Good News Friday

It’s that time of year when our weeks are cut short or interrupted by festivals, and we get mixed up over which day it is. The day after Rosh Hashana (Wednesday) felt like Sunday because it was the day after a Shabbat-like festival, and yet the next day was Thursday! The graphic below (translation in the caption) describes what it feels like. Most discombobulating 🙂


That amazing moment when today is Sunday and tomorrow is Thursday

In any event that brings us to this week’s Good News Friday post even though I’m sure it’s only Wednesday 😀

My first item is from my old favourite, the biomed industry. Israeli scientists announced a possible breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimers (h/t Zvi):

Scientists from Tel Aviv University believe they have made a breakthrough that could help treat Alzheimer’s disease, the university said Wednesday.

Researchers lead by Professor Daniel M. Michaelson managed to change the nature of the APOE gene in mice, which has been associated with the debilitating, neuro-degenerative disease.

APOE4 is a very important and understudied target,” Michaelson said, but noted that this was only one dimension of attempts to find a cure for the disease. “Is there really a magic bullet? One treatment that covers all aspects of Alzheimer’s? Not likely,” he said.

The researchers found in the course of administering treatment that mice, which prior to the treatment exhibited disoriented behavior and seemed lost, were able following treatment to locate a submerged island in the middle of an artificial pond.

Halevai (if only) this will prove the beginning of a cure to this dreadful disease. Having experienced this illness “up close and personal” in a family member, a cure cannot come fast enough. Kol hakavod to Prof. Michaelson and all the other researchers involved. May their work continue to prove successful for the benefit of millions of sufferers and their families worldwide.

Since we’re talking about technology, here’s another item. Intel Israel announced the world’s smartest office building – right here in Petach Tikva!

The world’s smartest office building is being built in Petah Tikva, according to (and belonging to) Israel’s largest high-tech company, Intel Israel. The new 34,000-square-meter complex is expected to house 2,500 development personnel.

Intel Israel building in Petach Tikva

Intel Israel building in Petach Tikva

Intel Israel recently laid the cornerstone for its new campus, which is based on IoT technology.

“The new building will bring together employees currently working in 13 buildings, and will enhance cooperation between the different groups,” Maxine Fassberg, Intel Israel CEO and Intel Group vice president, said in a statement. “The construction of this campus emphasizes the importance of our presence in Israel and reflects our values: innovation, technology and green construction. We have found real partners in the Petah Tikva Municipality, who have helped us realize this vision.”

Employees who choose to disclose personal information, will enable the smart building to help save energy and water, and fine-tune machine learning. The smart building will learn every employee’s habits from preferred working environment to what kind of coffee he or she likes.

In this day and age of privacy and online security concerns, I very much like the idea that employees can choose whether to disclose personal information. And if this disclosure helps preserve the environment and save energy, so much the better.

Kol hakavod to the architects and to Intel Israel – and to Petach Tikva (Yay! We’re on the map! Again! ☺. Let no one ever again say nothing ever happens in Petach Tikva!)

And on the subject of my dear old home town, it looks like the praise heaped on the municipality by Intel’s CEO is well-justified. A few weeks ago the Petach Tikva mayor, Itzik Braverman, decided to surprise the locals by hiding in the back of a cab to get their impressions and listen to complaints and requests (via Gillian):

Itzik Braverman seems to take his role as mayor for the people quite literally.

In September, the Petah Tikva public administrator decided to connect with residents by riding in a taxi for a day and asking real passengers their opinions on the city.

Petah Tikva Mayor Itzik Braverman, right, talking with a resident in a screen shot from the video.

Petah Tikva Mayor Itzik Braverman, right, talking with a resident in a screen shot from the video.

“I decided to surprise riders hailing a taxi,” Braverman, 58, wrote in a Facebook post. “I was a passenger in the back seat of a cab and rode in the taxi as the driver picked up people. The passengers were surprised to see me. We spoke, I listened to their wishes and complaints, and I heard good feedback about some of the changes in the city since I took office.”

Kol hakavod to Mayor Braverman, who must have known that this was a risky venture. I wonder how many other city mayors would be as brave. Nevertheless it appears that many residents are happy with his service so far, despite the complaints and suggestions. Now all we need is for the mayor to take heed of the complaints and suggestions!

Jumping to another theme altogether, here is a great #BDS Fail (via Brian Goldfarb): The online holiday rental site Airbnb banished an Amsterdam host who refused service to Israelis:

The company said it removed the Amsterdam-based host named “Maria” from the website after she rejected a request by four Israeli tourists with the following explanation: “I support the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement and will therefore not accept guests of Israeli citizenship until there has been a significant change in the question of Palestine. So unless you are well documented activists who work for a peaceful solution to the problem (for whom I will be very happy to make an exception) you will have to look elsewhere.”

Outrageous anti-Israel message from a since-barred Airbnb host

Outrageous anti-Israel message from a since-barred Airbnb host

An Airbnb representative told The Algemeiner that, “Discrimination like this has no place on the Airbnb platform and our policies prohibit hosts from declining a guest because of who they are, where they come from, how they worship or whom they love,” adding that the company “acted to permanently ban this host from our community approximately two hours after we learned of this incident.”

I am delighted to see the swift and decisive response of Airbnb. Of course it should go without saying that this would be the natural response of any unbiased rental company, but in today’s climate it is not a given at all. Kol hakavod to Airbnb, and to the Israeli vacationers who did not take the rejection lying down.

And now, one more item to soothe our souls before the beginning of this Shabbat Shuva, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. This is a beautiful video (link here) with glorious aerial views of Israel (via Reality and RRW):

Enjoy! Shabbat Shalom everyone!

This entry was posted in Boycotts and BDS, Israel news, Slice of Israeli life, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. Pingback: Good News Friday – 24/6 Magazine

  2. DP-PT says:

    Great video clip. Can you let us know the link please.

  3. Reality says:

    A great blog of course as usual! I’m so proud that PT is on the map with this smart building,now to make a smart building committee for all of us! As for our mayor,good for him.
    Re the Alzheimer’s discovery,may those researches go from strength to strength and find a cure quickly.
    Shabbat Shalom

  4. YJ Draiman says:

    Re: Israel – To whom it may concern in Europe, Asia, Far East, South America, the US and elsewhere r10

    Re: Israel – To whom it may concern in Europe, Asia, Far East, South America, the US and elsewhere r10

    We are tired of hearing that withdrawal from Judea and Samaria which is Jewish land will bring peace. We know and you know that it would bring another Gaza a terrorist entity. So stop saying it and promoting this deceptive and delusional fallacy. Past experience has proven that concessions, appeasement and land for peace only increased terror, violence and more conflict and hostilities.

    We are tired of hearing that land beyond the Green Line is ‘Arab-Palestinian land’. The Green Line is simply an armistice line that has no political significance. You know this too. The 1919 Faisal Weizmann Agreement and The The San Remo Treaty of 1920 Granted the Mandate for Palestine to the Jewish people, confirmed by the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne, the same Allied powers also established 21 Arab States and one Jewish State – The Arabs are not willing to give up any part of the 21 Arab States with over 12 million sq. km. and the Jews are not willing to give up any part of the Jewish State which encompasses all of The Land of Israel aka Palestine about 120,000 sq. km.

    We are tired of hearing about the “Arab-Palestinian people.” They are no different from the Arabs of Syria or Egypt, from which most of their ancestors migrated in the last 150 years or so most of them illegally. There is no Arab-Palestinian language or religion, and until very recently they considered themselves simply ‘Arabs’. Their culture is almost entirely defined by their opposition to the Jewish State. Teaching hate, violence and terror to their children and honoring terrorists. There never was an Arab-Palestinian State or people in History. The Arab Palestinians have a State in Jordan which is about 80% of the land originally allocated to the Jewish people under the San Remo Treaty of 1920 and confirmed by the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne.

    We are tired of hearing that “the Arab-Palestinians deserve a state.” We are the remaining indigenous here, not them, and their behavior entitles them more to a trial at The Hague than to a State. The Arab- Palestinians have a State it is called Jordan which was carved out of Jewish allocated land in 1922, in violation of the treaty of 1920 and other Agreements.
    And they certainly do not deserve our Jewish State, west of the Jordan river, which is the only State they want. They already took about 80% of Jewish allocated land which is Jordan, expelled the Jews and confiscated their assets and prohibited Jews from owning property and or residing in Jordan. The Jordan state is a country that never existed in history before WWI. Israel against better judgment also gave them the Gaza Strip which they use to attack Israel.

    We are tired of hearing about ‘The Occupation’, it is “Liberated Jewish Land”. As Minister Naftali Bennett said the other day, you can’t be an occupier in your own land. The Arabs are the occupiers, Greater Israel has been a Jewish territory for about 4,000 years even if it was temporarily conquered and occupied by various nations over the centuries.

    We are tired of hearing that “settlements are illegal under international law.” They are not. The San Remo Treaty of 1920 and the Mandate terms, explicitly stated that Jewish people can reside anywhere in the Mandate for Palestine, those terms have not been abrogated and are set in perpetuity. It allocated The Palestine Mandate for the Jewish people. It does not state it is allocated to any other people and confirmed by the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne.

    We are tired of hearing that “settlement construction is an obstacle to peace.” Arab rejectionism, destruction, violence, terrorism and suicide bombing is the reason there is no peace. When the Arab-Palestinians teach and preach hate, suicide bombing, terror and destruction to their children, this is definitely not a road to peace and coexistence.
    By the way, we are pro-peace. We are just not pro-suicide and self destruction.

    We are tired of hearing about the 5 million (or whatever ridiculous number there are alleged to be) ‘Arab-Palestinian refugees’ or the ‘Arab-Palestinian Diaspora’. There were about 600,000 Arabs in Israel 300,000 that left their homes in 1948, mostly of their own volition and at the urging of the 5 Arab invading armies, more or less at the same time as the over a million Jewish families and their children were terrorized and expelled from Arab countries, of which the Arabs confiscated all their assets, personal, businesses, homes and Real Estate over 120,000 sq, km. – 75,000 sq. miles (which is 6 times the size of Israel) valued in the trillions of dollars. We resettled ours million refugees that the Arabs expelled, with limited land and resources — resettle yours (on the land and homes you confiscated from the Jewish people and or Jordan), the 21 Arab states have more land and resources. The Arab dis-information and deception must be ignored and countered.

    We are tired of hearing anything from anyone associated with the U.N. The U.N. is a parasitic, fraudulent and criminal enterprise dominated by our mortal enemies. The U.N. cannot create states, it can only recommend and so can other nations only recommend and not create a state that never existed before in history. If they want an Arab-Palestinian state, it already exists, it is Jordan which has taken about 80% of Jewish allocated historical land. They also have the land the Arabs Countries confiscated from the expelled million Jewish people which is 6 times the size of Israel (120,000 sq. km. or 75,000 sq. miles).

    We are tired of stupid post-colonialist rhetoric. We are not ‘colonists’ and Arabs do not have the right to murder us in the name of ‘resistance’ or beheading Jewish Rabbi’s in Jerusalem’s Har Nof Synagogue, stabbing and car jamming. Talking this way reveals you as moral imbeciles. They train their children to be suicide bombers and terrorists. The Arabs are the colonialists, they have colonized the whole Middle East, expelled the Jews and now the Christians, and they will complete the take over Europe soon, and proceed to the U.S. and Canada etc.
    You can not recognize a state and people that never existed and that has no borders, no single government, and no economy. They are not trusted by the Arab states either. Kuwait expelled over 400,000 Arab-Palestinians.

    We know we can not depend on any kind of security guarantee from anyone except the Israel Defense Forces. So stop being insulted because we do not trust you. And do not ask us to give up any nuclear weapons we might or might not have or any other method and technology that could help protect us.

    If you hate us so much, give us back all our Medical technology that saved your lives. Give us back all our technology development that helped you advance economically and the list goes on and on.

    We know that the left-wing parties in Israel are bankrupt of ideas. We are not going to vote for them, no matter how much you would like us to. So do not bother trying to influence our election. We will only vote for a government that protects its people and cares about the Jewish heritage, more than it cares for world opinion.

    Don’t believe what you read in Ha’aretz newspaper, they represent a minority that has no allegiance to the Jewish heritage.

    Jerusalem, undivided, is the capital of the Jewish State of Israel. Get used to it, because you can not change it, the Jewish temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. It was never a Capital of any other nation.

    The Arabs killed the Jews in Medina aka Yathrib which was a Jewish city for thousands of years.

    Ordinary Israelis who care about their safety, security, heritage and ancestry.

    YJ Draiman

    No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel –
    David Ben Gurion
    (David Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel and widely hailed as the State’s main founder).
    “No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel.
    No Jew has the authority to do so.
    No Jewish body has the authority to do so.
    Not even the entire Jewish People alive today has the right to yield any part of Israel.
    It is the right of the Jewish People over the generations, a right that under no conditions can be cancelled.
    Even if Jews during a specific period proclaim they are relinquishing this right, they have neither the power nor the authority to deny it to future generations.
    No concession of this type is binding or obligates the Jewish People. Our right to the country – the entire country – exists as an eternal right, and we shall not yield this historic right until its full and complete redemption is realized.”
    (David Ben Gurion, Zionist Congress, Basel, Switzerland, 1937.)
    “No country in the world exists today by virtue of its ‘right’.
    All countries exist today by virtue of their ability to defend themselves against those who seek their destruction.”

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