As we leave behind the celebrations of Israel’s independence, it is important not only to look back at what Israel has achieved in the past, but also at what Israel is doing right now! Both indicators show that the Jewish State is leading mankind into a future that is vastly different both medically and technically from our current environment.
The world we are beginning to see is one where humans no longer suffer from dementia. The research by Professor Michal Schwartz and her team at the Weizmann Institute highlights the changes in the brains of the elderly that prevent immune cells traveling to repair brain trauma. It opens up the possibility of new treatments to prevent brain degeneration. Similarly, Parkinson’s will be cured – maybe using the sugar substitute mannitol that researchers from Tel Aviv University found to protect the brain against the disease.
The “Big C” will one day be a thing of the past, thanks to specialists like Israel’s Professor Alexander Levitzki of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The American Association for Cancer Research has just awarded him its 2013 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research. Other problems with the immune system will be resolved. Professor Rifaat Safadi’s team from Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem has already identified the way the system’s Neuroliglin 4 protein can either fight fatty liver disease or exacerbate it.
Whilst on the subject of medicine, Israel’s Teva is the world’s largest producer of generic medications. In the US, one in six prescriptions are for Teva products. CEO Jeremy Levin recently stated, "We are an Israeli company, and we will remain an Israeli company. At our Ashdod plant, whilst people (in Gaza) fire rockets, we make medicines.”
In the new golden age, no one would dream of accusing Israel of being an apartheid state. Everyone will know how Israel’s hospitals employ Arab Muslims alongside Jews at all staff levels. For example, 57-year-old cardiologist Dr. Aziz Darawshe from the Arab village of Iksal, near Nazareth is the new director of the emergency department at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem, and chairman of the Israel Society for Urgent Medicine. Everyone will hear that Israeli hospitals treat thousands of Palestinian Arab children every year. Like siblings Ahmad and Hadil Hamdan from Gaza, who both suffer from chronic kidney disease and receive dialysis treatment at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. Now just sit back and enjoy some beautiful images of Israel’s diverse population and cultures.
Israel is the world’s third most innovative country, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology survey of 61 experts from 20 countries. Israel’s agricultural technology is starting to eliminate hunger in Africa, India and China. The latest innovations include a low-cost robot milking machine from Israeli start-up MiRobot, which is marketed as “the greatest thing to happen in dairy farming in 100 years”. MiRobot is embarking on a road show of the US with four other Israeli agri-tech start-ups including SolChip (solar powered livestock tracking sensors) and EdenShield (natural herbs to prevent insect infestation of plants).
Storage of electricity will soon become far more efficient than at present. Two Israeli companies are at the forefront of this technology. First, Tel Aviv’s Enstorage has produced the first ever Hydrogen-Bromine flow battery to be connected to the national grid. It is the cheapest, smallest and most powerful flow battery on the market. The second company, Phinergy, impressed US President Obama with its evolutionary aluminum-air battery. It can power an electric vehicle for up to 1,000 miles (1600 km) before needing a recharge – three times longer than any competitor.
There will be no drought or water shortages in tomorrow’s world. Israel - the world’s most efficient user of water - invested NIS 3 billion in water infrastructures in 2012. Israel is marketing its desalination and recycling facilities across the world. Israel will also be an economic powerhouse. Already its currency is the strongest in the world. Of the 31 currencies monitored by Bloomberg, Israel’s shekel had the best performance in the first three months of 2013. Reasons include Israel's stable growth and anticipation of the favorable economic impact of new natural gas flowing from the Tamar field.
But financial strength and technological advances alone are not enough. “What the world needs now is love” and the composer of that song, Burt Bacharach, is coming to the Jewish State in July to perform some of his 70 top 40 hits. We all should “Say a little prayer” and maybe we will receive a few “Magic Moments” to inspire us towards a better future. Meanwhile our homegrown vocal group “The Fountainheads” has used the translation of the title of our National Anthem (Hatikvah) to energetically express this “Hope”.
Finally, to celebrate Israel’s 65th Independence Day, here is Israel21c’s list of the top 65 solutions that Israel has provided to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Plus 65 things we love about Israel in 65 seconds. See how many you agree with.
From my blogs, you can probably find about 65,000 more!
Enjoy the Sunrise.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.