Israel's Good News Newsletter to 18th Mar 18

In the 18th Mar 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli eyedrops repair corneas and could replace spectacles.
·         Israelis have sent aid to earthquake victims in Papua New Guinea.
·         Israeli low-cost infra-red sensors can help see in the dark.
·         Two Israeli women have set-up a retail hub for 170 startups.
·         The flag and anthem celebrated an Israeli Judoka gold medal in Morocco.
·         Jerusalem’s Western Wall tunnels reveal more Jewish treasures.

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Eyedrops could replace spectacles.  Israeli scientists at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University have developed eyedrops that repair the corneas, improving near-sighted and far-sighted vision. The “nanodrops” are scheduled for human trials next year and could eventually replace multifocal lenses.

Crohn’s gene mutation identified. International scientists, including from Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Haifa, have discovered a genetic mutation associated with Crohn’s disease. Those with the LRRK2 gene mutation are at high risk of developing the inflammatory bowel (IBD) disease.

Destroying tumors the size of golf balls. I’ve reported previously (several times) on Israel’s IceCure and its IceSense3 cryoablation (freezing) system for destroying even large tumors. This article and video provide an excellent explanation of how the system works, in conjunction with other medications and the immune system.

Medical tools for developing countries. Israel’s Engineering for All (EfA) is developing RevDx - a small, portable device that can perform automated blood tests, diagnostics, and data analytics on the spot; a kind of hand-held hospital to assist under-equipped medical workers and technicians in rural areas.

Former Kenyan President has treatment in Israel. 93-year-old former president of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi is being brought to Tel Aviv for medical procedures. The ailing leader will also take the opportunity to visit holy sites around the country, Kenyan TV reported.


Employment for Bedouin women. Israeli textile company Iota empowers unemployed women through the art of crochet. Each one of Iota’s rugs, pillows and home accessories is hand-crocheted by Arab Bedouin women from their own homes, providing them with meaningful work and an independent source of income.

Generators for Papua New Guinea. Last week I reported (here) that Israelis restored eyesight and built a dairy farm on Papua New Guinea. Now an earthquake has struck and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) has delivered 40 generators to affected communities.

First response training for Guatemala. Israel’s volunteer ZAKA International Rescue Unit provided a UN-sponsored 3-day search-and-rescue training course in Guatemala to 45 volunteers from local community and emergency organizations. ZAKA conveyed the skills necessary to handle mass-casualty incidents.

MDA awarded for helping Ecuador’s Red Cross.  Israel’s Magen David Adom has received an award of appreciation for strengthening the paramedic training programs of Ecuador’s Red Cross. It was presented during the 14th anniversary of the Higher Technological Institute of the Ecuadorian Red Cross (ISTCRE).


A fast solution to Cape Town’s drought.  I reported previously (27th Nov) on Israel’s Tethys and its solar-powered desalination system. Its CEO Moshe Tshuva says the Tethys product would be an ideal solution to Cape Town’s water shortages, making use of the city’s long coastline and plentiful sunshine.

Collaborating with Israel is a ‘strategic priority’. Sam Gyimah is the UK’s Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Development. He plans to visit later this year “to deepen our collaboration not just in scientific research but in innovation and opportunities that are mutually beneficial for high-growth business.”

Even Israeli oranges are hi-tech. Israel is well known for its abundance of juicy citrus fruits in many delicious varieties. Much of that success is due to the Volcani Agriculture Institute, a world leader in farming technology.

The water shall flow from Jerusalem. Video (in Hebrew) of the massive NIS 2.5 billion 40km water pipeline construction project that will satisfy the water needs of Jerusalem and its surroundings until 2065.

Israelis experience life on Mars. I reported previously (4 Feb) about the six Israeli astronauts who experienced simulated Mars conditions at the Ramon crater in Israel’s Negev desert.  Here is a video of their activities.

Infra-red sensors to help see in the dark. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed a low-cost infrared sensor that can be used as night-vision glasses or for self-driving cars. The device converts infrared light into visible light, allowing better vision in fog and darkness.

Smart production of video clips.  I reported previously (see here) about Israel’s AnyClip which has built up an inventory of 600,000 video clips to help businesses promote their products. AnyClip has now developed Luminous - an AI (artificial intelligence) platform that automatically edits video into clips to match a user’s requirements.,7340,L-3733973,00.html

Removing toxic mercury. Israeli startup MercuRemoval has developed a novel process for removing toxic mercury from flue-gas streams. Originating in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a unique absorbent liquid formulation oxidizes the mercury into a stable complex which is then precipitated out for safe disposal.

Ultra-high-resolution imaging radar.  I reported previously (twice) on Israel’s Arbe Robotics and its radar imaging technology for drones and self-driving cars. Arbe has now won Berlin’s Automotive Tech.AD Award 2018 for outstanding achievements in the autonomous driving industry, including being “the first to demonstrate ultra-high-resolution imaging radar.”


Israel’s currency reserves. I often report (see here) on Israel’s reserves of foreign currency which increased by $14.6 billion in 2017 to a record $113 billion. The Bank of Israel invested this, earning a 3% return – nearly twice the average rate of return for the previous three years.

OurCrowd opens in London. Israel’s OurCrowd, a global leader in equity crowdfunding, has opened a new office in London - its 10th global location. OurCrowd expects to add thousands of new UK investors and help Israeli startups penetrate the UK market. OurCrowd also made Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies list for 2018.

Hundreds attend Anglo-Israel conference. Hundreds of English-speaking men and women participated in the Anglo-Israeli Empowerment Conference in Jerusalem. The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce’s Israel branch brought dozens of VIP presenters to help Anglo-Israeli entrepreneurs and professionals.

Another Israeli investment for DiCaprio. I reported previously (here) on two investments by Leonardo DiCaprio in Israeli startups.  Now he has become a partner in the building of a new eco-friendly hotel at the Herzliya Marina. DiCaprio, runs the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which promotes environmental awareness.

Israeli women launch retail tech hub.  Two Israelis - Yael Kochman and Alla Foht, have partnered with eBay to launch “Re: Tech”, a Retail Tech Hub in the heart of Tel Aviv. It has attracted 170 Israeli startups and over 2,000 entrepreneurs and investors who use offices for up to 16 people and an open space with 20 workstations.

Whisky Live. (TY WIN) Whisky Live is an international exhibition held at locations around the globe and is considered the premier industry trade event. The convention arrived at Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Mall, where Israeli distilleries displayed their increasingly popular products to the world.

From Zurich to Eilat. Switzerland’s Edelweiss Airlines, which is part of the German Lufthansa group, will offer direct flights from Zurich to Eilat beginning October 28th. “Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel, offers numerous possibilities for active and varied holidays,” Edelweiss announced.


Thou shalt innovate. Avi Jorisch recently published his book “Thou Shalt Innovate: How Israeli Ingenuity Repairs the World”, a fascinating telling of how many Israeli inventions have made the world a better place.

Dead Sea Scrolls go to Denver. Two Dead Sea Scrolls will be shown for the first time in an Israel Antiquities Authority exhibition in Denver, Colorado. The six-month exhibit includes 18 other Dead Sea Scrolls, a three-ton stone from the Western Wall, and some 600 artifacts from the Biblical to Bar Kochba periods.

Going into bat for the Jewish State. A new documentary has premiered at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. “Heading Home” features the Birthright Israel-type trip for the professional Jewish American baseball players who as “Team Israel” surprised everyone by finishing sixth in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Judoka gold and Israeli anthem in Morocco.  Israeli judoka Timna Nelson-Levy won gold in the under 57kg event at the Agadir Judo Grand Prix in Morocco. As she stood proudly on the podium to receive her medal, the “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem, was played and the Israeli flag was raised.

Israeli cyclist makes history.  Guy Sagiv made history at the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy in becoming the first Israeli cyclist to participate in a World Tour race. The Israel Cycling Academy team has been performing well, in advance of the Giro d’Italia which starts in Jerusalem on 4th May - the first time a Grand Tour event will be held outside of mainland Europe.

35,000 run the Jerusalem marathon.  35,000 participated in the Jerusalem Marathon, rated among the top 10 marathons in the world. They included 4,000 people from over 72 different countries. Some 10,000 Jerusalem hotel rooms were filled for the event.


Belated Bar Mitzvah for survivor. 83-year-old Hanoch Shachar, who lost his whole family in the Shoah, fulfilled his dream by celebrating his Bar Mitzva in Safed, Northern Israel. Shachar is a marathon runner and during the ceremony hoisted without effort the Torah scroll in its heavy metal casing.

The secrets under the Western Wall.  The tunnels deep below the Western Wall Plaza reveal some amazing sights.  A Roman theatre; the largest stone in Israel and a map of Israel that wasn’t drawn by any human hand.

UN exhibition of the Truth.  (TY Avi) I reported previously (10th Mar) on the new exhibition at the United Nations of the 3,000-year continuous history of the Jewish people in the city of Jerusalem – Israel’s capital.  This article about the opening event contains a video that is highly recommended to watch.

Watch the truth being uncovered. Every day, significant archeological discoveries that reinforce the historical connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem are revealed in the excavations at the City of David.