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Sunday, July 30, 2006

World Prayer For Missing Israeli Soldiers

There is a call for Israelis to pray for the safety of the nations missing soldiers. Israel's chief rabbi is leading the prayer on August 1st.

( Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Yona Metzger, announced Thursday that he wanted to enlist 1 million Jews worldwide to recite the prayer simultaneously at 7 p.m., Israel time, on Aug. 1.

The prayer, composed by Metzger after Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas-led gunmen June 25 and Hezbollah combatants snatched reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser on July 12, is available in both Hebrew and English on the Web site

Although he is asking for his Jewish brethren to lift up prayers to the Almighty, I am sure he would not mind Christians (as long as they are pro-semitic) praying for their safety too.

Singapore Studies Venture Capital, Industry Relationship From Israelis

It looks like the kosher brethren from the middle east are going to help teach their friends from the far east how to network, research and raise funds for their businesses.

(Globes Online) A delegation of senior Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) officials visited Israel to study the Israeli model of cooperation and investment between research institutes and industry and venture capital funds. [...]

Opper said a Singaporean global study of industrial R&D found that the two leaders in patents for commercial use derived from academic research registered each year were Israel and Finland. Singapore therefore decided to focus its study on these two countries. Singapore is analyzing Israel's model for R&D and decided to send a delegation to Israel in order to view Israel's academic infrastructure and its R&D collaboration with industry.

When it comes to business, Israelis generally have a knack on how to operate one successfully. Despite the conflict, Israel seems to be still attracting businesses and governments seeking advice, technology or scientific help which is a testament to Israel's determination to thrive in the mid-east desert.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Brave Israeli Girl

(Hat Tip: Israelity)

A brave Israeli is deciding to head back up north in order to visit her home again.

(Melly-All Kinds of Writings) Tomorrow will be a week since we left northern Israel's war zone. By now everybody's feeling homesick and is willing to risk a couple of days at home with the sirens, the rockets, the explosions and the blasts. [...]

I have mixed feelings about going back north, of course, but even I feel the need for some home comforts in between the sirens and the rockets.

Hopefully her trip is a safe one, although she is considering volunteering in order to help out some Israelis still stuck in bomb shelters.

(Melly-All Kinds of Writings) I've been toying with the idea of volunteering to supply food in shelters around more northern towns where only the elderly and people with less means remained (it is estimated that about 2/3 of the northern population left the north). I don't know if I'm courageous enough to do this, though. Hopping between one rocket to the next to supply food, TP and water. I'll keep you posted.

Hopefully Melly can stay safe and comfort other along the way. My prayers (along with every other Israeli lover) are with you.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Israeli Couple Gets Married In Bomb Shelter

Not exactly the best place to celebrate the special occasion with the one you love, but these are interesting times in Israel, so any place will do.

( Shlomi Boskila and Maya Lugasi wed July 20 in northern Israel in the shelter because of ongoing Hezbollah rocket attacks, The Associated Press reported.

"This shows Hezbollah and Nasrallah that not even 20,000 missiles can destroy the happiness of the bride and groom," said Boskila, referring to HezbollahÂ’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.

Best wishes for the bride and groom, although I wonder where they are going to spend the honey moon?

Israeli Press-Sense Collaborates With Xerox

Despite the war in Lebanon, it looks like good news is still rolling out in the Kosher state--at least in the business arena.

(Globes Online) Israeli start up Press-Sense has expanded its cooperation with print technology giant Xerox. A week ago, the company reached an OEM agreement with Xerox Corporation (NYSE XRX) under which Press-sense will provide Xerox with the latest version of Xerox Web Services software. Press-Sense's income from the long-term collaboration with Xerox is expected to exceed $10 million. [...]

The latest collaboration between the companies enables Xerox to provide software that enables printing direct from the Internet. Xerox has integrated Press-sense's iWay Prime solution into its Web Services software. Customers will be able to use the solution to confirm or purchase printing jobs from a printing press through the company's website.

Xerox decided it would be better to partner with Press-Sense than to simply go it alone. Probably a wise move when entering any nation, especially Israel as some companies do not fare to well when entering the Jewish state.

Arnold Schwarzenegger And Thousands Rally For Israel

The "Governator" (aka Arnold Schwarzennegger) spoke at a rally in LA demonstrating not only his support for Israel, but Los Angeles support as well.

( "While we all regret the loss of innocent life, there is no doubt that Israel has the right to take all appropriate steps to keep its people safe.

"I have been to Israel many times," [Arnold Schwarzennegger] said. "I started in the '70s as a body-building champion. I went back in the '80s as the Terminator. I went back in the '90s to open my Planet Hollywood restaurant, and Israel was the first country that I visited after I became governor of the great state of California."

"There is nothing Israel wants more than to live in peace. That is why I am happy to be here to be supportive of that here today ...Am Israel Chai...I'll be back," said the governor.

As the war against Hezbollah continues, so does support for Israel worldwide. Rallies have been held in London, and some people have even created websites in order to support IDF soldiers fighting terrorists up north.

Although counter rallies have been held, they do not seem to be as large as the Pro Israel crowd.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Could Israel Resolve Our Energy Woes?

With gas prices becoming more of a burden worldwide, many people are looking for alternative sources of energy around the globe. With most resources either too costly or non-renewable, many people are looking towards the Sun--and Israel seems to be leading the way by reducing the cost.

(Israel 21st Century) "The future belongs to renewable energy," Brad Collins, Executive Director of the American Solar Energy Society told National Geographic News several years ago. Israel will play an integral part in building that future, particularly in light of a recently proposed Congressional bill granting Israel $120 million over five years for energy research and development. Frontrunners in the alternative arena, Israel's scientists are at the vanguard of finding innovative yet affordable fuel and energy options. [...]

"The process is similar to what we did as children where we used a magnifying glass to burn paper and etch our name onto wood. Here we use a mirror instead of a magnifying glass" to collect and concentrate solar power, says [company CEO and co-founder Ph.D Daniel] Kaftori. "At the focal point there is high intensity sunlight and heat which makes it possible to utilize the energy at a very high efficiency - much higher than in other solar technologies."

This technology has the optimal or best use around the "sun belt" region which is a region between 34 degrees latitude, north and south. This technology has the potential to benefit third world nations within the sunbelt, although people living in the northern United States, Canada, Russia and most of Europe will be unable to use it.

Testing has already begun in Israel (with positive results) and is expected to expand towards the US within a year.

Helping Out English Speaking IDF Soldiers

It looks like Jamal has posted a great idea over at the JBlogosphere site:

Got a request through a blog friend to help keep English-speaking IDF soldiers in good cheer -- for those presently serving, and for those who just got called up with emergency call-up orders.

Whether you can get some kids in a school to write emails with warm wishes and encouragement, or if you want to write your own funny stories, jokes, or send pictures -- now is your chance to use your creativity to bring a smile to English speaking IDF soldiers.

While the original request is for one specific soldier from his wife -- if the quality is good enough, I could probably have it all printed into a booklet for a bunch of soldiers. Now's your chance - don't just use your creativity for blogging something entertaining -- go ahead and cheer up an IDF soldier!

I think this is something that I might participate in! For all those interested, please email Jamal at: with the subject line "For IDF Soldiers."

Note: If you are sending off letters to IDF soldiers, comment here to let me know (with a website if you have one) and I'll get an unofficial list going on over here.

Israeli Electrode Could Aid Stroke Victims?

This miniature device may be the difference between a stroke victim walking away normally or suffering a disability for the rest of their life.

(Israel21c) The main problem in treating strokes has been the inability of effective drug delivery to the brain due to a mechanism called the "blood brain barrier," which prevents large-molecule drugs from entering the central nervous system (CNS).

A procedure developed by an Israel company, Brainsgate solves this life-threatening problem by stimulating the CNS' main nerve center - the spheno-palatine ganglion (SPG) - to increase blood flow to the brain. Called the Neuropath System, the technology is based on a miniature electrode implanted on the roof of the mouth within 24 hours following a stroke.

This technology is already being tested in India, Germany, Hungary, Israel and soon in America. The beautiful thing about this is that it is both simple and effective. The company even won an award for their idea, although CEO Avinoam Dayan seems to be shy of the spotlight (although it will help his company grow).

Hopefully this product will receive FDA approval in the next few years, and I would not be surprised to see this product become popular within the elderly community worldwide.

A Million Dollars Raised For Jewish Children

A Jewish organization has committed to donating one million dollars in order to transport children from cities being bombed in the north towards camps in the center of the Kosher state.

( The United Jewish Communities committed $1 million toward a Jewish Agency for Israel effort to evacuate children living near fighting in northern Israel. [...]

"The ability to raise $1 million in a couple of hours for children on the confrontation line is an expression of the feeling of our common destiny," said the agencyÂ’s chairman, Zeev Bielski. Nearly a dozen North American federations are committing funds to the effort, as are the Jewish Agency, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal.

The funds will allow Jewish children to enroll in camps, with the latest donation allowing 2,000 kids to begin attending these camps within a week. This will allow parents to continue working in dangerous cities and perhaps give the children a chance to breathe and play without the threat of bombings.

"Fruity Research" May Curb Cancer Growth

Researches at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture may have found a way to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells without the use of chemotherapy.

(Israel21c) [Professor Oded] Shoseyov and his team focused the actions of actibind, a protein that is produced by the black mold Aspergillus niger: a well-known microorganism used in bio and food technology. In plants, actibind binds actin, a major component of the intracellular structure in plants, interfering with the plants' pollen tubes and halting cell growth. [...]

"Since cancer cells also have characteristic tip growth, we decided to check whether actibind has the ability to inhibit tip growth in cancer cells," he said.

The team found an actibind-like protein, RNaseT2, was also subsequently found to bind actin in human and animal migrating cells, such as the cells that are responsible for new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) in tumors.

Ironically Israeli researchers only discovered this after testing it on peaches and nectarines. Although they were unable to market their discovery towards the fruit industry, (in order to rid the trees of flowers) they were however able to successfully fight off cancer cells with this method.

For those who are curious why actibind inhibits cancer, this information below may interest them.

(Israel21c) "For many years, doctors have been using a certain molecular marker in humans to predict if a tumor is benign or malignant. When a patient has a tumor, a biopsy is taken and observed under a microscope. The rule of thumb is that if the tip of chromosome 6 is broken off, then it's an indication that the tumor is malignant and the decision is taken to go full steam ahead with treatment like chemotherapy," said Shoseyov. [...]

"To our surprise, we found that actibind is also in humans. And when it's not there, tip growth is not controlled, and that loss of control results in malignancy," he said.

Although more research needs to be conducted, this new treatment could revolutionize the way scientists fight cancer. Not to mention this method (if approved) would also enable patients to keep a full set of hair. Heh.

More Jews Returning To Israel

More than 240 Jews have returned to Israel (despite the fighting) and some are even moving up north towards Haifa where Hezbollah has been bombing the city in attempts to weaken its resolve.

(Arutz A record-setting year of North American Aliyah continued Thursday, with a plane full of immigrants touching down at Ben Gurion Airport. They were not deterred by the war and some are going up north. [...]

Knesset opposition leader MK Netanyahu pointed to the crowd, saying, "You are the best answer to Hizbullah!" He added that Aliyah is the very essence and lifeline of Zionism, "which never envisioned a world where people would stop attacking us, but a world where we would defend cities and create industry."

Israel right now is facing the fight of her life, and it is good to see that many of her people are returning home in order to support the mother land. Long live Israel and blessings upon her new citizens!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Israeli Company To Build Solar Power Station In Korea

It is great to see an alternative to fossil fuels is being developed, and even better to see it coming from a nation often despised by half the world.

(Globes Online) Millennium Electric T.O.U Ltd., which specializes in the construction of photovoltaic-based solar power stations and the supply of solar paneling to private and commercial customers, has signed a contract with Korean entrepreneur Moon S. Kim, president of High Quality Marketing & Consulting (HQMC), a member of The Kore Group, Inc., for the construction of a power station at a cost of $150 million.

The new station is expected to have a 120 megawatt production capacity.

Millennium has already constructed a similar (yet smaller) power station in Korea, although this second one may indicate a demand for alternative energy in the region.

According to Globes Online, CEO Ami Elazari expects the company to generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue once the power station is operational.

Rafael Awarded A Million Dollars From Pentagon

It looks like the Pentagon will be using Israeli technology to protect its American forces in Iraq thanks to the Rafael Armament Development Authority.

(Globes Online) The Pentagon has awarded Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd. $1 million for the development of active protection system, called "Trophy" ahead of possible trials on armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) operating in Iraq. Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd. is now completing development of the Trophy for the IDF Land Forces Command, and is about to begin full production. [...]

Rafael's Trophy system includes threat detection and warning subsystem and countermeasures.

Ironically, their main compeittor, Israel Military Industries claims to have a better protection system called the "Iron Fist" which they claim to be better than Rafael's Trophy.

Both of these Israeli companies seem to be rivals, although I am sure that the Pentagon wouldn't mind using technologies from either one of them to protect their troops in Iraq.

Tax Grace For IDF, Haifa Residents

More generosity being displayed by the Israeli government towards its citizens.

(Globes Online) Israel Tax Authority director Jackie Matza has granted a further extension until September 15 to residents and businesses in the north and IDF reservists called up to fight in Lebanon and Gaza, for paying taxes.

The extension means that no fines or interest will be imposed and no bailiff's proceedings initiated against late payment of VAT, withholding tax, and advance income taxes due on July 16, and initially extended to August 15.

Don't you wish every other government around the world was as generous towards its citizens during war time?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Christian Groups Helping Out Northern Israelis

This is a good thing to see. Hopefully more Christians will reach out towards their Jewish brethren.

( A U.S. group supported by evangelical Christians recently pledged $9 million to help residents of northern Israel.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews will provide assistance to 1,500 families whose houses have been damaged during IsraelÂ’s war with Hezbollah.

Despite being seen as the "cause of all sorrow," worldwide, Israel has very strong support within the US, with a majority of it coming from evangelical Christians (as well as those who do not enjoy terror).

Pastor Hagee has started an organization called Christians United for Israel which (to the disappointment of those opposing Israel) is probably the largest political action group in America.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more Christians not only donating towards Israel, but visiting the homeland as well.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Jewish Olympics Hosted In Sydney, Australia

It looks like the Israeli's are going "down under" with Jewish athletes competing in what is known as the "Jewish Olympics" in Sydney, Australia.

( The inaugural Maccabi Australia International Games were held in Sydney this week. [...]

The opening ceremony was held before a packed audience in the Sydney Opera House and the main sporting venue was the Sydney Olympic Park, home of the 2000 Olympics.

Jews from around the world representing their respective nations compete in these events as the crisis in the West Bank prevents Israel from hosting the Olympics themselves. Hundreds of athletes attended the event, with the largest groups coming from the US and Israel.

Envoy's Brother Makes Aliyah For Israel

It looks like one of the 250 Jews making Aliyah is kin to a political celebrity.

( The brother of the former U.S. ambassador to Israel moved to a West Bank settlement. [...]

"We decided that this is our home and we want to live among our people," [Ben] Kurtzer told the Ynet news Web site. "This is a very special country and we are very happy to be part of it." According to Ynet, Kurtzer and his family are to live in Ma'aleh Adumim, the biggest West Bank settlement.

Ben's brother Daniel served as US Ambassador to Israel and impressed many Israeli's with his ability to speak fluent Hebrew. Although it is uncertain if Daniel will commit Aliyah, Ben is using all his persuasive powers to make sure his brother settles in the holy land.

Ancient Ritual Bath From Jerusalem Temple

An ancient ritual bath was discovered in Jerusalem underneath the western wall. The bath is one of the largest ever found and will hopefully shed more light on Israel's past.

(Ynet News) Archeologists from the antiquities authority discovered an ancient mikve (ritual bath) from the second temple period during restoration work on the tunnels below the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Israel has a very long history spanning thousands of years. Although much of it is already documented in the Torah, having confirmation in the present sheds revelation about their glorious past.

The Aliyah Revolution Has Begun

The President of Israel, along with other officials stood by to greet 240 of Israel's newest citizens making Aliyah to the holy land.

( President Moshe Katzav, Absorption Minister Ze'ev Boim and other officials were on hand today to greet Israel's newest 240 citizens. Their move to Israel was facilitated by the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization, which has similarly helped some 7,000 Jews to come home over the past four years.

One man making Aliyah had a t-shirt that read, "Aliyah Revolution, It Has Begun" proudly displayed across his chest. Israel's latest citizens ranged from the religious to the regular looking, as well as little kids accompanying their parents.

What is interesting is that one of the travelers knew that living in Israel would be harder than staying in America. But he summed up his reasons for leaving by saying he would rather be "living a life full of meaning" than one in simple comfort.

Swimming Pool Named After Ron Arad

Ron Arad, an Israeli air force navigator who has been missing for well over 20 years is being honored by having a swimming pool named after him.

( Friends of captured air force navigator Ron Arad on Friday morning held a swimming event in the Kinneret, signifying 20 years since he fell into enemy hands. Taking part in the event were members of AradÂ’s pilot training course.

One of Arad's classmates, Adi Pereg, began a 20km (12 mile) swim, followed by others in kayaks. Following the swim, a ceremony was held, attended by members of the Arad family.

Arad has been missing since 1986 and it is currently not known whether he is alive or not. He disappeared over Lebanon and has not been seen ever since. If alive, hopefully his God (via IDF) can rescue him as he probably would enjoy swimming in his own pool.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Superman Super Jewish?

(Hat Tip: Inside Orkut)

Apparently the man of steel was not only allergic to kryptonite, he also could not eat pork. It seems that Superman is Jewish, and he even has the roots to prove it.

( Superman is Kal-El of the family that had been known on Krypton as "The House of El," in Hebrew Beit El, which means "The House of God." Over the nearly seven decades since Superman first appeared, there have been numerous Jewish connections from Jewish creators Siegel and Shuster to Jewish director of Superman Returns, Bryan Singer.

The story has been told that 16-year-olds Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster didn't work on their comic strip on Thursday nights. They had nothing to draw on. Mama Shuster needed her challah board.

Superman seems to be nothing more than a modern day parable of Moses in the basket escaping doom and living with foreigners where he would not only be safe but also be a hero. Superman follows that to the letter, except the basket is a rocket ship and his home world explodes. Superman even had some characteristics of Samson, although the artists later on decided to drop the sandals for red boots.

Either way this kosher superhero inspires millions today and it is good to see that his story goes deeper than the suit he wears.

Israel Discovers Salinity Resistant Plant Gene

(Hat Tip: Israpundit)

Another reason why planet Earth is blessed by our kosher brethren. Israeli scientists have discovered a gene that could allow farming in marshes and other lands not suitable for growing crops.

(Israel 21st Century) [...] Israeli researchers from the Institute of Evolution of the University of Haifa, have succeeded in isolating a gene that withstands salinity.

"The research will contribute to a significant increase in the amount of arable land available for agriculture," said the institute's director Professor Eviatar Nevo, who initiated and spearheaded the pioneering research.

Of the earth's 57 million square miles of land, approximately 12 million square miles are arable - meaning land that can be used for growing crops. However, arable land is being lost at the rate of over ten million hectares per year.

The gene is from a fungus that lives in the Dead Sea--an area ten times saltier than the oceans themselves. They have already been experimenting on injecting the gene into yeast with successful results, and hopefully will be able to expand that research into other plant organisms.

(Israel 21st Century) The gene was introduced into 'saccharomyces cerevisiae' - better known as baker's yeast - and the team observed that resultant transgenic yeast was able to tolerate more salt than normal, especially in resisting large temperature changes. [...]

"The gene helps the fungus to balance the internal salt content of the cell through the production of the alcohol glycerol and thus prevents the fungus from drying out and helps it defend itself against salinity," said Nevo.

"I expected the gene transformation to increase the salt tolerance of the yeast. But the tolerance to high and low temperatures proved to be a surprise," he added.

This discovery has the potential of ending world hunger--or at least removing the excuse of not farming land too salty for crops. This would allow nations to grow fields of wheat next to oceans (a strange site for the human eye) and may also allow nations devastated by environmental trauma to be able to grow most of their own food instead of relying on imports for survival.

Israel's Jewish Population Surpasses America

Israel can now officially boast that it is the home of the world's Jewish population after finally surpassing the US in the latest census. Although the kosher state has been aggressively promoting the return of its people to the holy land, their latest numbers have nothing to do with emigration.

(JEWSWEEK) For the first time in 2000 years -- since the Romans destroyed their temple, burned their capital and expelled them from their land, Israel is home to more Jews than any other nation on Earth.

The Jewish State, with over 5.8 million members of the tribe, at last surpassed the United States, demographers say, citing census statistics. They say the reason is not immigration but birth rate. Israel is the only place in the world where Jewish population is actually increasing.

With the Jewish population increasing in the middle east via birth rate, it should make it easier for Israel to promote the right of return for its people. Israel is one of the only nations on Earth to have been displaced for well over a millennia and a half.

Hopefully more of their people (especially the talented ones) will return to make this nation stronger economically as she can use all of the help she can get.