Some readers asked me recently for my opinion about several of Israel’s achievements and I found myself rather out of my depth. I told them that I report the news but was not really competent to give detailed scientific, economic, social or political explanations for many of the extraordinary products and activities of the Jewish State. Not only that - I also have some questions of my own that I am a loss to understand.
Take for example, Israel’s thousands of medical innovations. Barely a week goes by without some major Israeli device being announced that could save millions of lives – yet if you follow the international media, it’s as if Israel doesn’t even have a medical industry. Don’t people need hip replacements and dental implants? Israel’s MMATech has developed a unique, tough, low-friction polymer for both, called MP-1 that will preserve implants for longer than their current average lifespan in the body. Isn’t heart failure a big killer? 5.8 million Americans had heart failure in 2010. Israel’s BioControl Medical is currently testing its CardioFit electrical nerve stimulation device on 200 patients at risk of heart failure at 50 US medical centres. CardioFit has already got the CE mark from the European Union, so it is saving lives at the moment.
Can you imagine the future where Alzheimer’s is no longer a dreadful, progressive disease? University of Haifa researcher Yifat Segev has discovered a link between dementia and the activity level of a protein called eIF2alpha. Altering the performance of this protein through medication could be the breakthrough treatment that medical science has been searching for. How come nobody other than an Israeli thought about having an MRI map of your brain so that doctors can detect when something is wrong? The Tel Aviv University CONNECT project has just scanned 120 healthy brains with a magnetic resonance instrument (MRI) to build the world’s first “atlas” of the microstructure of white matter. The data could help identify signs of neurological and psychiatric diseases and lead to early treatment.
You may have heard that the European Parliament has just approved a major medical trade pact with Israel. But do anti-Israel organisations hate the Jewish State so much that they fought for two years in an attempt to stop the EU bringing thousands of Israel’s life-saving medications to the continent?
Here’s another mystery. What’s all this Apartheid state nonsense? Israel’s top student is an Arab - Hamza Murad, 18, from Bueina Nujeidat in northern Israel. He is the student with the highest psychometric score and will shortly commence medical studies at the Hebrew University. Hamza’s mother is a paediatrician, his older sister is studying dentistry, and his older brother is studying pharmacy. What about all the Arabs in the Israeli Defense Forces? 20-year-old Christian Arab Mona Abdo has just graduated from the IDF Commanders’ training course. She will become a commander in the Caracal combat unit, which has both male and female, Arab and Jewish soldiers serving alongside each other.
Muslim Arabs can also serve in the IDF. Yousef Juhja from Arara in Wadi Ara has sent three of his sons into the Israel Defense Forces. One son, Staff Sgt. Sa’id Juhja, was killed by Gaza terrorists in 2004. Shortly after, the bereaved father built a memorial at his own expense, to his son and seven other Arab soldiers killed in uniform. And why do we hear all these divisive international attacks on the status of the capital of Israel? Everyone knows that an undivided Jerusalem is the only way to protect religious sites and preserve the City of Peace. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat even named a street in Beit Hanina after the Egyptian Umm Kultum - the greatest female singer of Arabic music. Already in 2012 the Naming Committee has approved 145 new street names submitted by local Mukhtars, religious leaders and residents in Arab suburbs.
Next big question – why all the lies about Israeli treatment of Palestinian Arabs? 4,642 truckloads of goods entered Gaza last month, including 1,444 truckloads of construction materials. 1,308 exit permits were issued for medical patients and people accompanying them. And please read this to see the measures that the Israeli government took last month to strengthen the PA economy.
I don’t have the capacity to explain the complex workings of the latest Israeli scientific innovations. For instance, Mobileye’s automated driving system is based on a combination of cameras, radars and audio sensors. Meanwhile up on the Red Planet, the Israeli cooling system for the Martian CheMin soil analyser seems to be operating effectively.
Maybe you need to see the world from a great height to really understand it. From their perspective, Israeli Air Force pilots can tell you which of Hollywood’s greatest aircraft stunts are possible. But even the far-sighted IAF cannot explain some of the amazing events that occur in the Jewish State that were recently aired on Israel National News Radio.
I’m just glad that there is something above and beyond us that knows what’s going on.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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