Israel – A Partnership for Life

We’ve just experienced another week full of news stories featuring dozens of innovations from the Jewish State designed to benefit the world. Those countries and individuals that take advantage of these leading-edge products and services know that in Israel they have a partner that they can truly rely on.
Israel demonstrates its absolute priority for preserving life by the constant news of its outstanding medical innovations. So the first item will definitely get your heart pumping. Over 1,000 heart patients now have a little Israeli partner to the pump that they were born with. The Optimizer III implantable device, invented in Israel, electrically ‘teaches'' diseased heart muscle to contract more strongly and get the blood flowing. The Israeli company Impulse Dynamics has already been selling the product for eight years in Europe and the Far East and is now running trials in the United States.
One Ethiopian orphan’s heart is certainly in the right place. Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) surgeons saved Yared Worde’s life in 1999. That partnership inspired Yared who today is the Director of the “Saint Yared School” in Addis Abba, a school that fights poverty through education and provides education to the city''s poorest and unprivileged children.
They say it takes two to tango. But before you can dance, you need to be able to walk. Ethiopian immigrant Ayala Mandria, 20, was unable to stand on her two feet all her life, until she arrived at the Beit Levinstein Rehabilitation Center. Mandria suffered from poliomyelitis and ALS since childhood. Only three months after starting treatment she can already run around on the grass.
Israel knows the value of partnering under-developed nations with the advanced agricultural technologies invented in the developed world (such as in Israel, of course). So it submitted a proposal to the United Nations promoting this obvious concept. And what do you know – the normally biased UN actually agreed the Israeli initiative.   One hundred and thirty-three nations voted in favour of the Israeli proposal, although 35 mainly Arab countries sulked and abstained. 
One example of Israeli technology is currently saving crops in Africa and Asia. As much as 50 percent of every grain harvest and 100% of every pulse harvest is lost to pests and mould. Israeli-designed GrainPro Cocoons provide a surprisingly simple and cheap way to keep grain market-fresh. The huge bags, keep out water and air. Staying with agriculture, soil research in Israel and Holland has discovered a partnership between fungi and bacteria. Fungi often “hitch a ride” on bacteria, whilst the bacteria use fungi to bridge gaps in the soil. The research has relevance to agriculture but also has medical implications for hospitals and inside the human body.
In software products, Israel’s innovations often promote partnerships between the human being and the computer. One such application is Eva – your on-line travel expert. This unique search engine from Israel’s Evature has won the DEMO award for the most game-changing travel innovation at the fourth annual Travel Innovation Summit in Miami. You can type in your travel request in as messy a format as you like and Eva restructures it into language that any Internet booking system can interpret. It is just so brilliant – as the following youtube video demonstrates. You can even run this demo to try it out yourself.
I’m writing this blog sitting on a flight from the UK to Israel next to two bright young teckies from Israeli defence electronics giant Elbit. So I must include an example of how Israel and the West form a unique partnership in protecting the world from terrorists and evil dictators. Elbit has just won a huge order for its F16 pilot displays. Having received initial orders of $3 million previously, The Israeli defence electronics giant has now $38 million worth of follow-up orders for its Wide Angle Conventional Head-Up Display (WAC HUD).
As a Star Trek fanatic, I was so proud to see that it is an Israeli start-up Lexifone that has invented the Real-time Speech Translator. Talk through it and your foreign business partners will hear your words of wisdom translated into their mother tongue immediately. Apparently its proprietary generic software platform statistically optimizes voice data, in conjunction with its learning based linguistic and semantic translation. Or as they said on Star Trek – “it’s life Jim, but not as we know it”.
I will finish this time with the news that Dov Weissberg has donated a special memento to Yad Vashem – the organisation that has become the most important partner to the Jewish People’s mission of eradicating genocide from the world. Dov was shot during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, but the bullet hit the document wallet in his back pocket and stopped a millimetre from his skin. Dov is now a professor at Tel Aviv University.
So when you visit Yad Vashem and see the little wallet with its indentation, please take a few minutes to remember that we all have an unseen partner in this world.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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