The Jewish State has recently been blessed with endless energy – both as a natural resource, and in the dynamic ability of its citizens to work towards sustaining the nation and the world.
Israel’s remarkable discovery of huge natural gas deposits has not stopped it from researching and developing renewable energy facilities. Eco-Energy’s plant at Be’er Tuviya is Israel’s largest biogas installation and will use cow and chicken manure to generate 4MW of electricity for powering around 6,000 homes. In November, Eilat is hosting the first ENERGYVEST Summit. Israel’s renewable energy conference will include a showcase of many of the new technological breakthroughs that the Israeli energy innovation industry has to offer.
On the environmental front, Israel’s bicycle projects certainly haven’t been back-peddling. Tel Aviv has officially joined the European Cyclists' Federation cycling promotion program, also known as the Charter of Brussels. Over 60 major cities in Europe have pledged to promote cycling through legislating and by creating the proper infrastructure. And the 42 km bike trail around the Israeli city of Be’er-Sheva won a special prize in the annual ECO-Awards run by the European Ramblers’ Association.
Israel and the USA have upgraded the terms of their 21-year-old environmental agreement. New areas of co-operation include water sources management, land rehabilitation and air quality. The Yarkon River used to be Israel’s most polluted waterway. Now it is so clean that the freshwater Yarkon Bleak fish has returned to its mid-stretches for the first time in over fifty years. So it is timely that the popular Israeli social smartphone navigation application Waze has launched a new feature. As you pass near a lake or river, it tells you if the water is fit for swimming in. Finally, Israel is breeding the endangered South American tapir successfully. Ramat Gan Safari celebrated the birth of its first baby male tapir to be born at the Israeli zoo, which arrived just 15 months after his sister.
Recent Israeli work on sustaining world health includes two innovative developments in radiotherapy. At Israel’s upgraded Ariel University, experiments with sub-millimetre band radiation have proved effective at destroying the DNA of targeted lung cancer tumours. And three of Israel’s Arab citizens are developing a cancer treatment using gold nanoparticles that are injected into tumours to improve the effect of radiation therapy. Of the three employees at Metallo Therapy, two are Technion graduates and two are women.
Over in the US, paraplegic Vietnam veteran Theresa Hannigan demonstrated her new mobility with the ReWalk exoskeleton from Israel’s Argo Medical at the AdvaMed 2012 conference in Boston. Argo announced that they are setting up their US HQ in Marlboro Massachusetts. And following an overheard discussion about flight simulation between two Israeli pilots, Dr Warren Selman invented the Selman Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP). The IDF then added its support and the medical simulator now educates surgeons in Ohio.
Israel's work in the International arena in 2011 included development aid to 110 countries. They included Haiti, Nepal, El Salvador, Malawi, Chad and East Timor. Its support for Haiti didn’t end with the post-earthquake field hospitals. Israel was also a vital part of Kenya’s successful operation to remove Al-Qaeda from Somalia. Jordan and Egypt owe much of their exports to the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) set-up as part of their peace agreements with Israel. Products originate in Israel and are finished in the Arab countries before being exported to the USA.
Israel is here for the long haul. Israel will continue to return the remnants of lost tribes, whether “on the wings of eagles” of Hercules transport planes, such as the 14,000 Ethiopian Jews during Operation Solomon in 1991 or on a brand new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft that Ethiopian Airlines chose to make Ben Gurion its first stop. More recent arrivals include members of the Bnei Menashe community in India such as Yehuda Gin, who made Aliya in 1992, became a Rabbi and now teaches Jews from China about Judaism. Others include octogenarians Yakov (85) and Moshet Pedagog (82) for whom life begins at eighty. We hope they will enjoy as long a life as 112-year-old Zechariya Brashi who was born in Kurdistan in 1900 and came to pre-state Israel in 1936. And why not? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development stated in a preliminary report that Israel’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world with its early diagnosis of chronic diseases that reduces complications and prevents hospitalisation.
Israel will always be supported by organisations such as America’s Hadassah voluntary Women's Zionist Organization who have clocked up 100 years of working for the Jewish State and its people. Fittingly, their celebrations culminate in October at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem – where medical care and research benefits people worldwide. It may be too much, however, to believe that the biblical King Davidwas actually present at his 3052nd birthday, as the latest video of his June Tel Aviv street party seems to show.
With all this positive news we, like our Prime Minister, sometimes need to step back and recognise our heritage. Mr Netanyahu studied Torah in honour of his father-in-law who died last year. He said, “there is no firmer a foundation than the Bible.” And from firm foundations, the sky is not even the limit. Israel’s meteoric rise to become one of the world's aeronautic space powers has been rewarded by being named as the venue for the International Astronautical Federation’s Conference in 2015.
There’s no stopping the Jewish State now!
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.