Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, recently made something clear that is all-too-often not clear at all to the wider public: “We’re doing amazing stuff around the world, from eye doctors, to rescue teams in Tahiti, and the world doesn’t know that, and it’s high time to really present Israel for what it really is.”
For Christians who want to support Israel, a growing trend is to emphasize the “positive.” After decades of hearing about wars, terrorism, security issues, problematic peace processes and more, some feel the time has come to enhance pro Israel activism with stories of good that come from the Jewish state.
And boy, are there plenty of stories about good. Marcella of Untold News is a leader in this field, emphasizing Israeli breakthroughs in technology, medicine, and agriculture—all initiatives that ultimately are shared with others in the international community so that common concerns (poverty, fully functioning economies, and health topics) are alleviated to a significant extent.
Indeed, the Untold News website (www.untoldnews.org) is bursting with stories of Israeli innovations. Sharing this incredible information is multipurpose: Untold News is spotlighting critical areas (such as water shortages in African nations) and revealing how such areas are being addressed…at the same time, pro Israel activists—especially those in the Christian world—are benefitting by being able to share such stories in an environment in which BDS and other critics attack the Jewish state.
Untold News helps all us activists by posting news items on the group’s Facebook page; it’s easy to share the information.
“It’s critical, because it pulls back the curtain on the true picture,” says Thomas Sharp, an evangelical book publisher with Balfour Books. “This kind of information is invaluable to the Israel activist who wants to counter negative images produced by Israel’s worst critics.”
Untold News highlights its own stories and those posted at Israel21c.org. Stories range from those addressing cosmetic/comfort innovations, to literally saving lives in Third World countries. For example, for those in the doldrums over the need for braces: Israeli orthodontist and dentofacial orthopedic specialist Dr. Orit Nadav determined to find a way to deliver desired results without all the hardware. She and a team of 12 orthodontists, engineers, industrial designers and dental technicians spent eight years developing Aerodentis, a groundbreaking, high-tech alternative to braces for patients of any age.
“Here’s how it works: The patient places the customized thermoplastic mold over the teeth, connects it to a portable bedside console and pushes a button to activate the unit, which is powered by a rechargeable battery. The console contains an air pump, pressure sensor and secure digital (SD) smart card programmed with the individual’s treatment regimen.”
The sheer scope of Israeli innovation is seen in more important advances, such as a piece written by Ruthie Blum, which shares the story of Sivan Ya’ari, an innovator who could not get the image of African women and children struggling to find water sources.
Waiting all day in order for a turn at a muddy water hole, the Africans’ lives are now being immeasurably improved by Ya’ari’s effort, which came after she left her corporate position:“A few years later, her master’s degree in international energy management and policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs led her to an internship at the United Nations Development Program.
“From here, it was not a far leap to establish Innovation: Africa (originally called ‘Jewish Heart for Africa’), a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring sustainable Israeli technologies to rural African villages.”
By utilizing solar panels and drilling machines, the teams are helping Africans bring water from aquifers to pumping stations. Over a half-million villagers have so far been helped!
It is this kind of news that groups like Untold News are providing for the greater good. It is a win-win for everyone, as hearers of this “good news” can in turn choose to be involved in such relief efforts. At the same time, the Israeli Narrative is greatly enhanced for those of us who love appreciate Jews and the Jewish state.
At a time when anti-semitism is on the rise globally, and Palestinian propaganda is making inroads into American churches, it would behoove all of us to spread the message of Untold News.
(Jim Fletcher is a researcher, writer, and speaker, and a long-time advocate for Israel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)