Israel's Good News Newsletter to 22nd Mar 2015



In the 22nd Mar 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         New Israeli electronic lenses automatically focus on what you are looking at.
·         After the highest election turnout in 16 years, Israel has a record number of women lawmakers.
·         Israeli aid workers are already saving lives in the devastated islands of Vanuatu.
·         Israeli water experts are helping to build floating desalination plants in Norway.
·         An Israeli company exports salt to Russia.
·         The Batmitzvah girl in the Copenhagen tragedy finally celebrated in Jerusalem.

·         Last week’s JPost Israel Good News Special Feature.  Click here for “What is Israel fighting for?” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on IsraelSeen and United With Israel.

·         Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with focus on health.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.  Thank You Michelle and Hazel again and to many others for the links to many exciting news stories.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Electronic lenses that help you see straight.  Israeli start-up DeepOptics has developed electronic multifocal lenses. Using sensors, they detect what the eye is focusing on as well as the viewing distance - adjusting the power of your spectacles to ensure that whatever is being looked at comes into focus, whether near or far.

Safe robotic syringe.  The robotic dispensing system from Israel’s RescueDose makes the preparation and administration of liquid medication safer by adding accurate doses automatically and minimizing human contact.  RescueDose is already used to dispense radiation treatments for cancer patients.

Sound analysis of sleep disorder.  The term “sound asleep” is very appropriate to the discovery by Ben Gurion University researchers of a simple, cheap way to evaluate sleep disorders.  Using their innovative breath sound analysis (BSA) algorithm, patients with sleep quality, snoring and sleep apnea problems can be analyzed easily.

UK and Israel to tackle dementia.  A delegation of senior British scientists and companies is in Israel, to work with Israel on dementia. They are following up on December’s joint meeting of the British Neuroscience Association and the Israel Society for Neuroscience in Eilat.

Link between weaning and diabetes.  Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that the pancreatic cells of some young mice fail to produce insulin in response to glucose during the transition from mother’s milk to calcium-enriched food.  It may explain why some children develop Type 1 diabetes.

Israel has the brains to solve brain problems.  Great praise from US congressman Chaka Fattah – the man in charge of appropriating federal money for science and medical research and development programs.  Fattah, was a keynote speaker at BrainTech 2015 event in Tel Aviv.  Per capita, Israel leads the world in neuroscience.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

A win for democracy.  Following the highest turnout (71.8%) since 1999, the next Knesset will contain a record number of women (28) and 17 Arabs.  The 23% of female MKs compares to 20% in the US.  The turnout amongst Israeli-Arab voters was particularly high.

Jerusalem’s photos of the day.  Arab and Jewish girls pose together at the start of the Jerusalem marathon. (Photo credit to Sharon Altshul - www.rjstreets.com)  Also see the varied voters at Israel’s election (TY Hazel)

Top priority.  (TY Hazel) Israel’s President Reubin Rivlin held a soccer event at the presidential residence, inviting children and soccer stars from around the country to participate in an effort to raise awareness against violence and racism. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Sports/Watch-President-Rivlin-plays-soccer-with-youth-at-residence-393718

“Israel is a safe haven for Christians.”  Newsletter readers already know the truth of that statement. Now it has been incorporated into the “Shalom Declaration” circulated by UK Christian organizations.  The declaration is expected to be signed by more than 800 Christians at a gathering in London, UK later this month.

Bedouin Arabs and the JNF.  If the New York Times won’t publish the response to its false accusations about the JNF, please read it here.  Read about its Wadi Atir project; about efforts to calm Bedouin children under fire from Hamas terrorists; care for disabled Bedouin at JNF-sponsored ALEH Negev and much, much more.

More PA Arabs can work in Israel.  (TY Hazel) Palestinian Arab men over 55 and over 50 no longer need a permit to enter Israel from Judea and Samaria to work. Married men over the age of 22 can also now apply (previously only married Palestinian Arab men over 24 who had children could work in Israel).

Gazans pray in Jerusalem.  (TY Hazel) Two hundred Gazans travelled in buses to Israel via the Erez crossing, to Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.  (as reported in the Arab press)

Social business winners.  (TY Michelle) The goal of Israel’s B the Change Competition is to promote startups to improve quality of life for millions of marginalized people.  So look out for these winners - ESCO (supports startups)  KitchenBug, MobileODT (affordable healthcare), Tulip Winery and VoiceITT (for speech-impaired).

Israel opens Lithuanian embassy.  Israel has opened its first embassy in Lithuania.  The embassy is in the capital Vilnius (Vilna) where Jews comprised a quarter of the population before WW2.  Israel’s first ambassador to the Baltic nation is Amir Maimon.  Lithuania’s embassy in Israel opened in 1992.

Israel sends aid team to Vanuatu.  A multi-sector emergency response team from Israel-based IsraAID has arrived on the remote islands of Vanuatu, devastated by Cyclone Pam.  After meeting government officials and UN agencies in the capital Port Vila, IsraAID started distributing water and rice and more Israeli aid is coming.
(Info from IsraAID’s Shachar Zahavi)


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israeli university joins International energy consortium.  Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will be part of an international academic, research and corporate consortium to create a Ph.D. program on thermal energy storage (TES) technologies.  TES heats or cools a storage medium so that the stored energy can be used later.

Altair extends battery life on 4G devices.  Israel’s Altair Semiconductor has developed a new chipset that will help the LTE batteries that power 4G devices to run with 10 times less power and half the cost of using current LTE technology.  Current 4G devices include smart meters and alarms and many more are in development.

Tech to repair the world.  The first ever TOM (Tikkun Olam - repair the world) Maker event took place in Nazareth. It focused on helping people with special needs to integrate better in the community - find a job, to sit with friends in cafes, stroll the streets etc.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz7Jo V5hiNU  http://www.tomtlv.org/?page_id=780

Australia receives Israeli research delegation.  Assistant Minister for Defense, Stuart Robert met with a defense research delegation from Israel to discuss areas of mutual interest including science and technology. 

Israelis get smarter phones.  Israelis bought 2.85 million smartphones in 2014 – a rise of 19% on 2013. 

Stop texting and start Gliding.  Read more about the instant video messenger from Israel’s Glide and watch this demo of how easy and practical it is to use.

Israeli technology for Norwegian desalination.  (TY Michelle) Norwegian company, EnviroNor, is recruiting Israeli expertise to provide the water-processing technology necessary for its project to convert secondhand oil barges into floating desalination and wastewater treatment plants.

Security for water.  Jerusalem’s regional water & wastewater utility, Hagihon, has placed itself at the forefront of the cyber protection arena with a breakthrough project.  Even if an employee does something unauthorized, like using an unrecognized USB flash drive, the system will send out an alert.

Restoring Beer Sheva’s river.  (TY Roberta) Untreated wastewater from Palestinian Arab towns has been polluting the Besor-Hebron-Be’er Sheva River for decades, thanks to international water laws.  Now a 3-year project has been agreed between Israel, the PA and the Bedouin community to clean up the river.

How Israel solved its water crisis.  (TY Michelle) An excellent short article describing how, faced with severe drought and a full-blown water crisis, Israel made itself self-reliant by investing $4 billion between 2002 and 2010 to develop water technology that keeps its population and industries alive.  And the innovations continue.

Korea learns Israeli pest control.  South Korea’s Minister of Agriculture, Lee Dong-Phil visited Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu's "BioBee" factory to learn about natural solutions to the global decrease in the wild bee population. BioBee is one of the global leaders in biological pest management, natural pollination and Medfly control.

U.K.-Israel science partnership is booming.  Sir Mark Walport - chief scientific adviser to the British Government - says that Israel and the UK are scientific superpowers, working together on neuroscience, stem cells, nanoscience and water science. In 2015, hundreds of Israeli researchers will work in U.K. universities.

Weeding with technology.  Israeli biotech Evogene is using its PointHit platform to analyze molecules in weeds and identify key plant macro-molecules responsible for essential biological processes in weeds. By targeting those processes, herbicides can be developed that will be more effective in killing weeds.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Exporting Israel’s Venture Capital success.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s financial ecosystem took off in 1993 thanks to the venture capital firm Yozma and its founder Yigal Erlich, Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade with a US$100 million Government investment.  Yozma is now expanding into Asia.

The most shared website on Facebook.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s PlayBuzz has raised $16 million to expand its quiz games, lists and poll website internationally.  Founded by Shaul Omert (son of an ex-Israeli PM) Playbuzz has grown to more than 80 million unique users, with more than half of its traffic coming from Facebook.

Keeping worthwhile businesses going. (TY Michelle) Israeli startup FundBox lends money to small businesses who are struggling with their cash flow.  After uploading a company’s invoices and checking for fraud, Fundbox pays the company now, instead of it having to wait 60 or 90 days for the purchaser’s money.

Israel exports salt to Russia.  Israel’s Salt of the Earth has reported significant sales growth in the Russian salt market in 2014. The company also expects to double salt exports to Russia in 2015.  Salt of the Earth supplies high-quality sea salt to tuna and salmon processing plants in Russia’s Vladivostok and Korsakov regions.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

From Toledo to Jerusalem.  (TY Rafi) A 22-minute history (with music) of the Sefardi Jews told by Yehoram Gaon, considered one of the best Israeli singers.

The official app for Chelsea soccer fans. Israeli-developed sports info app InPlay announced that it would work with UK football club Chelsea to customize content and communities for fans, helping them to engage and access more information about their team.


THE JEWISH STATE

Copenhagen Bat Mitzvah girl celebrates in Israel.  Hannah Bentow celebrated a second Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem, exactly a month after her Bat Mitzvah celebrations were tragically cut short by a terror attack outside the Copenhagen synagogue.  Hannah’s mother said, “Here, in Israel, we had a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Hanna's Bat Mitzvah in a different environment, which is much more relaxed and safe.”

1200 attend Aliya event in NYC.  More than 1,200 people flocked to the Crowne Plaza Times Square for aliyah-related seminars and workshops. They received professional advice from shippers, accountants, financial planners, insurance, healthcare, real estate, universities and more.