Thursday, February 20, 2014
The Goals of the Jewish State
Last week was filled with news comprising one of Israel’s main goals – to repair the world. But in case you were swamped by negative stories, here are some of the uplifting highlights.
The saving of innocent life is the top goal for Israelis. Whilst the death toll in Syria’s civil war rises, Israel continued to treat hundreds of Syria’s wounded at its medical centers and IDF field hospital. Meanwhile, the IDF Medical Corps and the American Air Force Medical Department signed a pact to share and develop techniques and technologies that will save lives during humanitarian rescue missions. Away from the battlefield, thanks go to the anonymous donor who responded to an urgent request on Janglo – one of Israel’s favorite information boards. Doctors at Israel’s Beilinson Medical Center transplanted his kidney into a desperately ill mother of five in Ashdod.
Israel’s humanitarian goals have just received a major boost at the United Nations. Israel joined the Western States UN human rights sub-group and has also been awarded observer status of the UN Pacific alliance. It has already begun to help address global social and humanitarian issues. Israel is simultaneously providing aid to hundreds of individual countries, such as supporting Jamaica’s economic recovery by helping turn the island into a global logistics hub.
Israel’s water technology underpins the Jewish State’s goal to eliminate drought. EU’s President totally missed the point that if our neighbors truly sought peace, there would be ample water supplies for the whole region. Israel’s brand new Sorek desalination plant can produce 624,000 cubic meters of water a day, but ironically EU policyprevents European countries working with Israel to build facilities to treat Palestinian Authority wastewater. Israel is also working to eliminate famine. Take a trip to the Vidor Family Visitors’ Center in Israel’s Arava to see how a desert has been transformed into the jewel in the crown of Israeli agriculture.
The goals of Israeli medicine are not only to save life, but also to alleviate suffering. Israel’s Medigus is launching its flexible endoscope for the treatment of acid reflux. The simple outpatient procedure can benefit over 16 million people with acid refluxwho do not respond to medication. And Israel’s LabStyle Innovations is distributing its Dario blood glucose-monitoring device in Australia, which will make life much simpler for some of the 1.2 million Australians officially diagnosed with diabetes.
Many see Israel’s goal as a light to the nations. Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar agrees, reporting that Israel is strategically vital for a secure, prosperous and influential Europe. And believe it or not, the UK wants Israel to bring technology to the Arab world. The UK-Israel Tech Hub has organized the Go Global Program for Digital Arabic Content Entrepreneurs.
Israeli startup Cyactive certainly has an ambitious goal – an end to all computer viruses. Cyactive detects the core of any virus, because 98% of the code inside a new virus is copied from existing viruses. Tel Aviv’s SoftWheel has a well-rounded goal – a comfortable ride whether in a wheelchair, bicycle or aircraft. But to achieve this goal, SoftWheel has literally re-invented the wheel. Its “selective suspension” extends or shrinks the wheel’s hub when encountering an obstacle, dramatically reducing the shock transmitted.
Four Israelis recently achieved some spectacular individual goals. Hebrew University of Jerusalem doctoral student Yossi Kabessa won the Singapore Challenge gold medallion and $100,000 at the Global Young Scientists Summit in Singapore. He designed a system to detect dangerous materials in large water supply systems. Weizmann Professor Yair Reisner won one of Israel’s Rappaport prizes for his leukemia treatment using stem cells from incompatible donors. The other winner was Dr. Yaakov Nahmias from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who discovered that the grapefruit molecule naringenin can block viruses. But the goal that wowed the sports world is the one scored by Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer player Barak Yitzhaki. He performed the famous bicycle kick to perfection.
Finally, it’s everyone’s goal to try and stay in good health. Anyone planning to make a new life in the Jewish State will be happy to hear that the cost of fruits and vegetables in Israel are lower – sometimes significantly lower – compared to prices of fruits and vegetables in the United States and Western Europe. With Israeli technology, we can all hope to achieve the goal of a long and fruitful life, as enjoyed by Rabbi Zechariah Barashi, who at 114 is the oldest Jew in the world. Rabbi Barashi’s mind is a sharp as it was in 1936 when he immigrated to Israel from Kurdistan. He says, “I have had the fortune of living in Jerusalem for 75 years. I’m in heaven.”
Israel can help us all reach our goals.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.