The festival of Purim celebrates a series of remarkable events over 2500 years ago when the exiled Jewish people were delivered from annihilation. Having returned home, the Jewish State is now delivering astonishing life-enhancing treatments, products, services and technologies to far-flung regions of the world.
Israel has recently been reaching out far and wide to tackle some of the most devastating diseases affecting mankind. We could soon see the end of malaria, thanks to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who have developed a method for disrupting the defense mechanism of the parasite that killed over half a million people in 2013 - 90 percent in Africa. The treatment of heart disease could be revolutionized in a joint Israeli-UK project to use pulsating light to regulate newly implanted heart tissue generated by stem cells.Brain disease treatments will be advanced following the international BrainTech 2015 conference in Tel Aviv. Also by the 21 countries participating in the Human Brain Project, co-directed by Professor Henry Markram, formerly of Israel’s Weizmann Institute. And take a look at this long-range system from Israel’s LifeGraph to allow psychiatrists anywhere in the world to monitor the mental illness of their patients by smartphone.
Israel’s far-sighted assistance has been crucial in supporting international efforts to fight Islamist extremists as testified by the Nigerian Government, which thanked Israel for its provision of training and support in tackling Boko Haram. Israeli aid organization IsraAid has been helping Kurdish, Yazidi and Christian refugees in northern Iraq who have escaped Islamic State rule. Israeli doctors are also treating desperately sick Iraqi Kurds and Christians who have made the long, dangerous journey to the Jewish State.
Israel is bringing its technical expertise to far-away countries that are currently undergoing upheaval. In Ukraine, a new joint program, entitled “Israel-Ukraine Tech Bridge” aims to help the troubled country become a “high-tech miracle” like Israel. Meanwhile, Kosovo’s former foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj sees the rise of the State of Israel as a model for Kosovo in its struggle for independence and expressed admiration for the achievements of the Jewish state. And in the Muslim state of Azerbaijan, Israel is helping the government defend itself against a growing number of cyber security attacks. Finally, the East African nation of Rwanda has selected Israel as its “country of choice” to strengthen business ties, innovation and promote investment.
Moving on, we heard good news recently about to some far-out Israeli innovations. It can be difficult for the disabled to keep in touch over long distances when they are unable to touch the buttons of their phone. But they can operate the Israeli-developed Sesame Enable smartphone simply by moving their head. The Sesame Enable has just won a $1 million Verizone Powerful Answers Award.
The appropriately named Israeli startup Beyond Verbal has opened new pathways to how humans interact with machines. Its new Empath app recognizes human moods, attitudes and emotional characteristics from human voice intonations in real-time.
And just look how far Israel’s IronSource has come in its miraculous five-year journey to become a billion-dollar company. Every day global multinationals use IronSource’s software to install over 7 million applications onto desktops and mobiles from any location in the world.
Israel has been using its “magic touch” internationally. Top U.S. Latino Media and Entertainment leaders have come to Israel in order find out how to bring the ‘magic of the movies’ back to the Latino community. Meanwhile, 248 international chess stars from 33 countries were treated to Israeli mind-reading magic acts at “the best opening ever” of the 2015 European Chess Championship in Jerusalem. Israel has even worked its magic in persuading Jordan to sign a major water agreement that may bring the Dead Sea back to life.
Finally, you don’t have to go very far in Israel to travel huge distances in time. Standing at the top of the new Kishle building exhibition, adjacent to Jerusalem’s Tower of David, you can gaze down through 3000 years of history. Layer upon layer, back to the foundations of the First Temple, built when Jews first came to the Land of Israel.
We’re back – and the miracles continue.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.