Israel is on the Map

 A new Facebook application shows the location of Israeli Clean-tech projects and installations everywhere in the world. So this week I thought that I would share with you some more of Israel’s news stories where Israel appears on the global stage in a positive way.

The world will definitely benefit from two pieces of news from Israel’s Technion Institute.  Firstly, the eNose early diagnostic breath test for lung cancer developed by Technion Professor Hossam Haick is to go commercial.  The Technion has announced a joint venture with Alpha Szenszor Inc. to produce an economically viable, non-invasive, digital screening tool.  The other item is good news for infertile couples.  A Technion research team has produced human eggs using cells from the amniotic sac that surrounds a baby in the womb.  Experts believe that donation of the amniotic sac will be more acceptable than egg donation from fertile women.  No wonder that the goals of Israel’s Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine are “To reduce suffering and save lives – for the sake of all humanity.”


The map of the Middle East would appear far less hostile if Israel’s Arab neighbors would appreciate Israel’s efforts to reach out to them.  Nature certainly knows no borders and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies accepts equal numbers of students from Israeli Jews, Arabs from Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan; and international applicants.  And as the World Health Organization’s 2012 report confirms, Israel approved 98.7 percent of Palestinian applications from Gaza to receive medical care in Israeli hospitals. In total, Israel treated 210,469 Palestinian Arabs in 2012.
Two relatively positive articles about Israel were published last week in London’s Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. They were written by Dr. Amal al-Hazzani, an assistant professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  They attracted a flood of hate mail, of course.  And it was predictable that two Iranian athletes decided to default rather than take the stage with Israelis at the World Judo Championships.  It didn’t upset the Israeli team, who celebrated with two gold medals and a bronze. 


In contrast, Japan has just inaugurated a statue honoring the assistance that Israel provided following the 2011 tsunami in one of the hardest hit towns, Yanmei-Sanriku.  Meanwhile, seventy public health professionals from over 20 countries in Africa and across the globe have come to participate in the 2nd Pears International Master''s in Public Health (IMPH) Alumni Reunion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
One of Israel’s best international friends, Canada, sent a group of 11 business schools to Israel to learn about innovation and how to start up new companies.  And in a moving article, Ryan Bellerose – a native of the Métis colony in Northern Alberta, Canada – wrote about Israel’s epic story and his hope that the Metis keeps walking the same road as the Jewish people.
Israel is constantly seeking to improve relations with other nations.  But its latest bridge-building exercise is more literal.  The link from the Ariel Sharon Environment Park at Hiriya to the main thoroughfare leading to Tel Aviv will be constructed from some of the 800,000 aging maritime shipping containers that the world dumps each year.  The bridge even has solar-powered lighting.  Next, a by-product of Tawkon’s mobile phone emissions warning system is that it can create a map of network coverage.  So even if there is insufficient evidence of the dangers of radiation, it can enable better reception and also increase your battery life.
International police forces will now be able to produce a map of crime hot spots, thanks to Professor David Weisburd of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Criminology. His 16-year study has proved that 50% of city crime occurs in 5% of the streets.  In related news, Israel Technion’s Kira Radinsky and Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz have developed a program that can produce a world map of predicted disease and violence outbreaks with 70 to 90 percent accuracy.
You need to consult an atlas to see the extent that Israeli companies are working across the globe. For example, Israeli communications company Gilat has just won a contract with the Mexican government to supply over 7,000 SkyEdge VSATs to schools and government offices in order to provide thousands of rural classrooms and with Internet connectivity.  And if you were watching the American Super Bowl you cannot fail to have seen the huge TV screens featuring Israeli drinks maker SodaStream.  Finally, Israeli wineries were again showing their world class in the second annual Wine Seven Two kosher wine exhibition in Jerusalem.  Israel was the center of wine production in Biblical times and today it is becoming so once more.


To finish, the team behind SpaceIL is confident that in 2015 the Israeli flag will be flying on the surface of the Moon.  And Israel’s largest communications company, Bezeq has backed up that promise by signing up as the project’s first corporate sponsor.
Israel’s achievements span the world – and beyond.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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