Hidden Treasure

In summer excavations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologists discovered a treasure trove barely 50 meters from the base of Temple Mount.  The items included a 7th century gold medallion depicting a menorah (Temple candelabrum), a shofar (ram’s horn) and a Torah scroll - a valuable reminder of Jewish historical links to the holy site.  To accompany this, I have brought to the surface some more of Israel’s recent “nuggets” of positive news and ask you to help ensure they receive appropriate international exposure.

Almost every week Israeli scientists and biotechs reveal more of cancer’s secrets.  Last week there were four relevant news items:
-         Discovery of a protein that triggers cell death, which is missing in cancerous tissue.
-         Successful transplant of Gamida’s NiCord stem cells into a leukemia sufferer.
-         BioLineRX’s treatment of acute myeloid leukemia was given US FDA orphan drug status.
-         KAHR Medical plans to trial its anti-lymphoma treatment


In the invisible field of molecular biology, researchers at Israel’s Technion have developed the antioxidant 1-FE that will be invaluable in the fight against heart disease.  Meanwhile, deep under the surface of the skin, two companies are healing damaged joints and bones.  Active Implants, whose R&D center is in Israel, is raising funds for the trials of its polymer knee implant for osteo-arthritis patients either too old or too young for a total knee replacement.  And Israel’s Regenecure has revealed that, following the success of its BoneCure membrane in healing broken bones in animals, it is now working on a similar product for humans.


Israeli Public Service Venture Fund, Tmura, is a real treasure.  It has just distributed one million shekels to each of five youth charities, following its sale of share options in Waze. Israeli start-ups donate options to Tmura when they seek funding, which become valuable if the start-up goes public or gets taken over.
Israel’s Ziv and Western Galilee hospitals have no spare funds, but they are like gold mines to hundreds of victims of the Syrian civil war.  Last week, Ziv treated 12 and 15-year-old brothers who had been wounded by a land mine. And the 15-year-old Syrian girl, whose remaining leg Ziv doctors saved, was all smiles when she was discharged.  I’m pleased that some of these reports are being publicized.


While on this subject, here is a recent fact sheet about Israel’s humanitarian work for Palestinian Arabs that most news agencies try to hide.  And those who have read “Pallywood” propaganda that Israel is depriving the Palestinian Authority of water need to visit this site, which exposes all the hidden PA swimming pools.
Israel’s Netafim knows how much of a treasure water is. Netafim just collected the prestigious Stockholm Industry Water Award for its drip irrigation technology, which is vital for farmers in developing countries.  Drip irrigation was discovered when a hidden leaky water pipe was found to be responsible for a flourishing tree.
Until recently, the Jewish State’s oil and gas reserves were very well hidden, which is why so many Israeli start-ups developed clean energy alternatives.  One of these is Israel’s Ormat Industries, which extracts geothermal energy from deep underground. Ormat will supply California with another 12 years of electricity from its 46MW geothermal power plant at the Heber complex in Imperial Valley.  Here in Israel, the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plant under construction at the Hiriya Recycling Park will transform 1500 tons of garbage into usable fuel every day.
So at this time of year, when Jews go from their houses and move into the outside world, with only the partly-exposed roofs of the sukkah (tabernacle / booth) to protect them, it’s appropriate to take the lid off this hidden treasure we call Israel.  You could start by promoting Marcella Rosen''s e-book "Tiny Dynamo" about Israeli start-ups that are quietly changing the world.  Inc.com says it’s “a must-read for anyone passionate about entrepreneurship and technology. Acre-for-acre, person-for-person, no place is innovating more than Israel.”   Or persuade your friends to watch CBN’s excellent series “Made in Israel” by Gordon Robertson about Israel''s remarkable innovation and ingenuity to produce breakthroughs in products and processes that affect the way we live our every day lives.
Finally, one of the most unlikely individuals came out of hiding recently.  Csanad Szegedi used to be vice-president of Hungary’s far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik party until his grandmother exposed the fact that he was Jewish.  Csanad abandoned Jobbik and embraced the treasure that is Judaism. The change to his life culminated this year when he made his first visit to the Jewish State.


Come back for more gems next week.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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