I was hoping for some really good news from the British elections yesterday, but unfortunately that was not to be. It could have been worse is about the best we can say. But more about that after Shabbat.
For now I shall post some other good news items for today’s Good News Friday post.
First and foremost was the visit of the US’s Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to Israel for a 3 day visit. Ms. Haley is a staunch supporter of Israel and it was so heart-warming to hear her words of support for Israel, particularly on the issue of the UN:
The winds at the United Nations are changing to Israel’s benefit, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Wednesday in Jerusalem, during her first-ever visit to Israel, calling the international body a “bully.”
“We’re starting to see a turn in New York. I think they know they can’t keep responding in the way they’ve been responding,” she said at a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to countries that routinely bash the Jewish state at the UN’s various agencies.
“They sense that the tone has changed. We were talking with some ambassadors in Geneva that are all on the Human Rights Council, and we talked to them about Agenda Item 7,” Haley said. “Some of them were embarrassed by it. They acknowledge the fact that it just makes no sense.”
On Tuesday, at a speech in Geneva, Haley had urged the council to abandon Agenda Item 7 (“the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”), which singles out Israel for perpetual censure. If the 47-member body failed to do so, the US would quit and seek to promote human rights in other forums, she threatened.
There is no legitimate human rights reason for this agenda item to exist,” she said later Tuesday, at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, hours before taking off for Tel Aviv. “It is the central flaw that turns the Human Rights Council from an organization that can be a force for universal good, into an organization that is overwhelmed by a political agenda.”
Welcoming her in his office Wednesday morning, Netanyahu thanked the US envoy and US President Donald Trump for their staunch support of Israel, including in international bodies such as the UN.
Nikki Haley is unusually modest about her success, which makes her all the more of a mensch in my eyes:
Haley said she was surprised by the tremendous love Israelis have showered her with.
“You know, that’s all I’ve done — tell the truth — and the reaction is kind of overwhelming,” she said. “It was a habit. It was something that we’re so used to doing. And if there’s anything I have no patience for it is bullies, and the UN was being such a bully to Israel, because they could.”
Telling the truth in a hostile international forum is not a given, and is no easy job as we Israelis have learned. Kol hakavod to this wonderful ambassador, who is beautiful both inside and out.
Ms. Haley didn’t just stay in air-conditioned offices. She made a personal trip to the Kotel, and unlike other officials, she rejected the private space organized for her, preferring to pray with all the other worshippers who crowded up to the Western Wall:
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Wednesday, and was greeted by throngs who expressed their gratitude to her at the Jewish holy site.
Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch and Western Wall Heritage Foundation director Mordechai Eliav met Haley and explained the history and meaning of the site. Although a special section had been cordoned off for the envoy to pray alone, she went to stand with the other people in the crowded women’s section and spent a few minutes touching the wall. As she left she was surrounded by a large group of people who called out thanks to her for standing up for Israel.
Haley told those around her how moved she was by the reception she received in Israel, but said she was simply telling the truth in defending Israel at the UN.
Afterwards she was taken to the Western Wall tunnels where she signed the visitors’ book.
“My heart is full, and my life will change after the visit,” she wrote. “It was a blessing to experience a holy place with spiritual people full of love. May God bless whoever comes to the Western Wall.”
She was also honest enough to admit her surprise at the tiny size of Israel:
Haley said that her first visit to Israel showed her a reality that she had not expected, Channel 2 news reported. She was surprised by how short the distance was from Tulkarem, a town in the Palestinian Authority, to Netanya, an Israeli coastal city — only some 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) away as the crow flies.
Israellycool has a beautiful pictorial post about Haley’s visit to the Kotel, saying this is what a true friend looks like:
She is there, praying, in her own world, among a crowd of people. There is no showmanship here, which may have been indicated had she insisted the area be cordoned off just for her.
Nikki Haley also ventured out of Jerusalem and toured the Hamas-built terror tunnels in southern Israel:
I wish there were more politicians and diplomats like Nikki Haley. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if she ended up being President of the US?
Time for just one more item today, from Israel’s bio-medical field (via Reality): In what sounds like something out of science fiction, the Israeli company CollPlant is to print 3D human organs from tobacco-derived collagen:
Replacing human organs with printable ones may sound like science fiction, but research is currently being conducted on the transplantation of an artificial kidney, liver and even a heart.
Israeli biomed firm CollPlant recently established a new division that will 3D-print organs and tissues using a unique biological ink it is currently developing. CollPlant, a regenerative medicine company, is developing a collagen-based bio-ink intended for use in 3D printers that print organs, using various technologies. The company extracts the collagen from locally grown tobacco leaves.
According to Yehiel Tal, CollPlant’s CEO, over the past several months, “we have substantially ramped up our activities in the 3D printing field… The collagen protein is a key building block in connective tissues in the human body, and therefore is ideal for use as biological ink.”
He adds that the company’s product ‘rhCollagen’ is “suitable for use in humans, due to its superior homogeneity, its high safety profile and the fact that it does not cause an immunological reaction.”
CollPlant is currently developing a number of formulations of biological ink for various indications, and is working with several large international companies, with the aim of collaborating on the development of organ and tissue printing. Ravit Levrann, a spokeswoman for CollPlant, tells NoCamels the company grows tobacco in greenhouses in order to produce ‘human’ collagen, which is used in the bio-ink that will eventually 3D-print tissues and organs.
What a mind-bogglingly brilliant development! Kol hakavod to CollPlant and its research team. I wish them every success so that they can save the lives of thousands of patients.
And with this happy thought, I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!