Israel's Good News Newsletter to 23rd Oct 16

In the 23rd Oct 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Europe gives patent to innovative Israeli treatment delivery system.
·         An African American joins the Israeli army.
·         Israel gives water, energy and agricultural help to Egypt.
·         Israel is training Kenyans to build a smart city near Nairobi.
·         Israel is the second most innovative country.
·         Jerusalem’s botanical gardens gets global acclaim.
·         Thousands of Christians visit Jerusalem to celebrate Tabernacles.

·         Click here to see the 16th Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen and United With Israel with additional features on Technology and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.


Controlled release innovation gets European patent.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Intec has received a European patent for its Accordion oral treatment delivery system. Designed to improve efficacy and safety of any oral treatment, Accordion utilizes an efficient gastric retention and specific release mechanism. Intec itself has incorporated Accordion into its Parkinson’s, insomnia and gastric ulcer treatments.

Rosacea treatment is safe and effective.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Foamix has reported good results from the Phase II trials of its FMX103 treatment for papulopustular rosacea. The condition, suffered by millions,  is characterized by facial redness from inflamed lesions.

500 aneurysms successfully treated. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Rapid Medical has announced its 500th successful operation to treat life-threatening aneurysms (swellings of arterial wall) using its Comaneci Adjustable Remodeling Mesh.

An easier thyroid cancer test. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Rosetta Genomics thyroid cancer diagnostic test (“RosettaGX Reveal”) can now be performed from a sample on the ThinPrep slides popular with clinicians.  Previously, the sample had to come from a thyroid Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) biopsy.

Dispelling myths about celiac disease.  A team of Tel Aviv University researchers has analyzed the medical records of 10,000 Israeli teenagers with celiac disease. The findings show no evidence of clinicians’ belief that sufferers are likely to be underweight or below average height.

A decade of IDF bone marrow donations.  It is now ten years since the Ezer Mizion bone marrow registration booth became an integral part of the IDF recruiting station. Since then, 1100 IDF soldiers have donated their stem cells to cancer patients worldwide.  Many of those saved told their stories at an event honoring the donors.

13 miles in an Israeli bio-suit.  (TY Geoffrey) Paraplegic Claire Lomas completed the UK’s Great North run in an exoskeleton from Israel’s ReWalk.  Claire, who is 16-weeks pregnant, took five days to complete the 13.1-mile race. (The BBC, of course, doesn’t mention that ReWalk is Israeli.)

Combined PET/MRI scanner.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Aspect Imaging has launched a brand new integrated simultaneous PET-MRI that combines PET and MRI modalities. The system is based on Aspect’s compact MRI plus the SimPET system from Seoul National University’s Department of Nuclear Medicine.

GSK markets Israeli growth formula for children.  Multinational GlaxoSmithKline signed an agreement with Israel’s Nutritional Growth Solutions for GSK to produce and market Horlicks Growth+, developed by Schneider Children’s Medical Center for enhancing height and weight in underdeveloped children.


Israel is amazing.  (TY IsraPundit) Italian journalist Giulio Meotti writes that Israel today has what most of Western countries don’t have, in terms of economic growth, security, internal dynamism and optimism.  He recommends that we should all move to Israel.

An African-American in the IDF.  The inspiring story of 23-year-old Avi Rosenblum - born to African-American Christian parents in the United States. He was adopted by Jewish parents in California and is now a soldier in the IDF.

International lawmakers tour Hebron.  (TY Sharon) Twenty members of parliament from countries throughout Europe, Africa and Latin America attended the 5th annual Israel Allies Foundation in Jerusalem. During Succot they toured Eastern Jerusalem and the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron.

UK PM hails UK-Israel ties.  In her Jewish New Year greeting, British Prime Minister Teresa May praised the relationship between the UK and Israel, in particular - bilateral trade, scientific research, security cooperation and shared values. She also said that she was determined to stamp out boycotts of Israeli goods and events.

First visit by PM of Luxembourg.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Luxembourg Prime Minster Xavier Bettel in Jerusalem – the first visit to Israel of a Prime Minister from the tiny European state. They discussed increasing bilateral trade, which nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015.

Israel meets Africa at the UN.  (TY Bennett) Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu held a summit at the United Nations with the leaders of over 15 African countries. Afterwards, Israeli companies presented their technological developments to dozens of African ambassadors, senior UN officials and representatives from the private sector.

Israel’s economic help for Egypt.  (TY TIP) Recent improved relations between Israel and Egypt has initiated new projects in which Israel will assist Egypt’s fragile economy.  These include desalination, irrigation, solar energy and agriculture.,7340,L-4867417,00.html

Indian troops are “as good as the IDF”. Israel’s Defense Forces are the standard for professionalism and valor. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in praising his country’s Special Forces paratroopers after operations against terrorists, said proudly that the Indian troops were as good as the IDF.

60 years of helping other nations.  In 1957, Israel launched the Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV (the Hebrew acronym for Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation). Since then, 270,000 in 132 countries have received training in agriculture, public health, education, women’s empowerment and more. And (TY Karen) an article about MASHAV’s project in Uganda for Youth at Risk.,1314-Alternative-Learning-Imparting-Skills-through-Tailoring-The-MASHAV-Perspective.aspx

Heroes to Heroes.  U.S. female war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are receiving healing in Israel. Heroes to Heroes, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, organizes trips to Israel that provide emotional and spiritual healing for groups of 10 vets. They meet former IDF women who have been through rehabilitation.

The Pakistan Israel Alliance.  Pakistani 'Muslim Zionist' Noor Dahri launched the Pakistan Israel Alliance (PIA) at the Glasgow Friends of Israel Conference in Scotland. The PIA seeks to build bridges between Pakistanis and Israelis, and between Muslims and Jews. Also a recent interesting article from Noor.

Earthquake-proof desks for Taiwan.  Israel has donated 117 tables that provide shelter during earthquakes to schools in the Taiwanese city of Tainan that was struck by an earthquake earlier this year. The tables were designed by an Israeli student and his teacher at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.


Israeli bees are doing OK.  While global honeybee populations have declined, Israeli bees are holding steady.  Reasons include Israeli research into Colony Collapse Disorder, boosting bee immune systems, developing nectar-rich plants, Israeli Honey Board support for beekeepers, eradicating Varroa mites and planting 100,000 seedlings to give bees a varied diet.  

Sidekix expands to 60 cities.  (TY Hazel) When I reported previously (Jun 19) on Israeli urban on-foot iPhone navigation app Sidekix, it was available in 15 cities.  Today it can be used in 60 cities in the US, UK, Europe and Israel and is growing at a rate of about five cities per month. An Android version is also planned.

The world’s smartest building. Intel Israel is building what it claims will be the world’s smartest building. The 34,000-square-meter R&D center in Petach Tikva will contain thousands of smart sensors to control security, lighting, climate, recycling, parking, presentations, restaurants and coffee for 2500 employees.

Heat-resistant apricots.  Israeli scientists at Israel's Agricultural Research Organization (better known as the Volcani Institute) have identified a genetic mechanism in apricots that controls temperature sensitivity. Starting with apricots, they are now developing varieties of crops that thrive in temperatures where previously they couldn’t even grow.  

Helping build a smart city in Kenya.  (TY Atid-EDI, NoCamels and Karen) Tel Aviv municipality has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Kenya to collaborate on the $14.5 billion development of Konza - a new “techno city” in south-eastern Kenya. Kenyans will train at three Tel Aviv Global initiatives.,7340,L-4864885,00.html

Artificially Intelligent marketing. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli marketing analytics developer Datorama provides an end-to-end marketing analytics solution for business users. Its Marketing Integration Engine uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to connect online and offline data. Datorama has just raised $32 million to fund more R&D.

Add any A/C appliance onto the Internet.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jun 2014) about Israel’s Sensibo which allows you to control your air-conditioning from any location.  Now it has launched Sensibo Inside that allows OEMs and distributors to turn any A/C appliance into a smart IoT (Internet of Things) device.

Less air and water pollution. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has reported reductions of up to 52% in the emissions of air pollutants by 540 of the biggest enterprises in Israel between 2012-2015. The flow of pollutants into the Mediterranean also dramatically decreased between 2012-2015.


The 2nd most innovative country.  (TY Israellycool) Business Insider has rounded up the 15 highest ranked countries in the world for innovation, based on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report on the state of the world’s economies.  Based on this, tiny Israel is ranked second in the world!

Cofix opens first Russian coffee shop.  (TY Dan) Israel’s “everything at 5-shekels” coffee shops are about to take Russia by storm.  Moscow’s first Cofix charges just 50 rubles for any menu item. The average price for a cup of coffee in Russia is 200 rubles (245 rubles at Starbucks). Cofix plans to open 1000 Russian shops.

Samsung opens NEXT Tel Aviv office.  Samsung Global Innovation Center has opened a “NEXT” branch in Tel Aviv to invest in Israeli early-stage technologies and software developers. The South Korean conglomerate has set up similar offices in South Korea, San Francisco and New York in order to stay ahead of competition.

$250 million to invest in Israeli medical tech.  Chinese IT corporation Neusoft and Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Infinity Group are jointly to set up a $250 million fund to invest in Israeli medical technologies over the next three years. They will also provide access to Chinese clients and the Chinese equivalent of the US FDA.

Calling tourists from India and China.  Visitors to Israel from India and China rises by 10-13% each year. But Israel’s Tourism Ministry wants more than double the 40,000 Indians and 47,000 Chinese by 2018. Its $1.6 million campaign in India portrays Israel’s uniqueness, culture, lifestyle and haven for vegetarians.

Funds flow in for Israeli startups.  (TY Atid-EDI) In just a two-week period, the following Israeli startups raised a total of $217 million.  WSC Sports ($12m); Datorama ($32m – see above); Cato Networks ($30m); Claroty ($32m); CTERA ($25m); Applause ($35m); Optimove (20m); Totango ($8m); Tipalti ($14m); Zeekit ($9m); Unfortunately, there isn’t sufficient space here for more details of what these startups do.


A model for public gardens. (TY Geoffrey) The Social and Environmental Hub at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is unique. Israeli co-founders Lior Gottesman and Adi Bar-Yoseph travel to international conferences to speak about public gardens as agents of social empowerment.

World swuggling record. (TY Hazel) Over 10,000 participants took part in the annual open-water Sea of Galilee Swim. That wasn’t a record – but Shahar Cohen’s backstroke to cover the 3.5-km distance while juggling three balls, was sufficient to break the world “swuggling” (swimming while juggling) record.

Israeli drama goes to Brooklyn. (TY ILTV) The co-creator of Friends, Marta Kauffman, is turning hit Israeli TV drama series “Shtisel”, into “Emmis” and setting it in Brooklyn, USA. The US version will be shown on Amazon Prime. It will closely resemble its Israeli parent, but will do more to explain Orthodox ritual to non-Jewish viewers.

Brazilian dance comes to Israel. The Opera House, Tel Aviv is hosting the Israeli Premiere of Baila Brazil from Nov 2 – 5. The dance company, founded by three friends from the slums and favelas, is wowing audiences all over the world in a show pulsating with Brazilian soul.

39th Kinneret bike race.  The annual “Round the Kinneret” (Sovev Kinneret) bike race takes place on Nov 5. The complete course is 65km, but shorter courses can be done.


Happy Succot from the IDF.  This IDF commander knows what the Jewish festival of Succot means.

A giraffe ate my lulav.  Melanie Lidman, from the Times of Israel Lulav and Etrog African Delivery Service, tried to take a selfie, holding the four species at the Giraffe Center near Nairobi, Kenya. As she was grinning into the camera and handing out food pellets, a giraffe deftly plucked out the myrtle and willow branches.

9 beautiful Israeli sukkot.  They may be “temporary” dwellings, but these sukkot are something special. President Rivlin’s, Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, Inbal Jerusalem, Kibbutz Lotan, Kibbutz Tirat Zvi, Aish HaTorah Jerusalem, Tel Aviv municipality, Samaritan community and Holon municipality.

Ex-anti-Semitic leader to make Aliya.  I wrote previously (Sep 2013) that Csanad Szegedi, former, vice-president of Hungary’s anti-Semitic Jobbik party, discovered he was Jewish, abandoned Jobbik and visited Israel. He is now making Aliya.

Where the Romans breached Jerusalem’s wall.  (TY JNi.Media) Archeologists have been excavating the site for the new campus of Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. In the remains of the wall surrounding Jerusalem, they found weapons and scores of sling stones that the Romans fired from catapults 2000 years ago.

Thousands of pilgrims visit Israel.  The Feast of Tabernacles attracts huge numbers of Christian pilgrims who fulfil the Biblical command that all nations should go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival. This year the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem brought numerous foreign government officials to Israel, along with 5,000 Christian pilgrims.

A sukkah on a camel. Thanks Sharon for sending this report on the scenes in Jerusalem during Succot (Tabernacles) but especially for the picture of a sukkah (tabernacle / booth) on a camel.

Children fall from windows – land in sukka booths. In two separate incidents in the Israeli city of Elad, two children fell from windows in their houses and were saved by the sukkahs (Tabernacles – ritual booths) that their neighbors had built in the apartment below.