Guest Post: Good News Friday

This week’s Good News Friday installment is provided by reader and frequent commenter Reality.

Well thank Goodness its Friday again so soon after enjoying our “holiday of Freedom” (from work !!).

As we all raced back to get our houses back in order, restock our fridges and cook again for Shabbat (so much for the season of freedom from slavery!) several good things have been happening.

Anat Admati

The first is that an Israeli woman has made the Time 100 list:

Economist Anat Admati has been praised for challenging the accepted views on the banking system.

“Admat’is new book “The Bankers new Clothes co-written by Martin Hellwig has inspired finanacial decision makers to re-think their understanding of banking and global economies…”

Well done Anat Admati! Seeing as I can hardly figure out my bank account here I’m really impressed!

From left to right, Israeli Arab players Hanin Gamal Nasser, Walaa Hussien and Noura Abu-Shanab pose with their coach during a practice session in Petach Tikva

The second item comes from our own home grown women’s football team here in Petach Tikva. This really appealed to me as I didn’t even know we had a women’s football team (me too! -anneinpt) but there you are – it goes to show we should become more active in our own towns!

“Arab Israeli women break barriers on the soccer field”:

Players on Hapoel Petah Tikva squad find harmony despite larger social tensions.

When the Israeli women’s soccer team Hapoel Petah Tikva lost a number of its players to Israel’s national team ahead of World Cup qualifiers, founder Rafi Subra made a decision that sets the team apart from many of its rivals — he recruited from the Arab villages of northern Israel.

Arab Israelis, who complain of decades of discrimination in day-to-day life, are rare in the Israeli Women’s Premier League. Though one other team has a full Arab-Israeli roster, other men and women’s teams hardly ever field Arab-Israelis onto their squads.

For Hapoel Petah Tikva, the addition of five Arab-Israeli women has made waves in the league despite not being in the top rankings.

“The fact is, they integrated well,” Subra said. “They’re happy. We’re happy. The mix has been very successful.”


Shiran Schlechter, an Israeli player on the team and its team manager, said both the Jewish and Arab players got along well during the season, which saw Hapoel Petah Tikva have a 5-2-7 record.

“It’s funny because within the team we don’t have” that hate, Schlechter said. “I think to our credit we all fought together against that. None of us liked it. It bothered us all.”

Abu-Shanab, who is now a team captain, agreed that despite the racism she had faced from other teams, there was no conflict within the team itself.

“There is no difference between Arab or Israeli players. We are united; like one hand,” she said.

Kol hakavod to Rafi Subra. He’s not only put Hapoel Petach Tikva women’s football on the map but he’s contributing to peace in a very real way. Would that politicians (especially undaunted hyperactive American ones) take a leaf out of his book –  we would have had peace many years ago. (Actually this is what Netanyahu spoke about a long long while back when he said that we should create peace not only through negotiations but through building blocks, starting with small things and working up to a joint economy, financial building together, and then – when we all trust each other – to discuss borders. But that’s another whole issue.)

Writer/director Talya Lavie at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 2014

My next item really appealed to me. An Israeli sort of “Private Benjamin” movie about the boredom and trials and tribulations of Israeli women in the army has wowed New York ‘s Tribeca film festival.

It’s “M*A*S*H” meets “Girls”! No, it’s “Catch-22″ meets “Broad City!” No, it’s… its own original thing?

One of the most discussed and praised movies at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival is “Zero Motivation,” a modestly-budgeted comic take on boredom and postponed dreams among young women in the Israeli Defense Forces. With her first feature-length project, writer-director Talya Lavie blows the lid off of stuffing envelopes, shredding paper, serving coffee and on-base dating hassles while soldiers waste time with “Minesweeper” and “FreeCell.”

Along the way she tells a touching story of three women — rebellious Zohar (Dana Ivgy), discontented Daffi (Nelly Tagar) and their gruff-yet-overwhelmed commander Rama (newcomer Shani Klein) whose hopes of rising in the ranks are unfortunately tethered to her not quite ship-shape squad.

With a script that is extremely funny and a little bit sad, “Zero Motivation” walks a fine line between wacky farce and the brutal realism of the mundane.

I personally can’t wait to see the movie. Well done Talya Lavie for portraying our young teenage women soldiers as exactly that. Not the brutal child killers that are portrayed in the media around the world.

And finally how can we go into Shabbat without some good news on the medical front?  Israelis working with foreign researchers have done promising research on preventing some brain maladies, including discovering that a blood pressure drug could end injury-caused epilepsy:

Scientists from Ben Gurion University together with those from University of California, Berkeley, and Charite-University Medicine in Germany found that losartan (marketed under the brand name Cozaar), a common blood pressure medication, significantly cut down seizures in rats that suffered head trauma due to injuries, according to a study published in the current issue of the Annals of Neurology.


“This is a very exciting result, telling us that the drug worked to prevent the development of epilepsy and not by suppressing the symptoms,” Friedman said. “Since breakdown of the blood-brain barrier may also be associated with other complications, including bleeding and changes in cognitive functions, we are expecting that our approach will prevent complications other than epilepsy.”

Kol hakavod to these scientists for helping alleviated further problems after brain trauma.  Once again Israeli researchers and scientists are at the forefront of biomedical advances for the good of all humankind.

After all that I will go and prepare Shabbat in a better frame of mind! I wish all our readers Shabbat Shalom and a good week

  • Reality

Anne adds:

Reality, thank you so much for this excellent Good News Friday edition. You have saved me while domestic crises are taking up most of my time. I look forward to further contributions from you.

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

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3 Responses to Guest Post: Good News Friday

  1. Linda says:

    Thank you for Reality! And I hope you will soon be looking back at the domestic crisis (crises?!) and that they have all be solved. Shabbat shalom.

  2. JudyPT says:

    Reality,great post ,are you going into competition with Anne?I enjoy your regular comments they show a lot of common sense.Will the film have English subtitles? My hebrew is not up to scratch when it comes to films.Hope so.

  3. cba says:

    “There is no difference between Arab or Israeli players.”

    Aren’t they ALL Israeli players? Just some are Jews and some are Arabs.

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