Good News History Jan to Mar 2018


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.

·         Click here to see the 11th March newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours and United With Israel with additional features on Inclusive & Global and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

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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.

In the 11th Mar 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli technology can analyze biopsies automatically.
·         On International Women's Day, Israel celebrates its female Ambassadors.
·         The first official UK Royal visit to Israel has been announced.
·         Israeli sensors can detect when trees are thirsty.
·         Israeli unemployment is the lowest in 45 years.
·         HP flew in 750 of its customers to see its latest Israeli innovations.
·         Israeli youths won two World Ju-Jitsu gold medals in Abu Dhabi.

·         Click here to see the 25th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical with 4,000 likes and Technology with 2,900 likes. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to


Brain bleed detection gets Europe approval. Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision has received EU regulatory approval (i.e. the CE mark) for its new algorithm capable of detecting Intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds) from uploaded CT or MRI Scans.,7340,L-3733482,00.html

Glucose analyzer gets Europe approval. I reported previously (twice) about Israel’s DreaMed Diabetes monitors for analyzing the data from Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs). DreaMed has just received the CE mark from the European Union for its Advisor Pro product.

Excellent results for new prostate cancer test. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (July 2016) that Israel’s Micromedic Technologies had good results in an 18-patient trial of its CellDetect prostate cancer diagnosis solution. Latest tests on 59 samples were 80% successful – far exceeding the 25% for existing PSI tests.

Lifestyle controls your microbiome.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found from a study of over 1,000 Israelis that there is no genetic link to the good bacteria in your gut (microbiome). A person’s health (cholesterol, weight, blood glucose levels etc.) however, can be controlled by maintaining a healthy stomach.

A diagnostic kit on a USB drive. The tech-transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, plus Israeli-founded, Singapore-based Biosensorix, are developing $5 disease diagnosis kits that connect to a smartphone via its USB port. Instead of sending samples for lab tests, medical staff can get immediate blood test results and decide on a course of action.

Using AI to analyze biopsies.  Israeli startup Nucleai is developing computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to help overworked pathologists process and analyze biopsies for cancer quicker and more accurately. Nucleai founders have years of experience of computer vision gained during their IDF service.

UK-Israel fund to research aging process. The UK has launched a new £5m fund to promote scientific collaboration and research between Israel and the UK into the aging process. The Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange (BIRAX) Aging fund will also promote research that into aging-related diseases.

$20 million donation for nuclear medicine center.  Russian Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich has donated $20 million to Israel’s Sheba Medical Center to build a new medical center for nuclear medicine and research. Its cyclotron particle accelerator will use radioactive ion beams to pinpoint and kill cancer cells.


Israeli women leaders of the future.  (TY Sharon) In advance of International Women's Day on 8th March, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted 22 outstanding female students (Jewish and Arab). Each took on the role of a Government Minister and presented their ideas for that ministry.

Israel’s female Ambassadors. To mark International Women's Day, this video features Israel’s Ambassadors to Japan, Austria, Ethiopia and France. Yes, they are all women.

Arab women’s education and employment improves.  A Taub Center study shows that Arab-Israeli women are slowly managing to close the educational and employment gaps with Jewish Israeli women. Matriculation results are close to those of non-ultra-Orthodox Jewish women and numbers in higher education have risen.

Most Jerusalem Arabs choose Israeli sovereignty. (TY Hazel) A new survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion among the Arabs of east Jerusalem shows that 52% now prefer to live as citizens with equal rights under Israeli sovereignty.  Seven years ago, the figure was only 35%.

US Jerusalem embassy to open in May. (TY Hazel) The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence. Initially, the embassy will operate out of the US’s current consular premises.

20,000 extra PA work permits.  (TY Hazel) Israel is increasing the number of work permits for Arabs from the Palestinian Authority by 20,000, bringing the number of permits to 100,000.

Agriculture training for 10 Russian-speaking countries. Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) recently hosted 24 professionals from 10 Russian-speaking countries who underwent an intensive agriculture training program on entrepreneurship, marketing and post-harvesting.

Helping Europe counter terrorism. MK Anat Berko, a criminologist, represented Israel at a meeting in Vienna of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It was the first time that Israel participated as a full member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism.

Prince William to visit Israel.  Kensington Palace has announced that the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne, will visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories in Israel’s 70th anniversary year. It will be the first official royal visit to Israel in the history of the Jewish State.

Thwarting terror attacks in 30 countries.  Israel’s Economic Minister Eli Cohen said at a law conference at Tel Aviv University that Israel had issued warnings about specific terror plots to some 30 countries in 2017.

Treating trauma in South Florida. Specialists from the Israel Trauma Coalition are now in South Florida, providing trauma counseling training to around 600 professionals assisting the Parkland community in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting tragedy.

Climbing Kilimanjaro to benefit sick children.  (TY WIN & I24 News) In its 22 years, Israeli charity Make a Wish has helped 3,500 sick children realize their dreams. To raise awareness (and half a million shekels), 14 hikers from Make a Wish climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.


Research center to fight crime.  The Israeli police and Ben-Gurion University have partnered to launch the Center for Computational Criminology in Be'er Sheva. Its aim is to use hi-tech methods such as big data to transform the nature of criminal investigations and help law enforcers prevent crime.

A computer mouse for amputees.  Israeli startup 6Degrees has developed an armband that replaces the computer mouse, enabling users with disabilities to control devices through arm movement. The motion is translated by Bluetooth into cursor movement on a tablet, smartphone or computer, just like a traditional mouse.

Another alternative to GPS. I reported previously (4th Feb) that Israeli startup Hoopo has developed a geolocation estimation algorithm as an alternative to GPS. Now Israel’s Deeyook has invented a mobile wireless location sensor that utilizes direction data from all available Wi-Fi networks and cellular base stations. 

Real-time mapping app saves lives. (TY UWI) The First Response app from Israeli-US Edgybees helps rescuers by overlaying live video UAV feeds with maps, power lines and distress signals. It saved lives during Hurricane Irma and California wildfires. Edgybees has just raised $5.5 million of funding and showcased at AIPAC.

Cisco to help digitize Israel.  Chuck Robbins, CEO of US technology giant Cisco, has come to Israel to participate in the launch of Cisco’s country digitization acceleration (CDA) program. CDA will install tech hubs in 24 peripheral communities and connect them to Tel Aviv’s economic and technological center.

SEAT incorporates Israeli driver monitoring system. Volkswagen’s Barcelona subsidiary SEAT is integrating in-car driver monitoring systems from Israel’s eyeSight Mobile Technologies in its vehicles. EyeSight’s infrared sensors monitor the driver’s alertness and will warn the driver or take proactive action.

AI contract analysis beats human experts. I reported previously (30th Apr) on the artificial intelligence (AI) of Israel’s LawGeex that saves businesses of the time and expense required to review and approve everyday contracts. Now a US study shows that the software is 94% accurate compared to 85% for experienced lawyers.

When trees are thirsty.  Israel’s Saturas develops sensors that are planted in the trunks of trees, and vines, and provide accurate hydration status reports that enable farmers to optimize irrigation. Saturas has completed field trials in citrus, apple and almond orchards and has raised $4 million of funds to market in Spain and the USA.

WakeUp gets US patent.  I reported previously (twice) about WakeUp - the natural beverage solution to post-lunch fatigue developed by Israel’s InnoBev. WakeUp has just received a US patent, which is timely as energy drinks are under scrutiny due to concerns over negative health effects.

Mentoring global aerospace startups.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is partnering with the US-based Starburst Ventures – a global aerospace startup incubator. IAI will take part in selecting the startups and offer mentoring, technological collaboration and investment to startups whose technology is applicable to IAI.

Making roads more intelligent. (TY Hazel) When I reported recently (21st Jan) on the smart road sensors from Israel’s Valerann, I forgot to mention that Valerann won the 2017 Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge of Highways UK and will participate in the Intelligent Mobility program at Telefonica’s London-based startup accelerator Wayra..


Lowest unemployment in 45 years.  Israel’s unemployment rate at the end of Jan 2018 stands at 3.7%, down from 4% at the end of Dec 2017. The last time unemployment was this low was in the early 1970s, before the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when it stood at 3.4 percent. For the first time, more women than men are in work.

Public transport fares to be cut by 40%. (TY Janglo) The Israeli government plans lowering public transport fares on inter-urban routes by 40% in 2018. Daily and monthly tickets will also be available for unrestricted travel throughout the country.

Loan guarantees for startups. Israel’s Innovation Authority is to provide government guarantees for bank loans to Israeli startups. The loans will enable cash-strapped startups to raise funds without resorting to foreign venture capital funds or investors that often pressure the startup to relocate its activities abroad.

Productivity training for managers.  Israeli companies with up to NIS 100 million turnover and/or up to 100 workers will be granted a workshop for senior management on how to improve productivity. Those companies will also get a government grant of NIS 10,000. Google will help implement changes with another NIS 10,000.

Easier to hire non-Israeli tech experts. Israel has cut the red tape involved in hiring non-Israeli experts. Tech companies can now get a license of up to one year for their non-Israeli contracted experts, compared to the previous 45 days a year maximum. Their spouses can now work for any Israeli employer.

Tech fund to promote Haifa startups. The Israeli city of Haifa is to sponsor a new tech fund focusing on early stage startups that commit to establishing their operations in the city. Haifa currently hosts only 4.5% of Israeli startups. Proposals from private investors have committed up to $52 million to the fund.

Israel’s growing whisky industry.  There are now three Israeli distilleries producing single-malt whisky, and plans for two more.  Milk and Honey in Tel Aviv, Golan Heights in Katzrin and Pelter, also in the Golan.

UST Global’s cybersecurity center. Multinational IT service company UST Global has announced that its recently launched Tel Aviv development and service center will handle all its cybersecurity activity.  UST Global provides end-to-end IT services for 1,000 companies and has over 14,000 employees worldwide.

HP bring 750 to see Israeli ingenuity. HP Indigo employs 3,000 in Israel with $1 billion of annual exports. It recently flew in 750 customers from 50 countries to showcase HP’s newest technologies in digital printing, all of them made in Israel. For many it was their first visit to the Jewish State.

Intel CEO flies to Israel to test self-driving car. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich arrived in Israel for a two-day visit. His aim was to spend one day driving around Israel in an autonomous vehicle along with Mobileye co-founder and CEO Amnon Shashua. Mobileye expects serial production of autonomous cars to start by 2021.

Stoudemire’s Israeli wines. (TY Janglo) Six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has launched a line of kosher-for-Passover Israeli wines. After 3 years of talks with the Israel Wine Producers Association Stoudemire realized the opportunity when he relocated to Israel in 2016 to play for the Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem.


King David laser show. The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem is launching a new multimedia exhibit - the King David Night Experience. The majestic story of David, from shepherd to king, comes to life in a new cinematic production projected onto the walls and archaeological excavations of Jerusalem’s Citadel.

A Jewish theme park in Dimona.  (TY UWI) The Negev city of Dimona is planning a “Park of Wonders” theme park, similar to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, but with Jewish and Israeli themes. Its five “worlds”, called “Oasis”, “Spirits”, “Jewish Nation”, “Society” and “Time” will each have four or five rides.

Jethro Tull’s tour of Israel. (TY Janglo) Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull’s vocalist, flutist and guitarist, is bringing his Jethro Tull 50th anniversary tour to Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in October.

Streaming the Beach Volleyball Major Series. Austria’s Red Bull Media House has partnered with Israel-based video broadcasting startup Pixellot to broadcast the 2018 Beach Volleyball Major Series in Florida. Pixellot broadcasts live, multi-angled, panoramic HD video without the need to deploy personnel on site.

3rd place youth handball trophy in Qatar.  An Israeli sports delegation consisting of two youth high school teams returned from Qatar on Thursday with a third-place trophy in the World Handball Championship for Schools, held in Doha.

Ju-Jitsu gold medals in Abu Dhabi. (TY Hazel) At the Abu Dhabi Ju-Jitsu World Championship Juniors and Aspirants 2018, Israel’s Meshi Rosenfeld won the U21 Under 55kg class and Nimrod Ryeder won the U21 Under 77kg class, with Amir Alroy winning bronze. Three Israelis won silver medals including Sara Kovaliov who is deaf.,7340,L-5144646,00.html


Hospital kids have fun on Purim. (TY UWI) Purim in Israel is very exciting. Even in hospitals, youngsters don’t miss out on the fun. At Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, the staff makes sure that the young patients at the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital are not forgotten.

4000 animals treated every year.  Israel’s Wildlife Hospital treats any injured animals, from hedgehogs and tortoises to eagles and gazelles.

Jewish Jerusalem exhibition at the UN. During his 5-day visit to the USA, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will check out a special exhibit at the U.N. Headquarters in New York that provides archaeological proof of the 3,000 years of continuous Jewish history in Jerusalem.

Arab women in the Jewish capital city. (TY Sharon) An oldie but goldie (but first time included in this newsletter) highlighting the freedom that Arab women have to walk, ride, drive, work, shop, eat and simply enjoy life amongst the streets of Jerusalem.

Celebrating bar mitzvot with a difference. 18 Ethiopian Jews, who immigrated from Ethiopia a year ago, celebrated their Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. They each received tefillin donated by the Lev L'Ahad organization and were joined via a live video call to the students of the Ben Porat Yosef School in the United States.

In the 25th Feb 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have developed a compound to starve cancer cells.
·         An Israeli 5-minute blood test can save thousands of heart attack victims.
·         A new Israeli law will make it easier to donate food to the needy.
·         Israeli doctors restored eyesight to 80 citizens of Papua New Guinea.
·         An Israeli system helps plants grow by warming or cooling their roots.
·         Egypt has agreed to purchase $15 billion of Israeli natural gas.
·         Intel is investing $5 billion on expanding its main Israeli factory.
·         Isaiah’s seal has been discovered near Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 11th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical and Inclusive and Global. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to


Compound to target enzyme that powers cancer cells.  (TY Nevet) I reported previously (21st Jan) on the discovery by Professor Uri Nir, at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University of the FerT enzyme key to the energy source of cancer cells. Professor Nir has now developed a compound E260 which targets FerT and kills the tumors.

A treatment for inflammatory diseases and more.  Israeli scientists have developed half-a-dozen proteins to treat either inflammatory diseases (see here and here) or neuro-degenerative diseases (here and here) But the 5-mer peptide, developed by Professor David Naor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, treats them all.

Treatment can re-grow any bone in the body. I’ve reported previously (seven times) on Israel’s Bonus Bio’s innovative treatment that re-grows damaged bone external to the patient using the patient’s own fat cells. Bonus Bio has just begun its second trial of 60 operations. It says that the technology can replace any bone in the body.

Bio-markers indicate pregnancy complications.  Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered molecular biomarkers in the blood for preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that can lead to underweight or premature babies and even death. A new blood test, when available can initiate the early application of simple treatment.

No-blade dental surgery. (TY Hazel) Researchers at Israel’s Technion have developed nanotechnology that replaces the dentist’s scalpel with the target release of the enzyme collagenase to break down collagen fibers in the gums. It spares the pain associated with orthodontic surgeries and significantly reduces tissue recovery time.

Bandage goes global. I reported previously (27th Aug) on the amazing WoundClot bandage made by Israeli startup Core Scientific Creations (CSC). Woundclot is now sold in 32 countries, including Italy, India, Vietnam, the UK, Poland, Romania, and France. It was used to save the lives of victims of recent stabbings.

5-minute blood test to diagnose heart attack. (TY Hazel) Israeli startup Novamed has developed the SensAheart device which tests blood for antibodies produced in a heart attack. Existing blood tests take up to six hours to get a result, but SensAheart takes only five minutes, lessens damage to heart tissue and saves lives.


Amended Israeli law will help feed the needy. (TY Jacques) A new Ministry of Health bill will protect restaurants, event halls, hotels and other food institutions who wish to donate unused food to those in need. It states that good faith donations no longer need worry about being sued if the food causes health problems.

Israel’s first female Haredi judge. The Judicial Selection Committee has appointed Havi Toker to serve in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, making her Israel’s first female ultra-Orthodox judge. Toker was born in England and grew up in Bnei Brak as the eldest of 12 siblings. She has 4 children - her eldest son serves in the IDF.

Persecuted Ahmadi Muslims have freedom in Israel. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is persecuted across the Middle East. But as their leader Muhammad Sharif Odeh says, the 1,400 living in Kababir, Haifa, enjoy full religious and cultural freedom. They also pray at the only Ahmadi mosque in the Middle East.

Huge rally in India to support Israel. At least 50,000 marched through the streets of Kolkata, India in support of Israel. Participants carried banners reading; “India Israel friendship forever”, “Jerusalem eternal capital of Israel”, India-Israel ancient cultures, modern miracle” among others.

The third most-educated adults in the world. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) has ranked Israel as the 3rd most educated country in adult education. 49.9% of Israeli adults between the age of 25 and 64 have completed some form of adult education - almost 4 percent above the US.

Taiwan to open Israeli tech division.  Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology is to launch a new tech division in Israel, expected to be in operation this summer. Taiwan is seeking to draw on Israeli research and expertise on artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and biomedical tech.

Good relations with Serbia.  Serbian National Assembly President Maja Gojkovic visited the Knesset, Israel’s parliament as a guest of Speaker Yuli Edelstein, where she lauded the close ties between the two countries. Economic and cultural links are helped by a sizable community of Jews from former Yugoslavia in Israel.

Restoring eyesight to 80 in Papua New Guinea. Israeli medical specialists from the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital have restored the eyesight of over 80 visually impaired people living in the eastern half of the island of New Guinea. Most of the patients had been blind, due to neglected cataracts in both eyes.

Fighting snail fever in Ethiopia. The NALA Foundation, founded by Israeli immunologist Dr. Zvi Bentwich, is using its behavioral model and treatment from Merck to help millions of Ethiopians fight schistosomiasis, commonly known as “snail fever.” The disease is caused by parasitic flatworms and poor hygiene.

Knesset welcomes global parliament heads. (TY Sharon) Israel hosted 49 representatives from 25 countries and organizations at the Conference for Heads of Parliamentary Administration. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said the event “demonstrates the high regard in which we are held by parliaments around the world.”

Israel helps foil plot to blow up UAE plane. (TY Hazel) Israel helped avert an ISIS plot in Australia to bring down a UAE plane in 2017. Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said, "The Etihad flight was almost blown out of the sky and would have resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives, so we are very grateful for the assistance Israel provided in that matter."


Stress relief for crops. Israeli agriculture startup Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies has built a system that can both heat and cool crop roots to increase yields while consuming very little energy. Roots has just broken into the lucrative Chinese agriculture market via Israeli agricultural integrator company Dagan.

Breeding high-yield rubber plants. Israel’s NRGene is helping Bridgestone Americas to breed the guayule rubber plant to provide enough latex to create a new rubber production industry in the US.  The first-ever two guayule genomes have already been sequenced and completely assembled. 

Ecological products from wood pulp.  Israel’s Melodea has developed a process for extracting cellulose nano crystals (CNC/NCCs) from wood pulp. These are then made into packaging, insulation panels and reinforcing acrylic paints and plastics. Melodea has just received $5 million of funds from Brazilian forestry giant Klabin.

Cybersecurity defends against moving targets. Israeli startup Morphisec develops cybersecurity products that use moving target defense technology to protect against ransomware, evasive attacks and cyber threats that have no current protection.

Arrow 3 defense system tested successfully.  Israel has successfully tested its Arrow 3 long-range missile interceptor. The Israel Defense Ministry tested the system together with the US Missile Defense Agency. Arrow 3, a joint Israel-US development, is one of the most powerful missile defense systems in the world.

Satellite broadband for Mexico. I reported previously (Apr 2012) that Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks was powering Mexico’s largest commercial TV broadcaster.  Now Gilat has won a multi-million-dollar project from Mexico’s Hispasat to deliver broadband services across Mexico.

Dairy farm for Papua New Guinea.  I’ve reported previously (several times) about Israel’s amazing dairy technology. Ronen Feigenbaum of Israel’s Alefbet is now building the first dairy farm for Papua New Guinea.  Israeli companies supplied the equipment for milking, growing silage, and collecting and treating river water.

65 international research agreements. Israel’s Chief Scientist, Dr Ami Appelbaum, is in London as a guest of Israel Bonds and revealed that his Israel Innovation Authority has signed 65 bilateral research agreements all over the world, most recently in Uruguay. He views Artificial Intelligence (AI) as Israel’s key tech growth area.


Egypt buys $15 billion worth of Israeli gas. I reported previously (several times) on the desire by Egypt to buy natural gas from Israel. Now finally, Egypt's Dolphinus Holdings has signed agreements to purchase 64 billion cubic meters of gas from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan fields. The 10-year deal is worth $15 billion.

400 Israeli startups in the UK.  About 400 Israeli startups or tech companies now operate in the UK, primarily in Greater London. More than a dozen Israeli firms are listed on the London Stock Exchange. Israelis choose London for its proximity plus specializing sectors of forex, creative content services, ecommerce and fintech.

Helping startups globally.  Start-Jerusalem gives promising young startups from around the world the tools and guidance to improve their companies.

Healthcare’s expansion at Philips.   Philips Healthcare is increasing the number of employees in its cancer informatics division in Israel. The total number of Philips Healthcare’s employees in Israel will rise to 1000.

Ben Gurion opens new extension to Terminal 3. (TY TIP & Jacques) Ben Gurion airport’s new wing E includes telescopic glass pathways, eight plane exit gates, four bus exit gates, along with shops, restaurants and a VIP lounge. It can handle up to 1,800 more passengers per hour, allowing for dozens of extra daily flights.

Visa launches another innovation lab.  I reported previously (May 2015) that Visa Europe had opened a start-up center in Tel Aviv. It is now launching an innovation studio in Tel Aviv for Israeli FinTech startups to develop the next generation of payment solutions. 

Merck’s 3rd biotech incubator. The Merck Group and Shanghai’s WuXi AppTec have launched the biotech startup incubator ExploreBio. It is Merck’s 3rd Israeli biotech incubator, based at Merck’s existing complex in Yavne and will focus on early stage biotechnology startups. The program has a five-year budget of $25 million.

Orcam becomes a Unicorn.  Artificial vision device company OrCam (see here) has just raised $30.4 million of funds that values the company at $1 billion – giving it the financial status known as a “Unicorn”. OrCam’s founders Aviram and Amnon[O1]  Shashua also co-founded Mobileye and sold it later to Intel for $15.3 billion.

$5 billion expansion of Intel’s factory. (TY TIP) Intel, the global chip-making giant, is planning a $5 billion expansion of its Kiryat Gat cutting-edge manufacturing facility in Southern Israel. It follows the company's $6 billion investment in 2016 to upgrade the facility to produce advanced 10 nanometer chips.


Japanese duo sample more Israeli snacks. Readers may remember (Nov 2016) when my friend Pamela Levene sent a selection of Israeli snacks to Japanese video bloggers Satoshi and Shinich. Pamela recently sent them another batch to taste and comment on.

Your soundtrack to Purim. (TY Hazel) DJ Antithesis plays some of the modern Israeli songs connected to the Jewish festival of Purim – undoubtedly the happiest time to be in Israel. I can’t wait to get back there!

Israel is the best travel destination for vegans. Israel is popular with vegans, mainly thanks to vegan-friendly Tel Aviv. The Israeli non-profit VeganFriendly recommends places for vegans to stay and many hundreds of restaurants to visit. You can go on vegan tours, and there is even a vegan Birthright tour.

Ashley Blaker does Teshuvah.  Yes, the unique Orthodox Jewish UK comedian, Ashley Blaker is returning to Israel for another tour, entitled “Meshuga Frum”. He will perform (Y”H) from March 4-8 in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Netanya and Raanana. “Not to be missed” says his publicity.  But we surely have missed him!

Alley-Oop to Aliyah. (TY Sharon) Nefesh B'Nefesh and Fun in Jerusalem sponsored an event in Jerusalem to promote the book, "Alley-Oop to Aliyah" by David A Goldstein. It describes the good experiences of African-American basketball players who came to play in Israel. Some even converted to Judaism and made Aliyah.


The truth about Apartheid. Great video, highlighting how Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens have equal rights.

Latest Israeli stamps. (TY Jacob Richman) New Israeli stamps issued in February include Yotvata Hai-Bar (animal reserve) - 50 Years; WWI in Eretz Israel Centenary; Israel Television - 50 Years and Trains in Israel.

The seal of Isaiah found in Jerusalem. Hebrew University archaeologists have discovered an 8th century BCE seal impression in First Temple remains near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. It is inscribed with the Hebrew letters that seem to spell out the name l’Yesha’yah[u] (belonging to Isaiah) and part of the word navi (prophet).

In the 11th Feb 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli 3D printers are making prosthetic limbs for amputees globally.
·         An Israeli-Ethiopian girl won X-Factor Israel.
·         An Israeli sanitation system is saving lives in India.
·         10,000 delegates attended Israel’s largest investment summit.
·         An Israeli singer takes on lead role in Broadway musical.
·         Members of the lost tribe of Menashe return to pray in Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 4th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Inclusive and Global and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Click here to read my latest feature article “Bearing Fruit to Those Who Want It”.  Also on Jerusalem Post,  Israel Seen and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) translated into German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to


Printing prosthetic arms for amputees. Israel’s Stratasys is teaming up with multinational 3D software company Dassault Systèmes and robotics innovator Easton LaChappelle to provide amputees with affordable, custom-made, battery-powered prosthetic limbs, created using 3D scanners for printing anywhere in the world.

British girl’s leg is saved.  I reported previously (7th Jan) that the only chance Kyra Warrell, of Brighton, UK had of saving her leg from amputation, was for surgery at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center by visiting US (Israeli-born) surgeon Dr Dror Paley. Many Israelis helped Kyra’s family and the operation was a success.

Israel marks World Cancer Day.  This video of five major Israeli cancer detection and treatments was released to mark World Cancer Day on 4th Feb. They are Velcade for multiple myeloma; IceCure; RAD51 gene research; bone marrow transplants for leukemia; and Doxil’s delivery direct to the tumor.

On the trail of the malaria virus.  I reported previously (Mar 2015) that Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists made progress countering the way the malaria virus hides its genes from the immune system. Now Weizmann Institute scientists have disabled the gene that fools the immune system into attacking decoy cells.

NHS target for Israeli digital health tech startups. British Jewish philanthropist David Dangoor is launching the UK Israel Dangoor Health Initiative. This new accelerator/hub will match a pipeline of Israeli digital-health startups with Britain’s NHS.

Doctors remove battery from infant’s stomach.  10-month-old Ram Jannam from the Druze/Arab town of Maghar, broke his toy telephone and swallowed the battery. Doctors at Israel’s Padeh-Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias, extracted the battery endoscopically under anesthesia.  Ram is now back home and doing well.

Israeli innovations saving lives.  Nice short video featuring some of the many Israeli life-saving and life-enhancing medical innovations.


Helping kids fight cancer pain. The non-profit Kids Kicking Cancer has enlisted 15 martial arts teachers to become volunteers, helping children with cancer and other serious illnesses achieve a sense of physical and emotional well-being through free martial arts classes, counseling, and other kinds of support.

Ethiopian-Israeli wins X-Factor Israel.  Ethiopian-Israeli Eden Alene, 17, of Jerusalem, won Israel’s “X-Factor 2018.  Her performance of pop star Demi Lovato’s song “Stone Cold” went viral.  Alene, who was raised by her Orthodox Jewish single mother, sang “Human” by Christina Perri for her final performance.

Training for all.  At the non-profit Akko Center of Arts and Technology (ACAT), among the students of the Entrepreneurship in the Travel Industry course are a Druze beekeeper, a Bedouin mother and daughter who serve homemade meals in their home, and a Jewish woman with guest cabins near the Lebanon border.

Young Jerusalem Arabs are integrating. 22-year-old Ro’aa is typical of a growing number of Jerusalem Arabs. She works in a Jewish area of Western Jerusalem.  “On the Israeli side you get paid more and receive all your benefits, and if they see you are working hard you get promoted.”

No politics in Knesset backgammon tournament.  Jewish and Arab Israeli lawmakers from the coalition and opposition competed together at the Knesset (parliament) backgammon tournament. The competition was won by Oren Hazan (Likud) who ironically has been suspended from the Knesset for his bad behavior.

The weekly influx of Syrian wounded.  Operation Good Neighbor – the transportation of wounded Syrian children to Israeli hospitals – isn’t a one-off event; every week Israel receives a busload of sick kids. There is also a field clinic for non-emergencies. Read the individual stories.

Owls for Peace. (TY Irene) I reported previously (3 times) on how Israelis have convinced farmers in Israel and Jordan to use owls as a natural control of rodent pests. This article brings us up to date and suggests that the cross-border solution is even helping Israel’s relations with Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Tunisia and Morocco.

Knesset members develop Jewish-Muslim ties in Croatia. Israeli-Arab Member of Knesset (MK) Esawi Frej (Meretz) and Avraham Neguise (Likud) visited Croatia last week to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Panama gives award to United Hatzalah.  Panama’s Homefront Command has presented an award to Israeli emergency response organization United Hatzalah. The award is to honor the life-saving aid that United Hatzalah has provided to the Central American nation.

Strong ties with Greece.  Israeli President Rivlin concluded his state visit to Greece by lauding the warm relations between the two countries and the growing security cooperation, which contributes to the stability of the region.

Planes from Israel may overfly Saudi Arabia. Early reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has approved Air India to cross its airspace for direct flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. If confirmed, it will be the first time that flights to Israel have been allowed through Saudi skies.

A cyber security superpower. Former CIA director Gen (Ret) David H. Petraeus hailed Israel as “a small country in all aspects, but it is a cyber superpower.”. He was speaking in Tel Aviv at CyberTech 2018. The 3-day event attracted 15,000 attendees from 80 countries, including 160 international delegations.

UK Defense Secretary – “Israel is a beacon of light”. (TY Hazel) Speaking to the Conservative Friends of Israel, the UK’s Secretary of State for Defense, Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson MP, praised Israel as a “beacon of light and hope, in a region where there is so much hatred and hurt”.


Earthquake warning systems.  Israel is installing a tsunami warning system along its Western coast at Ashdod, Hadera and Haifa. It is also installing a 120-sensor earthquake early-warning system in the East, adjacent to the Great Rift Valley.  Both systems are expected to be operational by 2019.

Protecting trains from cyber-attack. Israeli startup Cylus is developing technology to protect railway and metro systems from cyber-attack. Its solution enables rail companies to detect cyber-attacks in their operational network (including signaling systems and rolling stocks) and block attackers before they can cause any damage.

Satellite broadband for Australia. Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks reported that its satellite platform has been selected by NBN and Speedcast to provide broadband services to businesses and government customers across Australia, especially remote areas. The deal is worth tens of millions of dollars spread over several years.

A new sanitation system.  Israeli startup Soapy has set-up simple hygiene stations in Bagepalli, India to provide children with hand-washing facilities in rural areas and slums where there is no running water. The station takes water from the air, adds soap and dispenses the cleaning solution 24/7.

Protecting websites from hijacking. (TY WIN) Israel’s PAGESEAL blocks malicious attempts to steal customers away from retailers’ websites.


Investment grade, with a positive outlook. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has reaffirmed Israel’s credit rating at its third highest “investment” grade, with a positive outlook. S&P praised Israel’s prosperous and diverse economy, strong external balance sheet, and flexible monetary framework.

Currency reserves increase by $4.6 billion. Israel’s reserves of foreign currency jumped by a record $4.6 billion to a new high of $117.6 billion at the end of January, compared to the end of December.

The OurCrowd Global Investors Summit.  (TY Sharon) On 1st Feb, OurCrowd, a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, held its largest annual investor conference in Jerusalem. 10,000 attendees from over 90 countries; 1,000 startups, 500 multinationals and 500 venture capitalists. See Jon Medved’s video preview.

Tech startup is now a $2 billion giant. Israel’s Ori Allon founded Compass in 2012. It has been reshaping the real estate market in the US with its algorithm-based platform. Having sold his Orion search algorithm to Google and his Julpan social analytics company to Twitter, Ori says that he will hold onto Compass this time.

Frutarom’s 32nd takeover. Israeli flavors and fine ingredients company Frutarom has just bought Israel’s IBR (Israeli Biotechnology Research) for $21 million – Frutarom’s 32nd acquisition since 2015. IBR produces active ingredients for cosmetics and dietary supplements.

Opening a new barrel. I reported previously (twice) about Israeli startup Weissbeerger and its technology to monitor beer taps in a bar. Weissbeerger has just been acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the makers of Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois.

Better by design – together.  Israeli-founded home remodeling and design company Houzz has just acquired Tel Aviv-based IvyMark, a startup developing online business management tools for interior designers.

Half of Merck healthcare revenue is due to Israel.  Kai Beckmann, CEO of Performance Materials at German giant Merck, stated that Israeli innovation is behind almost half of Merck’s healthcare revenues. Merck has just opened a new technology innovation laboratory at its subsidiary, Qlight Nanotech in Jerusalem.

Honda likes Israeli startups. (TY WIN) A Honda Xcelerator representative identifies the innovative Israeli technology that Honda is seeking and cultivating.


Israeli gets lead road in Chicago on Broadway. (TY UWI) Israeli singer and actress Shiri Maimon is set to play the role of Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago in September. She will follow Liza Minnelli, Brooke Shields and Melanie Griffith, who have all played Roxie in the long-running Broadway hit.

Liev Schreiber gives master class at TAU.  Actor director Liev Schreiber, star of the “Ray Donovan” TV series, came to Israel to attend a friend’s wedding, enjoy some “warmer weather, good humus, and lots of fizzy bobolah!” He also gave a master class in drama at Tel Aviv University. Video is of a previous trip in 2009.

Super blue-blood moon over Jerusalem. Although I missed it, the “once in a lifetime” event of a super blue blood moon was visible from Israel. A super moon is when the moon is at its closest to the Earth. A blue moon is a second full moon in one month.  And a blood moon is an eclipse of the moon, which turns it reddish.

An Israeli boxing prodigy. 17-year-old Israeli welterweight boxer David Kaminsky has turned pro, having won 94 out of 102 amateur contests. He has been signed by veteran boxing promoter Bob Arum, founder of Top Rank, who promoted George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Muhammad Ali. 

Extreme female cyclist. Israel’s Noga Korem recently joined the famous GT Factory Team - a professional extreme endurance bicycle racing team in the United States. As the only woman on the “Enduro” team, Noga follows the same rigorous training and competition rules as her male counterparts.

Israel’s rowing center is making waves. In memory of potential Israeli Olympic rower Daniel Amichai Marcus, his family built the Daniel Rowing Centre on the banks of the Yarkon River. (They even widened the river.) It is a place that Israelis come to compete, heal from injuries and enjoy the beautiful sport of rowing.

More about Israel’s skeleton Olympian. Sharon (Real Jerusalem Streets) has written a feature for Israellycool about AJ Edelman – Israel’s first-ever Winter Olympics competitor in the Skeleton bobsleigh event.


Na Na – it cannot be!  It’s common to see (and hear) the sub-group of Breslover Hasidim dancing and singing on Israeli streets.  But this sight of one dancing on top of a car with a Palestinian Arab is somewhat unusual. 

My choice is Israel. Fred Maroun frequently writes blogs favorably comparing Israel against Arab states. In this article he explains why although he is Arab by birth, he is Zionist by choice.

“Lost tribe” returns to pray in Jerusalem.  After their exile from Israel 2,700 years ago, members of the “lost tribe” of Bnei Menashe finally arrived in Jerusalem for an emotional, early-morning prayer service at the Western Wall.

In the 4th Feb 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israel’s emergency preparedness conference attracted 1000 from 35 countries.
·         Israeli tech secured the funeral of the former King of Thailand.
·         Tel Aviv University has started building micro satellites.
·         An Israeli company is now saving water in 4 continents.
·         A record number of Israelis will compete at the Winter Olympics.
·         Archaeologists have found ancient building remains of the Kings of Judea.

·         Click here to see the 28th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Global impact (with nearly 10,000 likes), Technology and Business. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Click here to read my latest feature article “Bearing Fruit to Those Who Want It”.  Also on Jerusalem Post and Israel Seen.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to


Treatment for Fabry disease fast-tracked.  I reported previously (Jan 2015) on the promising trials for the Fabry disease treatment PRX-102 from Israel’s Protalix. PRX-102 is currently in Phase III trials and has just been granted fast-track status by the US FDA. Fabry disease damages the kidneys and heart and has no cure.

How iron levels are maintained.  Researchers at Israel’s Technion have uncovered the mechanism by which the body transports the essential protein ferritin around the body.  Ferritin maintains iron levels in the red blood cells that bring oxygen to the brain. Iron deficiency is a major cause of many brain diseases.

Breakthrough brain device. I reported previously (4 times) on Israel’s MedyMatch, whose software gives more accurate assessments about strokes and intracranial bleeds. MedyMatch has now been granted Expedited Access Pathway and Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA for intracranial hemorrhage detection.

$18 million donation for Health Discovery tower.  I reported previously (30th Apr) about the new 20-story medical research tower being built at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Now the Helmsley Trust is donating $18 million to the project and the building is to be named the “Helmsley Medical Discovery Tower”.

Recovery is in the balance. Israeli startup Bobo has developed a smart board that records, analyses and gives feedback to physiotherapists on a patient’s ability to maintain balance during rehabilitation following surgery or treatment. Trials in Hadassah Medical Center have proved Bobo’s usefulness and it is now heading to the USA.

Latest news on POP repair device. I reported previously (Aug 2016) on the minimally-invasive inter-uterine device from Israel’s POP Medical that repairs Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) affecting 50% of women. The FDA-approved NeuGuide is soon to undergo new trials in the US and Israel to build confidence and data.

Disaster training for 1000. (TY Nevet) The fifth IPRED international conference led by Israel’s Ministry of Health and the Home Front Command attracted 1000 emergency responders from 35 countries. It ended with a simulated mass-casualty exercise in Petah Tikva that received media attention from as far away as China.

New Center for Translational Medicine. Tel Aviv University is establishing an innovation center for translational medicine. The aim is to reduce the time for bringing a new treatment to market by combining academic research with clinical trials.  Only afterwards will the treatment be licensed to a commercial company.

The first International Biomedical Informatics conference. In December, Israel’s Technion hosted the first international conference on biomedical informatics – where data collected by universities, hospitals and health funds is analyzed and the results used to adapt treatments to individual patients.


US Second Lady supports Israeli creative arts therapy. US Second Lady Karen Pence’s champions Art Therapy and the Israeli PM’s wife Sara Netanyahu is a child psychologist. Both participated in a roundtable in Jerusalem with top Israeli creative arts therapists. (Seated on Mrs. Pence’s right is my wife’s cousin Dalya.)

Hi-tech scanning increases PA trade. Israel has implemented a new system for scanning cargo containers that will enable 200 containers to cross between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority each day - double the current number. The PA Economy Minister said it “will save exporters and importers a lot of efforts and costs”.

NASA honors Israel’s first astronaut. NASA honored the astronauts killed aboard shuttle Columbia 15 years ago, with a special musical tribute by Tal Ramon, the son of Ilan Ramon - Israel's first astronaut. Tal recalled how his father's spaceflight was "a huge thing" not only in Israel, but the United States as well. Also see video.

Cape Town starts water rationing. I reported previously (Jun 2016) that Israel had offered to help South Africa with its water management. Sadly, the government refused help and now residents of Cape Town are rationed to 50 liters per day. Worse, from April, they will have to stand in queues to get water.

Protecting Thai funeral.  The Red Sky 2 drone defense system from Israel’s IMI Systems was operated for the first time by the Thai Air Force in October to protect the 250,000 attendees at the funeral of the former King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej. The system intercepted and neutralized two unauthorized drones.


A pen for dyslexics.  I’ve reported previously (see here) about Israeli help for dyslexics. Now Israeli startup Wizcomtech has developed a reading pen that scans text and breaks words down into syllables using a digital voice. It then gives synonyms for the words to aid understanding and remembering.

An alternative to GPS.  Israeli startup Hoopo has developed a geolocation estimation algorithm as an alternative to GPS. It uses low-power wide-area (LPWA) network data transmissions to generate a precise location. Hoopo has just received $1.5 million of funding.

Spirit of creativity.  A short video showing just some of the technological innovations with which Israel is changing the world.

Simulating Mars in the Negev desert.  A specialized structure simulating the Red Planet Mars’s unique environment is currently being built near Mitzpe Ramon in Israel’s Negev desert. Six Israeli astronauts will experience Martian conditions, communicating to the Rehovot control center via Israel’s AMOS 7 satellite.

Making the physical world searchable.  (TY Israel21c) I reported previously (Sep 2013) about four Israeli startups providing indoor GPS-like location services. Now Israel’s Oriient provides visitors to megastores, malls, offices, hospitals and universities with better accessibility. No additional hardware needs to be installed.

CyberTech 2018 opens in Tel Aviv.  Israel’s CyberTech conference (29-31 Jan) is the most significant gathering in the industry outside the United States. The 3-day event brought 15,000 attendees, 170 speakers and 120 companies to discuss challenges facing the cyber industry.

Building miniature satellites. Tel Aviv University has launched a new space exploration center focused on constructing 4-inch cube-sized satellites. A team of engineers will build the “CubeSats” in collaboration with university researchers. Costs are around $500k each compared to tens of millions for the current large satellites.

No flies on Orri Jaffa mandarins. Israel's Plant Production and Marketing Board (PPMB) has announced the launch of Orri Jaffa, an easy peeler mandarin, fully protected using biological controls. To repel Mediterranean fruit flies (Medflies) Orri Jaffa farmers use natural baits and sterile insects to reduce fly populations.

Predicting car crashes. I reported previously (16th July) on one Israeli system that can predict and prevent car crashes.  Now scientists at Bar Ilan University has also developed artificial intelligence-based crash prediction software using 13 years of car accident data. The technology will soon be tested by Israel's traffic police.

IBM sets up its largest lab outside US.  Multinational IBM has inaugurated a new cybersecurity laboratory in Beer Sheva – its largest outside of the United States. The lab will focus on researching systems to detect insider threats – one of the biggest current causes of data security breaches.

Construction begins on Israel’s most efficient power plant.  Construction has begun of the 450-megawatt Israel Power Management (IPM) power plant at Be'er Tuvia. When complete in 2020, the natural gas-fueled plant will provide 3.5 % of Israel’s electricity at an efficiency rating of 60% - the highest in Israel.

Self-driving Cadillacs on Israeli roads.  General Motors' development center is carrying out trials on Israeli public roads of prototypes of Cadillacs with high-level autonomous driving systems. GM’s Super Cruise needs no driver intervention on high-speed roads, including overtaking, emergency braking, and moderate turns.


Highest hotel occupancy in a decade. Tourism to Israel is booming with hotel overnights by overseas tourists totaling 10.6 million in 2017 - 23% more than in 2016 and the highest since 2007. The nationwide hotel occupancy rate in 2017 was 67%, compared with 62% in 2016.

More flights from Canada.  (TY Nevet) Canadian and Israeli Transport Ministers have signed an expanded air transport agreement that will allow designated airlines to operate up to 19 passenger flights per week between the two countries (up from 12). Air Canada and Air Transat are launching or increasing services from Montreal and Toronto.

$814.5 million raised by cybersecurity firms.  Israel’s 420 cybersecurity firms raised a record $814.5 million in 2017 – a massive 16% of global investment in cybersecurity and 28% more than in 2016. There were 14 exits totaling more than $1.4 billion. Several major international security companies opened Israeli R&D centers.

Fund for AI startups.  Jerusalem-based OurCrowd global equity crowdfunding platform has launched Cognitiv, a specialized $100 million global fund focused on early-stage companies in artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and digital manufacturing.

Million-dollar startup competition.  Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) is offering $1 million to the winner of “The New York Play” competition for startups wishing to move between New York and Israel. Specialty areas include AI, big data, cyber, fintech, mobile, storage, cloud tech, IoT, media, agritech and digital health.

A map of the Israeli retail startup scene.  There are over 250 retail technology startups operating in Israel currently. Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Nielsen Innovate Fund (NIF), Deloitte and The Shelf have published a map of the Israeli retail technology landscape, featuring the sector’s 100 “most promising startups.”

TaKaDu’s global expansion. I’ve reported previously (several times) about Israel’s TaKaDu and its water-saving systems for water utilities. It has acquired new customers in Australia and its first one in Vietnam. Meanwhile, its first US customer Knoxville Utilities Board is already showing major benefits. Inspiring video.

CollPlant to list on NASDAQ.  Israeli human tissue repair company CollPlant is shortly to list on NASDAQ. Collplant uses tobacco plant DNA to develop and manufacture collagen-based regenerative medical treatments and bio-ink used in 3D printing of human tissues and organs.

$150 million for InSightec. Israel’s InSightec’s MRI-focused ultrasound (see here) is curing patients of tremors, prostate cancer and fibroids. It has just raised $150 million of funding.


On-line exhibitions.  Israel21c has made some alterations to its on-line exhibitions.  Here are the new links to its “18 Ways Israel is Changing the World” and its new exhibition “The Guide to Hipster Israel”.

Starlings flock to the Holy Land.  (TY United With Israel) Every Israeli winter, flocks of Starlings perform amazing displays (known as murmurations)  across the skies of Southern Israel. Here they create beautiful and dramatic shapes in the skies above Sderot.

After the rains, the waterfalls.  Beautiful photos of Israel’s spectacular waterfalls, boosted by recent rains.

The perfect sport for an Israeli.  On 15th Feb, Israel’s A.J. Edelman will begin his participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. As Israel’s first-ever competitor in the skeleton bobsleigh competition, he joins nine other Israeli qualifiers (a record), which includes seven figure-skaters. Great videos.

The other Israeli Olympic athletes.  Israeli competitors at the Winter Olympics include figure skater Alexei Bychenko – Israel’s best prospect for a medal. Others include speed skater Vladislav Bykanov, alpine skier Itamar Biran, and pairs skaters Paige Conners and Evgeni Krasnopolski


11-year-old girl raises money for Puerto Rica. 11-year-old Israeli Meital Sterntha is halfway to raising $4000 to purchase 100 water filters for the citizens of Puerto Rica still rebuilding after devastating hurricanes. In honor of her Bat Mitzvah, Meital founded PuertoTiko, which hand-makes and sells textile bags to raise aid money.

Fulfilling a dream. Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion has a special program called “Fulfilling A Dream” that enables lonely, disabled elderly housebound people to choose an event they wish to experience. In this article two holocaust survivors (one 90, the other 99) are taken on the trips of their dreams.

70 orchards for 70 years.  Between now (Tu B’Shvat – New Year for Trees) and the 70th birthday of the State of Israel, Israeli farmers aim to plant 70 new orchards each containing hundreds of fruit trees and vines.  To join in the Mitzvah of planting fruit trees in the Land of Israel, please visit this site and watch the video.

Remains from the time of Judea’s Kings.  After five years of excavations, Israel has inaugurated a Nature Park at Ein Hanya, near Jerusalem. Finds at the site include a column capital typical of royal structures from the First Temple era 2,400 to 2,800 years ago, and one of the oldest coins ever discovered in the Jerusalem area.

Aliyah “On Eagles Wings”. This week’s Torah portion includes the famous phrase “I carried you on the wings of eagles and I brought you to Me”.  As this video explains, this links to the 1950s Aliya of Yemenite Jews in Operation Magic Carpet. But it also reverberates with every new immigrant who arrives at Ben Gurion airport.

In the 28th Jan 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli pancreatic cancer treatment shows positive results in just five days.
·         Israel’s PM announces NIS 1 billion digital health project.
·         Israel is top of the Middle East Freedom list – again.
·         An Israeli app is helping the French public and police resolve crimes.
·         Israeli tech is generating water from the air in India.
·         An Israeli wireless charging system won an international award.
·         At least nine major business deals signed during the PM’s trip to India.
·         The US Vice President’s historic visit to Israel.

·         Click here to see the 21st Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of nearly 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to


Good results in pancreatic cancer treatment trials.  Israel’s BioLineRx has announced encouraging initial results from its Phase 2a trials of its BL-8040 treatment on patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. After only five days of treatment the treatment substantially increased the numbers of T-cells fighting the tumors.

Melanoma treatment shows promise.  When Israel’s BioLineRx bought UK’s Agalimmune, it also acquired its AGI-134 treatment for solid tumors. BioLineRX has just demonstrated successful results of AGI-134 in two pre-clinical melanoma studies.

Predicting and preventing PIE.  Post Injury Epilepsy (PIE) occurs several months after a stroke in at least 10% of patients. Scientists at Ben Gurion University have been able to detect likely PIE sufferers using EEG (electroencephalographic) recordings of theta brain waves. Early treatment with medication can prevent attacks.

The gene that causes colon cancer. Israel’s NRGene has confirmed the identity of a genetic mutation that causes colon cancer in 60% of its hosts. NRGene was contacted by scientists at Stanford University and used its GenoMagic software to genetically screen the DNA of inherited colon cancer sufferers.

European approval for stroke analysis system. (TY Atid-EDI) has received the CE Mark for its Israeli-developed Direct-to-Intervention system, ContaCT, a novel approach to stroke care that automatically analyzes brain CT-scans and notifies a specialist that a suspected large vessel occlusion has been identified.

Personalized cancer treatment.  (TY UWI and TIP) This video shows that Israeli doctors are saving lives of cancer patients by testing different treatments on samples of the tumors outside of the patient’s body. They can then determine the best cancer treatments to offer patients based on the success of the treatment.

Gene cancer therapy prepares to launch.  Israel’s VBL Therapeutics has opened its new gene therapy production facility to manufacture VBL’s lead cancer therapy ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), when finally approved. The Modiin gene therapy plant is one of the largest in the world, and the first in Israel.

An app to monitor the brain.  Israel-based startup Montfort Brain Monitor won Israel’s Henry Ford Health System's artificial intelligence challenge. Montfort’s "master app" uses a smartphone's sensors to track a patient's motor, cognitive, and affective activity. It can be tailored for the specific neurological disorder.

NIS 1 billion digital health project.  In Davos, Israeli PM Netanyahu met with William McDermott, the CEO of SAP who agreed to partner with Israel on a new five-year NIS 1 billion digital healthcare project. The project aims to develop personalized and preventative medicine – regarded as a revolution in the health sector.


The most free country in the Middle East. (TY UWI) Israel is the only free country amongst its Middle East neighbors, according to the latest report from Freedom House. With Turkey becoming “Not Free” and Tunisia about to lose its “Free” status, it is about time that the UN gave Israel due respect.

Volunteers give free roadside assistance.  (TY Janglo) Echoing the Jewish principle that everyone is responsible for everyone else, Israeli organization Yedidim (Hebrew for “loved ones” or “good friends”) has over 6,000 volunteers ready to help drivers on Israeli roads. Especially useful during winter storms.

Special dog handlers. (TY Hazel) 20 members of the IDF’s “Special in Uniform” unit have graduated from the IDF’s dog handling program. They developed skills to direct, feed and exercise dogs and will now work on bases with guard-dogs, detection dogs and search and rescue dogs.

More Arabs at Israeli universities. (TY Hazel) Arab students made up 16.1 percent of Israel’s undergraduates in 2017, a 60% rise from 2010, according to the latest survey by Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE). They also constitute 13% of Masters’ students, double that in 2010. 41% of Haifa University students are Arab.

Projects to benefit Palestinian Arabs. The Israeli delegation to the UN’s Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) presented Israeli projects for the benefit of Palestinian Arabs. They include an improved cellphone network, an enhanced water supply system, a PA industrial zone in Tarqumiyah and water desalinization in Gaza.

Wounded Syrians received with Arabic greeting.  A Druze Staff Sergeant from southern Israel is saving wounded civilians from Syria. "When I meet the wounded,” he says. "I just go up to them and say in Arabic, 'Hi, my medical team and I are here to help you,' and then just treat them."

Powerful and innovative. U.S. News and World Report ranks Israel as the 8th-most-powerful nation based upon defensive strength, strong international alliances, and economic and political influence. Bloomberg ranks Israel as the 10th-most-innovative country based on spending on R&D and number of listed hi-tech companies.

And food secure. The United Nations ranked Israel 19th out of 180 in its 2017 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report on how well countries can feed their populations.

Hundreds of foreign students at TAU.  (TY Atid-EDI) 370 international students are beginning the spring semester at Tel Aviv University – the most in two decades. They hail from the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Panama and UK. The average age is 20 and 69% are female. Most are on TAU’s study abroad program.

Reporting crime in Nice. I included previously (Apr 2016) an article about Israel’s Reporty which forms the basis for an emergency video app used by Israel’s Magen David Adom. Now Reporty is being piloted by 2000 members of the French public in Nice to film and report crimes or incidents to the police.


Generating water in India.  Israel’s WaterGen is launching a water generation pilot with India’s Tata. A joint entity in India will oversee local manufacture and installment of mid-size AWG (Atmospheric Water Generators) GEN-350G units.

Agriculture for good.  Israel’s agricultural group Yakhin is joining with Israeli non-profit Tech for Good, to set up Yakhin Impact - an accelerator to mentor agri-tech entrepreneurs. It will help sustainable development start-ups develop solutions with the potential to transform agriculture in Israel and globally.

Saving Africa’s crops from going to waste.  Israel’s Farmster links Tanzanian farmers to buyers for their crops even if they can’t access the Internet. They are given a simple SMS (texting) facility on their low-tech mobile phones and the buyers (who have smartphones and the FarmZee app) can quickly see what is available.

TAU’s Russian Intelligence ally. No, not a spy story. Tel Aviv University is partnering Russian tech company Yandex to provide courses in artificial intelligence (AI). The Yandex Machine Learning Initiative, will feature courses on machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and robotics.

Boot camp for hi-tech developers.  Muhammad Zahalqa, CTO of Experis Israel (part of Manpower group), came on ILTV news to explain how his company trains Israeli graduates for the hi-tech industry. In his words, turning them into “ninja developers” to help address the shortage of technical skills in the Startup Nation.

Smartphone case and selfie stick in one.  Why carry your smartphone in one pocket and a selfie stick in another?  That’s what the son of David Sherman, CEO of Israeli startup Stikbox, thought. The promotion video for Stikbox received nearly 10 million hits on Facebook and over 380,000 on Youtube.

Superfast Internet cable by 2020.  (TY Janglo) A new sub-sea Internet cable will connect Israel with Spain in 2020 that will have 40 times more capacity than existing Internet cables. The new 7,700 km cable will reach Bilbao, Spain, where an equally powerful internet cable already connects Spain to the main Internet backbone.

Cutting energy costs for hotels.  I reported previously (see here) on two Israeli startups with energy-saving solutions for hotels. Now Israel’s Vortex Energy uses sensors to compare a hotel’s internal and external temperatures to control heating and air conditioning systems. It can save up to 20% of a hotel’s operating costs.

Upgrading India’s optical network. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s ECI has been chosen by Idea Cellular Ltd (Idea), the third largest mobile operator in India and sixth-ranked in the world, to upgrade its optical network. Idea has nearly 200 million subscribers. ECI is a global provider of flexible network solutions.

WiFi charger wins CES innovation award.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (here) about Israel’s WiFi charging system Wi-Charge that charges mobile phones using infra-red beams in the ceiling lights. Wi-Charge received FDA approval in 2017 and won the Best of Innovation (Smart Energy Product) award at CES 2018.

Secure cashless payment.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s On Track Innovations (OTI) makes secure cashless payment solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, vending machines and petrol pumps. OTI’s UNO-8 (SATURN 8700) system has just been granted EMVCo Visa & Mastercard approval.


More money for social causes. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s 2019 budget has just been approved. It includes large increases in spending on education ($18 billion), welfare ($13 billion) and healthcare ($11 billion).

Israel’s sustained growth.  Ambassador Yoram Ettinger highlights Israel’s economic successes in 2017. Tourism up 24.6%; unemployment down to 4.1%; exports up 5% (despite strong shekel) to $100 billion; low inflation and debt to GDP below 60%. And Israeli startups raised $5.24 billion - up 9%.

Chinese tourism soars. (TY Hazel) In 2015 there were 47,000 Chinese visitors to Israel, which the Israel Tourism Ministry wanted to double by 2018. (see here) It has smashed that target already, with 113,000 Chinese visiting Israel in 2017.

Over 50 Israeli wineries exhibited.  More than 50 Israeli wineries, together with international brands, were displayed in the “Sommelier 2018” exhibition in Tel Aviv. Israel’s largest annual wine event is normally just for industry professionals, but this year it opened to the public during the evenings.

Bringing leading-edge startups to multinationals. Israeli venture fund Jerusalem Venture Partners has launched JVP Play. It aims to connect Israeli startups, developing artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning solutions, with major retail and financial services such as Tesco, Microsoft, Barclays and Deloitte.

Schroders to open Tel Aviv offices. One of Britain’s largest investment management firms, Schroders plc, announced that it is opening offices in Tel Aviv in response to growing demand from clients. Schroders has been active in Israel for about a decade but has been working from its London headquarters until now.

Israeli AI firm becomes French. French e-commerce company Akeno has acquired Sigmento, an Israeli startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help online vendors better describe their products. The company plans to keep development in Tel Aviv with Akeno staff relocating to Israel.

More deals with India.  In addition to the WaterGen – Tata pilot above, at least eight other projects began during the Israeli PM’s visit to India. They include Israel’s Phinergy and Ashok Leyland for energy from aluminum-air batteries. And the Israel Electric Company with Andhra Pradesh state, for critical infrastructure.

Israel’s SCD buys US Quantum Imaging.  Another example of an Israeli company taking over a US firm. Israel’s SemiConductor Devices (SCD) (jointly owned by Elbit and Rafael) has bought Colorado’s Quantum Imaging, makers of short-wave Infra-red cameras. The aim is to strengthen SCD’s US activities.

An Israeli cybersecurity merger. (TY Atid-EDI) Hod Hasharon’s Allot Communications is to acquire Tel Aviv’s Netonomy, a developer of software-based cyber security for the connected home.  Allot’s multi-service platforms are deployed by over 500 mobile, fixed and cloud service providers and over 1000 enterprises.

Palo Alto opens new Israeli R&D center.  (TY Atid-EDI) Since acquiring two Israeli companies (Cyvera and LightCyber), Palo Alto Networks Israel has grown to 200 employees. Hence it just moved into new Tel Aviv offices - the only R&D site for Palo Alto Networks outside of its global headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

All-consuming geothermal energy. I’ve reported previously (12 times) about Israeli geothermal energy company Ormat Technologies. Ormat has just acquired US Geothermal for a “cool” $110 million. Acquiring US Geothermal’s projects in Idaho and Oregon significantly broadens and diversifies Ormat’s US operations.


Land of wine, film and art.  The nonprofit Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF) develops innovative programs to feature Israeli culture through wine, film, and art.  250 attended TIIF’s “Wine on the Vine” project launch. TIFF supporter MK Michael Oren stressed the need to change the conversation to one about technology and culture.

New museum for iconic artist.  A museum dedicated to the colorful works of world-renowned kinetic artist Yaacov Agam recently opened its doors in Rishon LeZion, the birthplace of the 89-year-old artist whose career has spanned 65 years. One of Agam’s works is the famous Dizengoff Square “Fire and Water Fountain”.

Tu B’Shvat events in Jerusalem. (TY Janglo) Tu B'Shvat, the Jewish new year of the trees, falls this year on January 30-31. Here's a roundup of Tu B'Shvat related activities, from nature walks to mystical fruit seders.

Ex-England soccer coach re-energized.  (TY Hazel) Former England soccer manager Steve McClaren feels “re-energized” after five months in Israel, assisting Jordi Cruyff (son of Johan) at Maccabi Tel Aviv. “Tel Aviv was beautiful. Modern, but with history, too. Mediterranean. Multicultural, fantastic restaurants, great beach.”


How he saved his daughter’s life.  When Yisrael Amar’s grandmother collapsed, he was so impressed by the response from United Hatzalah that he started its paramedic training course. One of his first lessons was how to treat a choking victim. Shortly afterwards, his daughter choked on some plastic and Amar knew what to do.

Welcome Vice President. (TY Sharon) Great scoop by my friend Sharon, of the red-carpet welcoming ceremony for US Vice-President Mike Pence with a military honor guard. US flags adorned main streets along the route of the Vice-Presidential motorcade and supporters outside the Knesset waved “thank you” signs. Sharon also captured his visit to the Western Wall (Final video is by Arutz Sheva)

The first US Vice President to address the Knesset. (TY Jacob Richman) On 22nd Jan, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made history as the first American Vice President to address the Israeli Knesset. His references included the end of the Shechechyanu blessing, which gives thanks for a significant event in one’s life.

What it means to be a Zionist – from a non-Jew.  Despite being a non-Jew from a UK center-left political background, Luke Akehurst has made it his mission to teach people about Zionism, as he does in this video. Luke is Director of “We Believe in Israel”. To find out more and sign up, please visit their website.

When immigrating to Israel is a senior moment.  Reasons retirees give for making Aliya include a view over the Mediterranean; or following the kids or grandkids; or fulfilling a dream. Whatever the reason, this article gives advice on how to get here. And the second article (TY Janglo) gives advice about retirement homes.

Israelis crack code to Dead Sea scrolls. Israeli researchers have finally decoded two of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the 1960s. Believed to be written over 2000 years ago by a Jewish sect known as the Essenes, the scrolls revealed their 364-day calendar and four previously unknown festivals.

In the 21st Jan 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists can kill cancer cells by cutting off their energy.
·         At one Israeli winery the wine is produced by people with special needs.
·         A delegation of 150 business people went to India with the Israeli PM.
·         Israeli in-car sensors can detect a baby’s heartbeat.
·         Israeli government’s new 30-year bonds were 19 times over-subscribed.
·         The new Einstein museum will be in the Jerusalem university he co-founded.
·         An Israeli family discovered a Jewish 2000-year-old storage site under their house.

·         Click here to see the 14th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Technology and Medical. Also (TY Sandra) in German
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New target for cancer treatments. Researchers at Israel’s Bar Ilan University have discovered a new enzyme called FerT, which exists only in the energy-generating mitochondria of cancer cells. When the enzyme was targeted in lab tests, the malignant cells were unable to produce energy and died.

US approval for Leukemia treatment. Following a Priority Review, the US FDA has approved Israel TEVA’s Leukemia treatment, TRISENOX® (arsenic trioxidec). Trisenox is to be used in combination with tretinoin for treatment of recently-diagnosed low-risk adults with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).

Lymphoma treatment approved.  I reported previously (3rd Sep) on the US takeover of Israeli biotech Kite for $12 billion. The US FDA has now approved Kite’s Yescarta treatment for adults with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma. The treatment uses Israeli-developed CAR-T therapy from the patient’s own T-cells.

Stem cell treatment inhibits cancer.  I’ve reported previously (18 times) on Israeli biotech Pluristem’s PLX stem cell treatment for many life-threatening conditions. Recent lab trials with modified PLX cells showed significant inhibitory effect on various lines of breast, colorectal, kidney, liver, lung, muscle and skin cancers.

Successful trials of implant to prevent OAB.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (July 2016) that the minimally invasive RENOVA leg implant from Israel’s BlueWind to treat Overactive Bladder (OAB) had been granted European approval. Recent trials show that device gave over 50% improvement to 71% of participants.

Creator Award for MyMDBand. I featured previously (twice) the Israeli-developed MyMDBand QR-coded wristband that provides paramedics with a patient’s vital medical data. Israeli Asaf Luxembourg, just won a WeWork Creator Award for it.  United Hatzalah have distributed thousands of MyMDBands to the elderly.

Analyze your scan for $1. I featured previously (9 times) Israeli startup Zebra Medical Vision which uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze the results of medical scans. Zebra is offering all its algorithms for $1 per scan. Now all hospitals can afford to test patients for osteoporosis, cardiac disease, liver disease, early cancer etc.


Special wine made by special people.  Israel’s Kishorit winery and vineyard was founded in 1994 to support local teenagers with special needs. The students now run the wine production process from the beginning to the end. Kishorit (from the Hebrew “to connect”) links 160 adults with the land, their community, and their work.

Jews and Arabs work together on huge solar project.  (TY WIN) I’ve reported previously (several times) on the Ashalim project to build the world’s tallest solar tower in Israel’s Negev desert. The project employs Jews from the nearby town of Ashalim and local Arab Bedouin from Bir Hadaj, including 50 members of one family.

Abandoned Gazan girl reunited with her mother. An Arab man from Gaza escorted his sick daughter to Israel for treatment but on the return journey abandoned her in the taxi. Israeli police calmed, fed and cared for the girl and then reunited her with her mother at the Erez crossing to Gaza. Her father was found and arrested.

Bridge of Peace. I reported previously (2nd July) on Israel’s plan to link Haifa to Jordan via the Jezreel Valley railway. Israel’s Minister of Transportation, Yisrael Katz, has now allocated NIS 15 million in the 2019 budget to extend the Israeli railroad from Beit She’an to the Sheikh Hussein crossing at the border with Jordan.

Aid to Central African Republic refugees.  Israeli NGO “Innovation: Africa” is working to provide solar power, clean water and healthcare to tens of thousands of refugees living in the war-torn Central African Republic.

Who is IsraAID? I’ve previously featured a total of 56 articles (see here) about Israel’s emergency response NGO IsraAID. This article gives an insight as to their setup and some of their missions in America.

The largest overseas delegation ever.  India’s PM Narendra Modi changed his schedule and met Israeli PM Netanyahu personally on his arrival in India. The 150 members of the business delegation that flew with the Israeli PM makes it the largest that has ever accompanied an Israeli prime minister on an official visit.

Israeli science in Philippines school. (TY UWI) One of the public high schools Davao, Philippines, is to pilot the Israeli Sci-Tech Schools’ i-STEAM education model to improve math, science and technology. I-STEAM won the European Training Foundation’s Good Practice award and has been adopted in Europe and the US.

Iran allows access to Waze.  It looks like the Iranian regime can’t find its way around the country without Israeli technology.  Use of the Israeli-developed app Waze was blocked in Iran in March, reinstated in September and blocked again in October. It is now available again, according to Iran’s Tasnim News.

United With Israel reaches 5 million.  There are now over five million followers of United With Israel (UWI) – the largest grass-roots Israeli support organization. Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar became the 5-millionth follower. UWI has supporters in 170 countries and helps promote VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


Artificial Intelligence on display.  (TY WIN) The recent GPU Artificial Intelligence conference at Tel Aviv’s Fairgrounds showcased smart city plans, cyber-security and healthcare apps. It featured virtual reality headsets, audio-driven facial recognition, police cars with drones on the roof, and Viper sensors from Israel’s Adasky.

First-ever conference on 3D printing.  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem hosted a one-day conference entitled “3D Printing and Beyond: Current and Future Trends in the World of 3D Printing.” It featured startups focusing on printing objects including buildings, prosthetics, electronic circuits, ceramics and medical devices.

In-car sensor detects heartbeats.  I reported previously (here, here, here and here) on devices to prevent parents from leaving infants in hot cars.  Israel’s Guardian Optical Technologies uses optical motion analysis to detect tiny movements within the car, including an infant heartbeat. (See video for more benefits)

4 cameras for autonomous car vision. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (28th May) on Israel’s Foresight’s 3D Eyes-On camera Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). Foresight demonstrated its upgraded QuadSight 4-camera (visible-light and infra-red) all-weather all-lighting solution at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

Smart TVs for South Africa. Israel’s Comigo has won a $7 million deal to develop and manufacture set-top boxes for the recently launched content service of South Africa’s Cell C.  Comigo’s interactive set-top box is a broadcasting and video-on-demand device that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the TV experience.

WiFi interference solved in South Africa.  (TY Atid-EDI) South African ISP Bioniq had promised its WiFi customers 130 Mbps Internet speeds but was only providing 1Mbps due to five other ISPs using the same frequency band.  Bioniq turned to Israel’s Radwin, who solved the problem with their JET AIR PtMP solution.

Turning highways into smart roads.  Israeli startup Valerann has developed a road monitoring and traffic control system that uses wireless sensory systems installed on the road itself. Its sensors, algorithm and communication system send data on (e.g.) traffic, icy roads and stranded cars, to drivers and road operators.

Improve your system performance. Israeli startup Centerity performs real-time analysis of critical business systems including for banks, airports, seaports and tech companies. Its clients include Dell EMC, Siemens, IKEA and the Israeli Parliament. Centerity just received a $10 million investment from Merlin International.

Satellite tugboat startup signs first contract. I reported previously (Sep 2014) on Israel’s Effective Space Solutions (ESE) which has built space drones to maneuver satellites that fail to get into their correct orbit. ESE has signed the first-ever in-orbit service contract – a $100 million deal for a “major regional satellite operator.”


High demand for new Israeli bonds.  Israel’s latest sale of $2 billion of government (10-year and 30-year) bonds was over-subscribed by a massive $16 billion. Interest rates were only slightly above the equivalent US government debt, indicating investors' confidence in the Israeli economy.

A success in the collapsing Middle East.  Daniel Krygier summarizes Israel’s 2017. For the first time average GDP per capita ($44,019) exceeded that of Britain, Japan and France. It is 5 times Lebanon’s and 20 times Egypt’s. Krygier recommends The Rise of Israel: A History of the Revolutionary State by Jonathan Adelman.

A toolbox for startups to navigate US healthcare.  Start-up Nation Central, PwC Israel and Health Research Institute have jointly set up a digital health toolbox for Israeli startups, to help them navigate the intricate US healthcare system. It includes details of hospitals for trials/pilots, stakeholders, contracts and the FDA process.

India and Israel sign trade agreements. During his trip to India, Israeli PM Netanyahu signed agreements with Indian PM Modi, on cybersecurity, energy, the film industry, and air transportation. They also launched a $40 million Industrial R&D fund I4F that will finance 50% of tech projects involving startups from both states.

Indian tech company invests in Israeli startups. Mumbai’s IT and consulting firm Tech Mahindra Ltd. is launching a startup collaboration program in Tel Aviv. Tech Mahindra NxT will invest in twenty Israeli startups in its first year, across the domains of cybersecurity, mobility, artificial intelligence, fintech and data analytics.

A Chinese Israeli innovation center. Haier Electronics, China’s largest home appliance maker, has opened its first innovation center in Israel, in Tel Aviv. It will focus on finding Israeli technologies for Haier product lines, specifically sensor technology, materials, chips, Internet of Things (IoT), smart homes, and energy innovation.

Launch of Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce. (TY Sharon) The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce (OJC) launched its Israel Division by hosting an Anglo Business Networking Event in Jerusalem. OJC's mission is to help people interact and the program helped business owners in all industries to network.

Israelis help commercialize US University tech.  Harvard and UCLA have chosen experienced Israelis to direct their technology-transfer offices. Universities urgently need to streamline the transfer of inventions from lab bench to market. Israelis generate more revenue from Intellectual Property sales than any other country except the US.


Einstein Museum to be in Jerusalem. (TY Janglo & WIN) A former planetarium at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is to be converted into a museum dedicated to Albert Einstein, father of the theory of relativity. Einstein bequeathed his personal archives to the Hebrew University, of which he was a founder.

Eilat Chamber Music Festival.  This year’s Eilat Chamber Music Festival takes place from 7th to 10th Feb. Artists include: Ensemble Pygmalion, the Hermès Quartet, The Busch Piano Trio, Daniel Ciobanu and Mark Padmore. The festival also offers Master classes led by Israeli and international musicians.

Jerusalem’s Winter Noise Festival. Jerusalem’s Winter Noise Festival features artists, musicians, and small businesses lighting up Monday nights and awakening the streets of Jerusalem with numerous festivities.

Darom Adom – Red South 2018.  Each year, the Darom Adom Festival, follows the rainy season, when the ordinarily green landscape of the northern Negev is covered with a magnificent carpet of scarlet red anemones. The festival events (mostly on weekends during Feb) include bike races, poetry readings and concerts.


70 hours for 70 years.  (TY Janglo and UWI) Israel’s 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Jewish state begins on 18th Apr with 70 Hours of Celebrations. Torch lighting, global singing, folk dancing, fireworks and parties. The overall theme is “Heritage of Innovation”. It will link modern and Biblical; earthly and Heavenly.

New ambassadors welcomed to Israel. President Rivlin welcomed new foreign Ambassadors to Israel from the EU, Italy, Denmark and Nigeria. EU Ambassador Giaufret’s son was born in Israel during previous service. And Italian Ambassador Benedetti is an academic who initiated the translation of the Talmud into Italian.

The Zionism University.  Readers who are interested in the events and individuals crucial to the founding and development of the Jewish State are recommended to enroll (free) in the online Zionism University (Zionism U). It replaces the site Zionism 101 and contains resources to over 40 excellent short videos and other materials.

Roman-era caves found under Galilee house. It’s amazing what you can find in your own backyard in Israel. One family in the Galilee town of Eilabun discovered a 2000-year-old labyrinth of caves under their house that was used for storage by the Jewish residents of Eilabun during the Roman occupation.

Moishe’le returns to Mumbai. As promised, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu brought Moshe Holzberg with him on his trip to India. Moshe visited the site from where he was rescued as an infant by his Indian nanny from the terrorists who killed his parents nine years ago. His nanny (now Israeli) keeps in close contact with Moshe.

Instead of a lecture, they saved a life.  When two United Hatzalah EMTs came to Netanya to give a presentation to WIZO, they were interrupted after only 5 minutes by having to respond to a call nearby.  They managed to revive a 77-year-old man who had no pulse. They returned to the WIZO hall to a standing ovation.

In the 14th Jan 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli breakthrough stem cell treatment saved five patients from leg amputations.
·         50 Israeli doctors saved a baby born with a 1kg tumor.
·         Israel brought a kidney donor from Algeria to save his Gazan brother.
·         Israel is the first overseas aid team to fight Zambia’s cholera outbreak.
·         An Israeli invention provides undisturbed listening without earphones.
·         Israelis have invented nano-cellulose ink for 3D printing tasty nutritious meals.
·         Intel has opened a film studio that uses Israeli Virtual Reality technology.
·         A Jewish mother got help for her sick son in New York from paramedics in Israel.

·         Click here to see the 7th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical (with 1,900 likes), Inclusiveness (with 1,600 likes), Business (with 2,800 likes) and Entertainment (with 1,500 likes). Also (TY Sandra) in German

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of nearly 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to


Stem cells save limbs from amputation. (TY Stuart) Israel’s Laniado hospital used groundbreaking stem cell treatment from Israel’s BioGenCell to save amputating the legs of five diabetic patients with poor circulation. Stem cells from the patients’ blood injected into their leg muscles grew new blood vessels to bypass blockages.

Sinus stent gets US approval.  Israel’s STS Medical has received regulatory clearance from the US FDA for its composite sinus stent. Following nasal surgery (e.g. on sinusitis and allergic rhinitis sufferers where other treatments have not worked) the stent keeps the nasal airways open to allow the sinus tissue to heal.

Europe approves colon screening pill. Israel’s Check-cap has just received the CE Mark for its C-Scan ingestible capsule for preparation-free, colorectal cancer screening. The capsule (see here) uses low-dose X-rays to obtain 3D images of the colon whilst allowing patients to go about their normal daily routines.

Colon cleaning system to launch on NASDAQ.  Israeli startup Motus GI has developed the FDA-approved Pure-Vu system, that allowing doctors to clean poorly prepped colons during a colonoscopy. It would make preparing for a colonoscopy much easier. Motus is preparing a NASDAQ launch to raise up to $28.8 million.

Tiny catheters for tiny operations.  Israel’s Accurate Medical has developed a range of microcatheters for cutting off the blood supply (embolization) to tumors and vascular aneurysms. French medical imaging company Guerbet has just acquired Accurate for up to 57 million Euros.  Accurate will continue to operate from Israel.

Gold target for radiation treatment.  I reported previously (Oct 2012) that Israeli bio-tech Metallo Therapy was using gold nanoparticles to improve radiotherapy treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, Metallo folded in 2016, but now a team of Israeli researchers are headed down the same precious “yellow-brick” road.

Fast cancer diagnosis. The Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit at Sheba Medical Center uses new diagnostic oncology technology developed by Dr. Damien Urban. It cuts patient waiting time from previously 3 months to just two weeks. Its goal is to help overcome the devastating delays in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

An alternative to Dr Google.  Israeli health fund Maccabi has launched K Health - an app to give its customers medical advice that many seek currently by using search engines such as Google. The information is sourced from thousands of similar cases in Maccabi’s records database. Currently in Hebrew and Israel only.

Israeli solutions for aging and brain health project.  (TY NoCamels) Israeli companies HeartBeat Technologies and Brainsway have been selected for a joint Israel-Canada partnership program. They will test their innovative aging and brain health solutions at two Canadian seniors care organizations.

The right color for your denture. ILTV News interviewed Shlomo Emanuel, CEO of Israel’s Dentalics which has developed an app to help dentists and dental technicians match up the color of implants, bridges, crowns etc. with the patient’s real teeth. It is planned to launch globally in Feb 2018.

50 doctors save newborn with 1kg tumor. 50 doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center have performed “the impossible”. They conducted three highly complex operations to save a 2kg premature baby that was born with a rare “teratoma” – a 1kg tumor attached to her brain, jaw, neck, chest, airways and blood vessels.


54% of Israeli judges are women.  With Esther Hayut as the new president of Israel’s Supreme Court, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked noted that 54% of judges in Israel are female. Israel has had three women presidents of the Supreme Court.

Inspiring Israeli women. (TY Janglo) Israeli Barr Yaron has setup the “Women of Startup Nation” Facebook page to raise awareness of successful Israeli women in high-tech. The site features around 50 stories of women who have succeeded in hi-tech and serves to inspire women all over the world to change their own lives.

13 Bedouin become emergency responders.  Israeli emergency medical service United Hatzalah has just completed training a team of 13 Bedouin women and four men to become EMS first responders. They will now serve their Galilee home towns of Shibli and Umm al-Ghanam plus other Arab and Jewish towns in the area.

Israeli surgeons put PA teenager back on his feet.  Yousef Rabaya from Jenin was born with Cerebral Palsy. His curved back caused much pain and he couldn’t stand. After a previous operation in the US failed, surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center performed reconstruction surgery and now Yousef can walk again.

Israel flies in Gaza student from Algeria to save brother. Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center successfully transplanted a kidney into a 13-year-old Gazan boy suffering from renal failure. The donor was his brother who was flown in via Jordan from Algeria where he was studying.

Zaka helps rescue South Africans after storms. Forty volunteers from the Israel’s ZAKA rescue and recovery organization assisted thousands of Johannesburg residents after severe storms ripped through homes in different parts of the city between December 31 and January 2.

Zulu king pleas for continued Israeli help.  King Goodwill Zwelithinii, monarch of 12 million Zulus has urged the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to retain close ties with Israel. Israel has been helping South Africa combat drought and HIV infections.

Israeli specialists help Zambia fight cholera.  (TY Nevet) Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is the first and only international medical team in Zambia combating the current cholera outbreak. They have assembled a team of epidemiologists and water engineers who have already identified the source of the contamination.


For your ears only. Israel’s Noveto has invented “sowlo” - the virtual headphone – that beams the sound from your device directly into your ears. Sowlo’s 3D sensors and algorithms find your face and a tiny speaker focuses the sound at your ears. No sound leaks out even when you move your head. My wife can’t believe this.

The smallest and sweetest tomatoes.  The Kedma company, in Israel’s southern Arava desert, has developed the Tipa (meaning "drop”) tomato, about the size of a blueberry - the smallest ever cultivated in Israel, perhaps even in the world. It has also developed the Bon Bon Tomato, the world’s sweetest tomato.

New source of food for animals.  I reported previously (10th Sep) on Israeli startup Flying SpArk which is developing protein powder from fruit fly larvae for human consumption.  Now Israel’s BioBee is doing the same with soldier fly larvae, except they are using it as an animal feed.

Lishtot wins CES startup competition.  Israeli water tech company Lishtot, Hebrew for “drink,” won the 2018 CES Startup Night competition in Las Vegas. The 15 finalists had just 60 seconds to showcase their technology. CEO Netanel Raisch demonstrated Lishtot’s TestDrop Pro device that detects water contaminants.

Free travel on Israel’s new high-speed train.  Israelis will be able to get a free ride for the first 3 months after the launch of the new high-speed train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, due 30 Mar 2018. The train is expected to transport its passengers from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in just 28 minutes.

Intel’s Israeli WiFi chip is 40% faster.  Intel unveiled its new “made in Israel” 802.11ax WiFi chip at the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. The chips increase maximum speeds by 40% but average supply to users will improve by 400%. The chips are to be used in household routers and many other devices.

The first nanosatellite formation.  Israel’s Technion and the Israel Space Agency have arranged for a group of three nanosatellites to be launched into space in late 2018. The goal of the Adelis-SAMSON Project is to fly multiple satellites in a controlled formation for one year while orbiting at an altitude of about 600 km.

Israeli life-changing technologies.  (TY UWI) New video showing how Israeli innovations ReWalk, EyeControl and OrCam are giving the disabled back their lives.

3D printing of vegetarian food to order.  (TY Zvi) The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Yissum Research Development Company has unveiled breakthrough 3D printing of food based on nano-cellulose (calorie-free, edible natural fiber). It can lead to instant, low-calorie, vegetarian meals geared to satisfy all personal tastes.

20% increase in corn yield.  I’ve reported previously (many times) on Israel’s Evogene which improves crop strains. Its partnership with DuPont-Pioneer (Nov 2013) has literally born fruit, with second-year trials showing a 20% increase in corn yield thanks to Evogene’s bio-simulant microbial seed treatment.

Smoke less, live longer. (TY UCI) Smokers in the US, Canada, France, Israel and Turkey are trialing a “quit smoking” app called SmokeBeat from Israel’s Somatix. It detects smoking from hand-to-mouth gestures picked up by sensors built into smartwatches and wristbands and provides analysis and support via your smartphone.


Record-breaking year of tech deals.  The combined value of acquisitions of Israeli-linked technology companies and Israeli-linked technology IPOs totaled at an all-time high of $23 billion in 2017. Numbers of exits decreased, but values increased - the largest being Intel’s $15.3 billion takeover of Mobileye.

Foreign reserves rise by almost $1 billion. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves increased in December to end at $113 billion – $931 million higher than their end Nov 2017 position. They represent 33.2 percent of GDP.

IKEA to open in Beersheva. Swedish ready-to-assemble retail furniture chain IKEA will open its fourth store in Israel next month. The new store in Beersheva will join existing Israeli outlets in Rishon Lezion, Netanya and Kiryat Ata, near Haifa.

Another partner for Mobileye. I reported previously (5th Mar) that Chinese car-maker SAIC is opening an R&D center in Israel.  Now it is partnering with Israel’s Mobileye (part of Intel) to develop autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. Meanwhile, Virginia State is to install Mobileye systems all its public transportation vehicles.

Eilat tourist numbers to quadruple this winter. 70,000 tourists came to Eilat on direct flights last winter. The Tourism Ministry expects 280,000 this winter. The Ministry of Tourism has made agreements with low cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air to bring overseas tourist directly to Eilat.

Wizz flights from Tel Aviv to Vienna.  Low-cost Hungarian airline Wizz is to operate direct flights between Israel and the Austrian capital of Vienna four days a week, starting in June. Wizz Air currently offers 22 routes between Israel and nine countries in Europe.

Intel film studio for Israeli VR technology.  Intel have begun filming its first Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality content using the 360-degree 3D technology from its Israeli subsidiary Replay Technologies. The 25,000 square-foot Intel Studios in Los Angeles features the world’s largest volumetric video capture stage.

Israeli bourbon-style whiskey. (TY Janglo) Norm Cohen and Alan Cohl are creating Israel’s first distillery for American bourbon-style whiskey. The Legends Distillery in Israel’s Elah valley is on the site of the epic fight between David and Goliath. Legends joins Milk and Honey (single malt) and Golan Heights (two-grain).

Nine new Israel-USA projects. (TY Atid-EDI) The BIRD Foundation is to fund $7.5 million for 9 new joint Israeli-USA projects. The Israeli companies include AgRobics, Axon Vision, Farm Dog, ImageSat, MyndYou, NSLComm, RunEL NGMT and Taranis. They involve agrotech, communications, medical devices, digital health, environment, homeland security and more.


Israeli-Chinese dance. Israeli dance choreographer Eyal Dadon spent two months in China creating “DU-K” - a work for 14 Israeli and Chinese dancers. DU-K refers to the Hebrew term du kium (coexistence) overcoming language, training, and cultural gaps in the two countries. DU-K is showing across Israel from Jan 16 -19.

Salt Years.  Israeli sculptor Sigalit Landau is producing her book “Sigalit Landau Salt Years” containing images of her “love affair” with the Dead Sea.  Sigalit is famous for her salt crystal impregnated creations formed by suspending everyday items in the super-concentrated salt water of the lowest sea on Earth.

Baby it’s cold outside (not really!)  Just in case anyone is unhappy being outside in Israel’s 18 degrees Centigrade winter, here are details of 22 indoor activities for all the family to enjoy. You can even fly!

Wonder woman is the face of the future.  Israeli actress Gal Gadot, star of the movie “Wonder Woman”, has been chosen as “celebrity spokesperson” to Huawei Technologies, the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world. Gadot was also named a Global Ambassador for Revlon’s Live Boldly campaign.


The father of modern Hebrew’s 160th birthday. (TY Jacob Richman) Eliezer Ben Yehuda was born on the 21st Tevet 160 years ago. Chiefly due to his efforts, biblical Hebrew was revived from its over 3000-years-old roots into today’s spoken Hebrew language - Ivrit. Another modern miracle.

Digging up the Bible in Jerusalem. (TY UWI) Archaeologists looking for evidence of the existence of biblical characters and events are succeeding. They can almost search with a bible in one hand and a trowel in the other!

Free meal to lone soldiers.  (TY Janglo) Orit Dahan and her family own the well-known downtown Jerusalem restaurant Piccolino. Every Friday, Dahan - with The Lone Soldier Center - brings lone soldiers in the IDF to her restaurant for a free hot meal, as her way of thanking them for their selfless service to the country.

Learn Torah with Israel’s President. (TY Sharon) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and First Lady Nechama Rivlin have regularly hosted Torah study sessions at Beit Hanasi – the President’s House. Guests at their latest session included the President of the Supreme Court, a top judge, a famous actor and a well-known writer.

Druze firefighter saves Torah scrolls. Druze firefighter Wiam Nevuani arrived at a fire in a synagogue at the northern city of Nahariah and did not hesitate when he burst into the burning building to save the Torah scrolls. Wiam said that he realized the importance of the site and felt he was saving a soul.

Ten Israeli hedgehogs go on a diet.   The land of milk and honey was too tempting for ten Israeli hedgehogs. Overfed and overweight, they were unable to roll into balls to fend off predators. Locals found them waddling through Israeli streets and brought them to Ramat Gan Safari where they went on food and exercise regimes.

How did he know?  When a baby born with Wiscott-Aldrich disorder was given just five years to live, Israeli charity Ezer Mizion found a perfect match on their bone marrow database. Two years after the successful transplant, Ezer Mizion brought donor Lior to meet his stem cells recipient for the first time. And the shy little boy ran to the “stranger” and kissed him!

Going the extra mile (or 5,000).  When a distressed mother phoned the dispatch service of United Hatzalah in Israel about her sick son in Monsey, New York, they didn’t hang up on her. Instead they contacted NYC paramedics and arranged his transfer to a hospital where he had successful surgery.

In the 7th Jan 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli discovery has identified a new way to treat pancreatic cancer.
·         Israeli blood glucose monitors are being supplied to 200,000 Indian diabetics.
·         Women are in charge at many of Israel’s top financial organizations.
·         Tel Aviv residents honored the memory of an Arab boy with a 36m-high toy tower.
·         Israeli-developed 100% bio-degradable packaging has now gone global.
·         The Israeli kibbutz is now a major part of the hi-tech Startup Nation.
·         Israel’s women’s Thai boxing world champion is now also European champion.
·         Clay seal found of the Jewish governor of Jerusalem from 700 BCE.

·         Click here to see the 31st Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical (with 17,000 likes), Inclusivity (with 2,300 likes), Technology and Business (with 2100 likes). Also (TY Sandra) in German

·         Please click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,500 previous news articles.

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Breakthrough in pancreatic cancer research.  Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that 7% of pancreatic cancer sufferers survive more than five years due to high levels of the gene miR-34a and low levels of the gene PLK1. They then devised a nanoparticle to deliver miR-34a and a PLK1 silencer direct to the tumor.

Vitamins and folic acid reduce autism risk.  A study of 26,702 Israeli expectant mothers and 45,300 children by a team led by Haifa University researchers, has revealed that mothers who take folic acid and multivitamin supplements before and during pregnancy are 73% less likely to have an autistic child.

Surgeons separate baby’s fused jaws.  Doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center successfully operated on a two-month-old baby born with a very rare defect in which his jaws were fused shut. Worldwide, there have been only about 50 cases. The team comprised orthodontists, anesthetists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

More smart socks.  I reported previously (Feb 2016) on the Israeli SenseGo socks that spot incorrect posture or ill-fitting shoes. Now an Israeli startup has developed Elastimed – smart socks that improve circulation in the legs for treating venous and lymphatic diseases. Electric pulses compress and massage calf muscles to increase blood flow.

Israeli biotechs merge.  I reported previously (28th May) on Israeli biotech BiomX which develops treatments using human bacteria (microbiome).  BiomX has now acquired Israel’s RondinX, which has built a cutting-edge technology platform set to unlock the potential of microbiome therapeutics.

200,000 Indian diabetics to get Israeli glucose meters. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s GlucoMe blood glucose monitors for diabetics.  Now, Apollo Sugar - the Indian national chain of 55 diabetes clinics – is to supply kits containing a GlucoMe monitor to each of its 200,000 diabetic patients.

A cancer patient’s “virtual” legs.  When a cancer patient is unable to walk, even simple tasks such as making coffee, selecting a magazine or doing the laundry becomes impossible.  Volunteers from Israeli charity Ezer Mizion become a patient’s “virtual” legs.  They also cheer up the patient, which helps them battle the disease.

Only Rambam can save her leg. (TY Stuart) Six-year-old Kyra Warrell from Brighton in the UK has proximal focal femoral deficiency in her leg, which UK doctors want to amputate. But her parents are raising £58,000 to go to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center where visiting US surgeon Dr Dror Paley says he can cure her condition.


Women running banks is the norm in Israel.  (TY Hazel) Three of Israel's top banks (Leumi, Israel Discount and First International) are currently led by women. So is the Bank of Israel. At Leumi 40% of top management are women. So is the supervisor of banks, the director of the capital markets, insurance and savings authority and others.

Female lone soldier home opens in Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) Over 6,000 lone soldiers (without families in Israel to support them) serve in the IDF - over 30% female. On Dec 29, the first lone soldier home for young women, The Norton and Sylvia Alvery Bayit L'Chayalot, opened in Mekor Chaim, Jerusalem.

Arab woman has triplets and new grandson on same day. Tahrir gave birth to healthy triplet boys just hours after the wife of her eldest son Muhammad had given her a first grandson at the same hospital – Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem. The high-risk pregnancy team of specialists and nurses all wished her Mazel Tov.

36m toy brick tower in Arab boy’s memory. (TY WIN) Thousands of Tel Aviv residents built a 36-meter tower in Rabin Square from 500,000 K’nex and Lego bricks. They were honoring the memory of Omer Sayag, an 8-year-old cancer victim from Tel Aviv who used to love constructing with plastic bricks.

From spaghetti to snakebite antidotes. This extensive article describes some of the humanitarian aid that Israel provides to the Syrian victims of their civil war. It includes spaghetti, flour, baby formula, diapers, school supplies, fuel, generators, snakebite antivenom and even piping for water wells.

A one-minute summary of 2017.  (TY TIP and UWI) Here is a short video showing just a few of the positive Israeli activities last year.

Illinois delegation visits Israel.  Illinois governor Bruce Rauner made his first official visit to Israel as head of a delegation from the University of Illinois looking to expand its collaboration with Israeli universities. Governor Rauner’s wife is Jewish and two of their children have spent some time in Israel.

Israel’s work in the 3rd world.  Aron White writes that Israel joining the Power Africa project (see 10th Dec) will have a major beneficial impact on the lives of millions of Africans.  It deserves much more publicity – as do all of Israel’s humanitarian activities.

Israeli world-saving water technology. (TY WIN) Watch this new video from Israel’s WATEC highlighting experts from Canada, China and the Czech Republic, extol the virtues of Israeli water technologies.  Examples featured are WaterGen (water from the air) and Kando (wastewater treatment).


Working with South Korea on robotic and vehicle tech. (TY Atid-EDI and Nocamels) Israeli and South Korean robotics researchers signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on robotics and autonomous vehicles.  The agreement, came after the annual Korea-Israel Industrial Collaboration Conference in Seoul.

Water research partnership with Wisconsin. The Water Council of the US state of Wisconsin has signed accords with Ben-Gurion University and the Israel Innovation Authority to collaborate on water research. Israeli and Wisconsin water technology startups will develop joint applications for Wisconsin water utilities.

High-school training by IDF intelligence services. Unit 8200, the Israeli military's NSA equivalent, is working with the Israeli Ministry of Education on a new big data training program for the country's high schoolers. A military service at Unit 8200 is regarded as a sure path to higher income jobs in Israel.

How is the Jerusalem underground station project doing? I wrote previously (Sep 2016) about Jerusalem building its largest, deepest train station. It’s progressing well. And the link to Tel Aviv is almost on track!

7 very intelligent companies.  (TY Nevet) Seven Israeli companies appear the latest prestige AI (Artificial Intelligence) 100 list compiled by San Francisco-based CB Insights. They are Applitools (new to VGNI - see links), Cybereason, Dynamic Yield (new to VGNI - see links), OrCam, Prospera, Twiggle and Workey.

Awards for 3 young scientists. (TY Nevet) Israeli scientists Oded Rechavi (Tel Aviv U), Charles Diesendruck and Anat Levin (both Technion) have won $100,000 Blavatnik Awards, which recognizes exceptional scientists and engineers aged 42 or younger. The awards are administered by the New York Academy of Sciences.

Jerusalem clean air plan. (TY Janglo) Jerusalem City Council has approved a new municipal “reduced emission area” bylaw that restricts the entry of heavy and polluting vehicles into the city center. Cameras and a computer system will analyze the details of entering vehicles, according to the vehicle’s license plate.

SodaStream wins Sustainability Award. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s SodaStream has been recognized as a 2017 Sustainability Award Product winner by the Business Intelligence Group for its line of eco-friendly sparkling water makers. Studies show that SodaStream owners save an average of 550 plastic bottles each year.

Eco-friendly packaging startup gets re-fueled.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) about TIPA’s 100% bio-degradable packaging startup founded by two Israeli mothers. TIPA is now available in the USA, UK, France and Netherlands. TIPA has won three global awards and has just raised $11 million of funds.

Award for kinetic battery. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Chakratec and its flywheel battery technology. Chakratec recently won the award for Electric Mobility & Autonomous Driving, Energy Storage category, held at the eMove360° Europe 2017 international trade fair for Mobility in Munich.

Gesture tech doesn’t distract drivers. South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics has selected Israeli gesture recognition company eyeSight Mobile Technologies as a supplier of control systems for its car information and entertainment systems. The co-developed product will decrease distracted driving.

AI products for Japan.  I reported previously (Jan 2016) on Israel’s Vayyar which develops amazing 3D imaging sensors. (Just see some of the youtubes below). Vayyar is now partnering with Japan’s Softbank to develop AI (artificial intelligence)-based IoT products for the Japanese market, with a focus on public transportation, construction, and elderly care.,7340,L-3728508,00.html


2017 exports top $100 billion. Israel’s Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) has calculated that Israel’s exports of goods and services exceeded $100 billion in 2017 - 5% more than in 2016. Goods exports to the European Union (EU) grew 20% to $16 billion, accounting for 35% of Israel's 2017 total.

NASDAQ to help grow Israeli startups.  I reported previously (Jan 2016) on the NASDAQ joint venture with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to setup a new private exchange for Israeli startups. Now, NASDAQ and Israel’s LeumiTech have launched a joint program “Gateway to Global Growth” to help expand these companies.

Kibbutzim invest in hi-tech.  2017 saw a 46% increase on 2016 in kibbutz investments into startup ventures, totaling some NIS 76 million. 24 kibbutzim invested in 19 startup companies. Kibbutzim are also renting space for local entrepreneurs to set-up new businesses.

Israeli smart farming gets preferential funding. (TY Atid-EDI) A report by Start-Up Nation Central shows that during the first half of 2017 Israeli on-farm technology companies raised 7% of global investment in such technologies – out of all proportion to Israel’s tiny size.

A cyber incubator with Japan’s NEC.  Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Japanese electronics giant NEC are founding AlphaC - a new incubator for early stage cyber startups. Ten early stage ventures will join an intensive three-month program, receiving access to TAU resources, workspace, business contacts and mentors.

A $240 million bio-tech fund. Israel-based venture capital firm Pontifax raised another fund of $240 million – its fifth such fund. Excess demand for the fund saw it closed within two months, and Pontifax is expected to invest most of the money raised in the life-sciences industry.

More direct flights.  At December’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conference in Sri Lanka, Israel signed new air transport agreements with the U.K., Switzerland, Chile, South Africa, Vietnam, Canada, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Uganda and Jordan. These will increase direct flights to Israel.

El Al to fly direct to San Francisco.  I reported previously (Jun 2016) that United Airlines increased their direct service between Tel Aviv and San Francisco to a daily schedule.  Now El Al have announced they are to launch a 3-times-a-week direct service between the two leading technology hubs later this year.

Co-working reaches new heights.  Israel’s tallest building - the 238m Azrieli Sarona tower in Tel Aviv - is near completion, but already on two of its top 61 floors Israel’s Teddy Sagi Group has launched Labs - its shared office venture. Labs will have offices, meeting rooms, shared workspaces, a convention hall, studio, projection room, lounge and a gym.

Wireless charging in co-working offices.  Israel’s Powermat (see here) has partnered with Regus Israel, supplying wireless charging services to Israeli co-working offices. Regus is the world's largest provider of flexible workspace solutions. Regus has 15 co-working locations in Israel, mostly in Tel Aviv and Herzliya.

Get your purchase money back.  Israel-based Boom25 offers a unique opportunity for UK shoppers who purchase from any of the 600 retailers affiliated to Boom25’s website. Every 25th purchaser gets their purchase money back.  Its an alternative to accumulating points.

Meatless meat in 3 years.  I wrote previously (July 2016) about Israel’s SuperMeat which is developing lab-produced meat from animal cells. SuperMeat has just raised $3 million and plans to bring its “clean chicken” products to market within three years, at a price similar to current conventional chicken products.

Toyota invests in Israeli robotics. (TY OurCrowd) I reported previously (Jan 2017) on Israel’s Intuition Robotics, and its ElliQ empathic desk lamp. Intuition has since raised tens of millions of dollars, including from Toyota and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.

Billion-dollar prediction coming true. I reported previously in 2014 (see here) that Forbes predicted that Israel’s Kaltura was most likely to be “one of the next billion-dollar exits” thanks to its wide-ranging video solutions platform. Well guess what - Kaltura is planning a 2018 launch on NASDAQ, at a value of $1 billion.


Israel, wonders of bird migration.  (TY Janglo) For those readers who have difficulty sleeping, this is a great restful video to help you relax before going to bed.

The Master guitarist.  Legendary US guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer Steve Vai will hold a master class in Tel Aviv in March. The three-time Grammy Award winner was voted the “10th Greatest Guitarist” by Guitar World magazine, and has sold over 15 million records. It is Vai’s third visit to Israel.

Seinfeld flies in.  American comedian Jerry Seinfeld returned to Israel in December for two more shows, performing at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena.  Later that week he visited the IAF’s Ramon airbase near the Egyptian border, with a brief photo-op in front of an IAF F-16I fighter jet.

Things to do in January.  Comedian Chris Rock is performing in Tel Aviv on 8th Jan. And Jan 16-20 sees the first edition of the African Film Festival in Tel Aviv.  The second link suggests activities in Jerusalem.

World champion Thai boxer wins European championship. (TY Nevet) Four-time world champion Israeli Nili Block claimed another title, winning the gold medal at the Thai Boxing European Championships in Paris.


Guatemala offers relocation help to others.  Guatemala’s foreign minister Sandra Lovel not only hopes other countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, but she indicated her government’s readiness to help them. “We as a country are willing to support other countries who want to follow Guatemala’s example,” she said.

What goes around … Quick action by Shlomi Bergman saved the life of Gadi Rimon who was shot by a terrorist. Gadi’s mother Tamari searched in vain to thank the savior of Gadi. A year later, Shlomi’s mother Anat visited Ashdod and discovered Tamari in her grocery store. Anat then realized they had met 22 years earlier. Please don’t miss this amazing story…..

Clay seal of Jerusalem’s governor 2700 years ago.  A tiny clay seal impression inscribed in ancient Hebrew script, 'Belonging to the governor of the city' was found in ongoing excavations at Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza. It has been dated to 700 BCE – i.e. 2,700 years old, when the First Temple stood in Jerusalem.