Good News Friday

After a week of bad news it’s a relief to find it’s time for another Good News Friday post.

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (via CC Wiki creative commons licence)

Since this last week has been full of boycotts and badmouthing of Israel, it’s wonderful to be able to report that the prestigious European nuclear facility Israel has been accepted by CERN as a full member:

Israel will be the atomic research center’s 21st official member and its first non European associate.
The resolution to accept Israel was unanimously adopted by the CERN Council in its Thursday session.
CERN, located in Switzerland, operates the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, which creates high-energy collisions of subatomic particles.
[...]
Israel’s admission to the research facility will allow the country to participate in tenders related to the particle accelerator, to be represented in the management of the organization and to submit applications for scholarships for Israeli students.
“The Israeli scientific community has brought a great deal to CERN over the years,” CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said. “I am looking forward to welcoming Israel as our 21st Member State and to intensifying our collaboration.”
Israel will have to allocate close to $14.3 million a year to the institute, Haaretz reported.
[...]
“This is a day of pride and satisfaction for Israeli science and we congratulate all the scientists involved in this achievement and whose abilities bring honor to the State of Israel,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said following CERN’s announcement.
“The decision is also an impressive achievement for Israeli diplomacy and a sign of respect to the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has led this effort for many years,” he said.

It is indeed extremely good news for Israel on the scientific and diplomatic fronts. It is a kick in the teeth for the BDS brigade and a huge boost to Israeli national morale. It is also very good news for Europe itself which stands to gain enormously from Israel’s technological and scientific advancement. Kol hakavod to all those involved in this venture.

Hungary seeks an alternative gas supply to Russia as European Union and Russia on a collision course over the South Stream pipeline

More good news out of Europe is that Hungary is hungry for Israeli gas as an alternative to its Russian supply:

Hungary is looking to Israel and its newfound natural gas to help it shake its dependency on Russian energy, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview in Tel Aviv on Friday, following a two-day visit.

“Hungary is very dependent on Russian gas. We heat 80% of our houses with gas and import 90% of our gas from Russia,” Szijjártó said. “Being so dependent means that you’re quite defenseless.”

In a meeting with Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Szijjártó offered Israel access to Hungary’s 7 billion cubic meters of state-owned gas storage.

“We could be a central European distribution hub for Israeli gas, and hope we will learn about your export strategy as soon as possible,” Szijjártó said. The other fields in which he hoped to strengthen ties included water, agriculture, and innovation.

There is more about the troubles between Russia and the EU over energy supply lines at this link (also linked in the map above).

If this deal would go through it would greatly benefit both countries with the added bonus of reducing Russia’s hegemony in the region. Here’s wishing much success to this new Israeli-Hungarian relationship.

Evgeny Kissin and Zubin Mehta at concert (photo from LevG / WikiCommons)

More anti-boycott good news comes from the pianist Evgeny Kisisn who made a brave, principled and public stance against BDS :

One of the guest artists who performs with the orchestra, is two-time Grammy winning Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin.

A critic for the New York Times called Kissin “one of the most uncannily accomplished pianists of modern times.” He plays to full houses around the world and is one of the celebrities in the world of classical music.

Last Saturday night, Kissin received Israeli citizenship. The Times of Israel reports:

Though Kissin, 42, has no plans to reside permanently in Israel, the Moscow native was granted approval by senior government officials for his citizenship request, which he filed for last year.

“There are other Jewish musicians who reach Kissin’s level of musical talent, but it isn’t every day that so acclaimed a musician joins the fight for Israel so openly and so uncompromisingly,” Sharansky was quoted as saying in a Jewish Agency press release.

When he started the process of applying for Israeli citizenship, Kissin explained his decision with an expression of pride:

“I am a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state – and since long ago I have felt that Israel, although I do not live there, is the only state in the world with which I can fully identify myself, whose case, problems, tragedies and very destiny I perceive to be mine.

“If I, as a human being and artist represent anything in the world, it is my Jewish people, and therefore Israel is the only state on our planet which I want to represent with my art and all my public activities, no matter where I live.”

Kissin was also defiant, challenging those who disrupt concerts of Israelis to now disrupt his concerts too:

“When Israel’s enemies try to disrupt concerts of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra or the Jerusalem Quartet, I want them to come and make troubles at my concerts, too: because Israel’s case is my case, Israel’s enemies are my enemies, and I do not want to be spared of the troubles which Israeli musicians encounter when they represent the Jewish State beyond its borders.”

Kissin didn’t become an Israeli citizen just out of a sense of a pride. He also sees himself now as a representative of Israel who stands up to those who hate it.

Read the rest of the link and watch the video there. Words cannot describe how impressed and in awe I am of Evgeny Kissin. “Kol Hakavod” doesn’t sound strong enough for a man who has thrown the full force of his fame and good name to stand up for Israel. Would that there were hundreds more like him. We can take pride in the fact that a man such as Kissin has chosen to join our country and to make such a public call for support for Israel.

Regenecure “wrapping paper” to heal broken bones

Moving now to Israel’s vaunted bio-tech field, an Israeli biomedical company is creating a “wrapping paper” to heal broken bones faster and better:

“Break a leg” may be what people say when they want to wish someone luck, but breaking a leg is more than bad luck. That is especially true for elderly people, who’s weaker bones often lead to severe fractures and complications.
Thanks to the Israeli company Regenecure, that may no longer be the case. Regenecure is developing what can be understood as an intelligent wrapping paper that enables broken bones to heal faster, more smoothly and even compensate bone loss.

In medical terminology, this wrapping paper is called membrane implant. “Membranes in general are semi-selective materials. They allow certain materials to get through, while others cannot,” CEO Moshe Tzabari tells NoCamels.

When the Regenecure membrane is wrapped around the broken bone, it allows fluids to get through, but prevents cells, vigor or soft tissue from getting to the bone. This feature is crucial for the healing process.

[...]

Regenecure’s first product for human medicine will be in the dental market at the end of 2014. The membrane implant will enable bone growth that is needed for teeth implants. The European Market will be approached first. Once the product receives the European CE mark of approval, it will also be allowed in most countries outside the European Union. The US market will probably be entered last after gaining FDA approval. Regenecure will look to enter the market of human fractures in mid-2015.

In an even more distant future, Tzabari hopes the implant might even be used in cranial medicine for example, to reconstruct face bones after serious accidents. The company is currently in the trial period for this use.

Here is a video explaining how the Regenecure paper works:

This product sound ingenious. Kol hakavod to Moshe Tzabari and the researchers at Regenecure for their invention which will be of benefit to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

To conclude this week’s post I bring you two videos (h/t Reality and Elchanan) on related to this very subject: Israel’s innovations in Life Sciences. The inventions and developments shown in these videos are quite astonishing and I’m sure they will leave you wide-eyed in admiration.

Here is part I:

And here is part II:

Once again, kol hakavod to Israel’s scientists, researchers and bio-technological developers, working for the benefit of people throughout the world.

And with that I wish you all Shabbat shalom!

This entry was posted in Boycotts and BDS, Culture, Arts & Sports, energy sources, International relations, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. The ASA’s decision to boycott Israeli academics has led to some truly amazing consequences. See the following article:

    http://edgar1981.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/university-unions-in-shock-move-to.html

  2. Reality says:

    What a great post as always?Thank you for ending/starting the week with such a good blod.Kol Hakavod to Evgeny Kissin.What an amazing man.He should continue to go מחיל לחיל

  3. Naftali says:

    In addition, Israel signed a trade agreement with Indonesia. the worlds most populous Muslim country. I guess they missed the ASA resolutions

Add your comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s