We Love Life

Last week we welcomed home Gilad Schalit and proved yet again that Israel values life above all else. In last week’s news there were dozens of examples of the Jewish State’s work to preserve life and improve the lives of others in Israel and all over the world.
We start with Israel’s life-changing bio-tech companies. Enopace Biomedical is developing a non-invasive implant that prevents heart failure by easing the pressure in the left ventricle and improving blood flow to the heart. It would be the biggest breakthrough treatment for congestive heart failure. The medical world also celebrated the 10th anniversary of Given Imaging’s launch on the NASDAQ stock exchange.   Given Imaging is responsible for the world-famous PillCam miniature camera that can detect bowel cancer. It has also developed the unique Bravo pH capsule that diagnoses sufferers of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. 
Israel’s technological innovations are saving lives constantly. One of the latest breakthroughs comes from Israel’s Brightway Vision. It has adapted its parent company Elbit’s night vision technology and is now working to produce an inexpensive system that improves vision while driving at night in order to prevent road accidents. Israel’s clean technology improves the lives of everyone on the planet. Israeli wastewater treatment company Emefcy was named Early Stage Company of the Year at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit and Gala held in Washington, DC. Seven Israeli companies were included in the Top 100 – the only Middle East country to be represented.
Clean energy will make life better for everyone and Israel’s solar power experts are at the centre of the industry. Israel’s BrightSource Energy is building a huge 750MW Concentrated Solar Power plant in California that will generate more electricity than 3.5 traditional US coal or gas-fired power plants. Israel has gone into partnership with France to harness the Sun’s energy inside the Jewish State. The French company EDF energy is working in partnership with Dalkia Israel to build five solar farms on Kibbutz sites across Israel. Meanwhile we keep discovering more natural gas. Another 42.4 billion cubic feet has been detected up at the Or-1 site off Israel’s coast.
Power from the Sun – as seen from Tel Aviv
Photo: Michael Ordman
So it’s not surprising that we regularly receive international guests who want to learn more from us. Canada’s Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter has brought a delegation to Israel on a weeklong trade mission. Their goal is to develop IT, clean-tech, marine and life-sciences businesses. And why not, when ‘Tiny Israel is a giant in scientific research’ as Jonah Mandel summarised for AFP news agency. More proof is visible when you read through this list of the 50 fastest growing Israeli technology companies. 
Israel has long had to contend with the threat to life from terrorism. Elbit’s Wise Intelligence Technology (WiT) system supports every stage of the intelligence and investigation process. Elbit has just sold a version of the system to an unnamed Asian country. Meanwhile, Israeli artist Yaron Bob turns rockets into roses. With just a hammer, anvil and furnace, melts, moulds and sculpts the remains of Kassam rocket attacks from Gaza into gorgeous flowers. And child-friendly Israel improves the quality of life for children crippled from exploding missiles. It has made several parks and playgrounds accessible with special facilities for wheelchair users.
Not all Arabs believe in the Hamas death culture. Israel’s exchange of 1027 Arab terrorists for Gilad Schalit has impressed many Arab users of the Internet’s Twitter communication system. For example, a Syrian tweeted that the Israeli government ‘is willing to pay the ultimate price for one citizen. All this while our government is killing us like animals’. Back in Israel, life goes on, which includes saving lives. In the same week that Israel released Arab murderers, an IDF patrol provided emergency medical treatment to two Palestinian Arab workers who fell three floors in a Palestinian Authority administered town, southwest of Hebron. 
Our Torah has sustained the lives of the Jewish people throughout our history. So it is fitting that hundreds of Torah scrolls have been recovered from the Holocaust, restored and presented to the defenders of our nation. The 200th scroll was dedicated to Ruby Davidman, one of the founders of Young Israel’s ‘Redeem a Torah’ campaign who died last year. This symbol of the continuity of Jewish life is enhanced by the fact that Ruby’s grandson Amit serves at the army base that received the scroll.
So as Gilad Schalit recovers from his ordeal with the support of his family and the best wishes of all Israeli lovers of life, we hope that he enjoys the song ‘Now you are here’ written especially for him by Arik Einstein and Guy Bocati. 
And we pray that he is able to live again.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.