Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Toothpaste for kangaroos

We have a great kangeroo park here in the north of the country and "lumpy jaw" disease is a serious – often even fatal – condition for captive kangaroos. Now, an Israeli-innovated tooth varnish is keeping their gums in top shape. The contagious gum disease that tends to plague kangaroos living in captivity presented a major problem for marsupials at Jerusalem’s Tisch Family Zoo and at Gan Garoo Park in the Galilee. Until now, the only available antibiotic treatment required anesthetizing the animals daily for 10 days and keeping them quarantined a course that was extremely tough on them and their keepers. Some 40 percent of Gan Garoo’s kangaroos died from the disease or the stress of treatment. And figures were the same at zoos all over the world. But professors at Hebrew University’s dentistry and pharmacy schools came to the rescue. Working with veterinary professionals at the two facilities, they developed a topical, slow-release, one-time treatment. Zoos all over the world are keen to get hold of the preparation for their own animals.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where’s the international outcry against Arab apartheid?


As Israel Apartheid Week continues, a Palestinian boy was left to die at Lebanese hospital because father couldn’t afford treatment.

Mohammed Nabil Taha, an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, died this week at the entrance to a Lebanese hospital after doctors refused to help him because his family could not afford to pay for medical treatment.Taha’s tragic case highlights the plight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who live in squalid refugee camps in Lebanon and who are the victims of an apartheid system that denies them access to work, education and medical care.

Ironically, the boy’s death at the entrance to the hospital coincided with Israeli Apartheid Week, a festival of hatred and incitement organized by anti-Israel activists on university campuses in the US, Canada and other countries.It is highly unlikely that the folks behind the festival have heard about Taha. Judging from past experiences, it is also highly unlikely that they would publicize the case even if they would hear about it.

Why should anyone care about a Palestinian boy who is denied medical treatment by an Arab hospital? The story has no anti-Israel angle to it.Can anyone imagine what would have happened if an Israeli hospital had abandoned a boy to die in its parking lot because his father did not have $1,500 to pay for his treatment? The UN Security Council would hold an emergency session and Israel would be strongly condemned and held responsible for the boy’s death.All this is happening at a time when tens of thousands of Palestinian patients continue to benefit from treatment in Israeli hospitals.Last year alone, some 180,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip entered Israel to receive medical treatment. Many were treated despite the fact that they did not have enough money to cover the bill.

In Israel, even a suicide bomber who is only (!) wounded while trying to kill Jews is entitled to the finest medical treatment. And there have been many instances where Palestinians who were wounded in attacks on Israel later ended up in some of Israel’s best hospitals.Lebanon, by the way, is not the only Arab country that officially applies apartheid laws against Palestinians, denying them proper medical treatment and the right to own property.Just last week it was announced that a medical center in Jordan has decided to stop treating Palestinian cancer patients because the Palestinian Authority has failed to pay its debts to the center.

Other Arab countries have also been giving the Palestinians a very hard time when it comes to receiving medical treatment.It is disgraceful that while Israel admits Palestinian patients to its hospitals, Arab hospitals are denying them medical treatment for various reasons, including money. But then one is reminded that Arab dictators do not care about their own people, so why should they pay attention to an 11-year-old boy who is dying at the entrance to a hospital because his father didn’t have $1,500 handy? But as the death took place in an Arab country – and as the victim is an Arab – why should anyone care about him? Where is the outcry against Arab apartheid?

Reprinted with permission of the Hudson Institute (

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yet Another Example of Israeli "Apartheid"?

To mark Baha'i New Year, an international conference will be held at Hebrew University, Jerusalem on Baha'ism, Judaism, Christianity & Islam

To mark the Baha'i New Year on March 21, an international conference will take place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on 'Modern Religions and Religious Movements in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Babi-Bahai Faiths'.

"The circle of Baha'i believers is expanding every year – especially in the Western world," says Prof. Moshe Sharon, the conference organizer and head of Baha'i Studies at the Hebrew University. "The number of Baha'i believers has been increasing by about four percent a year, and in recent years there has been an increased penetration into new areas in eastern Europe."

The Baha'i faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in nineteenth-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are currently about six million adherents of the Baha'i faith around the world, of which 250,000 live in Iran, the birthplace of the religion's prophets. The largest Baha'i population can be found in India.

The Baha'i Faith is the world's only religion run by a local, national and international administration. The Baha'is' World House of Justice sits on Mount Carmel in Haifa. Haifa and Acre are the holy cities of the Baha'i faith, and the Bab himself, the first founder of the religion, is buried in Haifa.

Lectures and sessions during the conference include: 'The spread of the Baha'i faith from East to West', 'A 19th century Zoroastrian-Baha'i dialogue', 'The Bab and the Babis – Early accounts in the Western press 1845-1851' and 'Promoting sexual equality through education: Baha'i girls' schools in Iran'.

Other lectures include 'Stretching the borders of religious legitimacy: Baha'is and latter-day saints in China', 'The Bydzhov Israelites and the Frankists – Two sects in 18th century Bohemia', 'Jewish Christianity in 20th century Russia as a form of Jewish national revival' and 'The promise of Monotheism'.

Friday, March 18, 2011

After massacre, "settlers" help bring new Palestinian life into world

Israel Army forces (IDF) and local paramedics helped save the life of a Palestinian woman and her newly born infant Wednesday, at the settlement where Fogel relatives are sitting Shiva (the mourning period) for the five Israelis brutally murdered last week.

Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Neve Tzuf to offer his condolences, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community's entrance. In it, soldiers and paramedics discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl's neck, endangering both her and her mother.

The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother's and baby's life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members.

An IDF paramedic, was the first medical team member at the scene and recounted the dramatic situation he faced. "When I arrived, I saw a woman covered by a blanket in a yellow Palestinian van. I moved closer and saw the baby's head and upper body," he told a reporter. "The umbilical cord was around the baby's neck; the baby was grey and didn't move." "I first removed the cord from the neck and at the same time asked paramedics to prepare the baby resuscitation kit. I pinched her to see if she's responding, and she started to cry," he said.

Paramedics also treated the mother, who was in good condition at that point. The paramedic said: "We treat everyone"

Meanwhile, the ambulance driver raced to the scene. "We joined the military paramedic and helped him cut off the umbilical cord…without the medical treatment, the fetus and woman faced genuine life danger," said the driver. "It was touching, but I couldn't help but think that a few meters from there, people were sitting Shiva for another baby, who was murdered, I was touched to see the face of the new baby, but I also thought about the face of the murdered baby." The head of the Magen David Adom team at Neve Tzuf, said this was not the first time settlers assist Palestinians in distress. "They know we have a skilled medical team here, and in any case of accident or injury they arrive and we help them," he said.

The paramedic noted that on the day of the Fogel massacre, settlers saw fireworks and celebrations in nearby Palestinian communities, but added that the local medical team is committed to assisting anyone in need. "Two years ago, we also made sure to treat a terrorist who attempted to place a bomb on the road and was shot by soldiers," he said.

Palestinians from the nearby village of Nabi Salah gathered around the paramedics along with the new grandmother and could not hide their joy. "They thanked us and told us they named the girl Jude," said the paramedic. "I volunteered for Magen David Adom since age 15 and it's the first time I witnessed childbirth. It was an amazing feeling, to hold the girl that was just born in my arms, and to know that in this complex place we did something good."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Israel Navy Uncovers Weaponry on-board Cargo Vessel

Today, the Israeli Navy intercepted the cargo vessel "Victoria" loaded with various weaponry. The vessel, flying under a Liberian flag, was intercepted some 200 miles west of Israel's coast.

This incident was part of the Navy's routine activity to maintain security and prevent arms smuggling, in light of IDF security assessments.

The force was met with no resistance from the crew on-board.

The vessel is now being led by the Israeli Navy to an Israeli port for further searches and detailed inspection of the cargo.The vessel was on its way from Mersin Port in Turkey to Alexandria Port in Egypt.According to assessments, the various weaponry on-board the vessel was intended for the use of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.

Official responses note that Turkey is not tied to the incident in any way.

Israel alerted Germany authorities about the interception of the "Victoria" due to the German ownership of the ship. In addition, the government of Liberia, whose flag it was flying under, was notified, as well as France, due to the French shipping company.

The vessel's crew and content is being transferred to an Israeli port for questioning and further inspection.

The Israeli army is continuing its intelligence and operational activities in order to maintain Israel's security interests and prevent arms smuggling that will fuel the terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

Since 2001, there have been repeated attempts to smuggle weapons under the guise of legitimate commerce, using ships, flags and ports of blameless countries. A record of previous attempts can be found at .

Netanyahu stated that "we had a solid basis that onboard the ship was weaponry destined for use against Israel. Considerable weaponry – which was destined for terrorist forces in the heart of Gaza – was found onboard the vessel. The operation was carried out at sea in accordance with all international rules. The weaponry originated in Iran, which is trying to arm the Gaza Strip."

Monday, March 7, 2011

In Apartheid Week - Two More Israeli Products to Boycott

The sheep-like bleating of the BDS campaigners (Boycott, divestment and sanctions) suggesting that Israel is an Apartheid State, is so far from reality. If only these campaigners were prepared to listen to the facts. But, of course, this is too simple - "don't confuse me with facts" they say.

Perhaps BDS is better defined as "Blackmail, Deligitimisation and Slander", this seems to me rather more appropriate.

So if it is the intention to boycott Israeli products, let's stop being hypocritical, stop being choosey. Here are another two products that can be boycotted.

a) SpineAssist – an Israeli invention – is revolutionizing delicate spinal surgery.

Many patients scheduled for a major spinal operation naturally worry that they might find themselves in a wheelchair due to a surgical error, or simple bad luck. While this happens only rarely, it is a possibility.

The results of orthopedic surgery are as good as the specialist who performs it – but today, the risk is much reduced. Not only is there computer-assisted navigation for hip replacement, for example (introduced in the past decade), but now there is a robot that guides orthopedic surgeons in performing operations customized for each patient’s anatomy. The world’s first such robotic system, called SpineAssist, is Israeli – based on the work of a scientist at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and marketed around the world by Mazor Robotics ( of Caesarea.

b) New non-invasive,radiation-free lung imaging system.

The FDA recently approved a groundbreaking system created by Deep Breeze, Ltd, an Israeli company in Or Akiva. It is viewed by some as the most important breakthrough innovation and another amazing Israeli innovation.Please watch video.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Israeli Invention Saves London's Water

Working with infrastructure companies in London, an Israeli start up, TaKaDu measures and monitors the changing pressure and flow throughout London’s water system. The World Bank stresses that solutions to address water leaks and inefficient practices are sorely needed, as drips and leaks amount to a hefty $15 billion in global funds annually - money just literally going down the drain. Generally, municipal workers don't know there is a problem until a pipe bursts. And as many American cities have found out recently, burst pipes - now occurring randomly across the country - cause millions of dollars of damage.

Based on statistical and mathematical algorithms from online and historical data provided by a waterworks source, TaKaDu software can detect leaks and prioritize and confirm repairs. It requires no additional technology or upfront investment on the client's side. With a return of investment of 250 percent within a day, TaKaDu's model is a pay-as-you-play (or monitor) model.

Plugging the world's leaks

Already working in London, TaKaDu now has a contract with Thames Water of London to create a central nervous system for the city's water pipes. The company has also developed software to enable a smart water grid. This high-tech online software, now being used in Rotterdam, Sydney and Melbourne, gives water infrastructure companies a way to manage and monitor leaks and repairs before any damage is done.

The Thames trial lasted six months before the municipal company decided to award TaKaDu a full contract. The system is monitoring the water serving 75 percent of the population in London. The water savings of two percent, though that sounds small, is significant, translating to hundreds of megaliters per day.

Mainly, however, London is counting on TaKaDu to save money. If water companies in England don't manage repairs in a timely manner, they get fined. "We are talking about millions of pounds per year," says VP Marketing Guy Horowitz. Monitoring some 10,000 kilometers of pipes in London alone, TaKaDu estimates that it saved the British capital millions of pounds in fines over the last year.

"As we do every year, we are currently stepping up all our leakage reduction activity before the winter chill sets in," Thames Water CEO Steve Shine reported last fall. "Our new TaKaDu central nervous system helps us focus our efforts in the right places and the right times."

'It's all on our roadmap'

While the company is still in startup mode, there is hope of breaking even by the end of the year - with the $10 million invested so far being funneled toward making the world's cities, like London, better managed.

Customers have not yet been found in the esteemed market of the United States simply because American water works companies are too far behind the times. "The prerequisite is that we need something [some data] to work with," says Horowitz. The situation could change, though, if the US Environment Protection Agency makes water companies accountable for providing data. Then, the sky would be the limit.

"There is so much we can do with the same algorithms," says Horowitz, who can boast what he thinks is a world record on a patent application for the technology.
"We've got so much on our hands. It's all on our road map. We want to grow and do it all properly," says Horowitz, who is proud that his company was the only Israeli one represented at Davos, selected by the World Economic Forum for its sound business development.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rowing Helps Cancer Survivors and the Disabled

The Daniel Rowing Centre in Tel Aviv caters to disabled Israeli athletes, breast cancer survivors and at-risk kids, but is open to anyone looking for an effective and fun way to get fit.

Many of the 53 members of the Daniel Rowing Centre in Tel Aviv began rowing as part of their physical rehabilitation program and turned it into a competitive sport.

One disabled former soldier who began at Daniel went on to represent Israel in the Beijing Paralympics. Now he's in training for the 2012 London games.

Others were referred to the center after breast cancer surgery as a way to strengthen arm muscles weakened by treatment and surgical procedures.

Opened in 2003, the center also has a Sea of Friends program for children at risk. But its latest task is getting the word out that rowing is beneficial to just about anyone.
See the video at