Morissette is returning to Israel on 30th July.

Israel’s most advanced stadium. (TY Janglo) Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem is being upgraded. Its roof will be completed to make it Israel’s largest indoor stadium, with 32,000 seats. Other upgrades include to its sound system, dressing rooms and heating. It is already powered by a 686KW solar energy system.

2.1km tunnel – for cyclists. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat inaugurated Jerusalem’s 2.1km “Gihon” tunnel - Israel’s longest underground cycling tunnel. “We use tunnels for good purposes, such as sports, in contrast to Hamas,” Barkat told reporters. The tunnel connects Ein Lavan (Biblical zoo) to Kerem junction, near Hadassah.

The London Marathon in an Israeli exoskeleton.  Simon Kindleysides of Norfolk, England became the first paralyzed man to finish the London Marathon when he completed the 26.2 miles in 36 hours wearing an Israeli Rewalk exoskeleton robotic suit. Simon raised £19,000 for charity and won the #SpiritofLondon award.


THE JEWISH STATE

How Israel evacuated Ethiopian Jews from Sudan.  Great story on the BBC website about the Israeli scuba diving center on the Sudanese coast that was really a secret base from which Israel’s Mossad ran “Operation Moses” – flying thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel from their temporary camp in the Sudan desert.

The future of Israel looks good.  Professor Efraim Inbar is President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies. He analyzes Israel positively in terms of its security, economy, society, democracy, and international relations.   http://jiss.org.il/en/inbar-future-israel-looks-good/

70 years in 2 minutes. Quite amazing to see what Israel has achieved in such a short time.

Mezuzah for US Jerusalem embassy. As part of the May 14 ceremony to mark the official opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, a mezuzah will be affixed to the embassy building. The U.S. embassy will initially be situated in what is now the U.S. Consulate building, whilst a new building is being constructed.

Jerusalem embassy for Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is to start moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Czech President MiloŇ° Zeman, ended his speech at a Prague Castle event to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary with “Next Year in Jerusalem”.

$70 million for Taglit-Birthright. On the eve of Israel's 70th Independence Day, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson surprised the 650 audience at the 18th annual Taglit-Birthright Israel gala by donating $70 million to the project. Since its inception in 2000, Taglit-Birthright has brought over 600,000 Jewish youths to Israel.

Keeping the Land beautiful. (TY Avi) The Beautiful Land Initiative (BLI) aims to clean up the litter in Israel through the help of volunteers and businesses. Israel is holy and needs to be kept clean and beautiful. Their Pesach video shows them cleaning up the Kinneret shore.


180422
In the 22nd Apr 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Study proves that Israeli medical reminder app saves lives.
·         One quarter of all United Nations Ambassadors visited Israel on its 70th birthday.
·         300 drones lit up Jerusalem’s skies on Israel’s 70th Anniversary.
·         An Israeli app can quickly identify crop diseases and their treatment.
·         The first Israeli startup venture fund for University students and graduates.
·         Two Israeli TV series won top awards at Cannes.
·         Israel has opened a 70km hi-tech Jewish historical trail in the Galilee.

·         Click here to see the 15th Apr newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with extra feature on Inclusiveness. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Long-lasting MS treatment.  Israeli biotech Mapi has developed a formulation of Glatiramer Acetate that Multiple Sclerosis patients only need take once a month, rather than daily. Glatiramer Acetate Depot is still in Phase 3 trials but Mapi has already sold the marketing rights to multinational giant Mylan.

More generic alternatives. (TY Atid EDI) Israel’s Teva has launched generic versions of the anti-nausea treatment ALOXI and Lialda delayed-release mesalamine.  It is good news for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and ulcerative colitis sufferers respectively.

Glucose monitor approved for iPhones. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jan 2016) that the Israeli Dario blood sugar monitor had received FDA approval. Now approval has been extended for the device to be used on the latest Apple iPhones including iPhone 7, 8 and X. http://mydario.investorroom.com/2018-03-26-DarioHealth-Receives-U-S-FDA-Clearance-for-iPhone-7-8-and-iPhone-X-Smart-Glucose-Meter

Smartphone-based urine tests at home. Israeli startup Healthy.io has partnered with the American National Kidney Foundation and Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System to offer its home testing kits to U.S. patients. Healthy.io transforms a regular smartphone into a device that performs lab-standard urine analysis.
https://vimeo.com/195720514  BBC doesn’t mention Israel.  CNBC does! https://vimeo.com/154610009

Diagnosing resistant hypertension. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Aug 2011) that Hadassah surgeons had devised and used an innovative tool to treat resistant hypertension due to overactive kidney nerves. Now Israel’s Pythagoras Medical has received the CE mark for its ConfidenHT System to help identify such patients.

Israeli “nagging” app saves lives.  (TY Atid EDI) I reported previously (see here) about the SimpleMed app from Israel’s Vaica that reminds patients to take their meds. Now a Canadian trial has shown a 66% improved adherence for teen and young kidney transplant recipients taking life-saving anti-rejection medicine.

Mental health prescriptions by video. I reported previously (Nov 2014) about Israel’s Talkspace that provides on-line psychological advice. Now US therapist physicians will begin prescribing medication using Talkspace’s video chat facility to comply with state and federal regulations. Talkspace already has 1 million users.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

12,000 strangers sing together in Jerusalem. To celebrate Israel’s 70th Independence Day, Koolulam invited 12,000 people (who hadn’t met before) to sing together in a special event in Jerusalem. Together with Israeli singer Shlomi Shabat and the Jerusalem Street Orchestra they performed Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh”.

Co-working space for Orthodox Jews.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on the work of Israeli non-profit KamaTech to help integrate Haredi Jews into the hi-tech industry.  Now KamaTech has launched in Bnei Brak “Ampersand” - the first ultra-Orthodox co-working space in Israel. It is supported by Cisco and WeWork.

Arabic version of BoI website.  Governor of the Bank of Israel, Dr. Karnit Flug, hopes that the launch of the Arabic version of the Bank of Israel website would encourage the Arab community to broaden its economic knowledge and contribute to increased integration of the Arab community in all parts of the Israeli economy.

40 UN Ambassadors visit Israel.  40 United Nations Ambassadors (25% of the countries with ties to Israel) came to Israel thanks to the American Zionist Movement and Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon. They met government officials, toured historical, religious and strategic sites and joined in 70th Anniversary celebrations.

Breaking the deadly cycle in Africa.  Israel’s Innovation: Africa CEO Sivan Yaari links Africa’s poor health to its lack of doctors, medicine, water and electricity. So, she delivers solar panels to African villages and now they have electricity to pump water, to power refrigerators that can store medicines for doctors to treat the sick.

Happy 70th birthday Israel, from the White House.  (TY UWI) The White House on released a video sending Happy Independence Day wishes to Israel as well. The video shows President Trump and his family visiting the Western Wall during their visit to Israel last year. The President also sent his best wishes in a tweet.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Lighting up the skies over Jerusalem.  During the 70th Anniversary Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem, 300 Intel quadcopters staged a light and music display in the sky. The drones weigh just 300 grams with LEDs to make 4 billion color combinations. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich was in the audience.

$50 million boost for Quantum science center. I reported previously (Jun 2016) on the Israel Technion’s opening of the Center for Quantum Science. Now the Helen Diller Family Foundation has donated $50 million to recruit staff, establish new infrastructure and fund research and development.

Food-tech hub near Lebanese border. The Israeli government has approved the allocation of $27 million to build a food-tech research institute, startup accelerator and a micro industry hub in its northernmost city Kiryat Shmona. The project, part of Israel Initiative ii2020, includes budget to promote new startups in the region.

Honor for lab-grown meat inventor. Yaacov Nahmias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was inducted as a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Nahmias invented Future Meat, the process for growing meat artificially.  He also founded Tissue Dynamics (see here) and its screening platform.

Free security for automobiles. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on several Israeli companies providing security for cars. Now Israel’s C2a (Cyber 2 Automotive Security) is supplying its technology free to global auto manufacturers and suppliers. C2a’s Stamper system protects connected cars at the microchip level.

The world’s first visual fragrance.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Amkiri has launched the world’s first ever ‘visual fragrance’ technology.  Amkiri has developed and patented long-lasting “scented ink” which is applied to the skin via specifically developed applicators. It allows the user to create body art combining scent and color.

Israeli app plugs Facebook data leak. Israel’s MyPermissions (soon to be “MyPrivacy”) prevents the misuse of your data. It runs a scan on your smartphone, looking at social media accounts (e.g. Facebook) and shows which third-party apps have access to your data. You then can block access for any privacy-infringing apps.

Powering the largest super computers.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Mellanox has been chosen to accelerate the new 2-Petaflop NVIDIA DGX-2 artificial intelligence (AI) system. Mellanox adapters with smart acceleration engines enable the highest performance for AI and Deep Learning applications. 

Detecting unsafe food.  (TY Myer) I have reported previously (see here) on several Israeli startups that have developed devices to detect contaminated food. Here is another – Inspecto can be used at any point in the supply chain and displays its results in real time. Inspecto recently received an EU Horizon 2020 grant.

Saving crops from disease and pests. (TY Lynn) Israeli startup Saillog has developed Agrio - a smartphone app that allows farmers to upload photos of diseased crops. AI and experts identify the pathogen responsible and appropriate treatment. Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis results in 30% of global agriculture yield losses.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

World’s second most cybersecurity deals.  Tiny Israel ranked second after the US for the number of deals involving cybersecurity companies between 2013 – 2017.  Israel was ahead of the UK, Canada and China. New York data firm CB Insights also named six Israeli companies in its list of 29 pioneering “cyber defenders”.

University Venture Fund. Tel Aviv University is to set up an early-stage startup venture fund, the first of its kind by an Israeli university. It has already raised some $20 million to invest in startups mainly by university graduates or students. The university will also provide its labs, knowledge and its network of contacts.

Need a ride?  Share a bike.  If you need to get around a city in Israel you can catch a bus / minibus, call a taxi or rent a bike.  Car2Go operates its Mobike service which provide bicycles that you can pick up from a bike stand, pay for, scan the QR code and you’re ready to go. Then drop off the bike at a stand near your destination.

Elbit opens Berlin office.  Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems has opened a Berlin office to help expand its activities in the German market. The office will serve as its technological, industrial, and commercial base in the country. Elbit employs around 12,500 people worldwide, of which 10,000 are in Israel.

Nike buys Israeli fashion tech startup. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Invertex which uses 3D imaging and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to scan your feet, so you always buy the right size shoes.  Now Nike, Inc. has acquired Invertex to help “create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point”.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/nike-buys-israel-computer-vision-startup-invertex/


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

What does it mean to be Israeli?  This video may answer one of the most complex questions of our time.  Then again, it might not! https://www.youtube.com/embed/RVwsV7L-WeQ?rel=0

The world’s new dining hotspot.  Israel has one of the most exciting dining scenes in the world, and it is just starting to be discovered as a food destination like New York or London. Restaurateurs in Tel Aviv say as many as 30 percent of their guests are now foreign visitors, led by Americans, British, Russians, French and more.

3-day Yoga festival. The Israel Yoga Festival is underway for the third time from 7-9 June.  It features over 80 of the leading Yoga teachers in Israel and more than 1000 practitioners are expected to attend.

Cannes “Best Series”. The Israeli drama “When Heroes Fly” won the top honor of Best Series at the Cannes International Series Festival. On accepting the honor on stage, actor Tomer Kapon recited a Hebrew blessing. The other Israeli entry, the series “Miguel,” took home the award for “Special Performance.”

Israel hosts 2018 European Judo Championships.  (TY WIN) As reported last year, (Apr 2017) Israel is hosting the European Judo Championships for the first time, beginning on 26th Apr. Israeli medal prospects include Ori Sasson, Sagi Muki and Tal Flicker.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrgjLnNrf0g


THE JEWISH STATE

Revival of a Nation.  Lovely 10-minute animation highlighting the last 2000 years of Jewish history and the return to the Land of Israel.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZJMS9sLHYTY?rel=0

“Am Yisrael Chai”. Israeli law currently prevents Jews from praying on Temple Mount. However, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court has ruled that it is permitted for visitors to the Temple Mount compound to call out, “Am Yisrael chai” (“The people of Israel live”), because it is a patriotic slogan rather than a prayer.

Stoudemire is converting to Judaism. Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has long claimed to have “Hebrew roots”, studied Judaism and practiced its cultural customs. Now he is formally converting to the Jewish religion. Stoudemire partly owns hoops team Hapoel Jerusalem and has his own brand of Israeli wine.

The Sanhedrin Trail. Thousands of Israeli school pupils and volunteers have prepared a new public 70km path in the Galilee called the Sanhedrin Trail. Tourists will learn the archaeology, nature and history from hi-tech milestones that transmit data directly to smartphones. Many Jewish relics were also found along the trail.

70 reasons to admire Israel.  To celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday, writer Robert Sarner has prepared a list of notable things Israel has done over the past 12 months. He admits that it’s only a small sampling of what the country has accomplished since Independence Day 2017. Apologies if I’ve missed reporting any of these.

Israel at 70 - mature and prosperous. Joseph Puder writes that the number 70 has significant meaning in Jewish tradition.  It recalls the 70-year Babylonian Exile that led to the start of the 2nd Jewish Commonwealth in 530 BCE. Puder highlights similarities between the returnees from the Babylonian Exile and Israelis today.

“I am the luckiest Jew".  Shmuel Rosner says it for me - in the NY Times no less. “I am the Jew who gets to see Jewish ingenuity unapologetically celebrated, Jewish material success flourish, Jewish might acknowledged and the Jewish language rejuvenated. I am the Jew who after 2,000 years gets to witness Jewish political independence.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/17/opinion/jewish-state-israel-70th-anniversary.html


180415
In the 15th Apr 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have made cancer-killing proteins inside the body.
·         An Israeli built a $75 million medical device company “by accident”.
·         The US Environmental Protection Agency is to help develop Israeli water generators.
·         An Israeli company converts non-recyclable waste into building material.
·         Israel is to build two new desalination plants.
·         Three international airlines are to begin new services to Israel.
·         Heartwarming online resources highlight Israel’s 70 years of achievements.
·         Israel stops to commemorate Yom Ha’Shoah.

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

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

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Matching treatments to patients. (TY Hazel) Israel has launched the Israel Precision Medicine Partnership -  an innovative $60 million program to enable researchers to target the best treatments for a patient’s disease (e.g. cancer). Precision medicine uses genetic sequencing to predict an individual’s response to specific treatments.

Artificial cell factory kills cancer from the inside.  (TY NoCamels) Researchers at Israel’s Technion have successfully treated a cancerous tumor using a “nano-factory” – a synthetic cell that produces anti-cancer proteins when it comes into contact with the tumor tissue. The proteins can be varied to fit each patient.

Treatment for Adnoid Cystic Carcinoma. I wrote previously (10th Dec) about Israeli personalized cancer biotech Ayala and its partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb. One of the results of this tie-up is AL101 - a new treatment for metastatic Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC), which could also treat triple-negative breast cancer.

Israeli medical databases. Israel’s four health companies maintain databases of 5 million records that (anonymized) will benefit medical researchers in the discovery of new treatments. The Maccabi health fund (see here) is already doing this. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3735645,00.html

Anaphylactic shock alert. Scientists from Bar-Ilan University partnered with Israel’s Magen David Adom to develop “EPIMADA,” a smartphone app that issues a local proximity alert in the event of a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylactic shock. Anyone with an EpiPen (syringe containing adrenaline) can save the victim. http://nocamels.com/2018/03/israeli-researchers-emergency-app/

Predicting kidney disease in diabetics. I reported previously (see here) on the predictive artificial intelligence (AI) systems of Israeli biotech Medial EarlySign. Its AI algorithms can now predict which sufferers of diabetes will develop kidney dysfunction within a one-year time-frame. Early treatment can then improve their outcome.

Spinal surgery for Ethiopian children. (TY Hazel) Eleven medics from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center spent a week performing surgeries to fix severe spinal deformities in Ethiopia. In addition, the Israelis also provided training to medical staff at the Ayder hospital in the Northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle.

Crash led to new medical device. Another Israeli medical “miracle”. After a motorcycle accident, doctors found that Avi Yaron had a brain tumor. They couldn’t remove all the tumor, so Avi founded Visionsense that developed an imaging device to help in similar ops. Medtronic has just bought Visionsense for $75 million.

EU supports Israeli electric socks.  I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup ElastiMed and its smart socks that improve circulation to treat swelling, blood clots, chronic wounds, sports injuries etc. ElastiMed is now to receive a $1.6 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Chefs for Peace. (TY Stuart) A Muslim, a Jew and a Christian in Jerusalem have been cooking together for 17 years. Odeh Abu Elhawa, Johny Goric and Hemdat Goldberg make food that combines their unique backgrounds, traditions and culture into a common culinary treat.

Druze general to co-ordinate territories. IDF Brig.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, a member of Israel’s Druze community, was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed to be the IDF’s new Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/member-of-druze-community-appointed-as-new-idf-cogat/2018/03/29/

Treating Syrian children.  200,000 Syrians near the border look to Israel for help. Children get top priority, and not only the wounded. "Globes" visits the Golan  and travels with patients to Galilee hospitals.

US EPA wants water from the air. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Water-Gen that captures humidity to make drinking water. Now the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed an agreement with Water-Gen to improve “access to potable water during shortages or contamination events.” 

Israel hosts International Water Day event at UN.  (TY Hazel) Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon hosted a special forum at the UN to mark International Water Day. It featured examples of Israeli water technology used in more than 100 countries around the world. Also, a new video for the occasion.

Energy and water for Africa. Innovation: Africa’s CEO Sivan Ya’ari described to the AIPAC conference how her non-profit harnesses solar power to bring electricity and clean water solutions to one million Africans. Her aim is to extend this to six million people by 2025, all using Israeli technologies and all in the name of Israel.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Turning garbage into reusable plastic. (TY Hazel) Israeli startup UBQ has patented an ecologically-friendly process to convert non-recyclable household trash from landfills into reusable plastic building material. UBQ operates a pilot production plant and research facility at Kibbutz Tzeelim on the edge of the Negev Desert.

A beacon for peace in the Middle East. (TY Herman) I’ve reported previously (see here) on the SESAME synchrotron project that unites scientists from Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and others. Here is an article about the project in the Washington Post.

NY student uses Israeli data to win $250,000 science prize. New York high school student Benjy Firester used disease and weather data from Israeli farmers to predict and prevent the spread of the devastating potato blight fungus. His model won the $250,000 top prize at the prestigious US Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Two new desalination plants. Israel is to build two new desalination plants to add to the current five and offset the deficits of an extended five-year drought. It will also expand agricultural pipelines and rehabilitate dried-up rivers. It may also pump fresh water into the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) a vital natural source of drinking water.

Portable “chauffeur” makes any car autonomous.  The IVO Robot Driver, being developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University, will fold down into a briefcase. It then can be installed onto the steering wheel and pedals of a standard car, truck, and other industrial vehicle and make it autonomous within five minutes.

Robots for agriculture. Projects at the Ben Gurion University include artificial bees to pollinate flowers and robots to spray and to harvest crops. Their aim is to compensate for the shortage of bees and the lack of workers able to do hard, monotonous work in hot climates. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/drone-bees-and-agriculture-robots-could-could-solve-shortage-of-pollinators-and-laborers/

The answer to everything, but is it reliable?  I reported previously (Jan 2017) about Israel’s Rootclaim that uses crowdsourcing to check the reliability of answers to questions posed on the Internet.  Now Israel’s Epistema uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to rate answers.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Direct flights from Brazil. Latin America’s largest airline, Latam, has announced that it will begin direct flights between Sao Paulo, Brazil and Tel Aviv by the end of the year. The thrice-weekly, 11-hour flight will bring Brazil’s 120,000 Jews, and pilgrims from the world’s 2nd-largest Christian population, closer to Israel.

Low cost flights to Paris.  ASL Airlines France is to begin return flights in July between Paris and Tel Aviv for just $275 – about half the cost of an El Al ticket.  Paris is the second most popular destination for Israelis after Istanbul and despite the large number of airlines, there is still a shortage of seats.

New easyJet routes to French cities.  UK low cost carrier easyJet plc will soon begin flying from Tel Aviv to three French cities - Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice. Tickets are already available online.

Porsche invests in Israeli sensors.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Anagog and its software that analyzes sensor signals in smartphones. Now car maker Porsche has bought a minority stake in Anagog in a bid to expand its offering of digital technologies. Analog’s technology is used in about 100 global smartphone apps.

Kibbutz startups near Gaza.  Non-profit organization SouthUp has set up a shared workspace for startup employees at Kibbutz Nir Am, barely a kilometer from Gaza. SouthUp also has an accelerator program for startups in agri-tech, water tech, kibbutz industrial development, energy, chemistry, biology, and software.

Postage stamp for 70 years.  Israel’s latest 5-shekel postage stamp depicts many of Israel’s achievements during its 70 years. Spot the UBS memory stick, smartphone tech, cherry tomatoes, drip irrigation, plus successes in academia, science, sports, agriculture, music, film and business.

$100 million cybersecurity exit. I reported previously (Jan 2017) about Israel’s SECDO and its systems that can distinguish a real cybersecurity breach from a false alarm. US giant Palo Alto Networks has just bought SECDO for $100 million.  https://www.globes.co.il/en/article-palo-alto-networks-buys-israeli-cybersecurity-co-secdo-for-100a-1001231142


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

70 fun facts about Israel for 70 years. (TY Arthur) Things I didn’t know include world records (per capita) for the most books published, most female entrepreneurs, most university degrees, most Microsoft employees, most museums, most orchestras, most computers, most fruit & veg consumed and most immigrants absorbed.

70 years of achievement. Israel21c has produced a stunning online exhibition of the major successes in each decade of Israel’s first 70 years. It has also produced a timeline of key events.

Druze tourism in Israel. The Druze are a proud and ancient people and one of Israel's main minority communities. The Druze communities share with tourists from Israel and the rest of the world their ancient traditions and way of life. Watch, eat, and experience the hospitality of the Druze in Israel.

The World Jewish Museum. Canadian philanthropist Gail Asper is spearheading the building of a $400-million World Jewish Museum (WJM) in Tel Aviv. Its aim is to showcase the achievement of Jewish individuals throughout the ages and is targeted to open in time for Israel’s 75th anniversary.

10 Israeli nature reserves. (TY Israel Unwired) Lovely 2-minute video featuring Einot Tzukim, Hula valley, Ramon crater, Eilat coral reef, Mount Hermon, Beit Shemesh stalactites cave, Ein Gedi, Yotvata Hai Bar, Gan Hashlosha and the Banias.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/4SFWuf0eywA?rel=0

Tel Aviv hosts largest-ever Eurovision pre-show. 30 Eurovision Song Contest participants (three-quarters of the competitors) performed in Tel Aviv on 10th April prior to the May semi-finals and finals in Lisbon Portugal.  Currently the Israeli entry “Toy”, sung by Netta Barzilai, is one of the favorites.

Police rescue dog that sang to TV theme tune.  (TY Hazel) Forget about hi-tech dog tags.  The owner of a Siberian husky taught his pet to sing when it heard the theme tune to the Israeli TV sitcom “Shemesh”. It was found in a Bedouin town. When police played the music, the dog began to sing like Pavarotti.  Case solved!

Israel’s first regulation racetrack.  Israel opened its first motor racing track in Eilat in 2011 (see here). Now it is about to open Motor City, in Hatzerim near Beersheva in the Negev - a 2.1-kilometer track that meets FIA standards for Formula 3. It may later be expanded to 4.5 kilometers in order to meet Formula 1 standards.


THE JEWISH STATE

Jewish life in Samaria, 1500 years ago. Students of the Ben-Zion Netanyahu Elementary School in Samaria’s Barkan have just found locally two 15-centuries-old decorated oil lamps made of clay with the potter’s fingerprints still embedded in them. The discoveries add to the coins and mosaic stones they found in January.

Israel stands still for Yom Ha’Shoah. At 10 a.m. on Thursday 12th April, citizens of Israels stopped what they were doing to stand for two minutes of silence for Yom Ha’Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).  On the roads, the beach, the buses, the workers digging up my street for water drainage maintenance. Everywhere.


180408
In the 8th Apr 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli device allows a surgeon to operate remotely from the patient.
·         Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart has won an award from the United Nations.
·         An Israeli-Arab policeman proposed during Independence-Day rehearsals.
·         Israeli fashion jewelry protects the wearer from violent attack.
·         An Israeli electronic company was sold for $3.4 billion.
·         Israeli archeologists have uncovered the 3300-year-old site of the Biblical tabernacle.

·         Click here to see the 18th March newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Medical with 3,900 likes. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 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


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

US approves surgeon’s extended hand. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Human Xtensions has received FDA clearance for its HandX light-weight, hand-held device that translates the surgeon’s natural hand motions into complex movements inside the patient. It opens vast new horizons for Minimally Invasive Surgery (see video).

Europe approves abdominal aortic aneurysm repair system. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Endospan has received the CE mark for its HORIZON Stent Graft System to treat Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). Endospan is also awaiting European approval for its NEXUS™ Stent Graft System to treat Aortic Arch Disease.

Blood count test in 5 minutes. Israeli blood analysis startup PixCell has been awarded a €2.5 million grant by the European commission to help commercialize its HemoScreen.

Antibodies for AstraZeneca. Israeli cancer immunotherapy company Compugen is to provide its pipeline of cancer-fighting antibodies to MedImmune – AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm. Compugen will initially receive $10 million and then up to $200 million for the first MedImmune product.

Israeli and Arab doctors save Filipino baby. (TY UWI) A Filipino baby born at the Red Crescent Hospital in eastern Jerusalem had a rare and serious heart defect, which required complex and risky open-heart surgery. He was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital where Israeli and Arab doctors together saved the baby’s life.

Using handwriting for psychoanalysis. Scientists at Haifa University have proved that a person’s mood can be determined by examining one’s handwriting. After watching darker, disturbing movies, the 62 study participants all wrote letters of the alphabet smaller in both height and width than after watching positive films.

Glaucoma treatment expands to China.  (TY Hazel) I reported previously (twice) about Israeli Glaucoma- treatment developer IOPtima. Now China’s Kanghong is partnering IPOtima’s to market its glaucoma laser surgery system, IOPtiMate, in Asia, which has some of the world’s highest rates of blindness from glaucoma.

UN award to Save a Child’s Heart. The United Nations Population Fund is giving the 2018 Population Award to Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart organization. SACH doctors have (free of charge) saved over 4,500 children with congenital heart defects from all over the world, including Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority.

WHO chief praises Hadassah cancer care. The World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made an impromptu visit to Israel and praised Hadassah Medical Center’s Ein Kerem oncology facility. “Hadassah is proof that medical treatment creates a bridge between people, and a center of hope,” he said. https://haifadiarist.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/un-health-chief-praises-israeli-cancer.html

180-seconds emergency response time.  (TY TIP, Nevet and UWI) Thanks to its ambucycles and SOS emergency app, the average time for a United Hatzalah responder to arrive at the scene of an emergency call in Israel is now just 3 minutes. In 2017 United Hatzalah EMS volunteers treated 207,000 people in Israel.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Surprise event at Independence Day rehearsal. (TY Hazel and Stand With Us) Israeli Christian Arab Border Policeman Ra'id Ashkar was chosen as a flag-bearer for the 70th Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl. At rehearsals, he arranged a most original way to ask his girlfriend Luna to marry him.

Playing and praying together. (TY WIN & I24 News) Israeli soccer team Bnei Sakhnin contains a mix of Jews and Muslims. A recent photo of two players praying together went viral.  See also the trailer for the documentary “After the Cup – Sons of Sakhnin United” which highlights the team’s coexistence ethos.

Securing borders while protecting wildlife. The Israeli and Jordanian armies have been working together to construct natural wildlife corridors before a new border fence is built. As when the Egyptian border fence was built, specially designed border crossings will allow wildlife to move back and forth.

Heroes relieve poverty in South Africa.  I reported previously (8th Oct) about Israel’s Heroes for Life (HfL) organization and its work teaching in a school in Mumbai, India. Their latest project involves teaching impoverished South African children and improving their living conditions.

Israel stars in US security conference. (TY Hazel) 16 Israeli companies along with a delegation from Israel’s Defense Ministry attended an International Homeland Defense and Security Summit in Mississippi. Topics included the technological solutions for border security, preventing terror attacks and handling natural disasters.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The fastest laptop processor.  I reported previously (8th Oct) that Intel Israel had developed its 8th Gen I-Core “Coffee Lake” microprocessor – the fastest yet.  Intel has now released further processors in the range, including the Intel Core i9 processor - the highest-performance laptop processor that Intel has ever built.

Soon - even faster processing. (TY Hazel) Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed a proof of concept that would enable computers to run 100 times faster using terahertz microchips. The technology integrates speed-of-light optics communications with flash memory.

Elon Musk in Israel.  Telsa CEO Elon Musk visited Israel and posted several photos of himself including one at Masada. The caption was “Paid respects to Masada earlier today. Live free or die.” Earlier he met PM Netanyahu. He praised Israel as a ‘technological power’ and said the Negev could provide the country with all its energy needs. https://worldisraelnews.com/the-negev-is-the-energy-future-of-israel-business-magnate-elon-musk-tells-netanyahu/

3D-printed jewelry for self-defense. Israeli fashion designer Nitzan Kish has used 3D tech to create uniquely shaped clothing and jewelry with a special purpose in mind – self-defense. Her collection, Me, Myself & I, features garments that, upon any physical force, turn into spikes and look like modern body armor.

Israeli software helps crack the soybean genome.  Missouri scientists have used software from Israel’s NRGene to map the genomes of two important soybean varieties. The information can help scientists increase their oil and protein content using traditional breeding methods.

Making motor racing safer. Two Israeli companies have partnered to provide technology to alert motor racing drivers to hazards on the circuit. Vehicle-to-everything chipset maker Autotalks and race car manufacturer Griiip showcased their system at the new motorsport park in Be'er Sheva, Southern Israel.

Record solar energy production.  On a perfectly cloudless Saturday afternoon on 19th March, solar energy was producing 13.4 percent of Israel’s total electricity consumption, breaking the country’s solar power record. 

Still on course for the Moon.  Google’s Lunar X $20 million prize competition (see here) expired on 31st March without a winner. However, Israel is still working to land its SpaceIL module on the moon this year. Of the 33 original entries, Israel was the first of 16 to announce a launch date and now only five teams remain.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Food prices drop; salaries rise. The price of food in Israel has dropped 5% in the past two years, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) reports. Reasons include a 1% cut in VAT, 3.5% cut in corporate taxes and higher caps for food imports, especially fresh beef. Salaries rose 3% in this period.

First Israeli flight over Saudi.  India’s national airline, Air India, has completed its first flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv flying through Saudi Arabian airspace. Recent Saudi government permission for the service has cut flight time to just five hours instead of the seven hours required to circumvent the Arab state.

A $3.4 billion exit. I’ve reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Orbotech, whose systems produce almost every electronic device in the world.  Orbotech has just been taken over by US giant KLA-Tencor for a massive $3.4 billion. Orbotech will continue to operate under the Orbotech brand in Yavne, Israel.

Growing market for Israeli microalgae.  Kibbutz Ketura-based (UK-owned) Algatech has acquired New Zealand’s Supreme Health which, like Algatech, produces the algae anti-oxidant product astaxanthin. Algatech can now use Supreme’s client base to target Asia and especially the Chinese market.  

Israeli wheel to go into mass production.  Regular readers will have read several previous articles about the revolutionary new wheel developed by Israel’s SoftWheel. Now Canadian auto parts maker Linamar is investing “millions of dollars” in a production line that will manufacture hundreds of thousands of these wheels.

The first private college to issue PhDs. (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli Council for Higher Education granted the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya permission to apply to confer doctorate degrees, beginning with law.  It is a major step towards the IDC becoming Israel’s first private university.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Akko hotel wins honors. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (Sep 2013) about the Efendi hotel in Akko (Acre) reconstructed from an abandoned Ottoman palace. The hotel was recently honored in five categories by the US-based TripAdvisor travel site, including being named among the top small hotels in the Middle East.

70 years in 3 minutes.  In advance of Israel’s 70th Anniversary on 18th April, this short video highlights one major news story in each of modern Israel’s exciting 70 years.


THE JEWISH STATE

100,000 at the Western Wall. (TY WIN, ILTV and UWI) Around 100,000 men and women gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City for Birkat HaKohanim, the priestly blessings, that takes place on Passover and Tabernacles. One of the kohanim (priests) was David Friedman – the US Ambassador to Israel.

Freedom coins discovered from Jewish revolt. Just before Passover, Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar discovered coins from 1st century AD during renewed excavations below Jerusalem Temple Mount’s southern wall. They were inscribed “For the Freedom of Zion” and “For the Redemption of Zion”.

Uncovering the site of the Tabernacle (Mishkan). Shiloh was the capital for the Jewish Kingdom for 369 years before King David made Jerusalem Israel’s capital and Solomon built the first Temple. Archaeologists are currently working on this 3,300-year-old site and making some astounding discoveries.