Another earthquake disaster and Israel is ready again to fly into immediate action. In contrast to Haiti, Eastern Turkey is just around the corner from Israel, yet Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan initially declined offers of help from the world’s most experienced team of rescuers. Then suddenly, it all changed and with earthquake survivors left sleeping rough in the streets, Erdogan picked up the phone and dialled Jerusalem.
Israel’s rescue efforts will one day be made a whole lot easier thanks to the material manufactured by Israel’s Fulcrum Stable Proteins. It is made from proteins and nanoparticles and is as strong as steel but far lighter. Another Israeli company, Qwilt, is rescuing companies from being swamped by Internet video traffic on their networks. Video currently comprises 40% of all Internet traffic and is forecast to reach 80% by 2015.
Meanwhile on the roads, Israeli social-enhanced satellite navigation traffic guidance system Waze rescues motorists from frustrating delays in traffic jams. The system is used by 20% of Israelis and 7 million Americans and is about to launch in the world’s most populous country – China. This coincides with China’s launch of its first-ever Israel Studies program in its universities. Yaakov Kirschen (better known as the pro-Israel author of the cartoon series “Dry Bones”) was the keynote speaker at the inaugural event and is currently conducting lectures at universities in Shanghai, Beijing, Henan and Chongqing.
Readers of ‘The Start-up Nation’ by Saul Singer and Dan Senor will recall how Intel’s Israeli R&D centre rescued the company and the future of personal computing with its breakthrough in microprocessor design. Now a team from Israel’s Technion stormed into the global final of the Intel Challenge Entrepreneurship competition. The team won the East European regional final and $20,000 for their “perfect photo” venture. Moshe Lichtman certainly understands Israel’s global impact on the computer age, having just retired from being head of Microsoft Israel’s Research & Development after 20 years with the company. He now has plans to set up a few billion dollar Israeli companies.
In the 1890s, fragments of 11th Century Jewish texts and letters awaiting sensitive disposal were rescued from an Egyptian synagogue alcove known as the Cairo Genizah. Tel Aviv University researchers have now developed sophisticated software, based on facial recognition technology, to piece together digitized images of the fragments and rescue them for research by international Biblical scholars.
Israel’s humanitarian efforts have convinced many Jews and non-Jews to visit the Jewish State during the recent festival of Tabernacles to show their support. The annual International Jerusalem march brought 50,000 onto the streets of the nation’s capital, including 10,000 overseas visitors from countries including Brazil, the U.S., Norway, Denmark, Thailand, China, and Italy. Other visitors during the festival included International artists who exhibited imaginative mosaics produced from rescued materials, including sponges and socks along the tourist cliff walks from North to South Netanya. And global superstar Madonna has confirmed that she will be performing in Israel on 10th June 2012. Perhaps she will sing her 1990 hit “Rescue Me” at the Tel Aviv concert.
British Muslim Kasim Hafeez went from hating Israel, to founding the Zionist website theisraelcampaign.org. He managed to rescue himself from years of indoctrination when he stumbled upon the book “The Case for Israel” by Professor Alan Dershowitz. Meanwhile, participants at the Jerusalem Conference for English speakers want to rescue Jews in the Diaspora. Their message? “Come to Israel!”
As a fitting finale, we have just concluded celebrating the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) that recognises the responsibilities the Jewish people have towards the rest of the world. One of those responsibilities that modern-day Israel is expertly implementing is the rescue from drought of some of the world’s poorest countries. In earlier times the only method that Jews had for requesting adequate annual water resources was to take four species of plants and thrust them in six directions. I couldn’t resist this fun music video – “Shaking the lulav”.
In this coming year let’s publicise the great work that Israel is doing for the world. Then we may even hear it when people say:
“Thanks Israel – you’re a lifesaver”.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.