Good News Israel Archive from the week of March 8, 2015: Israelis are among the world’s healthiest eaters, Israelis are training Indian farmers and much more good news…

By Michael Ordman


Ovarian cancer treatment works for brain tumors too

I reported in Mar 2014 that Professor Dan Peer of Tel Aviv University had developed chemotherapy using nano-particles to target ovarian tumors. It has now been engineered to target Glioblastoma multiforme – the most aggressive of brain cancer.

Israeli snack prevents peanut allergy

Long ago, UK Professor Gideon Lack discovered that hardly any Israeli infants developed peanut allergy. Now his new study has proved that the reason is the common practice of feeding Israeli children the peanut snack Bamba. It reverses conventional “wisdom” of avoiding peanuts.

Helping premature babies to hear

Without mentioning he is Israeli, the BBC World Service featured Dr. Amir Lahav who has proved that the sound centers in preemies’ brains grow quicker when played recordings of their mothers’ voice. So follow Dr. Lahav’s fascinating journey from the IDF, to volleyball coach, to musician, software designer, neuroscientist and Harvard pediatric professor.

Israelis are among the world’s healthiest eaters

A new study in February’s The Lancet Global Health Journal places the diet of the average Israeli the 9th healthiest out of 187 countries surveyed. The study, led by Dr Fumiaki Imamura of the University of Cambridge, covered 4.5 billion people.

Understanding irregular heartbeats

Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have revealed the detailed mechanisms that control the beating of the heart. Heart disease can cause individual heart filaments to lose synchronization. Replacing diseased cells in a structured manner can re-establish a regular rhythm.

Microlabs in space

Israeli innovations in space include SpacePharma’s laboratory that fits in the palm of your hand and will orbit in a nano-satellite, allowing scientists to conduct experiments and watch them happen on their smart phones.

Boost for ALS and diabetes treatment

Israel’s Kadimastem’s recent news includes success in pre-clinical tests of its stem cell treatment for ALS. The technology also induces pancreatic cells to produce insulin and Kadimastem has begun research with Ramot, Tel Aviv University’s technology transfer company.



Israeli maternity hotels

Hospitals across Israel have opened top-notch maternity hotels to help new mums and babies rest and recuperate after the birth.

Disabled kids train for Jerusalem marathon

20 dedicated Jerusalem police officers are helping residents of ALEH to train for the Jerusalem marathon on 13 March. ALEH provides comprehensive care to children and young adults with severe impairments. Some will be using the Israeli-developed Upsee mobility harness.

How a Catholic Filipino became an IDF soldier

Aaron comes from a Catholic family, originally from the Philippines. He was born and raised in Herzliya and knew from a very young age that he wanted to take part in defending the country. He has just completed advanced IDF training in the Nahal Brigade.

Coexistence through “the beautiful game”

Jews, Circassians, Muslim and Christian Arabs all play together at the Maccabi Haifa-Nahalal youth football academy in Northern Israel’s Jezreel Valley. The soccer squad consists of 13 year-old players, from city and countryside. One team with one aim – to enjoy the game.

Mohammed Zoabi completes IDF prep program

Mohammed Zoabi, cousin of anti-Israel MK Hanin Zoabi, has just completed Gadna, a program that gives Israeli high school students a basic introduction to the IDF. “Today I feel proud. Proud to be Israeli, proud to be an Israeli Muslim joining the army in less than two years.”

Palestinian Arab earnings

A survey conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, funded by the European Union, shows that Palestinian Arabs who work in Israel or Israeli settlements are paid more than double the wage of those employed by the Palestinian Authority and triple those working in Gaza.

Doubling Gaza’s water supply

Israel is to increase water supplies from 1.3 to 2.6 billion gallons to help ease the ongoing water crisis in Gaza.

Training Indian farmers

Details of some of the 30 agricultural centers of excellence that Israel is in the process of opening in India.



Unlimited recharging

Israel’s Chakratec develops kinetic batteries with a mechanical flywheel to provide smart storage with unlimited charge/discharge cycles and no polluting chemicals. Chakratec has just won Ben-Gurion University’s Clean Technology Business Plan Competition.

The State’s highest honors

The Israel Prize in Life Sciences Research went to Weizmann’s Professor Zelig Eshhar for his breakthrough approach to treating diseases, particularly cancer. Another Weizmann Professor, Shimon Ullman won the Mathematics and Computer Science Research prize for his artificial intelligence work.

The coolest startup office in Israel

Take a tour round the office of Israeli video messaging startup Glide, located at the Jerusalem Technology Park.

Apple seeks Israeli chip technology

The Wall St Journal reports that Apple is advertising in Israel for silicon and semiconductor design and testing engineers. It also notes that Johny Srouji, Apple’s Vice President of hardware technologies, is an Israeli Arab from Haifa.

The smartwatch designed by Israelis

No Camels has revealed that two Israelis are responsible for designing the latest generation of Pebble Time smartwatches. Itai Vonshak is head of product and UX and Liron Damir is head of design. The company has raised over $14 million in just six days on Kickstarter – a new record.

US grant for Israeli agriculture research

Aiming to boost crop yields of plants like chickpeas and soybeans, the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment has been awarded a $789,000 grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Building microchip tools with New York

The State University of New York is partnering with Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist to develop critical tools for the semiconductor industry.

New joint Italian-Israeli science labs

Italy and Israel have established a neurology and brain laboratory in Tel Aviv, a solar laboratory in Sde Boker, a health sciences laboratory at Ben Gurion University, and a physics and magnetism laboratory at the Weizman Institute. A joint outer space laboratory has also been founded.

Turn your smartphone into a tricorder

The optical filters developed by Israel’s Unispectral can identify an object’s hyperspectral signature – its unique chemical fingerprint. Applied to a smartphone camera, the data can be used to determine the object’s chemical components. Like a Star-Trek tricorder.

Wastewater plant refreshes River Jordan

Israel’s Water Authority has opened a new treatment facility for wastewater from the city of Tiberias. The NIS 120 million-shekel project brings an end to a situation in which raw sewage flow was endangering the vitality of the Jordan River.

Saving Australia’s water

I featured Israel’s TaKaDu in January. Here is a more detailed report about the billions of liters of water that TaKaDu’s unique leaks and faults detection technology is saving in Australia’s parched states.

Grow more, water less

Israel’s CropX has developed an advanced adaptive irrigation software service, increasing crop yields whilst saving up to 25% of the water and energy used in irrigation of large fields. Three sensors placed in the ground send readings into the Cloud and CropX determines where to irrigate.



Israeli economy is stable

International credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘A+/A-1’ long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the State of Israel, with a stable outlook. The forthcoming elections are not expected to undermine prudent public finances and government debt control.

Tel Aviv – the world’s 3rd best tech city

Tel Aviv is the third best place in the world for technology business, according to a new report by property consultants Savills. The scores were measured according to five metrics: business environment, tech environment, quality of life, talent pool and property affordability.

Trade with China

Israeli exports to China have risen from $1 billion in 2010 to over $3 billion last year. Half are electronic components, chemicals, or medical products. But the biggest rise was IT services.

And with Japan

In 2014, trade between Japan and Israel rose by 9.3% to $1.75 billion and there has been a recent surge in Japanese investments in Israel in a variety of hi-tech fields. (Writer Ohad Cohen heads Israel’s foreign commercial service, with 40 trade offices operating in more than 50 countries.)

Talk Talk partners with LivePerson

UK telecom giant Talk Talk has selected LiveEngage from Israel’s LivePerson to deliver its new chat service for customers requiring fast, on-line, real-time assistance.

Meerkat – a side project that took off

The Wall St Journal features a story about an Israeli startup that switched its main product when its co-founder built a new mobile application in eight weeks.

Hebrew U launches 9 companies

Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, founded nine new companies in 2014 on the basis of technology originating at the university.

Israel had most UK IPOs in 2014

More Israeli companies had new listings on the London Stock Exchange in 2014 than from any country outside of the UK itself. Two (Matomy Media and Barak Capital) floated on the main market and seven more on the AIM secondary market.



Holon Women’s festival

This year’s Woman’s Festival in Holon begins on International Woman’s Day – March 8. 2015 is also the 75th anniversary of the founding of Holon, so the festival program takes in 75 different slots across all kinds of fields of interest and the arts.

Indonesian pianist prodigy visits Israel

11-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander performed at the Red Sea Jazz festival in Eilat. A Christian native of Moslem Indonesia, which has no diplomatic relations with the Jewish State, Joey managed to obtain the three visas necessary to enter Israel.

New Biblical zoo

One of its goals of the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh is to bring Jews back in touch with biblical wildlife, such as lions, leopards, bears, vultures, crocodiles, and hippos. “Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven.”



“Israel is Good”

Governor Mike Huckabee knows the difference between good and evil. Please watch his speech at United With Israel’s event to celebrate 3 million supporters. (This newsletter editor appears in the video clip at exactly 1 minute, holding his trusty PC-Notebook.)

They may not be who they say they are

As Israelis prepared costumes to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim, children at one Israeli school produced a fancy-dressed message to publicize Safe Internet Week.

Purim in Israel

I hope you enjoy these scenes of the festival of Purim being celebrated all over Israel.

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