Israel's Good News Newsletter to 14th May 23

In the 14th May 23 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·       Israeli doctors used trail-blazing gene therapy to save a girl from India.

·       Two Israeli medical startups have won three awards.

·       An Israeli-founded company has created the first 100% solar capital city.

·       See how fast Israeli technology distinguishes humans from inanimate objects.

·       Israeli study shows vertical walls of vegetables can also cool indoor spaces.

·       More Israeli vegan meat substitutes reach hungry consumers.

·       The Israeli national anthem is played in Qatar.


·       Click here to see the 7th May newsletter on IsraelSeen, IsraPundit, Ruthfully Yours and United With Israel (Apr 30 here and May 7 here) plus feature on Inclusive & Global. Also (TY Sandra) in German here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here. Please forward this newsletter to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit the Facebook page.


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Historic gene therapy operation. (TY Atid-EDI) Doctors at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center made history with a 7-hour operation to deliver Upstaza gene therapy directly to the brain of a 4-year-old girl from India. The NIS  10 million cost per vial was the most expensive single Israeli surgery ever and was given free of charge.


The origin of red blood cells. Researchers led by Professor Ido Amit of Israel’s Weizmann Institute, have discovered that the kidney is the source of the hormone EPO (erythropoietin), which turns cells in the bone marrow into oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Increasing EPO in kidney disease patients could prevent anemia.


US approves portable 3D X-ray device. Israel’s Nanox (see here previously) has received US FDA approval for its light-weight imaging system for clinics and hospitals. The Nanox.ARC can employ up to five separate X-ray-emitting tubes at once for a 3D image. The FDA approved Nanox’s single-source X-ray bed in early 2021.


Schizophrenia treatment gets US approval. The US FDA has approved UZEDY (risperidone), developed for the treatment of schizophrenia by Israel’s Teva and France’s Medincell. In a Phase 3 human clinical trial, UZEDY demonstrated up to 80% reduction in risk of schizophrenia relapse versus a placebo.


Diagnosing children with fever. The 15-min BV test from Israel’s MeMed (see here previously) accurately diagnosed over 90% of bacterial versus viral infections at Israel’s Schneider Children’s Medical Center, reducing Emergency Department physician error. The study tested 287 children from 3 months to 18 years.


Relieving post-op pain. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s PainReform has just completed a Phase 3 human trial of its PRF-110 post-operative pain relief. The oil-based, viscous, clear solution is deposited directly into the surgical wound bed prior to closure to provide localized and extended post-operative analgesia.  


Modifying gut bacteria to fight disease. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Trobix Bio is using CRISPR, phage, and synthetic biology technologies to develop precision microbiome oncology therapeutics. TBX101 counters anti-biotic resistance; TBX201 reduces chemotherapy side-effects; TBX301 tackles gut inflammation.


Israeli partnership to bio-print organs. Israeli startups Stratasys (see here previously) and CollPlant (see here previously) are jointly to create human tissues and organs. They will use Stratasys’ P3 bioprinter and CollPlant’s rh-Collagen-based bioinks. The first project will be to produce reconstructive implants.


Award-winning skin therapy. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s SofWave Medical (see here previously) has won two recent international awards. At the 13th Annual NewBeauty Awards it won Best Noninvasive Cellulite Treatment. Then it won the Good Housekeeping Magazine Award for Best Anti-Aging Pro Treatment.


Prize-winning pain relief. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s TrainPain has won the Grand Prize in the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) & MIT Hacking Medicine Innovation Challenge. TrainPain uses neurotechnology to retrain sensory the brain through engaging haptic mobile games.


Reduction in Israeli skin cancer rates. In the 1990s, Israel had the 3rd highest rate of melanoma (skin cancer) per capita in the world. In 2020, Israel was not even in the top 20. Reasons include the Chacham B’Shemesh (Smart in the Sun) programs from preschool to 12th grade. Plus, annual checkups and early excision.





Millions for education. Israel’s Azrieli Foundation (see here previously) has donated NIS 180 million to the Darca Network - a group of 47 Israeli high schools. Darca was founded 12 years ago to strengthen schools in the socio-geographical periphery of Israel. 93.5% of its students have achieved matriculation certificates.


Dog unit rescues lost woman. Yehuda, a volunteer with the non-profit Israel Dog Unit (IDU), together with his search dog Cobra, located a 78-year-old woman, missing for 40 hours in a forest near Sderot. She was found suffering from heat exhaustion. 150+ volunteers, plus drones, took part in the search, including on Shabbat.  


Unpaid caregivers. Researchers at Ben Gurion and Haifa Universities have reported that 1.2 million Israelis (over 20% of the adult population) provide free care for their relatives and others with disabilities. In the Haredi sector, this increases to 34%.


Israel’s first hydrogen refueling station. Israel's first hydrogen fuel station opened in Sonol Yagur near Haifa Bay, putting Israel among the leading countries in the world seeking to replace combustion engines with hydrogen-based fuel cell technology. See also here (Sonol) and here (hydrogen).


13th World Congress of Baha'is in Haifa. Some 1,300 delegates from 176 countries participated in the International Bahá’í Convention. The event takes place every 5 years in Haifa - the administrative and spiritual center of the community. The Bahá’í have enjoyed freedom of worship in Israel from the beginning of the State.  


Medical incubator launched in Arab-Israeli city. (TY Hazel) The Israel Innovation Authority and Education Ministry have launched a health care startup incubator in the northern city of Sakhnin, the first in an Arab city. However, another Medical Incubator was launched in the area in 2022 – see here.


Female Druze player lifts National hoops trophy. When she was 6 years old and playing basketball in Isfiya, Noor dreamed she would lift the Israeli Female Basketball Premier League championship plate. 15 years later, the Israeli Druze girl’s dream came true.


Israeli-organized women’s business conference. Israeli non-profit Start-Up Nation Central co-organized the “Women Connect to Innovate” conference in Morocco. It was attended by some 100 female business leaders from Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, UAE, USA, and elsewhere.


The first capital city to be 100% solar powered. Israeli-founded Gigawatt Global (see here previously) has installed a solar power plant in Burundi, Africa, that makes Gitega the only capital city powered 100% by solar energy during the daytime. Further solar fields will provide Burundi with 20% of its power requirements.





Satellites for Azerbaijan. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel Aerospace Industries is to supply Azerbaijan with two satellites worth $120 million. One of the Azerbaijan’s previous satellites failed after colliding with space debris or a small meteorite.


Better development of AI vision apps. Israel’s Deci (see here previously) has developed YOLO-NAS – a deep learning computer vision model to detect objects in real time much faster than other models. YOLO (You Only Look Once) technology allows driverless cars to distinguish between people and inanimate objects.


Intelligence award. Israel’s Aurora Labs (see here previously) was selected for an Artificial Intelligence Excellence Award in the Business Intelligence Awards’ Vehicle Infrastructure Integration category for its Line-of-Code Intelligence technology. The technology helps engineers fix errors in automotive software.


Off-road vehicles on road to success. Israel’s Mia Dynamics has developed the MIA FOUR - an electric four-wheeled transport vehicle, intended for a complex terrain. Its top speed is 45km/h and has a 50km range. Germany’s Mayer Group has just ordered hundreds of the vehicles, costing a total of $1.3 million.


BBC reports on Israeli safe nuclear fusion. A rare BBC non-bias report on Israel’s NT-Tao (see here previously). It hints at some of the features of the company’s nuclear fusion technology, specifically its methods of magnetic plasma containment (tokamak plus stellarator). Also, denser plasma allows a smaller reactor core.


Data Breakthrough. Israel’s Satori (see here previously) won the Data Security Solution of the Year Award in the fourth annual Data Breakthrough Awards program. Satori automates “just-in-time” data access while enforcing security policies and offering real-time visibility into the location of sensitive data.


Microsoft helps Israeli ag-tech startups. US tech giant Microsoft has partnered with Israeli non-profit Start-Up Nation Central to help Israeli agrifood tech startups augment their AI-powered models for sustainable farming solutions and get exposure to global markets.  


Green vertical walls save energy. Hebrew University scientists have found that “Vertical green-living walls” (VGWs) - plants growing vertically on a wall - can save up to 20% of the energy used for air circulation in closed offices and spaces. They reduce carbon dioxide levels and cool the air around the green wall.


Mushroom diet saves overweight pig. Israel’s Freedom Farm rescued Yossi as a piglet from a pig farm but the factory farming conditions had made him grossly overweight, needing constant painkillers. Then a new diet of Cordyceps mushrooms from Israel’s Mycospring gave Yossi a new lease of life. They also work on humans.





The economy is strong. The International Monetary Fund issued its summary report on Israel for 2022. Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Amir Yaron said, “The report points to the strong economic fundamentals of the Israeli economy”.


More flights to Israel. (TY Routesonline) Travel to Israel has increased significantly following the start of Delta Airlines’ Atlanta to Tel Aviv route (3 times a week). El Al has begun twice-weekly flights from Tokyo and from Porto Portugal, plus thrice-weekly from Dublin and from Istanbul.


GoForIsrael. The 30th annual GoForIsrael international investment conference on May 3 at the Tel Aviv Hilton included a record 60 presenting startups and a record 1,100 registrants. 40% of them from overseas and 40% of them investors. It highlighted that Israeli entrepreneurs succeed despite the many challenges.


Carrefour opens 50 stores. Fifty branches of Yeinot Bitan, Mega, and Super around Israel have been converted to Carrefour stores at a cost of NIS 250 million and opened to the public this week.  They include 3 Carrefour Hypers - each between 2,500-4,000 square meters in size, plus an on-line sales site.


Whole chunks from plants. Israel’s Chunk Foods (see here previously) creates whole-cut meat substitutes that are now available in restaurants in New York City and Los Angeles. Chunk Foods recently completed the biggest seed round of funding ever for an Israeli plant-based protein company, securing $15 million.


Redefining meat at the supermarket. Israel’s Redefine Meat (see here previously) launched its alternative meat products in 300 Shufersal branches across Israel. The range includes shredded meat in pulled-beef style, ground meat, merguez sausage, lamb-style kebab, and a premium burger. All with no animal components.


Vultr launches in Tel Aviv. (TY Atid-EDI) Florida's Vultr, the world’s largest privately-held cloud computing company, has opened a cloud data center in Tel Aviv. It called the city “a hot spot for tech companies thanks to its highly-skilled workforce, innovation-friendly policies, and extensive access to funding.”


Stop clients from disappearing. (TY OurCrowd) The new ad campaign of Israel’s Honeybook (see here previously) humorously shows the difficulty of small businesses in getting paid. 100,000+ independent businesses have booked more than $9 billion worth of business on Honeybook’s platform.  


Exits, takeovers and mergers to 14/5/23. Israel’s Tipa has acquired Germany’s compostable packaging company Bio4Pack for $8 million. It promises to further reduce plastic pollution. US giant Qualcomm is acquiring Israeli road safety startup Autotalks for $350-400 million. Hewlett Packard Enterprises acquired Israel’s Axis Security for $500 million. US Zscaler acquired Israel’s Canonic Security for an estimated $20.3 million.  Philips is acquiring Israel’s DiA Imaging for nearly $100 million.


Investment in Israeli startups to 14/5/23: 8fig raised $140 million; UVeye raised $100 million; Weebit Nano raised $40 million; Avalor raised $30 million; LeapXpert raised $22 million; Chunk Foods raised $15 million; Infinidome raised $9 million; Trobix Bio raised $3 million; Admonis raised $1.6 million.





International Museum Day. Israel gave free entry to dozens of museums to mark International Museum Day 2023. It was a great opportunity for children who also had a holiday from school to celebrate the Jewish festival of Lag B’Omer.


Biblical Sebastia to be restored. Israel is to restore and develop the archeological park of Sebastia (Shomron) which was the capital of the Kingdom of Israel in 879 BCE (see Kings 1, ch 16 v 23-25). 


The best Israeli content to watch on Netflix. From war epics and comedy, action-filled adventures to family dramas, there are plenty of amazing Israeli TV shows and films. Here is Israel21c’s top 10.


Noa makes Eurovision final. Israel’s Noa Kirel succeeded in reaching the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool with a dynamic performance in the semi-final of Israel’s entry “Unicorn”. She is now the 6th favorite to win. “Unicorn” was written by Doron Medalie, who also wrote Netta Barzilai’s 2018 winner “Toy”.


Judoka Gold in Qatar. Israel’s Inbar Lanir on Friday won the women’s 78kg gold medal at the World Judo Championships in Doha, Qatar. She dedicated her win to the Israelis forced into bomb shelters this week due to the rocket fire from Gaza. See Hatikvah played in a country that has no diplomatic relations with Israel.





Reminder – webinar to help UK pre- & post- Olim. On Tue 16 May, 7pm UK time, UKAA is hosting two free online talks. The 1st concerns insuring your shipment to Israel. The 2nd is on where to buy your home. Register at the link below. or email with your full name and phone number.


111 new Ethiopian Olim. A group of 111 new immigrants from Ethiopia have arrived in Israel, joining more than 95,000 Ethiopian Olim including previous Operations 8,000 (Moses 1984), 14,000 (Solomon 1991), 7,000 (Doves Wings 2013), and so far 2,250 (Zur 2020-23).


Interview with an Arab Muslim. This video is an excellent response to Amnesty International.  There are many hundreds of similar examples.


From Israel with Love. You might still be able to book for the Technion UK’s London event to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary. But hurry – It’s on the 14th May.  All proceeds go towards the Integrated Cancer Research Centre at the Technion.  Or support Christians United For Israel and get 75th anniversary gifts.


Free entry to National Parks for Gaza border residents. People living within 40 km of the Gaza Strip will be granted free entry into Israel's national parks and gardens, including the night parking lots. The purpose is to allow them to have a respite over the weekend.


Whose Land. The video series’ definitive history of the rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.