Kosher Highlights

Receive Kosher Highlights in your Email Inbox or RSS Feed!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Choosing Life Over Terror

(Hat Tip: Jerusalem Newswire)

I probably do not need to go over the feelings many Palestinians have towards Israeli's, but it seems that some Israeli medics responded to an emergency in what some would consider to be enemy territory.

(Jerusalem Post) MDA medics risked their lives Friday and crossed Erez Crossing to the Palestinian side in order to stabilize and evacuate a Palestinian woman who had suffered a heart attack in Gaza.

IDF sources said the MDA medics took a "great risk" by crossing over to the Palestinian side of Erez.

The woman, 31, was evacuated to the crossing by Palestinian medics who had failed to resuscitate her following the heart attack.

There are reports from Jerusalem Newswire that the ambulance went into the city with a military escort, although I have not seen that confirmed by other sources.

Regardless on who accompanied them, this goes to show how much heart Israeli's have not only for their own, but for their perceived enemies as well.

Kazakhstan AIDS Children Receive The Kosher Touch

After a medical accident left some Kazakhstan children infected with a horrible disease, government officials asked their Hebrew friends for help.

(Ynet News) An Israeli medical team from the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem and a social worker from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) left for Kazakhstan on Saturday in order to assist in the treatment of 93 children infected with the HIV virus.

The children were infected after receiving a blood transfusion while being treated for pneumonia.

It is amazing to see Israel continually reach out to a world that doesn't exactly see the kosher state as apart of the world community. Nonetheless Israel seems to continually offer her graces to the world unconditionally, signifying the type of people who live in this tiny country.

Intel Looks To Israeli Minds To Save Company

(Hat Tip: Solomonia)

Intel has not been doing too well recently, with competition eating away at their profits and stealing their competition (an issue that their stock holders are bringing up).

Now it seems that Intel is turning towards minds in Haifa, Israel in order for the company to get its groove back.

( Five hundred employees and guests crowded under a white tent half the length of a football field at Intel Corp.'s Santa Clara, California, headquarters as Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini put his company's newest line of computer chips through their paces.

"These are the best microprocessors we've ever designed, the best microprocessors we've ever built," Otellini told the audience. "This is not just incremental change; it's a revolutionary leap."

Otellini's pronouncement relegated to obsolescence Intel's Pentium chip, which once powered more than 80 percent of the world's personal computers. That wasn't the only surprise last July.

A camera zoomed in on engineers in lab coats in Haifa, Israel. The video revealed that the chip Intel is counting on to recover from a battering by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. wasn't invented in Silicon Valley. Instead, Intel is betting on a group of Israeli mavericks and a design bureau 7,400 miles (11,900 kilometers) away.

It's good to see Intel finally recognizing the talent coming from this kosher state. Only time will tell whether Haifa's research will pay off in the markets, but I would not be too surprised to see Intel regaining composure with its shareholders.

Image Credit: CNN Money.

Note: I think AOL should pay very close attention to this, as they are in a similar situation.

Israel Shuts Out Estonia In Soccor

Colautti strikes second goal (Photo: Eli Elgarat)

Despite the disappointing draw between England, it seems like Israel has made a comeback by shutting out Estonia four to nothing, enabling them to (hopefully) qualify for the Euro 2008 games.

(Ynet News) Israel dominated from the outset and goalkeeper Dudu Aouate was hardly troubled by the Estonians. They had some more possession in the second half but only once came close to scoring. [...]

Tal scored the first after 20 minutes when he drilled a powerful low shot from the edge of the area right in front of goal leaving outstretched Estonian goalkeeper Mart Poom with no chance as he dived to his left.

Argentine-born Colautti added the second goal when he rose high to head in at the far post from a good cross from by right-back Amit Ben Shushan.

After that it was all down hill for Estonia as Israel later on scored two more goals, minuets away from each other. All in all it appears it was a great game, at least for Israel (I'm sure Estonian fans are ranting and raving right now).

Israel Exports And Housing Are Up

Okay, unless you are an investor, you may find this news to be slightly boring. But if you are an investor, this news should make you ponder about international markets such as Israel as a potential field to "sow and reap" in.

(Globes Online) Exports (excluding diamonds, ships and planes) rose by an annualized 6.7% in December 2006-February 2007, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports. Manufactured exports rose by an annualized 5% and high-tech exports rose by 8%. Imports of investment goods rose by an annualized 38%.

The data indicate that the economy is still growing faster than expected, including fairly rapid increase in private consumption.

As far as the housing goes...

(Globes Online) New home sales rose by an annualized 23% in November 2006-February 2007, compared with July-October 2006, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today. Average monthly sales were 1,165 units, compared with 944 in July-October 2006. 1,270 new homes were sold in February, of which 1,070 were under construction and 170 were completed.

This is definitely good news to hear about! I plan on eventually living in Israel in the future (within the next couple of years) and have already been looking at some locations, especially in Tel Aviv, Netanya and possibly Haifa (the last one I hear is a "geek paradise" or a kosher version of Silicon Valley).

Hopefully this trend will continue for the next several months (although not too fast as I would like to actually be able to afford investing in Israel's growth).

Siblings Donate Lungs To Save Brother

An Israeli brother and sister decided to help save the life of their sick brother (who suffers from leukemia) by each donating a part of their lung.

(Israel Today) A brother and sister of a 35-year-old man suffering from a chronic lung disease successfully each donated a lower lobe of their lungs, saving his life. This was the first successful live-donor lung transplant in Israel, which was necessary because of the lack of donors. [...]

The donors recovered quickly, while their brother remains in an intensive care unit of the cardiothoracic surgery department.

My sympathies and prayers go to the brother who is still in the hospital. Hopefully he can recover quickly and rejoin his kin as being in a hospital is not exactly a fun experience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Can Israeli Tech Save AOL?

I was originally going to publish the story from Globes Online, but since they only had one paragraph (come on Globes) I decided to Google for a more in depth story.

(Haaretz) AOL's new Israeli representative was not purchased only for the search technology it developed, which quickly became the American giant's rejuvenation engine, but also for blogger Orli Yakuel. [...]

"We recruited Orli in an effort to understand what is happening on the Web, as an Internet researcher and a talent scout," explains Edo Segal, CEO and founder of Relegence and currently a vice president at AOL, who reports directly to that company's product manager. "[Orli] understands users and can recommend important services that will benefit the company."

Best of luck to AOL, although I am not too sure how well they will do against Google (as they pretty much dominate the US as well as the Jewish state).

AOL did however help me out earlier today when my email went down (so I did use there services, if not for a few hours). Although they have a tough digital fight ahead of them, if anyone can bring them back into the game, it will probably be an Israeli mind as many of them are well versed in "geek" (not a bad trait to have, at least in cyberspace).

Israel And England: No Victor Determined?

I was really hoping that Israel would dominate this game, but apparently neither side was strong enough to pull off even one shot!

It seemed to be a struggle throughout the entire game.

You can find more shots of the game over here. Oh well, at least English fans enjoyed the beer.

Robot "Blade Cutter" May Help Slash Airline Prices

I am still mystified by how the "economics" of this whole thing works, but it seems that a blade cutting machine for jet engines may be able to help cut the cost of airfare (something desperately needed as they seem to be milking every dollar/shekel out of our pockets).

(Globes Online) Iscar Ltd. subsidiary Shafir Production Systems Ltd. will unveil at 19th International Exhibition for Technology Developments 2007computerized production systems, including a robot for sharpening jet engine turbine blades that it developed for Rolls-Royce (LSE: RR). Shafir said the system could cut airfares. The company said the precision in production could slash fuel costs, savings that airlines could pass onto passengers.

Everybody whose anybody (or at least travels to meet other bodies) will definitely appreciate the savings in their wallets. There is no word which companies are set to use this new piece of technology, although I wouldn't be surprised if some of the newer airlines picked this up first before the older ones.

Set Up A Wireless Network Without The Internet?

Although this is very possible with hard lines (i.e. network cables) this can be a pain in the rear end via wireless cards. The difference between me and Israeli Professor Roi Friedman is that he actually figured out an easy way of doing this, and he is willing to share his secret for free.

(Israel 21st Century) One and a half years later, a team of PhD students under Friedman's guidance, has developed WiPeer - a new software that enables mobile and desktop computers to communicate directly with one another in a local area without any mediating factor, such as an Internet server. The software, which is available free on the Net, enables users to send messages, pictures, files, movies and games to one another wirelessly within a 100-300 meter radius. [...]

Users can transfer dozens of pictures from one computer to another in less than a minute, and even a 700 MB file can be transferred in up to 15 minutes. It is also possible to carry on chats without disturbing anyone in the vicinity or to play collaborative games like chess.

My friends are definitely going to love this piece of software, although I'll have to test it later on with another laptop. Friedman also plans on creating something similar for cell phones, enabling people to communicate to each other for free if they are in a mall or store shopping.

Users can download Wipeer over here, or simply visit the FAQ's page for more info.

Christians To Celebrate "One Jerusalem"

It seems that several hundred Christians will be visiting the Holy Land in order to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem exactly 40 years ago.

(Israel Today) More than 200 Evangelical Christians are expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for the "Jerusalem Assembly," a three-day marathon of events, celebrating 40 years of the reunification of Jerusalem.

The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) partnered with the Texas-based Christian Covenant Alliances to put on the event.

"Celebrating the nearly forty years since the reunification of Jerusalem, Covenant Alliances will bring a delegation of more than two hundred Christian Zionist leaders for the US, Canada, England Africa and Israel who will highlight their love and dedication to the State of Israel," the statement said.

This is a good sign, and hopefully these leaders can encourage their congregations to follow suit and actually visit the city this summer. The last time I was in Jerusalem the only alarming sound I heard was the price of the water (it was a bit expensive).

Humor aside, I think Jerusalem is a fun place to visit, especially the Old City, although next time I think I'll bring a pair of roller blades in order to help navigate faster through the stone avenue streets (if it is legal that is).

Israel's Foreign Debt Falls By 50 Percent

This definitely is a record for the Israeli state! Despite all that's going on, it looks like the economy is doing fairly well in Israel.

(Globes Online) The Bank of Israel said, "The balance of assets abroad totaled about $156 billion at end of 2006, a rise of $34 billion on the end-2005 position. Most of this increase was due to an increase of about $13 billion in direct investments, with the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) deal contributing some $10 billion of this. Portfolio investments grew by $10 billion due to continuing portfolio adjustments in the private non-banking sector in light of the tax reform."

The article later on mentions foreign investment also playing a role in the Israeli state, which means that people seem to be talking with their wallets in regards to their affection towards the Jewish state.

Props to all of those who made this happen (now if only I could get a piece of the action then I would be all set ;-))

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Producing Clean Drinking Water For All

(Image Credit: David Brinn, Israel 21st Century)

This technology has the impact to save tens of millions of lives (if not hundreds) around the world.

A company that goes by the name of Water Sheer has produced a simple yet inexpensive technology that may enable hikers, soldiers and those living near polluted rivers to quench their thirst from unhealthy water sources.

(Israel 21st Century) "Above everything else, the product we've developed is going to save lives," explained Yossi Sandak, the CEO of Watersheer, the Israeli company which has developed the Sulis PPS. "Over 1.6 million children under the age of five die each year in the undeveloped world from drinking untreated water. What we have is a solution to reduce death in the world that is not a medical solution, but simply providing people with clean drinking water."

The Sulis unit is lightweight and small (10 grams, 2.7 Inches / 7 cm) and is designed to fit onto most universal bottles. According to Sandak's partner, Ron Shani, the founder, chairman and vice president of Watersheer's R&D division, the Sulis system treats water from upper sources containing organic, biological and chemical contaminates.

This amazing product costs about as much as "a large coffee and cake at Starbucks," according to Sandak making it affordable to even the poorest of nations. Although they still have to do some more rounds of testing in order to secure government approval (for the government that is), this product will be available to the public later on this summer in June.

Israeli Winery Employs Mentally Disabled 'Friends'

Tulip winery owner Roy Yitzhaki, second from left, with 'chaverim' Dedi Ashkenazi, left, and Inbal Monar, center, and vintner Tamir Arzy and marketing director Neta Mainz. (Image Credit: Brett Kline / JTA)

This is a very heartfelt story that stirred up the emotional strings of this blogger (who isn't all that emotional).

Basically a wine factory has been employing mentally disabled 'friends' in order to help run their business. Although other companies would rather employ "fit folk," these guys are reaching out to what some may regard as the least of all in society, and making them feel apart of the overall community.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Friends, or "chaverim," in this case, is the term used for the residents of Kfar Tikva, Hope Village, home to some 200 mentally disabled Israelis in Kiryat Tivon in the North.

Tulip has been renting space in Kfar Tikva since beginning its operation in 2003, and its small staff is comprised almost entirely of village residents.

"We employ the chaverim for the soul," Yitzhaki explains. "Our primary purpose here is to make great wine, but I feel good knowing I am offering gainful employment to the disabled. The chaverim are a real part of our operation."

They say a society is often judged by how well they treat the weakest members of their rank. If that is true, then Tulip's factory is a shining example how great the Israeli community is as a whole.

Although their factory is unable to globally compete as much as they would like to, they are making a strong foothold into Canada. Hopefully some more exposure will convince other internationals to consider what these people have to offer, as this operation reminds us all what it truly means to be human.

Turning Radioactive Waste Into Energy And Glass?

It looks like some Israeli scientists may have solved one of our greatest environmental blunders ever known to man--what to do with the often hazardous nuclear waste.

Often expensive to store, it looks like humanity may have a way to finally deal with the "bread crumbs" of nuclear energy.

(Israel 21st Century) "It also makes a good recyclable material for building and paving roads," he assures them. Earlier, Shrem told ISRAEL21c that EER can take low-radioactive, medical and municipal solid waste and produce from it clean energy that "can be used for just about anything."

Using a system called plasma gasification melting technology (PGM) developed by scientists from Russia's Kurchatov Institute research center, the Radon Institute in Russia, and Israel's Technion Institute - EER combines high temperatures and low-radioactive energy to transform waste.

"We go up to 7,000 degrees centigrade and end at 1,400 centigrade," says Moshe Stern, founder and president of the Ramat Gan-based company.

Shrem adds that EER's waste disposal rector does not harm the environment and leaves no surface water, groundwater, or soil pollution in its wake.

The fact that they are able to do this is amazing! According to the article, it costs about $30,000 a ton just to bury nuclear waste, while EER's system of converting nuclear waste into energy/safe materials is a tenth of that!

This technology seems to have caught the ear of Ukrainians, not to mention Americans as nuclear waste is a huge problem (if not expensive) to deal with.

Image: A chunk of black, lava-like rock is the result of the process invented by EER to transform radioactive waste into an inert, safe substance. (Credit: Israel 21st Century)

Teapacks Allowed To Play In Eurovision

I've been following this story on (and off) online, and after much speculation it seems that an Israeli bands controversial song will be allowed to be played at the Eurovision competition after all.

(Jewtastic) The Israeli entry in this year's Eurovision Song Contest will be allowed despite fears the track would insult Iran with its references to nuclear war.

Finnish Eurovision official Kjell Ekholm voiced concerns about Teapacks' Push The Button entry last week, because he thought it could be deemed offensive to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The song is humorous, and may allow give a few chuckles to some Israelis who are in need of a good laugh.

For those of you wondering what all the fuss is about, Isrealli has a video highlighting all of the fun.

Israeli Pretzel Invades Down Under

It looks like the Aussie's are now acquiring a taste for Israeli pretzels.

(Israel Today) The pretzel company, Beigel & Beigel signed an agreement to export 3 million shekels ($711,913) worth of pretzels to Australia. Beigel & Beigel hopes to establish a market down under with its uniquely packaged pretzels, salty snacks and crackers.

Beigel & Beigel signed a three-year contract with Australia's Big W chain, which has more than 200 branches throughout the country. Big W is a subsidiary of Woolworths Limited, Australia's leading food, liquor and grocery retailer.

First Japan, now Australia. I wonder what country will be invaded next?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Israel To Launch Football League

By football I mean American style football (not to be confused with international football also known as soccer in the states).

Israel seems intent upon entering the sports scene hoping to link the kosher state with their friends in America several thousand miles away.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) The gridders in the Israel Football League won't be pros, but they will be playing American-style tackle replete with helmets, pads and bodies pounding each other. [...]

On hand were Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Kraft donated the money for the stadium, the only one in Israel designed for American football. [...]

"I think the tackle league is a major step towards allowing a lot of talented players here in Israel to possibly fulfill their dream of playing in pro and semi-pro leagues in Europe and the U.S.," Misha'an said. "On a personal level, 10 years ago it would have been a dream come true for me. Now I am just happy that my son and his friends will have the opportunity."

Previously Israel launched a baseball league not too long ago, and it is great to see American football introduced within the country (as I prefer it above baseball any day of the week).

What makes this even sweeter for me is that Kraft of the New England Patriots is helping them launch this thing (as I am a Patriot fan) and hopefully we will see this league join the NFL in the future.

Coca Cola Interested In Kosher Technology

The world's largest soda company seems very interested in whether or not Israel has the "tech know how" to influence the future of Coca Cola.

(Globes Online) AICC Southeast Region Israel director Ilan Friedman said today that Coca Cola would use the visit to examine advanced technologies and concepts of Israeli companies in areas that affect all aspects of Coca Cola's business. "The idea is to examine whether Israel has technologies suited to Coca Cola. The goal is to invest, acquire companies, sign strategic agreements with companies and funds, or merge with Israeli technology companies."

I think Coca Cola will find Israel to be a bit more tech savvy than what they are use to in the states. Only time will tell whether they integrate Israeli technology as their own, but I am betting that they probably will once they get a taste of what Israel can do.

Leonardo DiCaprio (And Girl Friend) Visit Israel

Leonardo (or Leo for short) is probably best known for staring in the chick flick Titanic, which will make any girl cry and every guy wanting to see something more entertaining.

Either way, its good to see more celebrities visiting the promise land, as that can only encourage others to follow suit.

(Ynet News) Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio and his Israeli girlfriend model Bar Rafaeli toured Monday evening the Yad Vashem Museum for the commemoration of the Holocaust, which opened after hours for their visit.

DiCaprio apparently showed great interest in the tour and was moved by the experience, asking numerous questions and pausing repeatedly at various displays. The couple was expected to tour Jerusalem immediately following.

Leo seems to have a deep appreciation for the Jewish state, which may be in part to his kosher girl friend Bar Rafaeli.

The comments on Ynet are entertaining to read about this, although Leo seems to be really enjoying his stay there if some of the "Yneters" are not. Leo's appearance will definitely help out with Israel's tourism which has not seen the greatest of times since the war.

Israel To Build An Island On Tel Aviv's Coast

The Israeli government is interested in constructing a man made island in off of Tel Aviv's coast. Although they are seeking a variety of purposes for the tiny sand pebble (it's really small) their plans range from building an airport on top to a power station.

(Israel Today) Israel is planning on constructing a manmade island off the coast of Tel Aviv. The project, initiated by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, would see the manmade island built between 1.5-2.5 kilometers off the Tel Aviv shoreline, constituting approximately 250 acres. [...]

While government agencies prefer the island be used as an airfield, the committee that reviewed the plans for an island understood it was to be used as a power station. There are a total of 13 purposes to be used for the island, an airport ranked ninth.

There is some resistance to the idea from environmentalists, although the reasons against the project do not seem to hold much water (no pun intended). The article did not go into details over the other various purposes for the island, although I could imagine several hotel chains seeking to set up shop there, as the view would definitely be incredible!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Video: West Bank Story Envisions Peace Via Falafels?

I am not sure how many times the West Side Story has been retold, but this by far seems to be the most creative version ever played out (if not the most delicious). Here is a quick preview of the movie entitled the West Bank Story (with more details about the film below).

Apparently the idea was inspired by Ari Sandel who wanted a way to display his passion of politics and the middle east in a humorous fashion. After throwing in a little food, West Bank Story was born.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) The title is a riff on Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story." In this case, though, the confrontation is between competing West Bank falafel stands, the Israeli Kosher King and the Palestinian Hummus Hut.

Their weapons are falafel and hummus folded into a pita, the soul food loved by all Middle East factions. [...]

Amid catchy tunes, dancing and a mugging camel, David and Fatima fall in love. After both eating establishments are set on fire, the lovers persuade the rival owners to join hands and hummus to feed their hungry customers.

Sandel was able to shoot this mini film in 14 days thanks to generous sponsors from friends and families who generously gave him $74,000 to shoot this flick.

Sandel mentions that even Warner Brothers stepped in giving him free props (talk about generous) and his film has been played in not only the Sundance Film Festival, but in the Dubai Film Festival as well (not an easy thing to enter in if you're Jewish).

Apparently their were some grumbles, but a lady from Gaza seemed to have enjoyed the film and has requested several copies for her friends and family in Gaza. (note: I think I'm going to order a copy of this film for myself as well!).

You can check out more info regarding the movie by visiting the

Update: The reaction after them winning the Oscar was priceless!

Video: Sand Art By Ilana Yahav

(Hat Tip: Isrealli)

I would pay anything to have this lady's talent, but then again if I did I wouldn't be blogging here if I did (as I would be doing this all day).

I think I'm going to add this video to my favorites list. For more info regarding Ilana Yahav and her art you can check out her website Sand Fantasy for more details.

Google Adwords Threatened By Quigo?

Despite being a major player in America as well as the number one site in Israel, Google seems to be intimidated by an Israeli startup called Quigo.

(Globes Online) Quigo develops marketing technologies for content-sensitive focused search engines. The company's solutions create automatic links and enables advertisers to retrieve relevant web-based content.

The "New York Times" said, "Google and Yahoo! have been fighting it out over which company will dominate the online advertising business. Although Quigo remains a small competitor, with less than 10% of the contextual ad business, its growing success has apparently persuaded Google to change the way it sells the sponsored link ads in the future.

Advertisers seem to love Quigo, as it has given them features some have been demanding from Google's AdWords, which may be the reason that the search engine king is asking for feedback regarding their program.

Although I would love to sign up for Quigo (as a publisher), they seem to be only offering their services to "premium sites." Oh well, I guess I should simply be satisfied for the Hebrew ads Google has been displaying on my site.

Note: If anyone knows of any Israeli sponsors similar to Google Adsense, let me know so I can test them out on this site.

Was Thomas Jefferson Jewish?

Researches think they may have found some DNA evidence linking the American President Thomas Jefferson with some mysterious mid-eastern roots.

(Forward) As The New York Times reported Wednesday, "Researchers studying Jefferson's Y chromosome have found it belongs to a lineage that is rare in Europe but common in the Middle East, raising the possibility that the third president of the United States had a Jewish ancestor many generations ago."

Although Jefferson was probably not a full Jew (or even half) there may be a case displaying kosher roots deep in American history (either that, or this sounds like a great rumor to start ;-)).

Israeli Doctors Helping Iraqi Children

Iman with his mother, Image Credit: Ofer Amram, via Ynet News

Thanks to the Save a Child's Heart foundation, three Iraqi Kurds will be given the chance to live a normal life in a region that is known to be a "little adventurous."

(Ynet News) Ahmad, 13, Iman, 6, and one-year-old Lizan will be operated on by cardiologists in Israel as part of the humanitarian project 'Save a Child's Heart.' Since the association was founded 12 years ago, more than 1,600 children from 26 different countries, including the Palestinian Authority, have undergone surgery in Israel. [...]

"Tomorrow they will undergo echography testing, after which heart surgeon Dr. Leon Sasson will recommend the best line of treatment. The operations will be sometime in the next week-and-a-half," Gilad said.

According to Dr. Akiva Tamir, a children's cardiologist at Wolfson, two of the children suffer from a hole between two heart chambers, which will be mended by surgery. The smallest child, Lizan, has a very severe defect, which often leads to sudden infant death, Tamir said.

This isn't the first time that Israel has helped out Iraqi children, and it is doubtful if this will be the last. Israel has done a lot of charity work for nations around the world, caring for others who are unable to receive assistance from their own governments.

Regardless whether they are friend or foe, Israel has demonstrated a unique ability to turn the other cheek towards their enemies and help them out in time of need. If only the world could repay the favor.

Israel Launches Baseball League

Despite not being a huge fan of baseball (I'm more into football and basketball) a lot of people in my family are huge baseball nuts. If I were to ever take them to Israel, I would definitely have to consider stopping by one of these arenas.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) IBL officials are hoping the league will quickly spur Israeli interest in American baseball - they aim to draw about 1,000 fans per game in the first year - while government officials hope it will help boost Israel’s image abroad.

As the IBL's early fan base will likely be American expatriates yearning for a baseball fix, the league has enlisted three high-profile Jewish ex-Major Leaguers as managers: Ken Holtzman, the winningest Jewish pitcher in baseball history with 174 victories, including two no-hitters; New York Yankee Ron Blomberg, pro baseball's first designated hitter; and Art Shamsky, a member of the New York "Miracle" Mets that won the 1969 World Series.

Although not officially launched by the government, it is getting a lot of support from former government officials, one being that of Daniel Kurtzer (who use to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel).

There is no word whether or not the Major Baseball League (MBL) will accept this new branch into their club, but they are highlighting some of the games on TV. The Israel Baseball League (IBL) is trying to woo Jewish players from the MBL to join their ranks, although they may need to raise the salary cap as some American players are paid in the millions.