Israel - On the crest of a wave

One day we are going to be woken up to the crashing sound of the nations of the world realising the truth about the Jewish State. It will suddenly sink in that Israel has been making huge waves by adding to the medical and scientific seas of knowledge and pouring oceans of aid into countries awash with humanitarian problems. So lets follow the flow of these metaphors of sound and water through last week’s cascading news stories.
We begin in Tel Aviv where the 3rd International Conference on Water Technologies, Renewable Energy & Environmental Control (also known as WaTec) has just come to a close. 25,000 visitors, 200 exhibitors, 150 international delegations. The WATEC 2011 event provided a unique forum for Israeli technology innovators and international water and energy professionals to meet and forge alliances. 
Environment management has long been the priority of the Jewish State. KKL-JNF has been at the forefront of Israel’s work even before the State began; so it was natural that it sent a delegation to the 17th UN Climate Change conference in Durban. It went to share its knowledge and experience, with regards to afforestation in arid and semi-arid areas, watershed management and biological control methods. I really hope that the UN was listening this time. Meanwhile, a few thousand kilometres to the North East, a team of Israeli experts are working with German and Kenyan agricultural and water professionals to upgrade Lake Victoria’s commercial fishery system and wastewater treatment mechanisms. Note that the lake is three times the size of the State of Israel.
Too much rainwater can bring horrendous floods to low-lying areas. Here are some photos showing the humanitarian work being performed by Israelis following the Thai floods. A somewhat amusing story emerged from the region, involving two Israelis. Ex-lifeguards Shimshon and Nimrod Machani run a surfboat business in Thailand. Last week they rescued two Iranians who almost drowned when their kayak overturned in a storm. Initially, Mundar and Ali hugged and kissed their rescuers. "But” Nimrod said, “When we told them we''re Israelis they just got up and fled."
Turning now to the waves of sound, NanoVibronix, based in Nesher near Haifa, has just received a $300,000 injection of funds to help develop its proprietary low-intensity surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology for the treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds. NanoVibronix already has US and EU certification for its unique devices for treating tendonitis, muscle pain, catheter-associated infection and trigeminal neuralgia. Another sound Israeli idea could save thousands of motorists’ lives by keeping them awake on the road. Driver fatigue is the cause of the majority of road accidents. Israeli iPhone app Drivia stimulates the driver’s senses by posing trivia questions. If the answers are sluggish, the app will send alerts, messages and loud sounds until the driver is responsive again. Personally, I find that my wife is sufficient for that purpose!
One Israeli application is music to my ears and also, no doubt, to another potential 300 million musicians. Israeli start-up Tonara’s iPad app integrates electronic sheet music and the actual performance. The app “listens” to the player(s) and, according to the beat, displays the musical score in time with the performers. It even turns the pages automatically.
We journey now the United States of America. The SXSW Interactive conference has just taken place in Austin, Texas. SXSW is for the interactive, film, and music industries. Israel is considered a technology and creative powerhouse, and conference organisers have attracted 24 Israeli companies to participate. Then over to the West Coast where Barbra Streisand is set to headline a star-studded gala for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in Los Angeles on December 8. Organizers consider this a coup, given that the singer rarely agrees to sing at such events. But we return to the capital of the Jewish State for our final musical number. The annual Jazz Globus Festival finishes on 5th December. One hundred leading international musicians are participating in five concerts.
They say that it isn’t over until the fat lady sings. I can’t end with that news, but I can give you an animal story that combines sound and water. A pod of 10 dolphins including two calves was spotted last week just offshore near Herzliya. Experts say that there are now 300 – 400 Mediterranean Bottlenose dolphins that visit Israel’s shoreline regularly. They have obviously heard through their advanced sonar capabilities about the benefits of our wonderful nation and have now become an inseparable part of Israel’s flora and fauna.
So blow Israel’s trumpet and let’s make some waves out there!
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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