Good News Israel Archive from the week of June 21, 2015: Israeli Micro-antenna to treat gastric-cancer; Rise in tourism from Arab and Muslim countries and much more.

By: Michael Ordman



Successful trials for treatment of gastric infections

Israel’s Redhill Biopharma announced positive top-line results from its Phase III study with RHB-105 for treating Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infections. RHB-105 achieved 89.4% efficacy in eradicating H. pylori with no serious adverse events or unexpected safety issues.

Micro-antenna to treat gastric-cancer

Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are developing a tiny antenna that can be inserted into the stomach via an endoscopic tube to detect and treat early-stage cancers too small to be treated by current methods. At present, doctors have to wait until the tumor is large enough to treat.

What you should and should not eat

Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute reported the results of their Personalized Nutrition Project (launch reported here in 2013). They discovered that bacteria in the stomach of different people reacts differently to the same food. Some even lost weight from ice cream and buttered bread.

Treatment for acromegaly

Israel’s Chiasma has developed the oral treatment Octreotide, for acromegaly – abnormal growth due to a tumor of the pituitary gland that causes severe life-threatening health problems. Chiasma is also planning an IPO on NASDAQ.

Israeli experts at international medical conference

Israeli medical experts From Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center are involved in about a dozen sessions of the 2015 World Congress of the International Society for Posture and Gait Research. The Israeli company Meditouch is also exhibiting.

Your digital doctor

Israel’s Doctome digital doctor platform is part of IBM’s startup incubator. It links to IBM’s Watson supercomputer (see last week) and to WhatsApp and is the basis of a fully-functioning telemedicine service.



Empowering women in business

Over 600 women attended the 6th annual Temech Conference in Jerusalem. The Hebrew and English tracks featured prominent speakers from across Israeli society. Temech’s support for religious Jewish women in business includes training courses and Jerusalem workspaces.

Rise in tourism from Arab and Muslim countries

The number of people visiting Israel from Arab countries is increasing. 14,200 tourists from Jordan, Egypt and Morocco visited Israel from January to May. In addition, tourists from Moslem countries included 13,300 from Turkey, 1,900 from Malaysia and 9,700 from Indonesia.

Major benefits for Israeli Arabs and Druze

The far-left Ha’aretz newspaper called the new initiatives of the Netanyahu government to benefit Israeli Arabs “praiseworthy” and “revolutionary”. These address housing shortages and education. The Israeli Cabinet also approved a $500+ million 5-year plan to develop Druze and Circassian (Moslem) communities.

Israel’s new annual Arab Book Day

The first-ever Arab Book Day was celebrated in a special ceremony at the Israeli parliament. The ultimate aim of the event was to underscore the role literature can play in spanning the divide between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Israeli Arab MK Issawi Frej said, “Books build bridges”.

Investment for Nazareth startups

12 Nazareth-based start-ups presented their technology to Tel Aviv tech investors in an event designed to introduce the relatively new start-up ecosystem in the Arab-city to its established Tel Aviv big brother. As one of the entrepreneurs put it, “If they can do it, we can do it too.”

Israel allows 300 Gazans to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque

An official at the Palestinian liaison office told Ma’an that 300 Gaza residents were driven to Jerusalem via the Erez crossing to pray in the Al-Aqsa mosque. Israel traditionally eases travel restrictions during Ramadan.

Israeli products in PA shops

There is no sign of the Palestinian Authority’s BDS policy in Bethlehem. During Kay Wilson’s visit, she saw plenty of Israeli products in the supermarkets. She saw some Arabs driving cars that the rest of us could only dream of. Kay’s Facebook post went viral.

A meeting of Israelis, Sunnis and Shiites

In the Indian city of Lucknow, Indian Shiite Moslems met with Saudi Arabian Sunni Moslems and Israeli Jews. They discussed religious extremism and the mutual understanding necessary for solving the many problems in the Middle East.

100 German company heads to visit Israel

100 German industry leaders are to visit Israel at the end of June. They include from SAP SE, BMW, Bosch, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Merck & Co., Inc., Mercedes-Benz and Lufthansa. They will attend an investors’ conference and meet Israeli innovators and researchers.

Israeli agro-tech for Goa

Goa has been actively wooing Israel to resurrect its agriculture since the 2012 Indian election. Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Narayan Bandeka met with Israeli consul general in Mumbai David Akov to discuss crop, post-harvest technologies and water management.

Israeli vets in Georgia floods rescue

A day after severe floods sent animals from Georgia’s Tbilisi Zoo to towards city streets, a team of veterinarians from Tel Aviv’s Ramat Gan Safari and Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo arrived in the Georgian capital to advise zoo officials and dispense medicines and anesthetics.



Water-saving tips in California

Israeli water technology experts went to Sacramento (twinned with Israel’s Ashkelon), to demonstrate smart ways to secure water from a desert. These included recycling wastewater, desalination, detecting leaky pipes and different charging structures for water purity. US cities Los Angeles and Beverly Hills are also partnering with Israel for water conservation.

Water advice for the World Bank

Israel has signed an agreement to share best practices on water with the World Bank.

Record $50 million donation for Technion

Andrew Viterbi, co-founder of Qualcomm, announced that he will give $50 million to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology – a record gift from an American donor. Viterbi, a Technion board member, invented an algorithm to eliminate interference in mobile communications.

France-Israel TransTech Conference

On Oct 27 2015, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Israel-France holds its 6th TRANSTECH Conference seminar on Technology Transfer, Financial Technology & Clean Technology, to encourage an international cooperation between Israel, France and the European Union.

Beautifying Wikipedia

Israel’s Wikiwand takes content from a Wiki page and redraws it in a more aesthetically pleasing format, with extra elements – like a table of contents, maps, drawings, etc

$100 million gift to Cornell-Technion

Former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $100 million to help pay for construction of the new Cornell-Technion Institute in New York. The first academic building will be named The Bloomberg Center – in honor of his two daughters, Emma and Georgina.

Taking control if pilot loses consciousness

An Israeli-developed smart flight helmet will detect emergency situations in which pilots are about to lose consciousness, and take control of the plane in order to prevent disasters. Tel Aviv’s Lifebeam developed the Cannary system with sensors measuring the pilot’s vital signs.

Israeli scientists discover tiny nearby galaxy

A team of scientists from Tel Aviv University and the University of California have discovered the NGC 5253 dwarf galaxy, containing over a million relatively new stars. The galaxy was previously hidden by clouds of dust emitted by the galaxy.

Protein from the smallest vegetable

Israel’s Hinoman is cultivating Mankhai – the world’s smallest vegetable. Mankhai contains 45% protein, is high in vitamins, low in carbohydrate, fat, sugar and salt and is GMO, gluten and pesticide free. Hinoman promotes Mankhai as a sustainable substitute for meat and seafood.

Engie cuts car repair costs

Israel’s Engie is a sensor and app that diagnoses car engine faults and gets the best repair deals. The sensor costs $9 and the app already has 30,000 users in Israel. The US target is 2016.



Hong Kong learns from Israeli startups

Israel’s tech sector makes for a great study for Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Science and Technology Park recently held a business-matching session when a dozen Israeli tech hopefuls met with potential Hong Kong collaborators and customers.

SolarEdge is worth $1.5 billion

The share price of Israel’s SolarEdge has more than doubled since its March NASDAQ listing, valuing the company at $1.5 billion. Revenue grew nearly 18% last quarter. SolarEdge has just released a new solar energy storage system for residential buildings and expanded its commercial products.

More billion-dollar companies on the way

“Israel has produced ten billion dollar unicorn exits over the last two years,” says Jonathan Medved, CEO of OurCrowd. “This pace is about to accelerate.” Webydo and Meta are the next candidates. And many more are in the pipeline.

Another $25 million for WalkMe

I featured Israel’s WalkMe in a previous (Apr 2014) newsletter. The user-friendly app allows website owners to build step-by-step guidebooks for using their sites. WalkMe has just raised another $25 million in an oversubscribed round of funding.

Counter BDS – buy Israeli bonds

Izzy Tapoohi has been president & CEO of Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds since October 2011. He advocates that in an era of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), “The best defense is a good offense”. And investing in Israel’s economy is the greatest form of offense.

Flying high at Paris Air Show

11 Israeli companies are exhibiting products at the Paris Air Show that ends on 21 June. They include Elbit Systems, Rafael, Israel Aerospace Industries, UVision, Elta Systems, Aeronautics Ltd and Ashot (part of IMI).

Increasing digital performance

Israel’s XLMedia has just acquired Israel’s Marmar Media, combining the two Digital Performance Marketing companies into one.

Waze is the most-loved sharing app

Israeli-developed traffic application Waze is among the best “sharing” apps, according to a study by research group Arc360, a division of Israeli app testing firm Applause. Waze had over 300,000 reviews and although only fifth overall, the top four apps only had a few hundred reviews.



Israeli photographer wins top UK prize

Israel’s Matan Ben-Cnaan won the £30,000 top prize in the 2015 BP Portrait Awards, currently on exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery. His allegorical portrait “Annabel and Guy” was partly inspired by the biblical story of the Israelite judge Jephthah.

Zionist’s art exhibition

Tel Aviv’s Museum of Art features (until Oct 5) an exhibition of the works of Israeli artist Otte Wallish (1906 – 1977). Wallish designed posters and exhibitions promoting Zionism that culminated in the design of the ceremony and scroll of the Declaration of Independence.

Exhibit of Caesarea treasure

Jerusalem’s Israel Museum is exhibiting the exciting find of over 2,580 solid gold coins that divers retrieved from the sea bed off the coast of Caesarea in Feb 2015. The coins from 9th to 11th Century CE weigh a total of 7.5kg. Some display the Fatimid Caliph that founded the Druze religion.

International Falafel Day

Ben Lang’s initiative of a day to celebrate the Middle East delicacy falafel began in 2011. Now for the first time, International Falafel Day has spread from Israel to the Arab world.

Israel is “Top of the Box”

Since the success of “Hatufim”, American studios or other international channels have acquired virtually every Israeli series (game-show, reality series, drama or comedy). Now a new spy thriller “Kfulim” (False Flag) has won the Public Prize at the French International TV Festival Series Mania.

New Disney series to be made in Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Film Fund announced that several long-term animation projects, including a new Walt Disney Studios television series, will be based in Jerusalem, starting immediately. Disney Studios will be working with Israel’s animation company, Snowball Studios.

Israeli dancer wows LA judges

Israel’s Asaf Goren used Jewish props in his audition for “So you think you can dance” in Los Angeles. All three judges and the audience were most impressed with his “Hebrew Breaking”, with Madonna’s “Isaac” playing in the background. Asaf went straight into the next round.

Israeli paralympic rower wins gold at World Cup

Israel’s Moran Samuel won the gold medal in rowing at the 2015 Paralympic World Rowing Cup in Italy. She also broke the Israeli record.



IDF behaved too well

The International Military Group report to the UN stated that, in Gaza, Israel exceeded the standard laws of armed conflict. And another expert, Michael Schmitt, Director of the Stockton Center for the Study for International Law at the US Naval War College, said “People are going to start thinking that the United States and other Western democracies should follow the same examples in different types of conflict. That’s a real risk”.

Ayala celebrates her Bat Mitzvah

Ayala Shapira, granddaughter of my shul’s warden, was released from hospital for a week of Bat Mitzvah celebrations. Ayala was severely burnt when Palestinian Arab terrorists through firebombs at her Dad’s car in December. Her Bat Mitzvah included a family visit to Temple Mount.

Art’s blessing

I mentioned last week that Art Garfunkel made the Shecheyanu blessing during his Tel Aviv concert. Here’s the video of it.

150 Jewish innovators gather in Jerusalem

Some 150 of the Jewish world’s leading change-makers from 32 countries gathered in Jerusalem for the 2015 ROI (Return on Investment) Summit. App developers, journalists, toy designers, community organizers, and more; all seeking to build a thriving Jewish future and a better world.,7340,L-4666878,00.html

Righting a wrong after 58 years

Israel Shrir (now 79) survived the Holocaust and in 1957 was awarded a citation for excellence in the IDF. But due to a clerical error, Israel never received an invitation to the awards ceremony. 58 years later, President Rivlin presented the citation to Israel, in the presence of his 13 children.

Rare Biblical inscription discovered

A rare proto-Hebrew inscription from the era of King David has been found in Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Bet Shemesh. “Eshbaal ben Beda” was fired on an earthenware pot.


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