Israel's Good News Newsletter to 14th Sept 2014


In the 14th Sept 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli brain surgeons cured a tremor patient whilst she played her violin.
·        Israeli doctors transplant kidney into Gaza boy who had only one blood vessel.
·        An Israeli company has developed the world’s smallest GPS chip.
·        The new Jerusalem Arena is the largest center of its kind in the Middle East.
·        A rare female baby white rhino was born in an Israeli safari park.
·        Israeli factories are being subsidized to convert them to natural gas.
·        Israeli security systems protect European nuclear reactors.
·        A $20 million donation boosts research at Tel Aviv University.

·        Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Supporting Israel is only Natural” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on Jerusalem Post, United With Israel and Jewish Business News.
·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News and on IsraelSeen.com.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Violinist plays during her brain surgery.  Former international violinist Naomi Elishuv gave up playing 20 years ago when she developed essential tremor.  Israeli doctors fitted a Deep Brain Stimulation electrode into her damaged brain under local anesthetic, and whilst Naomi played the violin, they guided it to the correct spot.

Preventing the spread of Ebola.  The experimental vaccine ZMapp isn’t an Israeli invention, but it has been having some success in treating Ebola victims.  The problem is that stocks have run out and Israeli biotech Protalix has offered to produce more vaccine.  Separately, Israeli doctors are giving Cameroon medics training on how to fight the virus.

Genetic screening can save women from cancer.  Researchers at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center have concluded that all Jewish women of Ashkenazi origin should be screened for BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutations from age 30.  40% of ovarian cancer cases in Ashkenazi Jews are due to these mutations.

Government funds universal flu vaccine development.  Israel’s BiondVax has just received a 4.87 million shekels grant from Israel’s Chief Scientist, to allow them continue development of their universal influenza vaccine M-001.  The treatment is in advanced trials and the funds will prepare it for commercialization.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Innovations for the elderly.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s Science Ministry is to give grants totaling up to 15 million shekels ($4.5 million) in 2015 for scientists working on practical solutions for the elderly. Projects can cover technological, medical and/or social science applications.

Israel is the safest place for an Arab in the Middle East.  On a recent visit to Northern Israel, Anat Berko stopped in an Arab village to get her car fixed.  The owner of the repair shop revealed that 10 Muslim village boys were serving in the IDF in Gaza.  The villagers would not live anywhere else in the Middle East.

Football friendly.  (Thanks to Hazel) Shimon Peres kicked off his Twinned Peace Soccer Schools initiative on Kibbutz Dorot near the Gaza border.  More than 600 children from Israel and the Palestinian territories will take part in these events throughout the year using soccer to build friendships between Jews and Arabs.

Surfers for Peace.  Four young Arabs from Jisr al Zarka came to Tel Aviv beach to learn how to teach surfing.

Hoops for Peace.  14 disabled Israelis and Palestinian Arabs (7 of each) are participating in a tournament in Germany as part of a joint wheelchair basketball team.  The team, sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, includes athletes aged 15 to 25 from the PA town of Beit Jala and from Israel’s Ramat Gan.

Gaza boy has innovative kidney transplant in Israel.  Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam hospital performed a unique kidney transplant on a 14-year-old boy from Gaza.  Due to a previous failed transplant in Egypt, and obstructed blood vessels, the Israeli doctors implanted a synthetic connector to allow his new kidney to work.

Syrian takes wounded 12-year-old brother to Israel on a donkey.  After a 12-year-old Syrian boy sustained serious wounds in his arms and legs and lost his vision during fighting near Damascus, his brother seated him on a donkey and led him to the Golan border.  The IDF transferred the boy to the Israeli hospital in Safed.

Syrian woman treated in Israel.  The IDF admitted a 47-year-old Syrian woman, seriously injured in the country's civil war, into Israel for treatment on Thursday.  The woman was admitted to Ziv Medical Center in Safed, which has treated 366 injured Syrians since the civil war began.

IDF saves Irish UN troops.  The Irish UN force that rescued 40 Filipino soldiers from Syrian rebels on Aug 30 would have been killed or captured had it not been for the IDF. The Israelis guided the Irish soldiers, helping them to avoid large concentrations of militant units.  There were reports that they also provided covering fire.

From Tel Aviv to New York City.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) According to Guy Franklin, creator of the interactive map “Mapped in NY”, in January 2013 there were about 60 Israeli startups in the Big Apple. In just over a year, this number grew to a whopping 200.

Israel gives satellite info to US re IS.  Israel has provided the US with intelligence and satellite images on Islamic State positions.  Israeli spy satellites were said to have greater access to the region, allowing the US to “fill out its information and get a better battle damage assessment” in the aftermath of its air strikes.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The world’s smallest GPS chip.  The Micro Hornet GPS developed by Israel’s OriginGPS is only 10x10x5.8mm and weighs merely 2.5 grams.  It has the capability to be incorporated in clothing, automobiles and any valuable item that requires its location to be tracked.

Now where did I put my specs?  Israeli start-up LOOK has launched a crowd-sourced funding campaign to help it develop a practical and effective device for finding misplaced glasses. A tiny attachment to the spectacles connects wirelessly via an app to any mobile device.  My wife would use the app several times a day.

Cutting out 90% of water evaporation.  Here is an Israeli innovation that I almost missed reporting.  In May, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Innovation Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation went to Israel’s “Top-It-Up”.  Their “Top-up” spheres cover reservoirs to prevent evaporation, protect fish and maintain water quality.

The largest center in the Middle East.  Jerusalem’s new indoor Payis Arena is the largest sports, cultural, and recreational center of its kind in the Middle East.  11,600 seats, wheelchair access, Olympic-sized swimming pool, ice skating rink bowling alley and more; it will also host huge concerts and international conferences.

Good insects keep crops pest-free.  Farmers at Ein Yahav have cut pesticide use by 80% thanks to the natural insect predators supplied by Israel’s “Beauty of Vegetables”.  Ein Yahav is one of the biggest vegetable exporters in Israel, producing a world record for the largest pepper and the Justin (Timberlake) melon.

Rent a bike by smartphone.  Israeli start-up HopOn, will allow cyclists in Tel Aviv to rent from bicycle rental service Tel-O-Fun and pay by smartphone. Users of the app will be able to unlock the bicycles at the touch of a smartphone button, with no need to physically appear at the machine or wait in line at the rental station. 

Clothes that stop bacteria and viruses.  (Thanks to Israe21c) Jerusalem-based Argaman Technologies has developed bio-inhibitive textiles and masks. High-powered ultrasound impregnates fibers with accelerated Copper Oxide that prevents the spread of bacteria and viruses.  It could even protect against the Ebola virus.

Israel Innovation Week.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Tel Aviv’s DLD Conference – part of Israel’s Innovation Week – is Israel’s largest hi-tech event with thousands of start-ups, experts, investors and delegations from 22 countries.  But that’s not all.  Check out all the other events here.

Female white rhino born in Israel.  For the first time in 20 years, Ramat Gan Safari has seen the birth of a female white rhino.  Once thought to be extinct, the baby rhino will now stay in Israel to hopefully become a mother to more baby rhinos.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

NIS 4.8 million to convert to gas.  The Israeli government has issued grants of 4.8 million shekels to convert 16 factories to natural gas.  4 million shekels were given in 2013 to 16 other factories for the same purpose.  Using natural gas will save money in the long term and cut pollution from using coal and diesel fuels.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange opens new building.  The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has opened for trading in its new building on Rehov Ahuzat Bayit in Tel Aviv.  It has 10 floors, with the computer center below ground.

Israeli trading platform is sold for $350 million.  Israel’s SuperDerivatives trading platform is used by banks and financial institutions around the world.  US clearing house network IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) has just acquired it, including its 250 Israeli employees, for a third of a billion dollars.

Apple co-founder loves Israel.  Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers, attended Israel’s 2014 EduAction conference. He then gave an interview to Hillel Fuld of ZuTa Labs (developer of the pocket printer) and praised Israel’s hi-tech computer industry.

An ideal water partnership.  Jerusalem’s water utility Hagihon, with 1 million customers, has signed a 3-year contract with Israeli water network management company TaKaDu.  TaKaDu monitors water quality, leakage and pressure for customers in Israel, the USA, Europe, Australasia, South America and Asia.

Protecting European nuclear reactors.  Israel’s DSIT Solutions reported its second deal within a week to guard nuclear reactors in Europe. DSIT’s AquaShield, is installed near the protected facility to detect divers, submarines, and explosive devices.  AquaShield detected Hamas divers during Operation Protective Edge.

MobilEye is now worth $11 billion.  Since Israel’s MobilEye launched on NASDAQ, its price has soared.  At the time of writing, the price is $54, valuing it at $11 billion, but Morgan Stanley has a target price of $100.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Tel Aviv – where science fiction almost meets science fact.  The Utopia International Science Fiction Festival is set to infuse Tel Aviv with a variety of science, imagination and future vision events, conferences, micro-talk sessions, exhibits and performances.  In Israel, though, it seems that the impossible is only just ahead of reality.

Coming Home.  (Thanks to 12TribeFilms) The Maccabeats latest catchy song (with over 120,000 hits) has an important theme.  The visuals switch continually between scenes of Manhattan and Jerusalem.

Beach Boys performance date.  Legendary American rock and pop band The Beach Boys will perform at Tel Aviv's Nokia Arena on November 29.  (Video below is from 1976.)

14-year-old girl combats BDS.  It just shows what can be achieved if you try.  14-year-old Shelly Dvir heard that her favorite heavy metal band Cruahan from Ireland was seriously considering canceling their Tel Aviv gig due to pressure from the Boycott Israel thugs.  So she wrote on the band’s facebook page – and it worked!


THE JEWISH STATE

Huge philanthropic donation for Israeli research.  Ukrainian-born US billionaire Len Blavatnik is donating $20 million to Tel Aviv University. The donation will fund three new centers and two new funds at Tel Aviv University that will focus on promoting applied research.

Jerusalem of Gold.  The City of David Foundation’s annual conference enabled the general public to experience some of the most important archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem in recent years.  A special portion of this year’s conference highlighted several never-before-seen golden artifacts.

Visiting the sick and supporting the fallen.  One of my readers is a member of SOS Netivot – Israel.  The organization helps injured children and needy families in the South of Israel. Please support their vital work.

Lebanese Muslim activist waves the Israeli flag.  The speakers at the Stockholm pro-Israel rally on Aug 31 included Mostafa Geha, a Muslim Lebanese activist and writer, who co-founded the Lebanon Israel Peace Project.  He says peaceful relations between Israel and Lebanon, like those between the biblical Kings Solomon and Hiram, will create an amazing region.

Flags of joy.  (Thanks to Jacob Richman)  Israel has issued new postage stamps.  Three of them mark the upcoming festival of Simchat Torah (rejoicing of the Torah) by depicting flags waved during the celebrations.

An Aliya video with a difference.  (Thanks to Leonie) This could inspire many to come and study in Israel.