So where is Israel exactly?

Locating tiny Israel on a world map can be a difficult exercise. Many people would even be uncertain as to which continent Israel belongs to.  One thing you can be sure of, however, is that you will find Israelis all over the world providing help to millions with innovative products and development aid.

I will start in the medical arena where CNN recently reported that the “robotic trousers” from Israel’s ReWalk are now helping paraplegics to walk at 23 treatment centers across the United States.  Next, following the BBC’s program about Israel’s InSightec curing tremor due to brain defects, InSightec has now revealed that a major UK hospital has bought the company’s ExAblate MRI focused ultrasound device to non-invasively remove uterine fibroids.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has just finished running a conference to analyze how the Jews of pre-State Palestine eliminated malaria.  Lessons learned could help remove the scourge of malaria prevalent currently in Africa.  Israel is also working to develop malaria treatments and innovative methods to kill the mosquitoes that spread the virus.


Due to Arab belligerence, the United Nations has never been able to place Israel in its rightful geographic group.  But last week, the UN passed an Israeli-sponsored resolution dedicated to sustainable agricultural advancements for developing countries.  138 countries voted “Yes” whilst all the Arab states abstained.  An example of Israel’s earth-shattering agro-tech companies is Rootility, which has a root-growing platform that can increase world crop yields substantially.  It was the star of Israel’s recent AgriVest agricultural conference. In a separate development Ben-Gurion University announced that it is establishing a center for excellence on fertile land erosion.
Israel recently has received world recognition for its humanitarian efforts.  On its Northern border, Israel has been sending water and baby food to besieged Syrian villages.  In addition to bringing injured Syrians into Israeli hospitals for treatment, the IDF has also been using its groundbreaking innovation of freeze-dried plasma in its field hospitals to save wounded Syrians from critical blood loss. Meanwhile, Israel’s IsraAID delegation continues to provide relief to typhoon victims in the Philippines. The team is dealing with trauma and physical health problems, extending its role as other countries pull out.


Last week three Israeli companies separately announced large contracts with countries on the American continent.  Israel’s Ormat Industries is to build and operate the first-ever geothermal power plant in Honduras, producing 18-megawatts of renewable energy from heat sources deep below the Earth’s surface.  In Peru, Kallpa Generaction, a subsidiary of Israel Corporation, has been awarded the Peruvian government tender to build a 593MW dual-fuel power station.  The agreement is for 20 years and worth $1 billion.  Finally, Israel’s national water carrier Mekorot has signed an agreement with Mexico to help purify and protect the groundwater in Mexican aquifers.
Israeli technology received global attention when Eldad Farkash of Israel’s SiSense won a top prize at the World Technology Awards. Farkash has invented software that allows business users to analyze vast amounts of data at huge speeds using minimal hardware.  Hungry multinational company Apple Inc swallowed yet another bite of Israeli hi-tech when it paid $350 million for Tel Aviv-based PrimeSense, whose revolutionary gesture recognition technology is embedded in Microsoft’s Kinect running on Xbox 360 game consoles.


On the international stage, the Jewish State was recognized for its human rights when the Women in Parliament Global Forum awarded Israel the prize for progress at the European Parliament in Brussels. According to the OECD, Israel is among a minority of 9 percent of developed countries with gender-sensitive institutions in the seat of government.  And Japan’s Cultural Institute awarded Professor Ben-Ami Shillony of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem its annual prize for promoting the understanding between cultures.  Professor Shillony’s book “The Secret of Japan’s Strength” was selected ahead of 74 other works in Japanese.
Finally, proof that perception of Israel changes dramatically for the better when people see the Jewish State close up.  A survey of easyJet passengers from the UK showed that 65 percent of first-time tourists had improved their view of the Jewish State following their visit.  And 82 percent would recommend it to others as a holiday destination.
So if your friends don’t know where Israel is, persuade them to come here and find it.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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