Another in my Good News Friday series.
This week’s good news comes in the form of a very talented Jewish young woman from America, Aly Reisman, who won 2 medals in gymnastics in the London Olympics. But not only is Aly a wonderful gymnast, she is also a proud Jew who did not hesitate to identify with the request for a minute’s silence in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the Munich Olympics of 1972.
Jewish American Olympian Aly Raisman honored the memory of slain Israeli athletes after she took gold in the women’s floor exercise Tuesday. Raisman, whose routine was set to the music of Hava Nagilah, said she would have supported a decision to observe a moment of silence in honor of the Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich games.
“If there had been a moment’s silence, I would have supported it and respected it,” she said.
Though she made clear her support for remembering the Israelis, she did not choose her routine’s music for political reasons, she said. “Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” Raisman said. “But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”
Just watch her exercise – it’s breathtaking!
My next item returns to a favourite them of mine, Israel’s technological advances. Two Israeli desert research institutes have combined their resources to create a solar-powered desert oasis which could ease world hunger. (via Israel 21C).
Growing the most crop per drop of water is an Israeli specialty. With little rain and a hot desert sun as unforgiving as the Sahara, Israel’s high-tech researchers and farmers have combined their expertise to grow a cornucopia of salt-tolerant crops in dry desert conditions. People from hungry countries far and wide come to learn from Israel’s expertise.
Now, a new research project by two desert research institutes has strung several Israeli agriculture and clean-tech specialties together to help alleviate world hunger and push back the desert through an artificial desert oasis using low-cost desalination technology that runs on solar power.
A small model is up and running in the desert north of the Dead Sea, while the researchers aim to build a larger testing and training facility for agronomists from across Israel and other countries.
This new desert oasis, engineered by researchers from Ben-Gurion University and the Central and Northern Arava Research and Development center, follows decades of Israeli accomplishments in plant genetics married with desalination and solar energy advances.
The solar-powered model oasis, located on a quarter of an acre near the Dead Sea, is successfully sustaining four different crops. Each system would be custom-made to maximize each customer’s particular crop needs and energy availability.
This is good news for regions in the Middle East and Africa where micro-farmers are losing ground to desertification.
A 1.25-acre area has been leased to develop into an operational demonstration site and field school where Israel’s thousands of agricultural visitors could come to learn the new oasis method every year. Learning directly from the people who built it could be a life-changing experience for those looking to farm for their future, such as the Nigerian rebels who come to Israel to learn how to trade their weapons for plows.
Once again, kol hakavod to Israeli scientists and researchers who work to make the world a better place, despite the BDS-ers and bigots who strive to isolate Israel.
And to finish up for Shabbat, my last piece of good news is that it’s our wedding anniversary (32 years!) and we are spending the weekend up north in a kibbutz hotel not far from the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Israel 21C comes to the rescue once again with a list of 10 things to do at the Kinneret, though most of them sound much too energetic for me! :-).
Shabbat shalom everyone!