Israeli Arab leads Ukraine field hospital lab; The world’s thinnest lenses; Defending Europe; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Cancer therapy “double-whammy”
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a 2-in-1 anti-cancer nanoparticle. It is the world’ first RNA-based treatment to combine chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells and immunotherapy to stimulate the immune system to identify and attack the remaining cancer cells.
Natural antibodies fight cancer too
Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that in addition to cancer-fighting T-cells, the immune system’s B-lymphocytes also produce antibodies that take part in battles against cancer cells. They target the enzyme MMP14, a cause of metastasis and can be used in future therapies.
Toxic cancer treatment made safe
Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have improved a cancer therapy that killed tumors but was too toxic for use. They added a specially created antibody that targets only the CD40 receptor protein molecule which stimulates the immune system to fight the cancer.
US approval for fast diagnosis of collapsed lung
Israel’s Aidoc (see here previously) has received US FDA approval for its newly developed X-ray solution that detects cases of pneumothorax (collapsed lung) on X-rays for more efficient triage. Fast diagnosis of the condition can prevent subsequent respiratory or cardiac failures.
Doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center have performed the first implant of the thinnest artificial cornea ever printed in the world. The 50-micron thick EndoArt implant (see here previously) reduces recovery time and risk of rejection. The patient had a previous human cornea rejected.
The first “shining star” baby
Israeli doctors delivered by Caesarian section the first baby born at the “Shining Star” Israeli field hospital in Ukraine. Mother and baby are doing well.
Israeli Arab leads Ukraine field hospital lab
Arab-Israeli Amir Zoabi heads up the laboratory at the Israeli field hospital in Ukraine. Set-up in an unused schoolroom, his lab can conduct any required test. In this article Amir shares his feelings about being part of the Israeli humanitarian delegation.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
The first Ethiopian female Israeli military judges
Two female IDF officers have become the first Israeli women of Ethiopian origin to be appointed IDF military court judges. Major Tamar Bekia Adgach and Major Mazi Mekonen were appointed to military courts in Judea and Samaria.
Jerusalem church re-opens for Easter
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the most important Christian church in Jerusalem, is open for the first time since the pandemic began, as pilgrims return. Meanwhile, the project to restore its ancient stone floor is being led by Osama Hamdan, a Palestinian Arab Muslim architect.
UAE publishes book on achievements of Zionism
The Israeli book “Zionism in Arab Discourse,” by Prof. Uriya Shavit of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Ofir Winter of the Institute for National Security Studies, has been translated into Arabic and published in the United Arab Emirates.
MKs visit Indonesia
Members of Knesset Avi Dichter and Nira Shpak made history when they participated in the 144th Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference in Bali. It was the first time MKs visited Indonesia, a country with which Israel has no diplomatic relations.
Warm relations with UK
Positive report from the recent Jerusalem Post Conference in London. Israeli ministers and leaders met with Britain’s Prime Minister, Home Secretary, Trade Envoy, Undersecretary of State for Justice, and many more VIPs.
2022 Mobility Innovator
Israel’s Amnon Shashua, President and CEO of Mobileye has won the 2022 Mobility Innovation Award from The Automotive Hall of Fame. The non-profit recognizes individuals responsible for new, groundbreaking mobility technologies and services.
Treating burns victims in Haiti
Professor Josef Haik of Sheba Medical Center is leading a mission to help local doctors struggling to treat dozens of burns victims from a fuel truck exploding in northern Haiti in December. Some Israelis have arrived directly from serving in Israel’s field hospital in Ukraine.
Water for Philippines
Israel donated NUF water filtration systems for Typhoon Odette-stricken areas in Mindanao, Philippines. Israeli Ambassador in the Philippines Ilan Fluss said, “Water is life. This donation is Israel’s initiative to support and promote access to potable water in the Philippines.”
Rescuing thousands from Ukraine
In the first 3 weeks of the crisis, Israeli emergency services organization United Hatzalah (UH) has brought more than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees to Israel as part of Operation Orange Wings. UH volunteers accompany the refugees on each flight, providing medical aid if necessary.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Out of this world
Watch the launch of AX-1 with Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe on board on route to the International Space Station. Eytan sent messages in Hebrew, before and after the Space-X Dragon capsule docked safely with the ISS. He also had a long conversation with Israel’s President Herzog.
Israeli space cargo is “impossible”
One of the items transported to the International Space Station was Tel Aviv University’s “Impossible Object” – a 3D sculpture made entirely of water that can only exist in zero gravity and combines art with physics. See also a summary of the 35 Israeli on-board space experiments.
Israel’s first quantum computer
After several years of research, scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have built Israel’s first quantum computer (see here previously). The 5-qubit machine is one of only 30 quantum computers in the world and less than 10 that use ion trap technology.
Israeli scientist receives top honor
Tel Aviv University Ehud Gazit is the first Israeli to be selected for the International Solvay Chair in Chemistry and the first chemist outside of the US and Europe to be so honored. The Solvay Chair has been won by 15 of the world’s top scientists, including three Nobel laureates.
Tactical robotics competition
A team from Ariel University won Israel’s first-of-its-kind Mobile Standoff Autonomous Indoor Capabilities )MoSAIC) Challenge. Twenty US & Israeli startups and other organizations participated.
The world’s thinnest lenses
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed low-cost, lightweight flat lenses – around a thousandth of the thickness of a human hair. They will revolutionize products, such as consumer electronics, cellphones, VR headsets, and drones that need to be as light as possible.
An opportunity to attend Ben Gurion University’s free virtual event on Sun 1st May at 1pm Eastern Time (8pm Israel time). Celebrate BGU’s remarkable science and discover how the university is creating a sustainable future. Hosted by Noa Tishby, Israeli-American actress, producer, activist and author.
Futuristic digital printing
At TLV Fashion Week, top designers used revolutionary printing technology from Israel’s Kornit Digital (see here previously) to create amazing fashions. It included Direct-to-garment (DTG) for blended color, Direct-to-fabric (DTF) for neon prints, and Kornit’s XDi to print on spandex for bodysuits.
Fast charging for Indian scooters
India’s Ola Electric has made a multi-million-dollar investment in Israel’s StoreDot (see here previously). Ola will manufacture and integrate StoreDot’s lithium ion-based battery tech in its future electric vehicles in India. The funding is part of StoreDot’s latest $80 million investment round.
Tobacco plants for vegan meat
Israel’s BioBetter repurposes tobacco plants to accelerate development of cultivated meat. The plants become bioreactors to boost production of proteins and potentially significantly reduce the cost of cultivated meat. BioBetter was co-founded by Prof. Oded Shoseyov (see here previously).
15 Israeli startups presented at Axis Tel Aviv 2022. They pitched during panels featuring investors and business leaders from the key sectors of fintech, health and sports, retail, and mobility. Products included medical clothing, car cyber security, a robotic operating system and payment fraud analysis.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Even more positive
Rating agency Moody’s affirmed Israel’s credit rating as A1 and upgraded its economic outlook from stable to positive. Israel’s 2021 exports beat all forecasts, with an unprecedented volume of $143 billion – over 20% more than in 2020. For the first time, the exports of services exceeded the exports of goods.
Free Trade Agreement with UAE
Israel and the United Arab Emirates have finalized details for a massive free trade agreement worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It covers 95% of all traded products, leading the way to customs-free import-export of food, agricultural products, medical equipment, medicine, and cosmetics.
OurCrowd to open in Abu Dhabi
Israel’s OurCrowd is to open a global AI innovation and research center in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. It will provide finance-focused, AI-based research as a service. OurCrowd’s Jon Medved spoke at an Abu Dhabi investor conference in early 2020 (see here).
Azerbaijan opens official tourism office in Israel
On the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Israel, Azerbaijan has opened its first tourism office in Israel and signed a cooperation agreement to work together to further the industry.
Massive hiring spree planned
The OurCrowd High-Tech Jobs Index for the last 3 months of 2021show that Israeli high-tech startups are planning a hiring spree in 2022 as the Coronavirus pandemic recedes. 72% of OurCrowd’s 177 portfolio companies report hiring more staff in Q4 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
Four recent examples of Israeli defense systems purchased by Czech Republic, by Sweden, and (two) by Germany.
Twelve Tel Aviv Techstar
12 Israeli startups were selected for the sixth group of the Tel Aviv Techstars accelerator. They are Valid.it, +SCALE, Pledger Giving App, Platera.ai, Synergym.Ai, Testory, Beez Tech, Dodo Smart, Luzverde, Calosense, Eco-Price, and Price backers. Each receives $120,000 of matched funds.
Israel’s first American whiskey distillery
Noam and Alan work by day in finance and architecture. But by night they run Legends, Israel’s first American-style whiskey distillery. Located near the site where David defeated Goliath, they named their first product “slingshot”.
Takeovers and mergers
Israeli mobile security startup Zimperium has been acquired by US-based Liberty Strategic Capital (Steven Mnuchin) for $525 million. LinkedIn (the world’s largest professional network) purchased Israel’s Oribi for $80 million; Israeli cybersecurity Tufin is being acquired by Turn/River Capital for $570 million; US-based ITT has acquired Israeli valve manufacturer Habonim for $140 million.
The latest Unicorn
Investment in Israeli startups to 17/4/22:
Viz.ai raised $100 million; Coro.net raised $80 million; StoreDot raised $80 million; Appwrite raised $27 million; vHive raised $25 million; Antidote Health raised $22 million; Eleos Health raised $20 million; Radiaction Medical raised $10 million; NOVOS.gg raised $6 million; SeeMetrics raised $6 million; Solveat raised $1 million; Paypal invested in Cymbio;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Art raises funds for Ukrainian refugees
Dasha, a Russian new Israeli immigrant has opened an art exhibit at a South Tel Aviv nightclub to raise awareness and funds for Ukraine. 90% of the exhibits in “Vse Bude Ukraina״ (“Everything will be Ukraine”) is by Ukrainian and Russian Israelis.
Ahead of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, dozens of the artists performed their songs in Israel as part of “Israel Calling,” an event organized by Israel’s Tourism Ministry. The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra even filmed its Eurovision “postcard” in Jerusalem instead of in its war-torn country.
Two prizes at Cannes
The Israeli social drama series “The Lesson,” won the prize for best long series and the prize for interpretation at the Canneseries festival. Maya Landsmann, who plays one of the show’s main characters, received the prize for best performance.
Maroon 5 adds second Tel Aviv concert
US Grammy award-winning pop band Maroon 5 has added a second concert in Tel Aviv this spring after quickly selling out their Israel debut in Hayarkon Park. They will now perform on May 9th and 10th. They arrive in Israel following their first show in Abu Dhabi.
A team of soccer stars from the Abraham Accords countries faced off against stars from world teams during the first Abraham Accords Games at the Dubai Expo. Following the match, the Ministers of Culture joined famous chefs from all four countries to prepare meals in their national styles.
Sport center for IDF soldiers
The Chicago-based Herrendorf Family Foundation partnered with Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) to construct a state-of-the-art sports facility at an IDF 8200 Intelligence Unit Base. The $4.5 donation helped construct a 16,000-square-foot sports center, to support the unit.
Once again, dozens of British Armed Forces and IDF personnel injured during their service are to compete in this year’s Veteran Games in Israel (see here previously) from 29 May to 3 June. The games will use Israel’s state-of-the-art rehab facilities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
World debut for women’s ice hockey team
Israel’s women’s ice-hockey team made its international debut by competing for the first time ever in the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship for Division III on in Belgrade, Serbia. The team is made up of women of four religions.
THE JEWISH STATE
Pesach in space
Israeli Astronaut Eytan Stibbe has taken a box of handmade shmurah (guarded) matzah and 4 cartons of grape juice to the International Space Station to observe the Jewish festival of Passover. He was given provisions by Rabbi Zvi Konikov of Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts. See also UWI link below.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog displayed at his Jerusalem residence the longest matzah in Israel and maybe the world. It is 6 meters long, 106 cm wide, 4 mm thick, weighs around 6 kg, contains over 119,000 perforations it took three hours to bake.
Doctor and dentist start their journey
Drs. Tova and Josh Lennon have decided to be “part of Jewish history” and make Aliyah with their four children. They attended the Nefesh b’Nefesh MedEx conference which simplified the process of getting licensed in Israel.
Two dozen Christian parliamentarians from as far as Malawi, Guatemala and the United States made their first Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) mission since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
New in Jerusalem
See the new sites and events on the Real Jerusalem Streets prior to Passover, Ramadan, Easter, and Orthodox Palm Sunday. Excavations, France Square; Gush Etzion tunnel, festival activities, Butterfly house, and much more.