Good News From Israel Week of 7th April 2013
Israel is building a specialist bone marrow transplantation center in Bulgaria. Israel is entering an energy self-sufficient house into the Sustainable Olympics. A recent international sale shows that Israel’s energy technology has no boundaries. Israel can provide luxury hotel accommodation for your dog. Builders of a new wedding hall in Southern Israel have uncovered a 1500-year-old wine press. A record 11,000 Jewish youngsters will participate in “The March of the Living”.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS Israel to build modern hospital in Bulgaria. A modern medical center for bone marrow transplantation with the know-how of Hadassah Hospital of Jerusalem will be opened in Varna by the end of the current year. Also, a University of Haifa program will allow 3rd-year Israeli students to finish their diplomas in Bulgaria. http://paper.standartnews.com/en/article.php?d=2013-04-04&article=42346 Israel invited to TedMed. The USA’s annual TedMed conference is normally an American-only event, where doctors can relax and discuss matters that really concern them. This year, Israel will be the first country outside of the US to be officially represented. And on the final day, a satellite TedMed event will be held in Israel. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-honored-with-tough-to-land-medical-conference-invite/ Israeli plants fight infections. (Thanks to NoCamels) Israeli herbs have generated special chemical compounds to deal with the extremes of the climate. Israel’s Nufar Natural Products is developing these plants to treat problematic wounds, assist in treating fungal and other skin infections and fight parasites. http://nocamels.com/2013/04/israeli-herbs-found-useful-in-treating-infection/ The gene that moves your heart. Researchers at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center have found mutations in the LRRC6 gene cause primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). Symptoms are repeated lung infections, sinusitis, frequent ear infections and fertility problems. Early diagnosis may reduce the damage. And in half these cases, the heart grows on the right of the chest instead of the left. The liver, stomach and spleen are also transposed. http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=308498 Bone marrow treatment gets boost. In January I mentioned Apocell from Israeli biotech Enlivex, which prevents GVHD rejection of bone marrow transplants. Now, the treatment has received US FDA “orphan” status due to its importance and lack of alternatives for treating the unwanted autoimmune response. http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000833540&fid=1725 Why the immune system fails. Hebrew University researchers have discovered the mechanisms that the body uses to shut down the immune system. The process can be beneficial in preventing chronic inflammation, but very dangerous in patients with cancer and HIV. This knowledge can help develop better therapeutic strategies. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130403072003.htm ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL Three top African-Israeli women. Yityish Aynaw wants to use her “Miss Israel” title to showcase Israel’s diversity. Along with her, several African-Israeli women have recently made a pop culture impact. Ethiopian-Israeli actress Ester Rada, 28, has just released her first solo rock record to positive reviews. And Ahtaliyah Pierce, a 17-year-old Black Hebrew Israeli, reached the semi-finals on Israel’s edition of “The Voice”. http://www.timesofisrael.com/3-african-israeli-women-hope-to-use-their-fame-to-bolster-integration/ Israeli saves two Bedouin boys from drowning. You may have read that three sons of Hassan Sariye drowned off Ashkelon, but you may have missed that Yaakov Bruchim jumped into the dangerous currents to save two others. The emotional father Hassan said, “God took away three sons but gave us another.” http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-hero-saved-two-bedouin-brothers-from-drowning/2013/04/03/ Arab paramedic honored for saving Jewish child. Muawiya Qabha saved Adele Briton, aged 3, who was critically injured by Palestinian Arabs throwing rocks. Qabha rushed to the scene of the attack, even though he was not on duty at the time. This week, he was a guest of honor at the Briton family’s Mimouna (post-Passover) celebration. Qabha also visited Adele in hospital. http://unitedwithisrael.org/arab-paramedic-saves-life-of-3-year-old-jewish-child/ Israel’s youth villages provide “a place to belong”. 60 youth villages in Israel educate an estimated 25,000 students per year, putting them on a path toward becoming productive members of Israeli society, despite troubled pasts and higher rates of unemployment and poverty among their families. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/0308/Youth-villages-give-Israeli-immigrant-children-a-place-to-belong Agricultural help for the Navajo. The US State of New Mexico is running a conference entitled “Navajo and Israel Agricultural Gathering for the First Nations”. Organizers hope that the conference will attract hundreds of Navajo farmers and teach them how to better grow and sell their crops. http://www.daily-times.com/farmington-news/ci_22887750/navajo-israel-conference-seeks-farmers SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Happy 40th birthday to the cell phone. The International media is full of news of the first cell phone call made in 1973 by Martin Cooper of Motorola. They are strangely silent about the fact that much of the technology was developed at Motorola’s Haifa development center. http://www.investinisrael.gov.il/NR/exeres/462FB17B-2160-466D-B83A-902DC786E9DB.htm Developing renewable energy together. Ben Gurion University and the University of Michigan are to forge a research partnership on developing renewable technologies. The three-year program will research advanced vehicle fuels, solar energy and thermoelectric materials, which convert heat to electricity. http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/news/UM_partnership.aspx A house for the Sustainable Olympics. 30 Israeli students have built an energy self-sufficient four-room house that will compete in the Solar Decathlon event in China in August. It is solar-powered, has disabled access, a garden irrigated by recycled water and the renewable energy products of several Israeli companies. http://www.jpost.com/Enviro-Tech/Israeli-students-to-build-house-for-Solar-Decathlon-308768 A UAV in your backpack. A new unmanned drone from Israel’s Elbit Systems is a game-changer for the IDF. It takes 8 minutes to assemble, launched from a bungee cord, flies at 15,000 feet for three hours and its on-board camera shows exactly what is happening on the ground. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2013/April/Israeli-Skylark-Drone-a-Game-Changer/ Clean panels for more solar power. Frequent Middle-East storms can coat solar panes with dust, reducing their efficiency substantially. Sergey Biryukov at Ben Gurion University’s National Solar Energy Center came up with the idea of using an electrical field to “charge” the dust particles and repel them from the solar panels. http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/03/dusting-off-solar-panels-with-an-electric-charge/ The dark side of the Internet. Ben Gurion University engineer Mark Last has developed a system for detecting websites used for illegal military activities. It analyzes the occurrence of certain words and highlights those sites with an unusually high frequency of them. The system has near-perfect success rates. http://www.techpageone.com/technology/mapping-the-dark-web-of-terrorist-sites/ ECONOMY & BUSINESS 40 years of IBM magic. (Thanks to Israel21c) The Israel center of International Business Machines has been performing technological magic at its Haifa offices for 40 years where it has developed RS/6000 computers, ultrasound equipment and a HIV database. No wonder we computer nerds say IBM stands for “I Bring Magic”. http://israel21c.org/technology/ibm-research-celebrates-40-years-in-israel/ Simulators for Finland. Israel’s Simlat Ltd was selected to provide an Unmanned Air vehicle System (UAS) Training Center to the Finish Defense Forces. http://i-hls.com/2013/04/the-israeli-company-simlat-ltd-will-provide-mini-uas-training-simulation-center-for-finnish-defense-forces-fdf/ Underground energy for Indonesia. Israel’s Ormat Industries has designed a 330-megawatt geothermal power plant in Northern Sumatra. It will also supply its Ormat Energy Converters, for which it will receive $254 million. The first phase of the plant will be ready for operations in 2016. http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000833822&fid=1725 Citi gets intelligent in Israel. Citi Global Markets has opened a global financial data intelligence lab in Israel, as part of Citi’s Technology Innovation Center. The decision was based on Israel’s potential talent and activities in data. The lab leads projects of complex processing in large real time data. http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000833520&fid=1725 A business bridge to Michigan. 60 per cent of US defense contracts touch the US State of Michigan and many involve Israeli companies. State Governor Rick Snyder has The Michigan-Israel Business Bridge (MIBB) officials’ phone numbers on speed dial, and he is planning to visit Israel in June, to promote business ties. http://www.timesofisrael.com/building-a-bridge-between-israel-and-michigan/ China goes Blue. China’s Guangdong Province water company is currently in the process of installing 75 water analyzing and control units supplied by Israel’s Blue I Water Technologies. The news comes on top of Blue I Water’s February’s announcement of deals in India and South America. http://www.israelnewtech.com/2013/04/blue-i-water-technologies-expanding-global-operations-in-china/ CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT Yemenite filigree is alive in Israel. Ben-Zion David, a traditional Jewish silversmith of Yemenite descent, is one of Israel’s best-known filigree jewelers. David learned this intricate craft from his father and grandfather and displays his work in his museum in Old Jaffa. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvI1y-es8BQ&feature=em-uploademail Things to do in Israel in April. April in Israel is a month full of events – festivals, concerts, and shows. Along with Israel’s Remembrance Day and Independence Day, concerts by Ravi Coltrane and Shlomo Artzi supplement the Jerusalem Ice Festival, Haifa’s Dali exhibition and the Moroccan Mimouma feast. http://www.touristisrael.com/things-to-do-in-israel-in-april/5766/ Pamper your pooch. (Thanks to Israel21c) When Israelis go on vacation, they no longer have to consign Fido to a kennel. Watch how KelevLand, a one-of-a-kind dog hotel with elite accommodation, gives pooches the best possible treatment – from mineral water on tap, to tummy rubs and acupuncture. Plus DogTV of course. http://israel21c.org/culture/israels-dogs-get-the-paws-idential-treatment/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k6Q8orj92iM Chinese film to be shot in Israel. A 22-member Chinese production company is arriving in April to shoot scenes in Israel for a Chinese epic called “Old Cinderella”. It is expected to be a blockbuster movie thanks to stars such as Zhang Jingchu (“Rush Hour 3”) and director Lu Chuan. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4363190,00.html Rihanna returns to Israel. Rihanna, largely acknowledged as the biggest pop star in the world right now, will be performing a concert in Tel Aviv as part of her “Diamonds” world tour. Although not yet officially official, the concert is expected to be on October 22 in Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park. Her last Israeli visit was in 2010. http://igoogledisrael.com/2013/04/rihanna-the-worlds-hottest-pop-star-returns-for-a-tel-aviv-concert-in-october/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lWA2pjMjpBs Rocking on Independence Day. The rock independence party takes place on April 15, 2013 (the eve of Israeli Independence Day), at the Rishon LeZion Park Amphitheater. It features some of Israel’s biggest names in rock including Aviv Geffen, Barry Sacharov, Balkan Beat Box, Hadag Hahash, Mashina and Elisha Banai. http://www.touristisrael.com/rock-independence-party/10198/ THE JEWISH STATE L’Hayim. Israel Antiquities Authority workers have discovered a 1500-year-old wine press during the construction of a wedding hall near Hamei Yoav, east of Ashkelon in southern Israel. It is one of the best-preserved examples of a Byzantine-era winemaking facility. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166760#.UV6J40oX7KU The oldest first-time Christian tourist to Israel? 104-year-old, Eleanor Hall from Richboro, Pennsylvania is finally making her first pilgrimage to the Holy Land, with her daughter and two granddaughters. “I haven’t seen many pictures of Israel, so everything is going to be new and exciting,” she said. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/104-year-old-pennsylvania-womans-israel-visit-dream-comes-true/2013/03/31/ Jews are from Judea. This blog by Andreas Faberbakke (from Norway) is so clear. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-jewish-occupation-of-judea/ Israel is less isolated than ever. In this extensive report Bar-Ilan Professor Efraim Inbar states that Israel’s international status has improved thanks in part to its social, economic, technological, financial, and diplomatic achievements. With its new energy reserves, water and agricultural technologies, things can only get better. http://www.meforum.org/3483/israel-isolation We love life. 11,000 youngsters from over 50 countries will take part in this year’s “March of the Living program” starting with Yom Ha’Shoah at Auschwitz on 8 April and finishing on Israeli Independence Day in Jerusalem on 16 April. 500 Holocaust survivors will accompany them and relate their experiences. http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=308470 Good News From Israel