In the 18th Dec 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israel’s Technion opens its new global cancer research center.
· Muslim states of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan welcome Israel’s PM.
· An Israel drone can identify hazardous material from far away.
· Israeli robots will clean India’s new massive solar park.
· Huge numbers of tourists are arriving for the festive season.
· Ancient “Free Zion” coin discovered in Jerusalem.
· Click here to see the 11th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Health. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Technion opens new integrated cancer center. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel inaugurated the Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC) in Haifa. The center is a first-of-its kind hub for global cancer research, which will expedite the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments through a collaborative “bench-to-bedside” approach. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220756
Israeli wins $25,000 neuroscience award. (TY Karen) Israel’s Dr. Gilad Evrony was awarded the Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology by Science magazine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr Evrony sequences and analyzes the genomes of individual brain cells to detect mutations.
First US medical center to use Israeli hi-tech scanner. I reported previously (Dec 4) that the US FDA approved the P-ARTIS innovative upright CT proton scanner from Israel’s P-Cure. Now the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center will be the first in the US to use it for patients being treated for lung cancer.
Facebook screens live brain surgeries from Israeli hospital. More than half a million viewers have been watching live broadcasts on Facebook of Israeli brain surgeons at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba removing a benign tumor. The purpose was to promote the work at the new brain center.
Israel’s first health informatics program. The Jerusalem College of Technology and the University of Toronto have jointly developed Israel's first degree program in the field of health informatics. Health informatics involves managing and analyzing data to support the best treatment for patients.
1,000 new defibrillators. In what may be the largest purchase of defibrillators ever made in Israel, volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) organization United Hatzalah recently purchased 1,000 defibrillators - one for each of its volunteers. The aim is that no one in Israel will die from a treatable cardiac arrest.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Jerusalem to distribute Xmas trees. Jerusalem’s Municipality continues its tradition of distributing free Christmas trees to the capital’s Christian residents. On Dec. 20, 150 trees will be distributed at the Jaffa Gate Plaza upon presentation of a valid ID card. Christian areas will be decorated and assistance given for fairs etc.
Islam in Israel – facts and figures. (TY Bennett) Excellent summary of Israel’s 1.454 million Muslim population. E.g. It highlights just how free religion is, with a 500% growth in the number of mosques since 1988 (from 80 then to 400 now).
Why is Israel treating wounded Syrians? (TY BIG) This video was produced by Mohammad Magadli & Mohammad Al-Kassim. It features Moslems who cannot understand why Israel is treating Syrian wounded.
Twice as much water for Jordan. (TY Bennett) Israel’s national water carrier Mekorot is to build a new pipeline from Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) to Jordan. It will provide Jordan with 100 million cubic meters of water annually, roughly double the volume Israel currently supplies to the kingdom.
Hands-free Smartphone reaches 1200 users. Latest news on Israel’s Sesame Enable smartphone for the disabled (see previous) is that it now has reached more than 1,200 customers globally, including in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, in the three years since it was set up. See video of the phone’s paralyzed co-founder.
Helping Ugandan children. Project TEN, a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has set-up its third volunteer center in Africa. Partnering with a coalition of organizations, the center in Namulanda, Uganda (between Kampala and Entebbe) will focus on education, healthcare, agriculture, and the arts.
Israel welcomes new Turkish Ambassador. Mekin Mustafa Kemal Okem presented himself to Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and officially assumed the post of Turkey’s first ambassador to Israel in five years. He hailed a “new beginning” in bilateral ties and called the Jewish state Ankara’s “partner and friend.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/taking-up-post-turkish-envoy-hails-new-start-with-friend-israel/
What Israel can do for Rajasthan. (TY Karen) Israel’s MASHAV has three centers of excellence in the Indian State of Rajasthan. They are working on producing high-quality seedlings, intensifying cultivation, better irrigation and fertilization. Israel can also help increase milk production, crop shelf-life and pest control.
PM visit to Muslim Azerbaijan. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed bilateral agreements governing tariffs, agricultural cooperation, and to advance further cooperation in science, technology, health, trade, and other economic matters. http://www.thetower.org/4292-netanyahu-israels-ties-with-azerbaijan-symbolize-muslims-and-jews-working-together/
PM visit to Muslim Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that his country has requested Israel's help in training its special forces as part of cooperation in the fight against terror. He also expressed his country's desire to increase cooperation with Israel in the fields of agriculture and technology.
Israeli help for the world. Excellent article featuring the latest work by Israel’s MASHAV provide agricultural training to hundreds of thousands of people from 130 countries. The second link is to Israel21c’s stunning online exhibition, showcasing Israel’s humanitarian aid work around the world.
Generating healthcare solutions for poor in India. The Pears Challenge, run by the Pears Program for Global Innovation at Tel Aviv University, is focusing on creating affordable healthcare solutions for low and lower-middle income Indians. The winners of the 2017 challenge will be flown to India to meet investors and clients.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s Cyber Conference. The biennial International HLS & Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv featured the top Israeli security and cybersecurity companies. It attracted thousands of delegates from 80 countries, including a delegation from South India, comprising government departments and private companies.
New security technology from Elbit. Israel’s Elbit Systems presented its new Emergency Scenarios Virtual Reality (VR) Trainer for emergency response teams at the Homeland Security and Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv. It also unveiled GroundEye, which provides data and high resolution imagery for crises monitoring.
Energy professor wins top Israeli award. Professor (Emeritus) David Faiman of Ben Gurion University has been given the David Ben Gurion award for his life’s work researching and promoting renewable energy. The prize is awarded to those whose “actions fulfill David Ben-Gurion’s vision and follow his legacy.”
Nevada and Israel sign landmark deal on water innovation. Nevada’s WaterStart public-private joint venture and Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority signed a memorandum of understanding on water-use innovation, to pave the way for Israeli water companies to set up facilities in the arid state of Nevada.
Drone identifies hazardous materials. Israel’s Laser Detect System (LDS) has developed the SpectroDrone that can identify explosives and other hazardous materials from several meters away. The system uses a multi-wavelength laser, range-finder, high resolution camera and an algorithm and can be placed on a UAV, robot or vehicle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-yC6ihdmbg
Facebook conference in Israel. Facebook is holding its first Israeli developer conference, to help creators of Israeli technologies develop their products in line with the social network’s plan to create a connected world. Over 600 Israeli developers are attending, along with Facebook officials, engineers and product managers.
A coke bottle that takes a selfie. Coca-Cola Israel and Tel-Aviv based creative agency Gefen Team have designed a Coke bottle that takes a selfie photo of the drinker. The novel device easily attaches to a half-liter Coke bottle. It then senses the exact moment the bottle reaches a 70-degree tilt, the ideal angle for taking selfies, before snapping a photo. http://nocamels.com/2016/11/coke-coca-cola-selfie-bottle/
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Gett a ride share in New York City. Commuters in New York City can now use their Israeli Gett app to request a “Gett Together”. For $3 they will be picked up by a professional driver and dropped off along set routes during designated commuting hours. Other passengers using the same route may share the vehicle.
$4.5 million order for aircraft communications. Israel’s ORBIT Communication Systems received a $4.5 million order from one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers for development and supply of prototypes of an advanced system for the management of aircraft audio communication. Follow-on orders are expected.
New delicious variety of pomegranate. The "Wine" (Yayin) pomegranate is a new strain of the ruby-red fruit developed by Israeli farmers at Zamiri Nurseries of Moshav Yesud HaMa’ala. They are juicy, tart yet sweet.
Israeli robots to clean Indian mega solar park. Israel’s Eccopia is to install its water-free, robotic solar panel cleaning system at the 10,000-hectare 2,255 MW Bhadla Solar Park being constructed in Rajasthan, India. Dust storms reduce solar panel efficiency by 40%. The Eccopia system will also save over 1.5 billion liters of water.
Fixing your English. Israeli startup Mailfixer is a real-time, editing service created to help non-native English speakers communicate better. Send in your text and within five minutes, someone is working to turn the text into a quality document. www.mailfixer.com
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Jaffa clock tower seals restored. Tel Aviv municipality has restored the original marble seal of Sultan Abd al-Hamid II on the landmark 1903 Jaffa Clock Tower. The seal was one of four on the structure and the only one that has survived the passage of time. In 2001, three glass replicas of the seal were installed to take the place of the three marble plaques that did not survive. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/221660
Hundreds of thousands of tourists. Israel’s Tourism ministry expects around 120,000 tourists to Israel in December, of whom half are Christian. On Dec 24, the ministry will offer a free shuttle for pilgrims travelling between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Tourists and pilgrims at Rachel’s Crossing will be greeted with a small gift in the spirit of the holiday. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4892732,00.html
Jerusalem is one of the best places to travel to. (TY Janglo) Travel & Leisure magazine has included Jerusalem in its list of top places to visit in 2017. It writes “Jerusalem has now emerged as a culinary force to rival Tel Aviv”. It recommends the Mahane Yehuda Market and the new boutique Brown Jerusalem Hotel.
Ashley Blaker comes to Israel. (TY Janglo) Ashley Blaker, comedy writer, producer and the UK’s only Orthodox Jewish comedian, makes his first Israel comedy tour. Star of the sell-out UNGEFILTERED tour and producer of UK’s hit TV program “Little Britain”, he will perform from Jan 1 - 5 in Netanya, Yad Binyamin, Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem and Raanana. http://www.ashleyblaker.com/israel/
THE JEWISH STATE
Jerusalem Monopoly game. (TY Bennett) A new version of the favorite board game Monopoly is being launched. Jerusalem Monopoly will be in the shops in time for the 50th anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem. It may even be available in time for Hanukkah.
Ancient “Free Zion” coin unveiled. Israel’s Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev unveiled a coin discovered during a recent excavation of a road in Jerusalem. The coin was one of a series minted during the Jewish revolt against the Romans in 67 CE. Regev noted that Israel re-unified Jerusalem in 1967 and its 50th Jubilee is next year. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Free-Zion-coin-minted-1967-years-ago-unveiled-475062
Cousins re-unite at Yad Vashem. Sisters Henia and Rywka Borenstein made Aliya in 1948, believing that their entire family had been wiped out in the Holocaust. But their cousins Fanya and Gennadi had made Aliya in 1990 and have just been re-united, thanks to the Borensteins’ testimony in the Yad Vashem database.
In the 11th Dec 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Enzyme discovery by Israeli scientists leads to death of cancer cells.
· Sturdy plastic Israeli wheelchairs are being delivered to needy children.
· Israelis save a Japanese trekker buried by landslide in Nepal.
· Israeli students can biodegrade plastic waste and generate energy.
· November was a record month for tourists to Israel.
· Charitable couple rewarded with first baby after a 30-year wait.
· Click here to see the 4th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Inclusiveness and Culture. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Key enzyme discovery in fight against cancer. Israel Technion researchers have found that the ubiquitin enzyme RNF4 binds to oncogenic proteins to give cancer cells longer lives. Increased levels of RNF4 have been found in colon and breast cancer patients. Removing or inhibiting RNF4 leads to the death of cancer cells.
Success in Sickle-Cell Disease trial. Israeli biotech Gamida Cell published positive results in its Phase I/II trial of NiCord, for the treatment of Sickle-Cell Disease (SCD). All the patients that completed the trial were free of SCD symptoms.
Full remission in Leukemia treatment trial. Israel’s BioSight has reported that in treating patients with its Astarabine leukemia treatment, three patients with late-stage leukemia achieved full remission to date. Good results were also reported for older patients over 80.
Sleep disorder treatment for autistic kids. Israeli biotech Neurim (featured Nov 20) has signed marketing agreements for its new Rx PedPRM treatment for sleep disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders and neurogenetic diseases. Kuhnil will market Rx PedPRM in Korea; Aspen in Australia and New Zealand.
Portable blood test for malaria. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Sight Diagnostics (SightDx) (see here) in collaboration with the US Army Medical Research Directorate Kenya (USAMRD-K) is developing a portable malaria and complete blood count (CBC) reader. It will be calibrated and tested in clinical trials at the USAMRD-K Field Station in Kisumu, Kenya. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sight-diagnostics-ltd-and-the-united-states-army-announce-a-joint-collaboration-598337901.html
14 more hearts mended in Tanzania. Israeli surgeons from Save a Child’s Heart were back (again) in Tanzania, fixing another fourteen young, faulty hearts. The Israelis worked with a German team from Berlin’s Deutsches Herzzentrum during the five-day medical mission.
Device to keep track of insulin doses. Israel’s Insulog is a device to help diabetes patients keep track of their insulin doses and prevent accidental overdoses. It snaps onto most types of disposable insulin pen, monitors and logs the dose and sends data to a smartphone app. It displays details of the last dose to the user.
Insulog is funding on Indiegogo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vscMWDcjlA
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
10% of public servants are new immigrants. 10% of public servants in Israel and 12% of police officers are immigrants who arrived in Israel less than ten years ago. 7,496 out of some 75,000 workers in Israel’s public health system have made Aliyah in the last decade (10%), and 4,191 in the last five years.
Wheelchairs of Hope are rolling out. I reported on the child-friendly Wheelchairs of Hope previously (Jun 2014). The first shipment of 250 plastic wheelchairs for children in institutions in Israel and the Palestinian Authority is to be sent this month, with a batch for residents of the refugee camps in Syria soon to follow.
Bringing light to Tanzanian village. I have reported previously (here) on Israel’s humanitarian organization Engineers without Borders (EwB). Now the Tel Aviv University chapter of EwB has installed a solar electricity generator and storage batteries for the Nkaiti village medical center in Minjingu, Tanzania.
Israel participates in NATO field exercise. (TY Bennett) Israel has participated in its first NATO field exercise for six years during the wide-scale drill held in Montenegro to evaluate the readiness and capabilities of NATO to face natural disasters. The Israelis included IDF, Fire and rescue and Zaka rescue teams.
Closer ties with India. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed their countries’ increasing security cooperation and called to deepen their economic relationship. President Rivlin spent a week visiting India, to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and New Delhi.
Israel, Greece, Cyprus agree on pipeline and rescue force. Ministers of Israel, Greece and Cyprus met in Jerusalem and agreed to push for a pipeline to Europe, which wants to reduce dependence on Russian gas. They also agreed to establish a new regional rescue and emergency services force.
Israelis and Chabad save Japanese tourist in Nepal. A rockslide on the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal buried Japanese solo trekker Akiho Sugiyama. Luckily a group of ex-army Israeli backpackers, including a medic, heard her cries, treated her and used their Chabad-supplied satellite phone to organize her rescue via Chabad in Katmandu. http://www.israel21c.org/israeli-backpackers-save-life-of-japanese-tourist-in-nepal/
Japan honors two Israelis. (TY Atid-EDI) The Japanese government has awarded the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun decoration to two Israelis. Professor Meron Medzini of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and architect Arie Kutz from Tel Aviv University. Both awards were for fostering good relations with Japan.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Cutting edge electric scooter. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Inokim, based in Moshav Avichail, has launched a new electric scooter - the Quick 3, which can be folded in 3 seconds and taken on a bus or a train. The scooter can travel 30 km on a full charge, at a speed of 25 km per hour. It can be activated and secured by smartphone app.
A lie-detector for machines. The cyber solutions from Israel’s Aperio alert and take action when hackers try to damage critical infrastructures, such as electricity grids or water supply networks. They detect anomalies, such as a wrong noise or temperature, in an apparently otherwise perfectly working device.
The world’s first vehicle to vehicle network. Israel’s Nexar has come a long way since I’ve been reporting it. (See here.) In addition to its “bad driver” reporting function, it now says it has created the world’s first vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network that aims to detect dangers on the road and prevent collisions.
Medal-winning technology to biodegrade plastic waste. A research team from Ben Gurion University of the Negev has won a gold medal at the worldwide synthetic biology competition iGEM, held at MIT. The students’ genetic engineering technology (PlastiCure_BGU) breaks down plastic waste and releases energy.
Technion to tackle pollution in China. A recent workshop at Israel’s Technion presented the latest research cooperation between the Technion and Shantou University to help solve China’s severe ecological challenges. It will increase dramatically when the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology (TGIT) is completed.
30 million Euros for nanotech. Israel and Germany have set up a three-year, 30 million Euro plan to promote joint nanotechnology initiatives. The program will support joint projects and aims to boost cooperation between companies and research centers in the nanotechnology sector in Israel and Germany.
Cyclist smart glasses ready for testing. I reported previously (Dec 2015) on the Raptor smart glasses for cyclists, developed by Elbit unit Everysight. A test program is being launched for the Augmented Reality (AR) aimed to boost training and enhance performance, fitness and health.
UK bank uses BioCatch to catch criminals. Since January, NatWest, one of the largest banks in the UK, has deployed technology from Israeli cybersecurity firm BioCatch within its private banking arm Coutts and for some of its business customers, successfully preventing online fraud and helping to protect its 14 million customers. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cybersecurity-tech-helps-natwest-catch-online-crooks/
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
New record for tourism. November set a record for the month with the number of tourists visiting Israel reaching 287,900 - 38% more than in November 2015. 2,651,400 tourists visited Israel in January-November 2016, 2% more than in the corresponding period last year. Marketing has targeted Indian and Chinese tourists.
Asian fashion stars advertise Israel. (TY Bennett) Bollywood star and Indian fashion icon Sonam Kapoor appeared on the cover of the June-July issue of Harper’s Bazaar Bride, India with the Old City of Jerusalem in the background. It was one of many initiatives of Israel’s Tourism Ministry to woo Asian visitors to Israel.
The world’s largest equity crowdfunding event. OurCrowd, the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platform, will host the 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem on 16 Feb. 5,000 delegates from 60 countries are expected, promising to make it the world’s largest equity crowdfunding event and the biggest investor event in the Startup Nation. http://summit.ourcrowd.com/
Another huge Canadian trade delegation. (TY Atid-EDI) The Mayors of Montreal and Toronto brought an economic delegation of 120 entrepreneurs, business people and representatives of institutional and community organizations, to visit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beer Sheva, as well as Ramallah and Bethlehem. (see May 22)
New trade route between Haifa and Jordan. (TY Atid-EDI) Cargo trains have begun operating on Israel Railways’ new Jezreel Valley railway line between Haifa and a terminal temporarily sited at Beit Shean. From the terminal, cargo will be taken to the nearby Jordanian border.
Airline accelerator chooses its first startups. Israel’s Cambiu (currency exchange) and Voyjer (travel planning) have been selected for the Navigator accelerator program set-up by Cockpit Innovation, the venture arm of EL AL and JetBlue Technology Ventures. Two US startups and one UK startup have also been selected.
Become an English teacher in Israel. The Ministry of Aliyah is offering a free course that grants an English-teaching certificate to new immigrants and returning residents. Those from an English-speaking country are eligible with any degree. Others need a degree in English.
A social network engine to increase business. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup Feelter has developed an algorithm capable of analyzing text from numerous social network conversations in real time. It then brings to a company’s site all the relevant product information to help customers decide whether to make a purchase.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Latest Israeli stamps. (TY Jacob Richman) Israel has issued some beautiful, culturally-enhancing postage stamps depicting mosaics, King Solomon’s ships, tourism in Jerusalem and ex-President Yitzhak Navon.
December events in Israel. December activities in Israel include Hamshushalayim in Jerusalem (first 4 weekends); Jerusalem Jazz festival (14-16); US singer Ryley Walker (15th); plus Hanukkah, Xmas and Sylvester. https://www.touristisrael.com/things-to-do-in-israel-in-december/3088/
Justin Bieber concert date. The Justin Bieber concert is now officially scheduled for May 3 at Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park. Bieber has sold some 100 million records, making him one of the world’s biggest selling artists. The excitement can be too much for some, as this video of his 14/4/11 Tel Aviv entrance demonstrates.
3 Ju-Jitsu medals. Three Israelis won medals at the Ju-Jitsu World Championships in Poland. Ron Cohen won silver in the men’s under-62 kg event; Nadav Mandil won bronze in the same event; Evyatar Paperni won bronze in the under-69kg category.
Israel hosts MMA world title fight. (TY Nevet) Tel Aviv was the venue for a Bellator Mixed Martial Arts World Welterweight clash - the first time that an MMA world title has been fought in the Middle East. Douglas Lima from Brazil beat Russia’s Andrey Koreshkov. The fight was broadcast to 140 countries. Great PR video!
THE JEWISH STATE
Over a million participate in global Shabbat. The global Shabbat Project connected over 1 million Jews in 1160 cities spread over 94 countries. In Israel alone, 163 cities and towns took part in special events. These included pre-Shabbat challah baking activities, as well as post-Shabbat Havdalah and musical ceremonies.
Donut burgers for Hanukkah. (TY Janglo) All Burger King chains in Israel will be serving donut burgers specially for the holiday of Hanukkah. The burger will be called "SufganiKing," a play on the Hebrew word for donut, "sufganiyah."
First child after 30-year wait. (TY Janglo) For the past 27 years, Rabbi Yitzhak and Sima Peretz prepared food for patients and their families who had to stay in Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital over the Sabbath. The whole hospital then celebrated when Sima Peretz gave birth to a daughter after 30 years of childlessness.
IDF orphans celebrate bat/bar mitzvot. There are 3000 IDF orphans – children of a parent killed whilst serving in the IDF or Israeli police. The non-profit organization IDF Widows and Orphans is present at important junctions in their lives. They make sure they have a great celebration of their bat/bar mitzva.
In the 4th Dec 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli micro robots can help avoid brain surgery.
· Israeli startups won the top 3 prizes at an international medical trade fair.
· Israeli NGOs helped wheelchair users hike across the Negev desert.
· Israel’s new Ambassador has arrived in Turkey.
· Israeli recycled paper is the eco-friendliest in the world.
· An Israeli automobile 3D vision system can see even in thick fog.
· Top businesswomen led Israel Day at the NY Stock Exchange.
· Nov & Dec highlights include two Ethiopian-Jewish festivals.
· Click here to see the 27th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology and Culture. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Micro robots to clean pipes in the brain. Israel’s Microbot develops miniature robots for cleaning drainage pipes in the body, for example in the urethra or the brain thereby removing the necessity for surgery to replace them. Microbot has just completed its merger into Nasdaq-listed US company Stem Cell.
US approval for upright proton therapy. Israel’s P-Cure has received US FDA approval for its image-guided proton therapy solution that treats patients in a comfortable upright position. Patients to benefit from this clinical breakthrough will initially be those treated for cancers of the lung, breast, chest, the head and neck, and lower torso. http://www.israel21c.org/making-proton-therapy-available-to-more-cancer-patients/
Huntington’s treatment gets US approval. (TY Atid-EDI) The SD-809 (deutetrabenazine) treatment by Israel’s Teva for Huntington disease has been approved by the US FDA.
Israeli tech for disabled displayed in London. Israeli charity for the disabled, Beit Issie Shapiro, organized an event at Google’s London campus in which Israeli firms explained their technology for empowering the disabled. This included the Sesame phone, robots for autistic kids and smartphone navigation of wheelchairs.
MDA’s underground blood center breaks ground. (TY Sarah) I reported previously (3 Apr) on the huge $25 million donation to help fund Magen David’s new underground blood services center in Ramla. The groundbreaking event for the state-of-the-art rocket-proof site took place on Nov 17.
Yad Sarah and United Hatzalah build closer ties to save lives. Shift managers from Israel’s emergency response organization United Hatzalah visited medical charity Yad Sarah’s Jerusalem headquarters to gain a better understanding of their operation. http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/485739/yad-sarah-and-united-hatzalah-increase-cooperation-to-save-lives.html
Top three medical prizes. Israeli startups took the top honors in the App Competition, during Medica, the world’s leading annual medical trade fair. UpRight won €2,000 for its app and device to optimize posture, Biop Medical came 2nd with its cervical cancer testing device. TytoCare came 3rd with its telemedicine solution.
Anglo-Israel cardiovascular conference. Tiberias is hosting the 6th Anglo Israel Cardiovascular Symposium - a two-day international conference of notable cardiologists and heart surgeons from Israel and the UK. One of the symposium founders - Dr. Romeo Vecht – was previously the cardiologist for the King of Jordan.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Disabled cross the Negev. 75 Canadians were among the participants of the 9th annual cross-Negev hike for the disabled, organized by OneFamily and Paratrek. Hikers included those who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and brain injuries, blind hikers and (for the first time) wheelchair users.
Ethiopian-Israelis are closing educational gaps. There are currently 141,200 citizens of Ethiopian origin in Israel. Of those graduating from high school, 89% took the matriculation tests compared with the national average of 94%. The dropout rate of 1.21% was slightly lower than the 1.4% among all Jewish students.
Scholarships to mark Sigd. Israel’s Science, Technology and Space Ministry has announced that is marking the Ethiopian-Jewish holiday of Sigd by allocating scholarships totaling some NIS 1.8 million to Ethiopian students. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Education-system-marks-both-Sigd-holiday-and-day-of-expulsion-from-Arab-countries-and-Iran-474120
Parachuting beyond the glass ceiling. Two decades after Ronit Budette became Israel’s first female parachuting instructor, 20 women have enrolled in the IDF Paratroop Brigade’s instructors course. Ronit was inspired by seeing the historic images of paratroopers reconquering the Western Wall from Jordan in 1967.
Israeli firms are socially responsible. Israel has just held its first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Experience Conference. The Maala CSR Index - set up to promote social and environmental innovation - comprises 98 Israeli companies that employ 310,000 with $94 billion sales – about one-third of Israel’s GDP.
Israel’s Heron completes first mission for Germany in Mali. Germany is currently in charge of the UN peacekeeping intelligence unit in Mali and successfully completed its first mission using an Israeli-made Heron 1 drone. Germany has leased 3 Israeli Aerospace Industries Heron drones for $100 million.
Israel’s new Ambassador to Turkey. After five years, Israel and Turkey have resumed full diplomatic ties. Eitan Na’eh arrived in Ankara to take up the position of Israel’s new ambassador. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Israels-new-ambassador-to-Turkey-arrives-in-Ankara-474167
Guatemala’s president makes historic visit. During Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’ state visit to Israel he and Israeli Prime Minister signed agreements in agriculture, science, technology and security. He was honored at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University for Guatemala’s mobilizing of support for the 1947 UN partition plan that led to the establishment of Israel. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/221087
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Russian PM visits Israeli agro-tech center. Dmitry Medvedev and his delegation were more interested in Israeli agriculture technology than politics on the Russian Prime Minister’s November trip to Israel. They visited the Volcani Center in Beit Dagan, one of the world’s most advanced facilities for agriculture research.
Israel to boost solar energy production. (TY SDM) Israel’s Public Utility Authority is to issue more than 1,000 megawatts of fresh solar energy development quotas. It is to ensure that Israel achieves its goals of making 10% of the country’s electricity supply renewable by 2020.
$4 million for joint US-Israel renewable energy projects. The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation announced $4 million grants for five joint Israeli-US renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Israeli beneficiaries are BrightSource, CelDezyner, Solview, Waves Audio and the Technion. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-bird-to-invest-4m-in-renewable-energy-projects-1001160818
Water summit in Las Vegas. The BusinessH2O Summit in Las Vegas on Dec 12 features Governors, CEOs, academics and a veritable “who’s who” of Israeli water experts. They will discuss best practices in corporate water stewardship and public policies to address the growing demand for water.
The world’s most eco-friendly paper. One of the Israeli companies highlighted at the CSR Experience Conference (see above) is the Hadera Paper company, producer of the world’s most recycled & environment-friendly paper. Repaper is made entirely of wastepaper and free of cellulous or any polluting chemicals.
AT&T’s Israeli TV app. US telecomms giant AT&T has launched DirectTV - a new TV project, in which content from 120 channels is streamed to the web. The app (for Apple and Android in the US) was developed by AT&T’s Israel R&D center, which was formed when AT&T took over Israeli startup Interwise in 2007.
Your computer can really help you. Israeli startup Ai Type offers computer users personal assistance based on keywords in the messages they type. For example, type “I have to collect my kids early” and Ai Type can offer to connect you to a cab company.
Israeli app for team-building. Israeli startup Strayboots provides mobile experiences for corporate team building, group adventures and city exploration. It has set up scavenger hunts and other activities in over 50 cities worldwide and is used by more than 1000 companies, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Nike.
Israeli tech is worth its weight in diamonds. Assessing a diamond’s color and clarity used to be a laborious and subjective manual process. Now Israel’s Sarine Technologies has developed machine learning technologies to automatically and objectively grade the clarity and color of stones, far more accurately than the human eye. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-tech-lets-diamonds-true-color-and-clarity-shine-through/
Autonomous cars need a deep view. Israeli startup Oryx Vision has raised $17 million to build a depth sensing solution for autonomous vehicles. Its “coherent optical radar” is based on a long-wave infrared laser and nano-antennas that receive light waves like radio waves. Unlike alternatives, Oryx’s system can see in fog.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record private equity investment. 18 deals, worth $1.7 billion, in the third quarter of 2016 raised private equity investment in Israeli companies in the nine months of 2016 to $3.26 billion. This is more than the $3.22 billion for the whole of 2015. The 2016 figure includes BC Partners’ $1.4 billion July buy-out of Keter plastics.
Investing in Israel’s IoT. A group called Israel IoT Innovations – i3 Equity Partners (“i3”) has been set up to invest $20 million in Israeli startups developing IoT (Internet of Things) solutions. The consortium includes Microsoft, China’s HNA, India’s Tata, GE, Qualcomm, Tel Aviv University and Pitango.
Israel Day at the NYSE. The America-Israel Friendship League honored four Israeli businesswomen during the 10th annual Israel Day at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). They were Tzameret Fuerst of Circ MedTech, Karen Haruvi of Teva, fashion designer Noa Raviv and Liat Mordechay Hertanu of 24me.
Connex delegation to Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) Conexx, a private, not-for-profit organization, helps US firms identify innovations and R&D opportunities in Israel, as well as help Israelis establish a successful presence in South Eastern USA. A Connex delegation came to Jerusalem to meet some of its start-up community.
Billion-dollar deal is on again. I reported previously (Sep 2015) that Israel’s Valtech Cardio was to be bought by US-based HeartWare International for over $900 million. Although the deal fell through (in Jan 2016), now Valtech is to be acquired by US medical giant Edwards LifeSciences for a staged payment of $990 million.
Frutarom moves into Mexico. Israeli flavors company, Frutarom, has purchased 75% of Piasa Group, Mexico’s leading local company for savory solutions, for approximately $20.5 million. It is Frutarom’s eighth acquisition of 2016. http://ir.frutarom.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=185607&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2221247
New flights from Germany. Low-cost airline, Germania will launch direct flights from Nuremberg to Tel Aviv in Nov 2017, supplementing its routes from Hamburg and Dusseldorf. The Nuremberg service will operate twice a week, every Monday and Thursday.
Warren Buffett raises $60 million in Israeli bonds. US entrepreneur Warren Buffett hosted an evening with 43 US investors, each buying at least $1 million in Israeli bonds. Buffett bought $5 million himself, saying, “If you are looking for brains, energy and dynamism in the Middle East, Israel is the only place you need to go.”
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israeli-Ethiopian Arts Festival warms up Jerusalem. The annual Hullegeb Israeli-Ethiopian Arts Festival 15-21 Dec will bring a bit of sunshine to a chilly Jerusalem. Hullegeb means “open to everyone/everything” and the festival is dedicated to creations by artists of Ethiopian origin in the fields of dance, music and theater.
Guns ‘N Roses are coming back. I reported previously (Jul 2012) when legends of Rock Guns ‘N Roses with Axl Rose were last in Israel in 2012. They are returning in the summer (probably July 15) and this time are bringing guitarist Slash with them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUEHQHpofB8
Stranglers in Tel Aviv. English punk-rock band “The Stranglers” performed some of their classic hits at Tel Aviv’s Charles Bronfman Auditorium on Nov 17, including “Golden Brown” and “No More Heroes”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkd_acrbDDY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBxYmfsdJM8
Another Israeli TV series goes global. The hit Israeli TV series “Fauda” will soon be available for streaming on Netflix, which purchased the rights to it from Israel’s YES satellite TV company. “Fauda” (Arabic for “chaos”) is about a team of Israeli undercover counter-terrorism operatives.
Crossroads – Janglo Night Run. Crossroads Jerusalem has organized a night run on Dec 8 to help fund its critically-needed programs and social services for at-risk, English-speaking youth in Israel. Crossroads supports the homeless, those struggling with drug addiction and social, emotional, and educational difficulties and victims of violence/domestic abuse. http://run4crossroads.com/night-run-2/
THE JEWISH STATE
Sigd. Thousands of Israelis (Ethiopians and others) celebrated the Day of Sigd in Jerusalem. The traditional Ethiopian-Jewish festival marks the 50th day after Yom Kippur and brings together a variety of Jewish prayer and customs. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/celebration-challenges-as-ethiopian-community-celebrates-sigd-festival/2016/12/02/
Another Israeli bus driver story. More anecdotal evidence of Jewish values exhibited by some Israeli transportation employees. http://israelseen.com/2016/11/23/paula-r-stern-the-bus-driver/
Waze for Graves. (TY Janglo) Israel’s Ministry of Religious Services is working on a project to make it easier to locate graves a person might be looking for. They are calling it the Waze of cemeteries.
Haredi schools are going green. (TY Janglo) Jerusalem Municipality and non-profit Leshomra, have launched the “Our Garden” education program in 20 Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) schools. Based on Torah values, it teaches core environmental concepts, such as not littering, recycling, composting, and water conservation, as the children plant, tend and harvest vegetables in their own schoolyard mini-farm. http://leshomra.org/
A Muslim woman at the Kotel. (TY Janglo) Let’s hope that this kind of video helps bring a new perspective to the conflicts at this holy site. https://www.facebook.com/StepUpforIsrael/videos/1277994638910039/
Winter finally arrives. After many prayers, Israel has had a few consecutive rainy days. There was even snow on Mount Hermon. It may be connected to this editor’s visit to the Bob Dylan exhibition at Tel Aviv’s Diaspora Museum where he heard “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, “Blowing in the Wind” and “A Hard Rain’s Going to Fall”. http://www.timesofisrael.com/first-snow-on-mount-hermon-as-winter-weather-finally-arrives/
Judea rediscovered. University of Haifa researchers have discovered a massive rectangular stone inscribed with the name Gargilius Antiques, and states that he was Rome’s Prefect of Judea. He ruled during the period leading up to the outbreak of the Bar Kochva revolt in 131 CE. Later, the Romans renamed Judea “Palaestina”.
In the 27th Nov 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli researchers have found a protein that stops cancer from spreading.
· An Ethiopian Jew is the first to become an IDF colonel.
· Normally anti-Israel UK Guardian and CNN have praised Israeli startups.
· An Israeli solar-powered system reduces desalination costs by 90%.
· Daimler (Mercedes Benz) is opening an Israeli R&D center.
· Beersheba beat Inter Milan twice in the Europa soccer league.
· An Israeli bus driver made an unscheduled route change to save a life.
· Click here to see the 20th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology and Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Protein H1.0 stops cancer cells re-activating. An international study led by scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Crick Institute in London has revealed that cancer stem cells survive even after aggressive treatments. However, they need low (or zero) levels of a DNA-packaging protein H1.0 to re-activate.
Tiny barcodes record effectiveness of cancer treatments. Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed nano-packages of different anti-cancer treatments that are tagged with synthetic DNA sequences. Released into the bloodstream and collected 48 hours later, they identify which treatments are most effective.
Automatic analysis of mammograms. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (here) on Israel’s Zebra Medical and its computer algorithms that can detect osteoporosis, cardiac disease, liver disease etc from X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans. Now it has developed a new algorithm that detects breast cancer from mammograms.
AIDS treatment eliminates 97% of the virus. (TY Nevet) Scientists at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot have developed a treatment called “Gammora” that kills between 95-97% of the AIDS virus in laboratory tests. The Kaplan AIDS clinic is the largest in Israel, caring for 1,400 patients.
A remedy for damaged knee cartilage. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Regentis Biomaterials is shortly to conduct a Phase III clinical study of GelrinC, a new treatment for focal cartilage defects in the knee. GelrinC is poured into the lesion in a minimally invasive procedure and converted into a solid implant using ultra-violet light.
A blood test for Parkinson’s. Israeli startup BioShai is developing the world’s first simple blood test for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The PDx test measures changes in molecules associated with PD and can lead to more precise treatments and a higher quality of life for the patient. http://www.israel21c.org/worlds-first-blood-test-to-aid-diagnosis-of-parkinsons/
Ultrasonic comb to kill headlice. Israeli startup Parasonic (from Nazareth incubator NGT3) has developed a comb device that destroys lice and lice eggs with ultrasound waves, without any chemicals. The device is said to produce results after a single five-minute combing and is scheduled to go into production within one year.
19 graduate Hadassah’s international medical program. (TY Karen) 19 students joined the 845 graduates of 41 courses of the International Master of Public Health program run by the Hadassah-Hebrew University Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine. They include students from 96 different countries.
$14 million for MDA. American Friends of Magen David Adom raised a record $14 million at a fundraiser in Los Angeles. Maurice Kanbar, creator of SKYY Vodka, donated $5 million. The money will help build a new-state-of-the-art, underground facility that will store and process blood donations to the MDA.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Ethiopian-Israeli beauty queen publicizes Israel’s diversity. 25-year-old Yityish ‘Titi’ Aynaw was crowned Miss Israel in 2013. On her fifth speaking tour of the USA, the Ethiopian-born Israeli emphasized that the world must learn how “unique and diverse” the Jewish state is. She is currently studying international relations at the IDC Herzliya. https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/04/ethiopian-israeli-beauty-queen-world-must-learn-how-unique-and-diverse-jewish-state-is/
Ethiopian-Israeli to become IDF Colonel. Avraham Yitzhak will be the first colonel of Ethiopian descent in IDF history when he becomes chief medical officer of the IDF Southern Command. Yitzhak came to Israel in 1991, graduated in medicine at Ben Gurion University and was the first Ethiopian-Israeli combat doctor.
Three women promoted to Colonel. Three IDF lieutenant-colonels have been promoted to full colonels including Liron Donal - the first woman to command a Home Front district (Dan) which includes Tel Aviv. Carmel Wahabi is the first Druze Israeli to lead an IDF court as head of the army’s Court of the General Staff. Olga Polyakov becomes chief medical officer for Home Front Command.
Guide dogs can heal too. Noach Braun ran Nov 6 New York City Marathon to raise awareness about the lifesaving role guide dogs play in healing. Braun co-founded the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind in 1991 and ran the marathon tethered to a blind runner.
US Christian Zionists give $2 million to Israeli charities. John Hagee Ministries distributed more than $2 million to Israeli and Jewish charities at the 35th annual “Night to Honor Israel”. Keynote speaker, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said, “If Israel is not secure, the United States is not secure”.
Hollywood raises $38 million for the IDF. American Friends of the IDF (FIDF) held a star-studded gala for 1200 guests in Los Angeles to honor IDF soldiers. The event raised a record $38 million, to provide benefits and educational opportunities for IDF soldiers. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/219800
New Rio mayor celebrates by visiting Israel. Marcelo Crivella, winner of the election for mayor of Rio de Janeiro, expresses his love for Israel at every opportunity. He celebrated victory by flying to Israel with a delegation of family and friends, where he met mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat and discussed cooperation.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Let’s talk to each other again. Want a phone-free family meal, or just a break from constantly checking messages and emails? Purchase an Israeli Pause. The sleek metallic box blocks Wi-Fi signals, calls, texts and emails for up to six phones. Enjoy quality family time, or an office meeting without interruptions.
Diapers from jellyfish. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (May 2014) on Israel’s Cine’al and its technology to turn jellyfish from dangerous pest into super-absorbent material. Its eco-friendly solution has now attracted the interest of normally anti-Israel UK news media The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/01/jellyfish-tampons-diapers-hydromash-environment-israel
CNN discovers Israeli that reinvented the wheel. CNN’s Oren Liebermann has written about three Israeli Innovations that will revolutionize the planet. They are Softwheel’s wheel with built-in suspension, Mobileye’s autonomous vehicle technology and Aquarius’s replacement for the combustion engine. (video is of Softwheel).
Technion students win international biology gold medal. (TY Nevet) A student team from Israel’s Technion Institute won a gold medal at the iGEM international synthetic biology competition, hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their "Flash Lab" chip contains E. coli bacteria that detects pollutants, metals etc.
Safer, cleaner fuels. Tel Aviv’s 2016 Israel Fuel Choices Initiative Summit featured silent electrical, cars, buses, bicycles and even airplanes. It was organized by Israel’s Fuel Choices Administration whose NIS 1.5 billion ($400 million) government budget supports over 200 research groups and 500 fuel-related startups.
Car mechanic app expands to US and UK. (TY Bennett) I featured Israeli App Engie previously (see here) with its ability to diagnose automobile faults and find the best repair shops. Engie has just received $3.5 million of funds and the U.S. and UK versions of the product have been added to Google Play.
Now Israelis have reinvented the spoon. (TY Leonie) Two graduates from Israel’s Technion developed a spoon that their child with motor co-ordination problems could use without spilling its contents. Now anyone can buy it. Useful also for the elderly or anyone suffering from tremor. www.elispoon.com www.elim.co.il
Award-winning aid to analyzing scan results. The imaging analysis technology and algorithm from Israeli startup Aidoc streamlines the workload of radiologists struggling to review the increasing number of medical scans performed today. Aidoc has just won the 2016 Geektime Techfest startup competition.
System to avoid mid-air collisions. Israel Aerospace's new Collision Warning System (CWS) alerts pilots of military aircraft of an imminent potential collision with commercial aircraft. The system gives a voice warning and two separate visual display warnings.
Solar powered desalination. Israeli startup Tethys has developed a direct solar-powered desalination system that produces drinking water using energy from direct sunlight.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unemployment hits another record low. Israel's unemployment rate for October dropped to an all-time low of 4.5%. The number of Israelis usually working full time (35 hours per week or more) rose 9% from the previous month. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israels-unemployment-rate-hits-all-time-low-1001162120
Israeli exec becomes new Google VP. Meir Brand, CEO of Google Israel since 2005, has been promoted to Vice President of the company. Google, one of the world’s largest technology companies, purchased Israel’s GPS app Waze in 2013 and has a large R&D center in Israel. Brand’s responsibilities include the entire Middle East, Africa, Russia, Turkey, and Greece. http://www.timesofisrael.com/google-taps-israeli-exec-as-new-vp/
The sixth fastest growing software firm in the USA. I featured Israeli website guidebook-writer WalkMe previously (see here). WalkMe has now been rated the sixth fastest growing software company in North America by the Deloitte accounting firm, and the 13th fastest growing overall. It is growing at a rate of 8,085%,
HearMeOut to list on Australian Exchange. One of the two Israeli startups that I mentioned (last week) were planning Australian IPOs this year is voice messaging specialist HearMeOut. It hopes to become the equivalent of Twitter for 42-second voice-clip messages on social media.
RBS looks to Israel for ideas. The Royal Bank of Scotland held a 3-day hackathon (hi-tech development exercise) in Tel Aviv to seek out Israeli financial technologies that will enable the Edinburgh-based retail bank to boost services to customers. The “fintackathon” also involved Google and Intel.
Daimler to open Israeli R&D center. Germany’s Daimler (which includes car manufacturer Mercedes Benz) is to open a Research & Development center in Tel Aviv which will focus on car mobility and information services. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-daimler-to-open-israeli-rd-center-1001159576
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Discovery of the month. (TY Andy) Each month, the Temple Mount Sifting Project publishes details of one of the items discovered whilst sifting through the debris that the Muslim Waqf discarded whilst digging under Temple Mount. October’s find was the leg of an Iron-age figurine (8th – 6th Century BCE).
Hummus the movie. (TY Avi) Oren Rosenfeld’s film “Hummus!” focuses on the colorful owners of three Israeli hummus restaurants and their personal stories. Jalil Dabit, a Christian Arab from Ramle; Eliyahu Shmueli, a Jew from Yokneam and Suheila al-Hindi, a Muslim Arab from Acre.
Justin Bieber to perform in Tel Aviv. (TY Janglo) For the second time in five years, international pop sensation Justin Bieber will be coming to Israel for a performance at Park Hayarkon, Tel Aviv expected to take place in May 2017. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4873963,00.html
Yes. (TY Janglo) My shortest headline ever? Rock legends Yes have confirmed that they will perform at the Menora arena in Tel Aviv, on March 7. The concert will feature three of the band’s original lineup - vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Trevor Rabin and legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman.
BeerSheba does the double on Inter Milan. Ben Sahar’s 93rd-minute winner completed an unforgettable comeback for Israeli soccer champions Hapoel Beersheba, securing a 3-2 win at home over Inter Milan to keep their Europa league hopes alive. In September, BeerSheba beat Inter 2-0 at the San Siro stadium.
THE JEWISH STATE
Record number of Brazilians making Aliya. 700 new immigrants are scheduled to arrive in Israel from Brazil in 2016 - a 45-year record and over three times the annual average. Better economic prospects is a main reason. Since Israel’s establishment, more than 15,000 Brazilian Jews have immigrated to Israel.
Another 250 arrive from Ukraine. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) has brought another 250 Ukrainian Jews to Israel. Many of them had spent months in shelters or forced to live on the streets.
Israel welcomes Jewish family from Ivory Coast. One of the Jewish families escaping rising anti-Semitism in France is that of Amy and George Camara and their four children. Originally from the Ivory Coast, they heard much more anti-Semitic abusive remarks from friends who didn’t realize they were Jewish.
Forget those aches and pains. One of the services that the charity Ezer Mizion provides to some of its 660,000 “customers” is its program for the elderly with depression. It relieves not just the patient, but sometimes also the volunteer caregiver – as this example shows.
Egged bus driver stops at nothing to save a life. Haifa Egged bus driver Ro’e Levy turned his #40 bus filled with passengers into an ambulance after a woman passenger lost consciousness and collapsed. He closed the doors and ‘flew’ to Rambam Hospital. Doctors said Levy’s actions saved the 43-year-old patient’s life.
Customer finds and returns lost savings to Eritrean worker. Eritrean employee of the Bet Shemesh Osher Ad supermarket, Barak Tofsei, lost the $4700 he had saved up for his future wedding. A customer in Osher Ad found the packet of money, and together with the security supervisor traced the owner. He refused a reward.
In the 20th Nov 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· An Israeli treatment can restore damaged livers.
· The World Health Organization gave top rating to IDF field hospitals.
· Two Ethiopian Jewish women have been appointed as Israeli judges.
· The UN overwhelmingly passed an Israeli-sponsored resolution.
· Intel has opened its $6 billion Israeli microchip factory.
· An Israeli sleep-inducing app won a major international award.
· Waze has been launched in South America’s largest city.
· Aerosmith’s farewell world tour will start in Tel Aviv.
· Israelis celebrated the first Aliya Day public holiday.
· Click here to see the 13th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Global impact, and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Regenerating liver function. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s BiolineRX in conjunction with Ben Gurion University, Hadassah Medical Center and Novartis has developed a novel treatment BL-1220 that can restore liver function in patients with liver disease and injury. http://www.biolinerx.com/default.asp?pageid=16&itemid=469
Success in trials of tardive dyskinesia treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) I highlighted (Dec 2015) Teva’s SD-809 (deutetrabenazine) treatment for tardive dyskinesia. The disease causes uncontrollable movements in around 500,000 US patients. The second Phase III trial of the treatment produced statistically significant results.
New treatment for Alzheimer’s. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Neurim is conducting a Phase 2 trial of its Piromelatine treatment, for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The 26-week trial will compare once-daily oral doses of Piromelatine to placebo in approximately 500 patients diagnosed with mild AD.
Diagnoses using molecular biomarkers. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s ImmunArray is developing blood-based tests that support the diagnosis and management of complex acute and chronic immune and neurodegenerative diseases, including brain injury. It has just received a major investment from America’s Quanterix Corporation.
Filling a gap in dental services. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s CephX provides dental and orthodontic practitioners with Cephalometric X-Ray analyses, image archiving and patient record management – all securely maintained on the cloud (rather in the dental surgery).
Pomegranate oil to protect the brain. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Granalix has launched GranaGard - a food supplement that prevented neurodegeneration diseases in clinical tests. GranaGard, is a submicron (nanodrops) Pomegranate Seed Oil emulsion with 80% Punicic acid - one of the strongest natural antioxidants.
Telehealth device gets FDA approval. I reported previously (Aug 2015) on Israel’s Tytocare and its handheld diagnostic device. The device has been enhanced and Tytocare has received US FDA clearance for its digital stethoscope that performs enhanced remote diagnosis of a patient without the physician being present.
GE’s new CT-scanner is a Revolution. GE’s Haifa engineering team was a major player in developing the Revolution CT (Computed Tomography) scanner. It exposes patients to only 20% of the radiation of previous models and the scan takes less than a second. The first Israeli Revolution has been installed at Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv. http://www.timesofisrael.com/ge-israel-team-plays-key-role-in-new-ct-scanner/
Lifesaving solutions. Israel’s Inovytec develops solutions for out-of-hospital medical emergencies, to increase patient survivability. These include the world’s first and only automated oxygen defibrillator, a safe airway management collar and an ultralight ventilator. It has just received funds from Germany’s Rohn Innovations.
IDF field hospitals are the best in the world. Israel is the first country to earn the United Nations’ World Health Organization’s highest ranking for its IDF field hospital unit. It received “Type 3” designation, along with some additional “specialized care” recognitions, which technically made it a “Type 3 plus”.
More power to your hearing. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (May 29) on the rechargeable hearing aid technology from Israel’s Humavox. Now leading hearing technology firm Starkey will integrate Humavox’s wireless charging into Starkey’s advanced hearing devices. Simply put the hearing aid in its box to recharge it.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s first female Ethiopian judges. (TY Atid-EDI) In a historic first, two female lawyers were appointed as Israel's first Ethiopian judges, as the Judicial Nominating Committee named Adenko Sebhat-Haimovich to the magistrates' court, and Esther Tapeta Gardi to the traffic court. Both were appointed on their legal merits.
Special school gets new playground. (TY Karen) I featured previously (May 22) Jerusalem’s Ilanot school for children with physical and cognitive disabilities. Thanks to the Friends of JNF Canada, the kids now enjoy playing with the new special playground equipment. (The second video shows how the original looked)
Topol helps sick children. I reported previously (Jun 2012) on the Galilee village supported by actor Chaim Topol that provides respite for sick children. Here is a more detailed feature about Topol and his charity work.
Jewish-Druze military academy. (TY Atid-EDI) 60 cadets are studying at the first-of-its-kind joint Jewish-Druze military academy, which opened in the northern Druze town of Daliyat al-Karmel, near Haifa. (Druze) Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara said both communities “… sanctify the values of life, democracy, freedom of expression, religion and movement and this is what our sons are fighting for ...”
Rambam hospital treats all. (TY Bennett) This video about Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center came out last year. But I think it is very important to publicize that Rambam treats Palestinian Arabs from Jenin and Gaza the same as its Israeli Jewish and Arab patients. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHp3QX7U2Tk
Telling the world about Israel in the world. Untold news has been busy publicizing Israeli achievements. Over 4 million have been exposed to its “Israel Is On It” media campaign in the New York Times. Its latest article is on Buzzfeed, where millions of millennials go online to get their news.
Innovation:Africa. Further to the article (Apr 3) here is another feature about the non-profit organization Innovation:Africa, established by Sivan Ya’ari. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech/innovationafrica-Israeli-innovations-saving-lives-in-Africa-469921
US delegation sees Israeli emergency response. A delegation led by the chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau visited Israel to learn new techniques in emergency response. Hosted by Israel’s Homefront Command, participants watched a large-scale exercise in northern Israel and was briefed on the latest Israeli technology.
UN passes Israeli-sponsored resolution. The United Nations has approved an Israeli-sponsored resolution “Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development,” by 123 votes to 30 (mostly Arab countries). The resolution focuses on key ways to help remove the barriers facing entrepreneurs and unleash the talent that is innate in all societies. http://scofieldinstitute.org/123-countries-support-israeli-resolution-un/
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
See what you hear. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Sep 2015) about Israel’s Augury that uses vibration and ultrasound to detect faults in critical machinery. Now another Israeli startup 3DSignals has developed an ultrasonic acoustic sensor which predicts electro-mechanical failure long before it causes production downtime.
Intel inaugurates chip production line. Intel has inaugurated its $6 billion next-generation chip production line at its Kiryat Gat facility in Israel. At the event, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of Intel, “You are producing a new future. Using technology, you amplify Israel’s power. Israel is a global technological superpower.” http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-intel-inaugurates-israel-production-line-1001161081
More security for automobiles. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (here and here) about Israeli startups Arilou and Argus Cybersecurity that prevent remote electronic carjacking. Now there is a new kid on the block - Israel’s Karamba, which secures vehicles by locking down their Electronic Control Units (ECUs).
Generating renewable energy technology. (TY Atid-EDI) The 7th Eilat-Eilot Renewable and Clean Energy Conference (Nov 27 – 29) brings together industry, government and investors to review new technologies that will advance the global transition to renewable energy. The video highlights the last conference in 2014.
Supermoon over Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) The full moon came to its closest point (221,524 miles) to the Earth since 1948 (Israel’s Independence), creating what NASA described as 'an extra-supermoon.' Unfortunately, a cloudy sky spoiled the visual effect. The next extra-supermoon will be in 2035.
CES award for sleep inducer. I reported previously (Jun 13) on the sensor and smartphone app from Israel’s 2breath that helps users fall asleep and tracks their sleeping patterns. 2breath has just won the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Innovation award in Las Vegas, in the fitness, sports and biotech product category.
Promoting nanotech development with Germany. Israel and Germany have set up a new three-year, 30 million Euros plan to promote joint nanotechnology initiatives and are calling on companies and entities in both countries to submit proposals for funding for projects in this field.
IDCBeyond is launched. I reported previously (here) about the new 1-year program IDCBeyond from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya. The program has begun, with 36 students enrolled. They will discuss global challenges and then move onto venture creation, culminating in the setting up of new startups.
Printing parts for Airbus. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Stratasys announced that Airbus has standardized on its ULTEM 9085 3D printing material for the production of flight parts for its A350 XWB aircraft.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel gets an all-round A Plus. Fitch Ratings has upgraded Israel's Long-Term Foreign-and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to "A+" from "A". It reflects the fact that Israel's external balance sheet has continued to strengthen. All three ratings agencies now give Israel an A+ (Fitch, Moody’s and S&P)
2017 natural gas sales worth $1.5 billion. The Bank of Israel is to purchase $1.5 billion of foreign currency in 2017 to offset projected sales of Israel’s natural gas windfall. The purchases are intended to stop the Israeli Shekel from appreciating too much.
More Israelis use public transport. (TY Atid-EDI) The number of passengers on public transportation in Israel rose 7.2% in the first eight months of 2016. Bus usage was up 6.5% whilst railway use increased by 15.2%. A one percent rise in public transportation use saves the Israeli economy NIS 400 million per year.
Pango parks up in America. Israeli parking payment startup Pango has sold its American operations to US company Parking By Phone. Pango’s technology and app will now be deployed across the US and Latin America. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-smart-park-firm-pango-sells-its-us-operation/
Jerusalem gets down to business. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz have laid the cornerstone for the new $364 million, 173-acre Jerusalem Gateway business park. It will include nine 36-floor skyscrapers, business centers, hotels, and 70,000 square meters of leisure and cultural spaces.
Sao Paulo finds Waze. Although Google now owns traffic and navigation app Waze, it is still an Israeli-run company. Sao Paulo, Brazil (South America’s largest city) is to use Waze to help manage the heavy traffic tackled by nearly 20 million people every day. http://www.jta.org/2016/10/25/news-opinion/world/south-americas-largest-city-to-partner-with-israeli-app-waze-to-tackle-urban-mobility
9 Israeli companies in KPMG fintech top 100. Nine Israeli companies were among KPMG's 100 most promising fintech companies for 2016. They are Payoneer, Ourcrowd, Tipranks, Lemonade, Innovative Assessments, Paykey, Zooz, Blackswan and DMway
Predicting if a startup will succeed or fail. Israeli startup Zirra uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to give investors increased chances of finding a winner. It uses public domain information such as valuation, competition, risk and success factors, employees, founders and insights from human experts.
Jezreel Valley railway is running. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Sep 11) the completion of the revived Jezreel Valley railway. It is now fully operational, taking 50 minutes from Haifa to Beit She’an. Many travelers remember using the original line, until it was closed 65 years ago.
$100 million fund to invest in Israeli healthcare startups. Marius Nacht, co-founder of Israeli computer security firm Check Point, has raised $100 million for a new fund to invest in Israeli healthcare startups. He is hoping for the emergence of another Teva or the equivalent of a Check Point in healthcare.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Prehistoric stone circle in Golan. (TY Rodger) A series of concentric stone circles over 150 meters wide in the Golan Heights is up to 5000 years old. Rujm el-Hiri in Arabic, means the "stone heap of the wild cat". In Hebrew, Gilgal Refaim means "wheel of giants" and refers to an ancient race of giants mentioned in the Bible.
Top chefs visit Tel Aviv. (TY Nevet) The international culinary festival “Round Tables by American Express” sent the top chefs from 13 of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world to Tel Aviv for an entire week, where they took over the kitchens. http://www.roundtablestour.com/en/
Jewish-Yemeni culture comes alive. (TY Avi) Ravid Kahalani of popular Israeli band Yemen Blues grew up in Israel surrounded by Jewish-Yemeni culture. He sings in Yemeni-Arabic and dreams of performing in Yemen one day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC67Sx-DRI8
Aerosmith’s farewell tour begins in Tel Aviv. After some 45 years together and countless hits, Aerosmith, one of rock’s greatest bands, will start their European farewell tour in Tel Aviv. The cutely named Aero-Vederci Baby! tour, will kick off in Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park on May 17, 2017.
Tel Aviv Jazz Festival. The annual Tel Aviv Jazz Festival (Nov 25-27) is one of the city’s premiere events, attracting some of the top established and up-and-coming talent from both the local and international jazz scene.
Robert Kraft donates $6 million for Jerusalem sports campus. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and a noted Jewish philanthropist, has donated $6 million to create the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem. Mayor Barkat said the gift “helps celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification”.
Bychenko skates to Grand Prix bronze. Israeli figure skater Alexei Bychenko won his first career medal at a Grand Prix event by taking third place at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow. Bychenko became the first Israeli to claim a medal at the European Figure Skating Championships in January.
THE JEWISH STATE
Thousands on Masa Israel programs. (TY Samantha) 12,000 18-30-year-olds are in Israel to participate in long-term Masa (journey) Israel programs, including gap years, study abroad, internships, teaching English to young students, and other post-college initiatives. Many attended a celebratory welcome event in Jerusalem.
Our united tribe. Israel’s immigrant absorption minister, Sofa Landver, writes on Nov 8 - Israel’s first Aliya Day – the new national holiday to celebrate those who have moved from the Lands of Dispersion, to live in the Startup Nation where Aliya is the ultimate personal startup.
Nov 20 is Global Day of Jewish Learning. Israeli Rabbi Adin Steinsalz established the Global Day of Jewish Learning in 2010 to mark the completion of his 45-year project to produce his commentary on the Talmud. This year, on Nov 20, he invites everyone to join in on-line. http://www.theglobalday.org/videos/schedule/
Birthright-style tour for business people. AlmaLinks, a group focused on promoting ties between the global Jewish business community and Israel, has started sponsoring its own Birthright-style trip, bringing business executives to Israel to meet their local counterparts. Its first Diaspora delegation visited Israel in September.
In the 13th Nov 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· An Israeli treatment for tendon injury has received European approval.
· Israel is to train UN Peacekeepers in field medicine.
· Thanks to Israel, 8,300 Vietnamese received humanitarian aid.
· The first camera for Apple’s smartwatch is Israeli.
· Israeli scientists have made a quantum leap.
· Netafim is bringing more Israeli irrigation to Central America.
· See the new National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel.
· The first of the new wave of Ethiopian immigrants has arrived in Israel.
· Click here to see the 30th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology and Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
European approval for tendon pain treatment. Israel’s CollPlant has been awarded the EU CE Mark for VergenixSTR, a soft tissue repair matrix for the treatment of tendinopathy (tendon injury or disease and associated pain). VergenixSTR is based on CollPlant’s proprietary plant-based collagen technology.
Causing HIV virus to self-destruct. (TY Bennett) I reported previously (Feb 7) on the Hebrew University scientists’ peptide treatment for HIV that uses multiple copies of the virus to make it self-destruct. It has now been tested on the blood from AIDS patients and has similar results to earlier clinical trials.
New treatment for cognitive impairment. Israel’s Therapix Biosciences has developed a unique tablet for sublingual (under the tongue) administration of THC. A clinical trial of this tablet is anticipated to commence early 2017 for treatment of impairments in cognitive functioning, including early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Israeli-Arab village has highest percentage of doctors. Israel has 3.4 doctors per 1000 residents (OECD average is 3.3 per 1000). But for the 24,000 residents of the Israeli-Arab village of Arraba in the Galilee, there are 6 doctors per 1000 residents. Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is credited with boosting numbers of local Arab doctors.
Medical incubator opens its doors. I reported previously (May 1) that Israel’s Chief Scientist has licensed medical incubator MEDX. Now MEDX has been formally launched and plans to submit 3-4 projects to the Israel Innovation Authority in the coming months. It will focus on non-invasive medical devices.
Israel’s first exclusive digital health fund. Israel’s leading global equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd has launched Qure - Israel’s first exclusively focused digital health fund. The fund will invest in innovative digital health startups. OurCrowd will work with Johns Hopkins University to bring novel ideas to market.
Video of Brainstorm’s ALS treatment. New ABC TV video of the 4-year human trials of the stem cell treatment from Israel’s Brainstorm on 26 ALS patients at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. 90% have shown positive change. The patients’ own bone marrow stem cells are extracted, treated and re-inserted.
El Al flight delayed – to save a life. 15 mins before departure, El Al flight attendant Nitzan Rabinowitz went to look for her cell phone. At the train station, an Asian man had collapsed and Nitzan administered CPR until paramedics arrived. Nitzan never told passengers why their flight was delayed, but her phone was later found.
IDF to train UN peacekeeping forces in field medicine. United Nations peacekeeping forces are to participate in a special emergency field medicine seminar headed by the Israeli military and local medical professionals. They will learn the unique methods Israel uses to deal with cases involving emergency medicine on the ground.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Linked to Life. Israeli charity Ezer Mizion has set up a What’s App group called Linked to Life. Members post urgent requests and other members find solutions. Like getting medication from Israel to LA in 24 hours. Or take a disabled Jerusalem boy’s crutches to Tel Aviv for repair and return within the same day.
Christians successful in Israel. (TY Hazel) Jonathan Elkhoury advocates for the Christian Empowerment Council (CEC) in Israel. “The Christian society is one of the successful minorities in Israel. There are people in high positions in education, in hospitals, courts - everywhere you look you will find a Christian in a high position.” http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2016/9/23/what-you-need-to-know-about-israels-christian-minority
New Scottish parliament pro-Israel group. Members of the Scottish Parliament from all parties, with the exception of the Scottish Greens, will be represented on the ‘Building Bridges with Israel’ cross-party group, which aims to establish closer cultural, academic and economic links with the country.
Solar generators for Fiji. (TY Hazel) Fiji has received 12 portable solar generators from Israel to address the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston that had left a path of massive devastation in the Pacific island nation earlier this year. Fijian Minister Inia Seruiratu thanked Israel for its work in the reconstruction process.
Medical aid to Vietnam. (TY Karen) The Israeli Embassy to Vietnam sponsored humanitarian and medical aid to 8,300 needy Vietnamese citizens in remote Kon Tum province. The program was conducted by Family Medical Practice - a chain of clinics in Vietnam founded and headed by an Israeli physician, Dr. Rafi Kot.
International wildlife award. Rony Malka of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority received a 2016 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at the 17th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Israeli cleantech at the UN. I reported previously (Oct 24) that Israeli companies presented at the United Nations to 700 representatives of African countries. This article gives more details, and also reports that Israel’s Energiya Global signed a Memorandum of Understanding to install Liberia’s first ever solar field.
Beating BDS with facts. Billed as the largest clearinghouse of its type, this new website has plenty of resources to counter the lies of those who want to boycott the Jewish State. http://israelandtheacademy.org/
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant. (TY Bennett) IBA News goes behind the scenes at the Sorek desalination plant, which produces 20% of Israel’s domestic water.
Israeli cows are taking over the world. Dairy farmers from India to Italy travel to Israeli kibbutzim to learn how to increase their milk yields. They hear that happy cows give a lot of milk and discover how to make their cows happy, from Israel’s Afimilk (Kibbutz Afikim), Netanya’s SCR Dairy and Akol (Kibbutz Bror Hayil).
The first camera for the Apple watch. I reported previously (Jun 26) that Israeli video messaging startup Glide was working on a new smartwatch project. It has now announced that it is the CMRA camera for Apple’s smartwatch. You will be able to take photos and videos with your Apple Watch and integrate seamlessly with your iPhone. Available to pre-order. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4rWepfGFuA
How the Ein Gedi scroll was unwrapped. (TY Nevet) Video that explains the science behind the virtual unwrapping of the earliest manuscript copy of the book of Leviticus, discovered at Ein Gedi near the Dead Sea.
Technology and Torah. Software company Ravtech in Bnei Brak outsources its services to Check Point and Citibank. It is staffed by Jewish ultra-Orthodox married men aged 25 to 35. They first complete a 12-month course run by Avratech in English, math, computer studies and coding whilst studying Torah in the morning.
Tire sensor wins top Shell prize. I reported previously (Nov 2012) about the TyreCheck app from Israel’s Neomatix. Now Neomatix has beaten 218 mobility startups from all over the world to win the €25,000 Shell Bright Energy Ideas Challenge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ2Ve8kM_Tc
Breakthrough in Quantum Computing. (TY Nevet) Researchers from Israel’s Technion working in quantum computing, have built a device that can produce large clusters of entangled photons (light particles) on demand. It is a major step to developing quantum super-computers and fast super secure Internet communications.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Happy hour in Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) Community-based non-profit “Made in Jerusalem” puts on end-of-month “happy hours”, uniting entrepreneurs, job seekers, funders and hi-tech supporters. The October event featured Glide, CareNav, uChange, MatchLynx, Talklet and Leadlike. Later, a Tech &Torah session took place.
The right image for eBay. When eBay bought Israel’s Corrigon last week for $30 million, it acquired its advanced image identification algorithms. These allow web users to home in on an image and find it elsewhere (e.g. to buy a product or protect copyright) even if the images have been colored, cropped or modified.
The new “Oslo Agreement”. An agreement to promote startups, the first of its kind, has been signed between the Oslo International Hub and its Tel Aviv equivalent, Impact HUB Tel Aviv. Israeli-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce and the Norwegian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce are also parties to the agreement.
Flights to Mumbai and Hong Kong. India’s largest airline, Air India, is to launch new flights to connect Tel Aviv and Mumbai, starting in 2017. Hong Kong airline, Cathay Pacific, will begin flights between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv in March 2017. Both services will compete with El Al and should result in lower fares.
$250,000 prize for relevant advertising. Tel Aviv-based startup Comprendi won a $250,000 award at the Twitter #Promote Ads API Challenge in San Francisco. Comprendi’s technology enables advertisers to change ads in real time based on factors such as sports results, the weather and trending topics.
Australia encourages Israeli IPOs. Five Israeli companies have listed shares on the Australian stock exchange since January 2015, including Sky and Space Global (satellite comms) and Weebit Nano (data storage). At least two more plan to launch by end 2016 including Dragontail Systems (restaurant technology).
Buying into irrigation in Costa Rica. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Netafim has acquired 60% of the Costa Rican irrigation company RyM. It will become part of Netafim Central America and help bolster Netafim’s status in the region, while targeting states such as Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israel’s Campus for Archaeology. (TY Sharon and Israel21c) Jerusalem’s Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel will constitute the largest center in the world for the presentation of the archaeological heritage of the Land of Israel, including all its cultures.
Japanese try Israeli snacks. Tour guide and Newsletter subscriber Pamela Levene sent some Israeli snacks to Japan for video bloggers Satoshi and Shinich to taste. Some of their reactions to these unusual (for them) products were very amusing. Please “like” their video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm8bzV0145M
Things to do in Israel this November. November concerts in Israel include Chemical Brothers (12th), The Stranglers (17th) and Air Supply (24-26th). Sophia Loren presents (25th) and Lord of the Dance starts (28th). The Hula Valley Bird Festival (20-27th) features tours, photography seminars, and a scientific conference.
Bird-watching in Tel Aviv. (TY Pamela Levene) KKL-JNF held a ceremony at the newly constructed Bird-watching Center in Yarkon Park’s Rosh Tzippor Forest. The 7.5-acre park will open this Spring.
Taking the Aliya story to Jo’burg. Actors Grant and Daniella Crankshaw are taking their hit show “Together, Against the Odds" on an international tour. They will perform and sing their hilarious tale of how they met, married and made Aliya in Johannesburg on Nov 24 and 26. They also plan to tour the UK, Australia and the US. http://www.desert-rose-productions.com/international.html
THE JEWISH STATE
What the Waqf allowed Israel to dig up. With minimal publicity, the Islamic Waqf has permitted the Israel Antiquities Authority to conduct limited scientific excavations on Temple Mount over the past decade. At a conference at Hebrew University, archaeologists presented new details of olive pits, animal bones and pottery fragments dating to the time of the First Temple. http://www.timesofisrael.com/archaeologists-reveal-first-solomons-temple-era-artifacts-ever-found-on-temple-mount/
The stone that beat the Romans. (TY Avi) In the Western Wall (Kotel) is a 2000-year-old stone that measures 40 feet long by 12 feet high by 14 feet deep. It weighs 600 tons - the equivalent of two 747 jumbo jets including passengers and luggage. The Romans tried to destroy it, but couldn’t – and it is still there today.
The day the Dead Sea scrolls were recovered. Hebrew University Professor Eliezer Sukenik purchased the Dead Sea scrolls from an antiquities dealer in Jerusalem on Nov 29 1947. As he was examining them that evening, his radio was broadcasting the UN vote on the partition of Palestine. What amazing timing!
That “Bayt al-Makdis” inscription. Readers asked me for a photo of the Arabic inscription mentioning the Beit Mikdash (Jewish Temple) that was discovered in the wall of the Mosque of Umar in Nuba, near Hebron. This article shows the inscription that proves early Moslems knew the origin of the Dome of the Rock.
Israelis pray for Syrians. (TY Karen) On the eve of Yom Kippur, some 1,500 Israelis gathered in Beersheba, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, the Golan Heights and other places, to pray for the people of war-torn Syria.
Jerusalem’s Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue to be rebuilt. The 144-year-old Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City was destroyed by the Jordanian army in the 1948 War of Independence. Now the Israeli government has approved funds to restore it to its former splendor.
ICEJ sponsors new wave of Ethiopian Aliya. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) is sponsoring the first wave of renewed Ethiopian Aliya. It has given $500,000 for flying in 523 Ethiopian Jews, plus another 104 Jewish immigrants due to make Aliya soon from France and the Ukraine. Please see video.
Halleluya. Leonard Cohen, who passed away last week aged 82, was a firm supporter of Israel and visited several times. Arab Christian Lina Mahoul won the “Voice of Israel” in 2013 with his song “Hallelujah”. The videos are from concerts in London and in front of 50,000 fans at the Ramat Gan stadium in Tel Aviv in 2009.
In the 30th Oct 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· An Israeli hospital has a unique control room to monitor operations.
· A Jewish-Arab women’s choir won an anti-racism award in Turkey.
· Israel hosted an OECD education innovation conference.
· An Israeli eco-friendly pesticide is saving global banana plantations.
· Foreign investment in Israeli hi-tech is soaring.
· Israel’s Oscars entry is a Bedouin drama, entirely in Arabic.
· A 2800-year-old wine shipping document has the earliest non-Biblical reference to Jerusalem.
· Click here to see the 23rd Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours 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.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
A cockpit for surgeons. The state-of-the-art control system installed in the Head and Neck Operating Room at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center is the first of its kind in the world. Like a computerized cockpit system, a semi-circular wall of screens project the surgeon’s movements as he excises a tumor in the patient’s neck.
Philips uses Israeli tech to make scanners safe. (TY Atid-EDI) I wrote previously (Jun 26) about SafeCT-29 from Israel’s Medic Vision. Now Philips HealthCare has selected SafeCT-29 to make their CT and PET/CT scanners compliant with US XR-29 regulations regarding safe levels of radiation.
An answer to jet lag? (TY Hazel) Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered a link between the level of oxygen breathed by mice and their ability to adapt to a shift in daylight hours. http://www.timesofisrael.com/shift-in-oxygen-levels-can-reduce-jet-lag-israeli-study-finds/
Pilates can help recover from a heart attack. A study at the rehabilitation institute at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot has shown that the Pilates physical fitness system can strengthen the body physically and emotionally after a heart attack. The exercises help reduce patients’ body-mass index and boosts confidence.
A call for help from cows in labor. (TY Atid-EDI) The AfiAct II cow monitoring system from Israel’s Afimilk will now send an alert to the dairy farmer when its sensors detect a cow experiencing a prolonged labor. Nearly half of first-calf Holstein cows in the U.S. require intervention from a farmer or veterinarian during labor. http://www.afimilk.com/news/afimilk-introduces-automatic-calving-alert-service
360-degree colonoscope now has extras. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jan 2015) on the Aer-O-Scope® 360-degree disposable colonoscope from Israel’s GI View. It has now been upgraded to enable surgeons to take biopsies and remove polyps. The new colonoscope has just received FDA clearance.
Smart patch to relieve migraines. (TY Atid-EDI and PRNewswire) Israeli startup Theranica Bio-Electronics has developed Nerivio Migra - the first of its “smart patches” delivering neuromodulation therapy - to provide migraine relief. A recent study of 86 patients at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center showed promising results.
Teva and IBM to expand alliance. (TY Eli) Teva and IBM are to significantly expand their existing global e-Health alliance using the IBM Watson Supercomputer’s Health Cloud to develop new treatments and improve the management of chronic diseases. It aims to streamline the long process of bringing new therapies to market.
Complex treatment of rare defect restores infant’s speech. A multi-disciplinary team of Israeli doctors at the Vascular Anomalies Clinic at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center performed an advanced procedure called Sclerotherapy to save a 2-year-old boy born with a venous malformation that had spread to his windpipe.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
My Home. (TY Steve) For the first time, in the documentary My Home, we see life in Israel through those rarely heard from - the Israeli-Arab citizens who would never live anywhere else. Those Arab minorities who change the false narrative that Israel is an apartheid state, that minorities can’t succeed, that they have no rights.
Program to boost Bedouins in high-tech. Ten male and 10 female Arab students have been selected to take part in Bridgetech - a pre-academic program that aims to increase participation of Israel’s Bedouin populations into the country’s high-tech ecosystem.
Arabs who do National Service. (TY Hazel) Another article about the 4,500 non-Jews doing Sherut Leumi (National Service) in Israel. Seventy percent are Muslim, the rest being Druze, Christian or Circassian.
Jewish-Arab women’s choir wins international award. The Rana Choir, a mixed Jewish-Muslim-Christian women’s chorus from Jaffa, received a 2016 International Hrant Dink Foundation award in Istanbul, Turkey. The foundation awards “people and organizations working for a world free of discrimination, racism and violence”. http://www.israel21c.org/jewish-arab-womens-choir-wins-international-award/
Israel expands Gaza fishing zone. From Nov 1, Israel is increasing the fishing zone for Gaza fisherman from six to nine nautical miles “to facilitate increased activity in Gaza Strip’s fishing sector, which is an [important] source of income”. The expansion is conditioned on Gazans not exploiting it to smuggle or penetrate Israel’s territory. http://www.bicom.org.uk/news/israel-expands-gaza-fishing-zone-50-per-cent/
Israeli member of Malawi parliament. (TY Karen) David Bisnowaty was born in Israel and served in the IDF. Last year he was elected by a big majority to the parliament of Malawi. He says that Malawi has always had very strong ties with Israel. Israel was the first country to send doctors and agricultural people to Malawi unconditionally. https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/09/28/israeli-born-malawi-parliament-member-actions-not-words-will-change-africa-for-the-better/ http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/god-has-sent-us-the-jew-from-judah-to-help-us-an-interview-with-malawis-israeli-mp/2016/09/28/
Israeli architect to receive US Lifetime achievement award. (TY Nevet) Israeli-born architect Moshe Safdie – whose works, including Yad Vashem, span the globe – will be honored for lifetime achievement at the 2016 National Design Awards by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.
PM and President meet East Asia’s faith leaders. (TY Nevet) A delegation that included Hindu gurus, Buddhist monks and Shinto priests met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin on the first day of a Jerusalem conference designed to deepen Israel-Asia ties. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Israeli-leaders-meet-with-leaders-of-Eastern-faith-traditions-467559
Israel hosts OECD Education Conference. For the first time, Israel hosted the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Global Education Industry Summit. More than 30 delegations from around the world attended the two-day event, which focused on innovation in education.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel can solve the world’s water shortage. (TY Avi) From California to Africa, there is a global water shortage. Israel - one tiny country in the middle of a desert, has found remarkable solutions. Can its success be replicated? Businessman and New York Times bestselling author Seth Siegel explains.
Disability tech displayed in Australia. (TY Hazel) A delegation of Israeli start-ups developing technologies to assist people with disabilities are showing their products and services in Sydney Australia. They include Paratrek, Sesame Enable, NiNiSpeech and yooocan. (I reported Paratrek, Sesame and NiniSpeech previously)
4 Israelis in top 100 cloud companies. (TY Nevet) ForeScout, Sisense, WalkMe and SMS Assist are the Israeli representatives on the first-ever Forbes 2016 Cloud 100 - the ultimate list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world. Companies are recognized by customers and peers for financial growth and excellence.
Saving the banana. (TY Atid-EDI) The most destructive and costly disease threatening worldwide banana production is Black Sigatoka. Timorex Gold® non-chemical fungicide from Israeli-managed Stockton Group controls this disease, plus many others. The eco-friendly fungicide is based on the Melaleuca alternifolia plant extract. http://www.stockton-ag.com/timorex-gold-effective-against-black-sigatoka/
3D printed dress “Oscillation” shakes fashion world. Fashion leader threeASFOUR and designer Travis Fitch used a 3D printer from Israel’s Stratasys to produce ‘Oscillation' - an elaborate and intricate dress as the centerpiece of threeASFOUR's ‘Quantum Vibrations' collection for New York’s Fashion Week.
Helping farmers keep track of crops. (TY NoCamels) Israel’s FieldIn won second prize for startups at the International AgriVest Conference held at the Weizmann Institute of Science, for its technology that increases the efficiency of growing crops by reducing overall use of pesticides and eliminating spray mistakes..
Streaming video to Facebook. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s LiveU that provided video streaming tech for the Olympics, World Cup soccer, UK elections etc. Now LiveU has developed Solo - a wireless product that allows content providers to broadcast high-quality live video directly to Facebook Live. http://www.timesofisrael.com/facebook-integrates-liveu-tech-to-boost-content/
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Businesses grow in 3rd quarter. The Bank of Israel’s Companies Survey for the third quarter of 2016 indicates that, further to the previous quarter, the business sector grew rapidly. The positive picture is reflected in all the large industries - manufacturing, services, trade, transport and communications.
Surging investment in Israel defies global trend. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger writes that Israeli hi-tech companies raised $1.19 billion during Q3 2016, the second highest quarterly amount in ten years. In the first nine months of 2016, Israeli hi-tech companies raised $4 billion, 27% higher than the same period in 2015.
Large Israeli exits. Ambassador Ettinger also reports the acquisitions of Israeli companies EndoChoice for $210 million, BlazeMeter for $100 million, FireLayers for $55 million and Corrigon for $30 million.
More avocado please. (TY Israel21c) Israel exported 60,000 tons of avocados in 2015. Demand is even higher this year and 70% of this year’s 100,000-ton yield is earmarked for export, shipped in refrigerated containers to reach Europe in 4-5 days. Varieties include Ettinger, Pinkerton, Hass, Fuerte, Reed, Galil, Lavi and Moti.
Israeli agro-tech company valued at $2.8 billion. (TY Nevet) Israeli crop protection company Adama Agricultural Solutions is to be sold by its Chinese owner ChemChina to a firm it controls. The new owner, Hubei Sanonda, is paying about 18.6 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) for Adama, which has 4% of the Chinese agrochemical market. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-adama-m-a-sanonda-idUSKCN11J1Z3?rpc=401
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Music and Ethics. Musethica is an international nonprofit that advances classical music education and brings music to special audiences that otherwise do not have the chance to encounter it. Its 3rd International Chamber Music Festival takes place from Oct 28 to Nov 5 across Israel at venues such as schools for disabled children, hospitals, homes for the elderly and social organizations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pTPAPvy9b4
Israel’s first Arabic-language foreign Oscars entry. (TY Bennett) For the first time, a film entirely in Arabic will represent Israel at the Academy Awards (Oscars). “Sand Storm”, a family drama set in the Bedouin community, won six Ophir Awards (Israel’s top film competition), including for best film.
Tel Aviv Piano Festival. (TY Jerusalem Post) More than 150 top Israeli and international pianists will perform at the annual Tel Aviv Piano Festival from Nov 9 to Nov 12. The largest concerts will be held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. http://www.itraveltelaviv.com/events/tel-aviv-piano-festival/ http://www.pianofestival.co.il/
THE JEWISH STATE
The earliest non-Biblical mention of Jerusalem. The Israel Antiquities Authority has recovered a papyrus from the time of the 1st Temple (7th century BCE) documenting a wine shipment from Na’artah to Jerusalem. This is the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing. The papyrus was written by a woman administrator in the Kingdom of Judah. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/219379
Exiled Spanish & Portuguese Jews are returning home. The Aliya to Israel of some of the 100 million plus Bnei Anusim (descendants of Sephardi Jews forced to convert to Christianity) could be larger than the return of the “lost tribe” of Ethiopian Jews. Many are discovering their Jewish roots and connecting with Israel.
Unearthing the 2900-year-old gate of Lachish. (TY Karen) The Israel Antiquities Authority’s has now fully excavated the 8th Century BCE (1st Temple period) Lachish city gate near Mount Hebron. They say that it may prove King Hezekiah’s Biblically-recorded efforts to abolish idol worship in the region.
Recreating the sound of the High Priest. (TY Avi) I reported previously (in 2011) about the discovery of a garment bell that a High Priest would have worn on his robes when administering in the Temple’s Holy of Holies. The sound of all 72 bells has now been recreated, so you can hear exactly what it would have sounded like on Yom Kippur 3000 years ago. http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/miracle-for-the-first-time-ever-listen-as-a-high-priest-enters-the-holy-of-holies/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVcOIdkGEjE
Niece of Fatah founder tattooed “Israel” on her back. Sandra Solomon is the niece of Saher Habash, one of the founders of the Fatah party. Born in Ramallah, raised in Saudi Arabia, moved to Canada and converted to Christianity. She now loves the State of Israel so much, she had “Israel” in Hebrew tattooed across her shoulder blades. http://www.timesofisrael.com/niece-of-arafat-confidant-so-loves-israel-she-had-it-tattooed-on-her-back/
The rains have arrived. Three days following commencement of the prayers for rain, thunderstorms arrived in Israel. Whilst central areas experienced scattered showers, the south had flash floods and strong rain that temporarily closed Eilat airport. 32 mm of rain fell in Eilat, 10 mm more than the yearly seasonal average.
1000-year-old Muslim inscription confirms site of Jewish Temple. Archaeologists have located a 10th century CE inscription above a mihrab-prayer niche in an active mosque in the village of Nuba, near Hebron. It states that the original name of the Dome of the Rock was Beit al Makdas (in Arabic), Beit Hamikdash (in Hebrew) or Temple (in English). http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ancient-muslim-inscription-confirms-dome-of-the-rocks-jewish-temple-origin/2016/10/28/
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.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
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. http://www.foamixpharma.com/
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. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rapid-medicals-comaneci-adjustable-remodeling-mesh-exceeds-500-successful-aneurysm-treatments-592723241.html
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 INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
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. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/19600
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. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Benjamin-Netanyahu/Netanyahu-meets-with-African-leaders-on-sidelines-of-UNGA-talks-Israeli-innovations-468511
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. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,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. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech/Tell-us-how-you-made-Israel-470231 http://www.ofri.org.il/Article-451,1314-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.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
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. http://www.israel21c.org/how-israel-is-saving-the-honeybees/
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. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/science/1.746880
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. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,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.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
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. http://www.timesofisrael.com/chinese-israeli-fund-to-invest-250m-in-med-tech/
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.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
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. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-hit-drama-shtisel-heads-to-us/
Brazilian dance comes to Israel. The Opera House, Tel Aviv is hosting the Israeli Premiere of "Baila Brazil" from Nov 2 – 5. The Balé de rua ("Street Ballet" in English) 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_76fRzyxQo
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. http://igoogledisrael.com/events/sovev-kinneret/
THE JEWISH STATE
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. http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Former-antisemitic-Hungarian-MP-who-discovered-Jewish-roots-to-make-aliya-468386
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. http://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-march-in-jerusalem-in-support-of-israel/
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.
In the 16th Oct 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli researchers have discovered a key trigger for secondary cancer.
· Israeli hospitals are now treating sick Syrians as well as wounded.
· Israel’s work in gender equality has been recognized by a key UN organization.
· Israeli engineers have built the first of a new generation of speed boat.
· Shanghai hosted the first GoforIsrael conference outside Israel.
· Queen rocks Tel Aviv.
· 3D scans reveal the text of Leviticus in a 1500-year-old burnt Dead Sea scroll.
· Click here to see the 9th Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours and United With Israel with additional features on Health and Sport, . Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. TY also to Norbert for translating my blog “Israel is in Europe too“ into French. Please pass relevant links onto German, Portuguese and French-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Beating cancer’s resistance to treatment. Researchers at Israel Technion have discovered how the cancer sufferer’s own body fights the treatment, strengthens tumors and causes them to spread (metastasis). Now they are working on various ways to inhibit the body’s response to anti-cancer treatments.
New metabolic way to resist viruses. New international research, led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has discovered which of the body’s metabolic processes viruses rely on. It should lead to treatments that target the genetic switches (protein receptors in cells) that sense and control those processes.
Defective gene causes Alzheimer’s. (TY Jeffrey & Nevet) Researchers from Tel Aviv University say that in laboratory tests they have successfully treated the defective gene ApoE4, responsible for 60% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/in-israel/education-and-society/israeli-researchers-may-have-found-alzheimers-treatment-24047 http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/218678
Fighting obesity with plate designs. Israeli entrepreneur Dror Tamir and his wife Dr Liat Zivan have developed a low-tech idea for reducing levels of obesity. “Plate my Meal” is a set of 5 plates for children, showing which foods to serve at various mealtimes and for snacks. In English, Hebrew, Arabic or Persian.
100 million UK prescriptions. (TY Hazel) UK Under-Secretary of State for Health David Mowat said that if Israeli produce was boycotted, it would put 100 million National Health Service prescriptions at risk. “Banning these supplies would most likely cause significant shortages of some medicines important for patient health”
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Global race to save boy’s hand. Surgeons managed to re-attach the finger of a little boy who suffered an accident in Northern Israel. But they needed a medical instrument that was not available in Israel to finish the procedure. Via Israeli charity Ezer Mizion a volunteer brought the device from New York and the boy’s hand was saved. http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/linked-to-life/
Israeli hospitals treat sick Syrians. (TY Hazel) Up to now, Israeli hospitals have treated thousands of Syrians who have been wounded in their civil war. Israel has now decided to extend treatment to internally-displaced Syrians who need basic medical care. 42 Syrian children from Quneitra arrived at hospitals in northern Israel.
Israeli utopian designs hit London. (TY SDM) "Utopia by Design” is the theme of the first London Design Biennale. “AIDrop” from Yaniv Kadosh of Israel’s Shenkar College employs self-rotating units to drop cartons of supplies over disaster zones. Sharona Merlin’s “Louder” comprises speakers for the deaf that translate sound into visual textures and floor vibrations. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4851733,00.html
http://www.londondesignbiennale.com/participants (Click on Israel in second link)
Drink wine to support charities. Israel’s socializing, fundraising concept “Wine Wednesday” has raised over $21,000 in Israel for women’s empowerment, at-risk youth, the disabled and other social causes. Now it’s gone global with 15 cities hosting Wine Wednesday events – all donating the $10 entrance fee to the specific charity.
How Israel became the global center of veganism. Israel is the most vegan country on Earth, with a full five percent of its population eschewing all animal products - more than double that in 2010. There are over 400 “vegan-friendly” restaurants. Even the IDF offers animal-free food, boots, and berets to vegan soldiers.
US Police delegation visits Israel. 52 police officers from 7 US states spent a week in Israel. They trained with Israeli units, saw Israel’s state-of-the-art police academy, and held a ceremony at Jerusalem’s 9/11 memorial. They included members of Police Unity Tour – formed to honor police who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Miami innovators in Israel. (TY Dan) A delegation of influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech start-up community has just visited Israel with AJC Project Interchange (American Jewish Committee), to learn from the country's thriving tech and innovation sector, while sharing best practices and making connections.
Understanding China’s Parliament. (TY Dan) Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Zhang Dejiang - chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. They pledged to strengthen cooperation between parliaments and to share knowledge in fields such as legislation and the environment. http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/76003/high-ranking-chinese-official-signs-memorandum-understanding-visit-israel/#Ywu4TYaSJwSAuirt.97
Agreement with UN women. Israel has signed a cooperation agreement with United Nations Women - the world body’s institution for the empowerment of women. Ambassador Danny Danon said Israel will, “now receive the international recognition we deserve for our leadership in gender equality”.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Water from air – using less energy. (TY SDM and NoCamels.com ) Scientists at Israel’s Technion have designed a low-energy system for harvesting safe drinking water from air. It uses a liquid desiccant to separate water vapor from air and then condenses just the vapor. It saves up to 65% of the energy of current systems.
Breaking the waves. Researchers at Israel’s Technion and Israel’s Sela Ltd. have rewritten engineering rules to build the Dganit - a boat that is lighter, faster, more durable and uses less fuel. The design stops waves from the “slamming” effect that causes stress. Combined with a polyurea coating, it allows the use of thinner plates.
Intelligent video analysis. Israeli video analytics startup Agent Video Intelligence can help monitor cities, infrastructure, transport and stores. Its sensors automatically analyze, detect and search massive files of video data through its cloud interface. Agent Vi has just received $7m funding to help it expand in Asia and Europe.
Rothschild Blvd becomes Innovation Blvd. Trendy Rothschild Boulevard was transformed into “Innovation boulevard” on Sep 27 as part of Tel Aviv’s Digital-Life-Design (DLD) conference. It showcased interactive and virtual reality displays, robots, talking trees, video and street art, music tech and 3D textiles.
Smartphone repairer does home visits. Israeli startup MOBILAB gets you a trusted technician to fix your smartphone at home or the office. Use their app (if your phone is still working), or their website. Available in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak and Givatayim, it will soon expand to the rest of the country and maybe internationally. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-app-brings-smartphone-repair-to-the-home/
http://themobilab.com/ (Hebrew-only site)
Helping Panama save water. A delegation of Panama’s water sector decision makers came to Israel to see its technology and strategy for making best use of its water resources. They were most impressed with Israel’s central control of water and also focused on Israel’s water reclamation, treatment and purification systems.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy is growing faster. The estimated growth of Israel’s economy has been revised upwards again. Growth in the second quarter is now calculated at 4.2% (revised from 4%). Exports of goods and services increased by 13.7%. Private consumption increased by 7.2% and investments in fixed assets soared 13.4%.
Maryland delegation to Israel. (TY Bennett) Maryland Governor Larry Hogan led a trade delegation of around 25 private-sector representatives to Israel. Successful business transactions included a partnership with Cyberbit for a cybersecurity training center in Baltimore that will employ about 100 people.
Your story becomes art. Israeli startup Dreame allows you to commission your own work of art from a professional artist, based on a personal story (real, imaginary or a dream) or photo that you submit. You select from Dreame’s network of 500 artists across 60 countries who e-mails you the JPG image within 10 days.
100 Israeli hi-techs at Shanghai conference. 100 Israeli companies attended the GoforIsrael 2016 conference in Shanghai, China. Matching Israeli R&D with Chinese manufacturing was seen as a win-win scenario. It was the first time in its 16 years that the conference was held outside of Israel.
Haifa to Acre, by cruise ship. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism has spent NIS 11 million upgrading the ports of Haifa and Acre and has inaugurated a new mini-cruise liner service between them. The service leaves Acre at 10am and 3pm, returning from Haifa at 11am and 4pm. The ship can carry up to 200 passengers.
Find your lost fortune. (TY Janglo) The Bank of Israel has a new website, Har Hakesef2, which lets you search for lost bank accounts and pension funds. Enter your Teudat Zehut number, and then fill in the date that it was issued and a few other identifying questions. You can do the same for relatives that have passed away.
Why do multinationals use Israel for R&D? (TY OurCrowd) Top executives from Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other multinational companies recently gave their reasons for choosing Israel for their Research & Development centers. They included the Israelis’ creativity, talent, problem-solving, chutzpah, and “magic”.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Reasons to love Israel in the fall (autumn). (TY Janglo) Israel21c has produced a compilation of uniquely Israeli things to enjoy at this time of year. It features apples & honey, migrating birds, hiking, biking, the first rains of the season, perfect sunsets, restful Jewish festivals, and entertaining festivals of culture. Enjoy!
Science Fiction festival. The 20th Icon Festival for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role-Playing takes place in Tel Aviv on 18-20 October. Guests include British Sci-Fi author Charles Strauss and actor John de Lancie who plays Q in Star Trek. http://2016.iconfestival.org.il/about/en/
Queen’s Tel Aviv concert. (TY Janglo) Rock legend Queen and new front man Adam Lambert played Tel Aviv's HaYarkon Park in front of 50,000 fans. The concert was a KILLER! There are many youtube videos of the concert available, but this one (TY Scosash) captured a unique event – Brian May playing Hava Nagila!
Sophia Loren’s Tel Aviv show. (TY SDM) Italian actress Sophia Loren is coming to Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium on Nov 25 as part of her one-woman worldwide tour. The 81-year-old Loren will share memories of her Hollywood career and her life in Italy, play clips of her favorite scenes and answer audience questions.
The Eilat International marathon. Register now for Israel’s unique Desert Marathon, taking place in Eilat on Nov 18. http://desertrun.co.il/en/
THE JEWISH STATE
Hispanic pastors in support of Israel. Around 160 pastors from the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) went to the Israeli Embassy in Washington to “strategize practical ways to help the Jewish state”, and to “witness for themselves the great miracles that God has wrought, just as the Bible promised."
Yom Kippur features on new Israeli stamps. (TY Jacob) Israeli stamps issued in September include Yom Kippur poem, Parables of the Sages, Israel-Bulgaria joint issue on bird migration and Seasons in Israel.
Californian meets Israeli blood brother. Leukemia sufferer Jacob had 5 siblings, but none was a suitable bone marrow match. Through Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry, he found a donor - Israeli Royi Horowitz - a perfect stranger. Read the moving account of when Jacob met Royi.
1st century gold coin found in Jerusalem. A rare 56-57 CE gold coin, bearing the image of Roman Emperor Nero, was found by archeologists from University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Mount Zion, Jerusalem. It was found in ancient rubble outside the ruins of the first-century Jewish villas that the team were excavating.
Deciphering a burnt ancient scroll. The text of a burnt scroll unearthed in 1970 in Ein Gedi by the Dead Sea has now been deciphered by researchers in Kentucky and Jerusalem using high resolution 3D scanning. Without unwrapping, the scroll contains the Torah book Leviticus – its text unchanged for at least 1500 years.
211 immigrants arrive from Ukraine. Following an increase of hostilities on the Russian-Ukrainian border, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) brought a flight of 211 new Ukrainian immigrants to Israel. It is the 19th flight sponsored by the IFCJ since hostilities broke out in 2014.
In the 9th Oct 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli scientists can prevent fatal infections by “fooling” the bacteria.
· A Druze-Arab school is Israel’s top high school for the second year in a row.
· The day after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, Israelis were there saving lives.
· Israelis rescue survivors buried under rubble by detecting their cellphones.
· Israeli scientists have produced hydrogen fuel from algae.
· Masada is the atmospheric venue for the Tamar music festival.
· A group of US Jews were inspired into action by an encounter on Mount Herzl.
· Click here to see the 2nd Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with an additional feature on Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please promote the terrific work of these volunteers by passing their links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel. Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles. Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Fighting bacteria with decoys. Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered how bacteria bind with immune system receptors to cause an immune storm, leading to sepsis or fatal toxic shock. The scientists have designed new peptides that act as decoys, stopping the bacteria from binding with the receptors.
Preventing painful operations. The US FDA has just approved the Aqueduct 100, from Israel’s Aqueduct Medical. The device alleviates the pain and potential complications that millions of women experience from cervical dilation prior to intrauterine procedures. It avoids anesthesia or an operating room environment.
Europe approves suturing system. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Gordian Surgical received CE clearance for its TroClose1200™, an innovative system for inserting surgical instruments into the abdomen and for the stitching of abdominal wall incisions during keyhole surgical procedures.
Israelis win Columbia U’s Horwitz prize. Columbia University’s 2016 Horwitz Prize goes to Howard Cedar and Aharon Razin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and America’s Gary Felsenfeld for their work on how molecules can regulate the structure, behavior, and activity of DNA. Their research formed the epigenetics field of biology. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/217497
Echocardiogram project wins research award. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s DiaCardio and South Carolina’s VidiStar have won a South Carolina-Israel research and development award. They will jointly develop a fully-automated echocardiogram (echo) examination and reporting system.
Recognizing autism in the genes. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have discovered that autism genes have the distinct characteristic of being exceptionally long. The study provides a tool to help identify additional autism genes, and from there hopefully to be able to diagnose autism earlier.
Mayo Clinic and IDC entrepreneur program. US nonprofit medical practice and research center Mayo Clinic is joining forces with the IDC Herzliya to develop new medical technologies. The one-year full-time IDCBeyond graduate program includes studies in technology, biomedicine, globalization and sustainability.
Treating selective mutism. (TY Chani) The charity Ezer Mizion organized a workshop into the subject of selective mutism – where children refuse to speak or only with their immediate family. Hundreds of parents, teachers and therapists attended, hearing from experts who achieve results using unique or tailored methods. http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/selective-mutism/
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Ethiopian-Israelis bring their dreams to life. (TY Sharon) In 2002, there were only four Ethiopian-Israelis working in the Israeli high-tech scene. Today, over 400 young Ethiopian-Israeli professionals are pursuing careers in Israeli high-tech firms, thanks to training by Tech-Career - an NGO founded on Kibbutz Nachshon.
Perlman inspires $2 million for disabled. When Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman donated his $1 million Genesis Prize to disabled projects, it inspired a matching $1 million grant from the “Breaking Barriers” program of the Jewish Funders Network. Another $1 million was donated by Roman Abramovich.
Druze school comes top again. (TY Atid-EDI) For the second year in a row, the Galilee Druze town of Beit Jann achieved the highest rate (99%) of students passing the high school matriculation exam. The Arab village of Abu al-Hija, outside Karmiel, came in second.
BBC features Haredi in hi-tech. (TY Eli) The BBC has highlighted the increasing number of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews who are proving successful in Israel's tech start-up sector. Quite positive for the BBC.
Citi invests NIS 1.5 million in Israeli-Arab startups. (TY Bennett) The Citi Foundation is investing around NIS 1.5 million in PresenTense Israel, a company that encourages social entrepreneurship and technology in Israel’s minorities and the disabled. It will help PresenTense’s programs for Israeli-Arabs in Haifa and Jaffa.
Getting together – over backgammon. (TY Karen) Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs participated in a 4-night backgammon (or “shesh besh”) tournament in Jerusalem. 150 attended the first night and even more on the second. Different perceptions of the rules caused endless light-hearted disputes, but no conflict.
A Palestinian Arab doctor shares his experiences. Wisam al-Jamal, a Palestinian Arab doctor from Hebron, writes about his work in an Israeli hospital.
How an Afghan baby came to Israel. Yehia (nicknamed Yaya) is the 16-month-old son of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and is a walking miracle. Pediatric cardiologists from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart performed a complex eight-hour operation on Yaya on July 31. The story of Yaya’s journey to Israel is fascinating.
Building horticulture in Rwanda. (TY Dan) Israeli Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV (Agency for International Development Cooperation) is constructing the Rwanda-Israel Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development near Kigali. It will serve as a hub for agricultural training, using Israeli farming technologies.
Israelis in Haiti rush to help victims of Hurricane Matthew. Responders from Israeli aid organization IsraAID and local partner Prodev rushed to help survivors of Hurricane Matthew that devastated Haiti. They were the first to provide food and water for 200 children at Cite Soleil in Port-Au-Prince.
Thanks from Louisiana flood victims. (TY Karen) The ten-person team from IsraAID was the only foreign organization in Louisiana aiding flood victims. They related the gratitude of Louisianans for Israel’s role in recovery efforts, especially that they had come such a long way to help them.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Your phone can save your life. (TY Dan) When a Tel Aviv garage collapsed, rescue workers used Res-Q-Cell from Israel Aerospace Industries to detect trapped victims by locating their cellphones. The system sends out signals that activate and detect cellular devices, even when cellular networks collapse.
Making sense of security. (TY Dan) Israel’s Lisa Dolev of Qylur Intelligent Systems, is the inventor of the Qylatron – a security scanner with multiple sensors that was used at the Rio Olympics. Visitors scan their ticket and put their bag into one of five cubbyholes. If the bag is safe, they collect it at the other side of the barrier.
360-degree body scanner. Meanwhile, (TY Dan) the EasyCheck system from Israel’s Camero will detect any illegal objects concealed on a person. No need to remove coats, shoes etc.
Purifying water in the Philippines. (TY Dan) The San Fernando Water District in the Philippines supplies clean and safe water after it adopted Israeli ultraviolet water technology worth $4 million. The UV systems from Israel’s Atlantium (see here) purify water far better than chlorine at lower cost with no chemical residue.
Smart lighting in Montreal. (TY Atid-EDI) The T-Light communications platform from Israel’s Telematics has been selected to be implemented for a control and monitoring solution for 132,500 street lights in the city of Montreal. In addition to lighting control, its sensors will detect snow, water pipe leakage and sewage overflow.
Speeding up fast food delivery. (TY Dan) The Algo Dispatching System from Dragontail Systems is a "super manager" used by Pizza Hut and Israel’s Burgeranch chains. It determines when orders should be made and delivered, rather than purely on a first come first served basis. Dragontail intends to list on the Australian ASX market. http://www.afr.com/technology/israeli-restaurant-tech-company-dragontail-systems-targets-asx-ipo-20160824-gr0cc4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEqFvajBAF0 http://www.dragontailsystems.com/
More effective drone photography. (TY Atid-EDI) Drones are increasingly being used for aerial photography and Israel’s Datumate has developed the tablet app Datufly to save up to 80% of field surveying time and eliminate follow-up site visits.
Two million better eyes. I reported on Israel’s GlassesOff several times previously. (see here) The number of users of the GlassesOff’s app has just reached 1 million users globally. The app reduces “vision-age” on average by 8.6 years. http://www.timesofisrael.com/app-trains-your-brain-to-dispense-with-reading-glasses/
IBM Alpha Zone’s 5th class. I included previously (see here) articles about IBM’s Alpha Zone accelerator. Its fifth class offers a 20-week program to help Israeli startups build solutions for the enterprise market. It will focus on cloud, big data & analytics, mobile, Internet of Things and solutions powered by cognitive computing,
100 schools to study space science. (TY Atid-EDI) Ramon Space Lab program, which ran as a pilot in 12 Israeli schools last year, will be rolled out to 100 Israeli schools in the current year. Thousands of Israeli middle school students will study space science and some will launch experiments at the International Space Station.
Global STEM conference in Jerusalem. The Israel Sci-Tech Schools, a network of science and technology educational institutions in Israel, will hold an international conference in November in Jerusalem to focus on correcting global deficiencies in the education of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Hydrogen from algae. (TY Nevet) I’ve previously reported articles about Israelis producing hydrogen fuel. Now Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Iftach Yacoby has genetically altered single-celled algae, which naturally emit hydrogen throughout the day, allowing the organism to increase its efficiency to five times its natural ability.
Look who’s working with Israel. Israeli scientists are reportedly participating with colleagues from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and Jordan on a $100 million project in Amman to develop the Middle East’s new particle accelerator - the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications (known as SESAME).
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Another record currency reserves. Israel’s reserves of foreign currency increased in September by $789 million to a new all-time record of $98.415 billion.
More investment in Israeli Wi-Fi chips. Tens of millions of Wi-Fi chipsets from Israel’s Celeno are used by service providers in home gateways, routers and set-top boxes to deliver Wi-Fi speed, coverage and reliability. (See here) Celeno has just raised $38 million to fund R&D and raise global presence.
Underwriting cybersecurity insurance. Israeli startup Cybewrite is helping to underwrite the new business of cyber-insurance - policies that cover companies in the event of a cybersecurity breach. Cybewrite’s cloud-based platform estimates the risk to the insurer, decides the type of coverage to offer and the premium to set.
Israel wines featured. (TY Nevet) The wines of Israel feature in the October issue of The Wine Spectator.
The drone race is on. (TY Dan) There are close to 40 Israeli commercial drone startups – most of which were established in the last three years. This excellent article summarizes the different categories and companies.
Turning pubs into offices. Daniel Rubin and Doron Maman have launched PubHub at Rosa Parks Bar in Tel Aviv. The night-time bar is converted into co-working office space during the day. Their second location at planned to open early November. http://www.geektime.com/2016/09/12/tech-on-tap-pubhub-is-converting-tel-avivs-night-time-bars-into-daytime-office-space-for-lean-startups/
Nano Dimension to open new factory. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported (here) on Israel’s Nano Dimension and its amazing nano-inks and 3D printers. It is to open a new production facility, co-located at its HQ in Ness Ziona, that will increase its commercial growth.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Tamar festival of music. The annual Tamar Festival (Oct 17-20) near the Dead Sea is one of Israel’s largest music festivals. It features sunrise concerts on the top of Masada and a free concert at Kibbutz Ein Gedi. There are also hikes, tours and children’s activities. http://www.tamarfestival.com/tamar-festival
Rockefeller exhibits Ashkelon treasures. The often overlooked Rockefeller Archaeological Museum in Eastern Jerusalem is featuring an exhibit entitled “Ashkelon: A Retrospective 30 Years of the Leon Levy Expedition”. It displays, for the first time, marble statues, coins, jewelry, figurines, and pottery from the 5000-year history of Ashkelon. http://www.imj.org.il/exhibitions/presentation/exhibit/?id=1103
Jerusalem’s Hebrew Music Museum. Laurent Levy and Eldad Levy (from the tribe of Levy) both had a vision of creating an interactive, state-of-the-art museum in the heart of Jerusalem that would celebrate Jewish music. Five years ago they met and started planning the museum. Today, it attracts 1000 visitors a month.
Craig David’s comeback continues in Israel. 2016 is proving a busy year for singer Craig David. In April he performed in Tel Aviv and made his first visit to Jerusalem. Craig’s manager Colin Lester is a board member of the charitable organization Creative Community for Peace that promotes the arts in Israel and counters BDS.
THE JEWISH STATE
A Native American Jew in the IDF. Benjamin Barmeyer of Texas, 22, of Native American descent, is among the diverse pool of young people from abroad who have chosen to join the Israel Defense Forces.
The cost of a Jewish education. (TY Janglo) While a top-quality Jewish education in Israel typically costs around $1000 per year, day school tuition in the US is a lot more – many over $30,000 per child. It’s enough to make you want to go on Aliya. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jJF9icyyd5jMqY-pm06QbJqqAKXe0b9X-1-DOzbo4yk/htmlview?sle=true
An inspirational encounter. (TY Avi) A group of American Jews were visiting Mount Herzl where many young Israeli soldiers are buried. Their Rabbi explained how devastating it is for parents to lose a child. Then they came across the mother of fallen soldier Erez Deri and her story inspired them into action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1g8JlG3aRQ
Research prize on Jews from Muslim countries. Israel is launching an annual NIS 150,000 prize for research into the history of the 850,000 Jews that fled Arab lands and Iran and settled in the newly founded State of Israel. It will be awarded on Nov 30 – the day after the UN 1947 partition plan that triggered the mass exodus.
Welcome to the home of the Jewish People. A quirky, humorous video summary of the various civilizations that have laid claim to the Land of Israel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrBEImNCHFo
In the 2nd Oct 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli scientists have found the gene vital to preventing ALS.
· The first Arab to be appointed legal advisor to an Israeli ministry.
· An Israeli leads the fight against wildlife poaching in Africa.
· An Israeli company has developed the fastest ever computer storage.
· In the last two years the UN doubled its purchases from Israel.
· Morrissey gave two acclaimed concerts in Israel.
· The Israel Museum is exhibiting artifacts from the Valley of David and Goliath.
· Click here to see the 25th Sept newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with features on Health, Global Impact and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please promote the terrific work of these volunteers by passing their links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.
Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel. Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles. Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
The gene that protects against ALS. Researchers from Ben-Gurion University have discovered the gene MIF that stops the protein superoxide dismutase (SOD1) from misfolding and then killing motor neurons, leading to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Lupus treatment works in lower doses. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Mar 2014) about hCDR1 from Israeli biotech XTL for treating Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – SLE). Trials have found many cases where low dosages of hCDR1 are more effective than high ones. XTL have filed new US and European patents.
Successful trials of Tennis Elbow treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Collplant has reported positive results of trials of its Vergenix STR treatment for inflammation of the elbow tendon - commonly referred to as tennis elbow. Most of the 40 patients reported less pain and disability - far better than those just on steroids.
Keeping a watch on Huntington’s disease. Israel’s Teva is to work with Intel Corp. to develop a wearable device combined with a machine learning platform to try and improve treatment for Huntington’s disease. A smartwatch and smartphone will continuously measure the severity of the motoric symptoms.
Predicting heart attacks and strokes. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously on Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision which can identify patients at early risk of osteoporosis, cardiac disease, liver disease etc. Zebra has just announced its development of two new software algorithms that predict cardiovascular events.
A liquid biopsy for cancer. (TY Karen) An interview on ILTV Daily with Dr Alan Schwebel, President and CEO of Israel’s BioView, which I reported on previously (see here). Dr Schwebel describes Bioview’s scanning system for early detection of cancer cells and identification of the most appropriate treatment.
App connects cancer sufferers. Mobile app “Belong” was developed by Israeli entrepreneurs who had lost family members to cancer. The app (iOS or Android) allows patients to share vital information whilst reducing feelings of loneliness and anxiety. It also provides tips, questions for doctors, and info on medical procedures.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
IDF academic scholarships. (TY Janglo) (TY Janglo) From October, the IDF will award full academic scholarships to combat soldiers, immigrants, minorities and the underprivileged upon their discharge. They will be funded from donations to the IDF. It is hoped to eventually extend the scholarships to all service personnel.
Jews and Arabs play soccer for peace. A soccer camp for Israeli children (50 Jews and 50 Arabs) featured a tournament in which the kids were split up into six different teams, each representing a “world cup” country. The tournament was all the more unique for being held in the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye.
First Arab legal advisor to Government ministry. (TY Karen) 34-year-old Christian Arab Maron Halifah from Haifa is to become the legal advisor to the Ministry of Development in the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, making him the first Arab ever to occupy the position of a legal advisor in a government office.
Syrian girl goes home after cancer treatment. (TY Bennett) I reported previously (Apr 10) about the secret operation to get a blood marrow donor for a Syrian girl being treated for cancer in Israel. The six-year-old girl has now recovered and has been released from hospital. http://legalinsurrection.com/2016/08/israeli-doctors-save-syrian-girl-after-security-services-smuggle-out-family-bone-marrow-donor/
Helping Christians and Yazidis in Iraq. (TY Bennett) Israel humanitarian organization IsraAID is operating in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI), supporting displaced Christians and Yazidis living in camps and temporary shelters. They are distributing blankets, mattresses and other emergency supplies.
Honduras to fight crime with Israeli tech. President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras said his country has signed an agreement with Israel for “cutting-edge technology” to help his army fight organized crime. Hernandez said the agreement will be used to battle “the highest levels of crime in the last 15 years.”
UN exhibition of Israeli tech for Africa. 10 Israeli companies are presenting their innovations to help Africa at a special exhibition at the UN. They include a portable greenhouse, polluted water detection technology, a device to produce water from air, solar tech to pump water and cancer diagnosis technology.
The first visit from the “Forbidden Kingdom”. (TY Dan) Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji of Bhutan is the first minister from South Asia’s “Forbidden Kingdom” to visit the Jewish State. He attended the graduation of Bhutanese students from the apprenticeship program of Israel’s AgroStudies and also visited several Israeli farms. Bhutan has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Environment/Bhutanese-minister-Diplomatic-relations-with-Israel-are-possible-466889
Hunting African wildlife traffickers. I reported previously (Nov 2014) on Israel’s Dr Bill Clark combating poaching in Kenya. Now another Israeli, Ofir Drori, has launched the EAGLE network and put 1300 poachers behind bars in Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Benin, Togo, Guinea, Senegal, Uganda and Madagascar.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
US-Israeli energy center. The United States Department of Energy is to establish a US-Israel joint energy research center in 2017. Jonathan Elkind, a DOE official, stated that the center will build on the “extensive engagement that already exists between our two countries through the US–Israel Energy Dialogue”.
Iron Dome to protect US forces. (TY Atid-EDI) Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon, its US partner for Iron Dome production, are working to transform the combat-proven Israeli interceptor into a fully US system defending forward-deployed US forces from cruise missiles, UAVs, rockets, artillery and mortars.
Technology for US special forces. (TY Dan) The Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA) is to collaborate with the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) on the production of innovative technologies. These include components, material combinations, simulations, and systems. Also (TY Atid-EDI) FIBA received $1 million from the State of Florida to attract and develop Israeli startups in the Tampa Bay area.
Robotics program in 300 schools. (TY Atid-EDI) Some 300 elementary schools in Israel will be adding robotics to their curricula for the 2016-2017 school year under a new initiative by the Education Ministry. Students will learn how to code and will receive hands-on experience in operating robots of various types.
International Robotics prize. I reported previously (May 15) on the success of a Binyamina High School in the FIRST Robotics contest in the USA. The students then went to compete in Shanghai where they finished second of 57 international teams with their robot that balanced on a beam and scored balls into goals.
A smart app for learning English. Israeli startup LinguisTech Solutions. has launched EZSpeak, which helps users learn to speak English quickly and pronounce it correctly. EZSpeak analyzes the user’s speech and creates a personalized learning program. LinguisTech is targeting the Chinese and Spanish-speaking markets.
Superfast storage. (TY Atid-EDI) The amazingly performance of Flash Storage DSSD has been superseded by Israel’s Plexistor using breakthrough technology. Labelled as Software Defined Memory, Non Volatile Memory and Persistent Memory over Fabric (PMoF). Plexistor’s PMoF Brick achieves staggering speeds.
Using spinach to generate fuel. (TY NoCamels.com) I reported previously (Apr 10) that Technion-Israel scientists used sunlight to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. They have progressed further and developed this into a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell, using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves.
Intel uses its Israeli brains. Intel Corp.’s display at the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival featured futuristic technology from virtual reality headsets to drones. Maxine Fassberg, CEO of Intel Israel, said “Intel is the connection between (these) brains that work daily on futuristic developments and Israel’s ecosystem of innovation.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/intel-displays-technologies-as-part-of-strategy-shift/
Israelis prompt Apple to boost iPhone security. Apple has fixed a security weakness in its mobile operating system, iOS 9.3.5. that was revealed by Israel’s NSO Group. The flaw allowed malicious software to track calls and contacts, collect passwords, read texts and emails, record calls and trace the whereabouts of the user.
Infiltrating the cyber underworld. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Intsights Cyber Intelligence monitors the dark web to detect potential attacks, delivering its threat intelligence platform to a substantial number of leading global enterprise companies in the retail, telecom, manufacturing and financial sectors. Intsights has just raised $7.5 million of funds. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-cyber-security-company-intsights-raises-75m-1001149325
Delphi and Mobileye driverless car partnership. Auto parts and electronics company Delphi Automotive is joining with Israeli software maker Mobileye to develop a platform for a fully autonomous car. They promise to demonstrate the technology at January’s Consumer Electronics Show and be ready for production in 2019.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Increases to welfare, culture and science budgets. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s government approved the two-year 2017-2018 state budget setting it at 454 billion shekels ($118 billion) for 2017 and NIS 463 billion ($120 billion) for 2018. It includes a series of growth incentives to increase competition and reduce the cost of living.
Israel’s economic growth and global economic integration. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s latest report makes inspiring reading. http://theettingerreport.com/Overseas-Investments/Israel%E2%80%99s-economic-stability-and-global-economic-in.aspx
Always on the move. (TY Atid-EDI) A record of 3,623,800 Israelis traveled abroad between January-July 2016 - 14.6% more than the same period last year. A record 3,350,400 traveled through Ben-Gurion Airport - 15% higher than in 2015. http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=35601
Huge rise in UN purchases from Israel. (TY Bennett) The United Nations acquired goods and services from Israel totaling $91.8 million in 2015 - double the amount it spent in 2013. 29% of Israeli goods were medical equipment and 17% were IT and communications equipment. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/UN-aide-services-from-Israel-doubles-in-two-years-464570
Trade with Japan is booming. (TY Dan) Bilateral trade in goods between Israel and Japan in the first seven months of 2016 rose to $1.4 billion from $1.1 billion in 2015. Japan is Israel's fourth-largest market in Asia.
Innovating with Italy. (TY Dan) The Innovation Center of Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo has signed a partnership agreement with Israel’s Bank Leumi to share commercial and technological expertise and projects. An agreement with the Italian Israeli Chamber of Commerce aims to develop contacts for Italian and Israeli companies. http://www.publicnow.com/view/6A9D50CFE4B3A765E9FC9A0555673FD61395FF35?2016-07-30-03:01:04+01:00-xxx3810
The best crowdfunding of a juvenile product. The Indiegogo campaign for the mifold grab-and-go car booster seat raised over $2.4 million (1,665% of funds sought). And I can report that the Israeli-developed portable car seat was useful for my granddaughter when I drove in the UK recently.
Freightos buys WebCargoNet. (TY Dan) I reported previously (Sep 11) that Jerusalem-based Freightos set up the world’s first web market place for international freight. Freightos has now bought Barcelona-based air-cargo rate management provider WebCargoNet creating the “world’s largest freight Big Data database of over 200 million data points. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-freightos-buys-barcelonas-webcargonet/
Massive exit for MassiveImpact. Taiwan’s General Mobile Corporation (GMobi) is reportedly paying billions of Taiwanese dollars to buy out Israel’s MassiveImpact, one of the largest performance advertising firms for mobile in the world. MassiveImpact reaches over 1 billion users in 190 countries.
Spacecom exits for $285 million. Beijing Xinwei Technology has bought Israel’s Spacecom Satellite Communications for $285 million. Spacecom (previously owned by Bezeq) operates the AMOS series of communications satellites. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-chinese-co-buys-spacecom-for-285m-1001147947
Hanita coatings exits. (TY Dan) I reported on the innovative coatings developed by kibbutz-based Hanita previously (Apr 2014). They insulate Whirlpool fridges and produce low cost alloy coatings for windows. Hanita has just been bought out by California-based Avery Dennison for $75 million.
Time to get emotional. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Beyond Verbal whose voice technology understands the emotions in human speech in multiple languages. It has applications for business, marketing, games, media and more. No wonder Beyond Verbal has just attracted $3 million of Chinese investment.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
70 million downloads. (TY Dan) I reported previously (Dec 27) on the Pirate Kings mobile game from Israel’s Jelly Button Games. It is now one of the most popular smartphone games designed in Israel, with 70 million downloads. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4846792,00.html
Morrissey serenades fans in Tel Aviv and Caesarea. Morrissey, the former front man for British rockers “The Smiths” was in fine form at the sold-out Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv. He treated his audience to a 90-minute set, described as a “melancholic dream world drenched in nostalgia”.
Standup comedy in Netanya. You may have read about British-Israeli comedienne Diana Cass in the Jerusalem Post Metro and Magazine. Diana has organized an evening of stand-up comedy on Nov 3rd in Netanya. The funny thing is that you only find out the address of the venue when you phone for tickets!
Barbie goes digital. Toy manufacturing giant Mattel has teamed up with Israeli startup StartApp to help bring the iconic Barbie doll to an every-day digital "Barbie world." StartApp will develop emojis, stickers, wallpapers, gifs, avatars, memes and other mobile app themes for the app, which is available to download.
Fans mob Amar’e Stoudemire. (TY Jamie) Israeli basketball fans danced with former New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire during a practice open to the public. Stoudemire signed a two-year deal in August to play for Hapoel Jerusalem. http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/08/28/israeli-fans-mob-dance-with-basketball-player-amare-stoudemire-at-first-jerusalem-team-practice-video/
Harlem Globetrotters return in October. (TY Janglo) After successful tours of Israel in 2012 and 2014 the Harlem Globetrotters return to Israel for 4 shows from 18 - 22 Oct. They visit Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva, Haifa and Jerusalem. http://igoogledisrael.com/2016/09/dont-miss-em-the-harlem-globetrotters-return-to-israel/
Paralympic cyclist wins medals with Israeli prosthesis. German Paralympic athlete Denise Schindler won a silver medal in the women’s cycling road time trial and bronze in the road race at the Rio Paralympics. She wore a high performance artificial leg 3D-printed by Autodesk, whose R&D center is in Tel Aviv.
Israel qualifies for World Baseball Classic. Israel qualified for the World Baseball Classic for the first time with a 9-1 win over Britain. Israel defeated Britain twice as well as Brazil to win the four-team qualifier and become the 16th and final team in the fourth W.B.C., scheduled to begin March 7 in Seoul, South Korea.
THE JEWISH STATE
VR tour of 2nd Temple. (TY Eli) The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is launching a new virtual reality (VR) experience in the Western Wall complex. It provides a virtual tour of the Second Temple, giving visitors an insight into the workings of the center of Jewish life 2,000 years ago. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Virtual-reality-tour-of-Second-Temple-available-at-Western-Wall-complex-468226#
2000-year-old stone vessel factory discovered. Archaeologists from Israel and Malta have unearthed a first century CE workshop in the Galilee that produced stone vessels. It is evidence of Jewish communities that used vessels made of stone to avoid religious restrictions associated with using pottery.
The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (TY Avi) Excellent new video from Stand With Us that silences those who claim that the Jewish Temple never existed in Jerusalem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UsoOnDpZPg
The valley of David and Goliath. (TY Sharon) The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is displaying artifacts from a 3000-year-old two-gated city in an exhibit called “In the Valley of David and Goliath”. Archeologists identify it as possibly Sha'arayim ('two gates' in Hebrew), mentioned in the story of David and Goliath.
6000 new immigrants this summer. (TY Janglo) Some 6,000 new immigrants have arrived in Israel over the summer, mostly from Russia, France, the US, Brazil, and Belarus. The Absorption Ministry has prepared extra facilities at Ben Gurion airport and in the various absorption centers and local branches.
World record for wrapping Tefillin – in Tel Aviv. (TY Janglo) Chabad set a new world record by getting 262 men to put on tefillin in 10 hours. The fact that this was achieved in the “secular” city of Tel Aviv is even more amazing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyIqO2VjqIY
Farewell to an innovator. Shimon Peres who died on Wednesday, urged Israel to embrace innovation, given the lack of natural resources in the land of milk and honey. Irrespective of his politics, he was unequivocally respected for his unending energy, optimism and inquisitiveness. He believed that anything could be achieved if you really tried. http://www.timesofisrael.com/shimon-peres-urged-israel-to-dream-and-innovate/