When will they ever learn?

I write this after hearing two BBC presenters express horror that a Moslem family strapped a suicide belt onto their 9-year-old daughter and attempted to educate her to blow herself up at a checkpoint.  Before you congratulate the BBC on finally learning the facts of life about Islamic terrorism, I have to point out that this was a report from Afghanistan.  The BBC unfortunately cannot make the educational leap in connecting this to the evil of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas constantly teaching their children to hate Israelis.

In contrast to the schooling of that Moslem girl, “education” in the Jewish State has completely the opposite purpose.  Take for instance the life-saving advances in medicine over the past few weeks.  After two years’ training Israeli surgeons at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva performed the first-ever successful transplant in Israel of a small intestine.  The donor was an 11-year-old Israeli girl whose other organs saved the lives of four children.  In medical research, neuroscientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have uncovered defects in the brain’s basic biochemical transport mechanism that can cause diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntingdon’s. The discovery opens up exciting new areas to develop potential treatments.  Meanwhile, the Israeli Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee has allocated NIS 2.5 million for eighteen new biomedical research projects to be conducted at hospitals in northern Israel.
Here is some recent news of three innovative educating devices that Israelis have developed to address different medical problems.  To help patients learn to recover from the shoulder injury known as Rotator Cuff, Israel’s OrthoSpace has developed the InSpace Balloon, which is implanted in a minimally invasive procedure. To relax their youngest patients prior to surgery, staff at Schneider Children’s Medical Center push them into the operating room in toy pedal cars. But the third device literally opens up a whole new world for autistic children or anyone with severely impaired speaking or writing ability.  Ola Mundo (“Hello World ” in Spanish) is a simple but effective mobile app that transmits instant messages using symbols.


Graduating from the field of medicine, here are some Israeli applications and devices with an educational theme that have been receiving a good deal of attention recently.  You will soon “know the score” when you use the new version of the Tonara iPad electronic sheet music application.  Learn the lessons of high-rise disasters by installing the Israeli-developed Skysaver escape harness.  And it’s a whole new ball game now that tennis players can train using Israel’s SmartCourt


Israel is working to ensure that every citizen gets the educational opportunities they require:
-          Kol Israel Haverim, is promoting the Israeli program that supports high school girls in science, technology, engineering and math.
-          Pupils from two Israeli schools received a boost when their scientific experiments were launched to the International Space Station where astronauts will perform them in zero gravity.
-          And the new Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at the IDC Herzliya is set to change the status quo by providing students with the knowledge and tools to realize their entrepreneurial ambitions
At Israel’s Technion, young people are empowered with the educational tools to make a real difference in the world.  They can change the lives of women in Nepal by building sustainable biomass reactors that generate clean energy from recycled waste. Or they can develop a fuel cell powered by Aluminum and water.


It is encouraging that many non-Israelis are learning about the positive side of the Jewish State.  They include
-          Five international art bloggers with millions of avid readers who visited the country’s museums and met its top artists as guests of the Kinetis nonprofit educational organization.
-          Overseas delegates attending the European Supercomputing Winter School in Tel Aviv.
-          Turkish medics who purchased a Renaissance surgical robotic system from Israel’s Mazor Robotics for a major hospital in Istanbul.
-          Arab media that publicizes the fact that Israel gives medical treatment to Palestinian Arabs.
-          Syrian refugees receiving clothing from Israeli student organization Human Warmth (Cham Enoshi).
-          Residents of PA village Wadi Nis who receive free weekly personal house calls from Dr. Yitz Glick, an orthodox Jew from Efrat in Judea.  Dr Glick also founded the Efrat Emergency Medical Center in 2000, which treats both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.
-          The United Nations, which is being advised by Israel’s Moti Cohen on how to build aquaponic farms that provide people with both fish and plants to eat.


I return to Israel’s Technion for this final item in which 20 students have been training 20 Labrador guide dogs whilst they are studying for their degrees.  Students have the lifestyle that can train guide dogs to behave well in all situations.  But the real reason why the project is so successful is because the students love their dogs and the dogs love their students.
It’s a lesson we can all learn.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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