Much can be said for being in the right place at the right time. After five years of life in the Jewish State, I certainly feel this is the country that is central to the future of this planet. The speed of development of Israeli innovations is simply unbelievable. With medical and scientific breakthroughs announced on a daily basis, we live in a time of miracles.
Take for instance the case of the Russian with a ruptured aorta in the heart. Moscow’s doctors had given up on him but realised that transporting him to Israel might save his life. 24 hours after highly complex surgery at Beersheba’s Soroka hospital, the 50-year-old medical tourist was disconnected from most of the devices keeping him alive, except for his iPod on which he was watching films.
Many of Israel’s medical research discoveries will only bear fruit towards the end of this decade, but we have much to look forward to. A cure for diabetes is likely, thanks to researchers at Israel’s Technion and Ben-Gurion University who have engineered insulin-producing tissue. They have found that transplanting the tissue into animals, lowers blood sugar levels. By 2020 we may also witness the paralysed being able to speak. Three Israeli professors have recorded neurone patterns during speech attempts and converted these into computer-generated synthesised speech. I’m certain this could help “locked in” syndrome sufferers such as Stephen Hawking take a more articulate place on the world’s stage.
One Israeli hi-tech device is literally “out of this world”. Israel’s Ricor Cryogenic & Vacuum Systems manufactures the K508 Integral Stirling 1/2W Micro Cooler. This neat little device is currently optimising the temperature of NASA’s vital CheMin chemical analyser on the Red Planet.
Many of Israel’s clean-tech developments have certainly come just at the right time. The residents of New Orleans re-settled following Hurricane Katrina will appreciate their new modern neighborhood being heated by the advanced solar panels supplied by Israel’s Solaredge. Meanwhile, Israel’s aptly named “Better Place” electric car infrastructure broke a world record when one of its battery-switched cars travelled 1172 miles on electric power over the course of 24 hours.
If you want to find a place to park your electric car, then you will need sPARK’s mobile parking application that the Israeli start-up will be launching in October. sPARK’s innovative technology finds spaces on the streets and in car parks. Whether stationary or mobile, Israeli citizens spend more time in Cyberspace than those of any other country in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. But I do not have much time for those that cannot bear to be displaced from the Internet for even a moment. Do they really need to put wi-fi routers on donkey rides at the Kfar Kedem biblical theme park near Nazareth?
I do, however, like the way that Israelis can adapt themselves when appropriate. At one time, Daniel Gold was IDF’s director of research and development for the Iron Dome missile defence system. Now he commercialises military technology for farming purposes - integrating ground sensors and airborne drones to monitor biology of the vegetation and regulate plant health. But traditions are equally important. Moshe Gerlenter has donated 275 pints of blood to Magen David Adom since 1973. His four sons are also regular donors. So it was a proud moment in Moshe’s life when his grandson Elad celebrated his seventeenth birthday and was able on that same day to attend the MDA Blood Center at Tel Hashomer with his five relatives.
Magen David Adom was also there at the right time in order to make a Gaza girl’s wish come true. Following three months’ treatment for leukaemia at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, the MDA "Wish Ambulance" transported the 6-year old Palestinian Arab girl to the Mediterranean Sea at Yaffo, followed by pizza. And there was no problem with freedom of movement for Palestinian Arabs during the Muslim festival season. Their leaders may be furious, but 300,000 residents of Ramallah, Balata, Shchem (Nablus) and Bethlehem holidayed in Israel, with many enjoying the sun, sea and sand of Tel Aviv’s beaches.
Finally, the Rabbi of our community in Netanya was certainly in the right place at the right time. While he was recovering following urgent surgery in Laniado hospital, where he also serves as chaplain and fundraiser, staff kept coming up to him and saying, “Do you know that your Netanya supporters bought the equipment we used on you?”
Israel – it’s THE place – for ALL time.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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