Good news from the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population.


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New terminally ill law provides breakthrough for synagogue-state relations. Wednesday the Knesset completed legislation on the issue, based on a proposal by a committee of dozens of experts, doctors, rabbis, philosophers, and theologians representing a wide swath of Israeli society. Orthodox and Reform, atheists and religious Jews, doctors and nurses worked together in unprecedented fashion, under the guidance of Committee Chairman Rabbi Dr. Steinberg to create a proposal text for a revolutionary law on a sensitive and painful issue. Israel is the first country in which "religious" and "secular" elements managed to produce a document agreeable to virtually all sides about treatment of the terminally ill.

How an Israeli scientist changed the piscine world. In the late 1950s, however, Tel Aviv University zoologist Prof. Lev Fishelson developed a hybrid of Saint Peter’s fish that was highly tolerant to salt water as well as high temperatures. This made it ideally adaptable to growing in ponds in arid desert areas where the available underground water is usually unuseable because of its high salinity.

Israel signs South American trade agreement. Israel signed an agreement to expand trade with a South American free-trade alliance. The deal is aimed at eventually creating a free-trade area between Israel and MERCOSUR, which encompasses Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. “MERCOSUR countries will benefit from Israel’s sophisticated technology, and Israel will be able to introduce its goods to a market of hundreds of millions people,” said Dr. Eduardo Kohn, director of Latin American Affairs for B’nai B’rith International, which had lobbied for the accord.

Israeli Professor Wins 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics. After dashing to Stockholm's Concert Hall with 27 members of his immediate family from the hotel where they stayed over Shabbat, Hebrew University mathematics Prof. Robert J. (Yisrael) Aumann accepted the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics. Robert John (Israel) Aumann of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem holds his granddaughter before a press conference at the Givat Ram campus following the announcement that he won the Nobel Prize in economy.

New Israeli mobile phone to detect breast cancer. An Israeli psychologist has reportedly developed a radical new technology which would enable an ordinary mobile phone to diagnose breast cancer and various type of heart disease. By installing new software and adding a basic infrared camera, a mobile phone could be transformed into a highly-effective diagnostic tool, offering far more accurate results than the self-checks many women do themselves.

New Israelis invent world's toughest material. Israeli scientists have have discovered a material 40 times harder than diamonds. The team broke the world hardness record by combining quantum mechanics, chemistry and mechanical engineering.

Israel's Scud buster test a success, as Israel becomes the first nation to have a national missile defense shield. The Air Force held the 14th test of the Israeli-designed Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile on Friday, successfully intercepting an incoming rocket at a higher altitude than ever before. An F-15 fighter jet flying over the Mediterranean dropped a Black Sparrow test missile specially designed to simulate an incoming Iranian Shihab 3 missile headed toward the Israeli shore. The radar detected the Black Sparrow missile and relayed its data to a battle management center, which issued the command to launch the Arrow 2 interceptor. "The interceptor performed successfully and intercepted the target," a Defense Ministry statement said. "The test's success is a major step in the system's operational improvements to deal with future ballistic missile threats.' Air Force Patriot batteries also participated passively in the test, following the incoming missile with their radars and simulating interceptions. This tested the entire missile defense screen of the country, the only nation in the world to have a national missile defense shield.

Israeli/Arab Particle Accelerator. The Finance Committee for the Joint Construction of a Particle Accelerator for Israel and the Arab Countries Met Last Week in Amman. The member countries are Iran, Pakistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Additional countries that are in contact with SESAME representatives and who may become a part of the joint initiative during 2006 include Morocco, Oman, Libya, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus. The accelerator building, which is in the stages of final construction, was built at Al-Balqa University, approximately 30 kilometers from Amman. After its expected completion at the beginning of 2006, the accelerator will be placed inside it. The project is expected to be completed in 2009.

Israeli-developed DeIcer set to be car standard. Microheat has not only developed HotShot, an intelligent heated washer fluid system for clearing and de-icing windshields, but has signed agreements with General Motors, and virtually every other auto manufacturer in the world.

Israelis capture Silver Medal. On Sunday, Israel's top ice dancing team captured the silver medal at the Cup of Russia, their second International Skating Union Grand Prix event of the season. Their combined score was second only to reigning world champions of Russia.

Pakistan willing to accept quake aid from Israel. Pakistan has signaled its willingness to accept aid from both Israel and American Jewish groups, days after a massive earthquake in Kashmir killed at least 30,000 people. Israel had offered its assistance shortly after the earthquake struck. Israel - which has sent rescue teams to Turkey and Mexico to assist in evacuation efforts after earthquakes struck those countries - sent a message to Pakistan through "official channels" and the United Nations, said a senior government official. Allowing Israelis into Pakistan to assist in the rescue efforts would be the latest sign that relations between the two countries are warming. Israel and Pakistan - the second-largest Muslim country - have no official relations, but the two countries' foreign ministers met last month for the first time.

Israeli, American Share Economics Nobel. Israeli Robert J. Aumann won the 2005 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday for their work in game theory that explains political and economic conflicts, arms races and even preventing warfare. Aumann has helped to "explain economic conflicts such as price wars and trade wars, as well as why some communities are more successful than others in managing common-pool resources," the academy said in its citation. "I feel great," said Aumann (OW-man) when reached by telephone in Israel. Aumann was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but holds U.S. and Israeli citizenship. He is not the first Israeli to win the economics prize. In 2002, Daniel Kahneman, who also has U.S. and Israeli citizenship, shared the award.

Israel sends 80 tons of goods to New Orleans. Israel is sending 80 tons of tents, folding beds, bottled water, bed linen, blankets, dried food, formula, diapers and other equipment are being sent to the disaster area. Meanwhile, Magen David Adom has launched a campaign called "Brit Ahim" (Brotherly Covenant) to raise funds and equipment to aid homeless victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Israeli divers volunteer. Israeli volunteer divers are heading to New Orleans to help look for bodies in flooded homes. The divers are expected to sift through the murky waters with powerful underwater flashlights. US officials believe there may be hundreds or even thousands of dead bodies still trapped in houses. There is fear that the remains will also be found in the streets as the waters recede. They are part of a private delegation of Israeli volunteers who have extensive experience in rescues and complex emergencies garnered from work around the world. The delegation is being coordinated by IsraAID (the Israel Forum for International Aid), a non-governmental group funded by donations mainly from American Jews. Gal Lousky, the head of the delegation, said it expects to depart Tuesday and has all the permits necessary. The IsraAID delegation helped in rescue operations after the Southeast Asian tsunami, as well as in Turkey, Georgia and Romania. They are seeking donations, particularly to purchase supplies in the US. Anyone interested can telephone (057) 733-3400 or (050) 535-3453, or visit on the Web.

Meeting Of Pakistani And Israeli F.M.S In Istanbul ''An important step has been taken regarding the Middle East peace process,'' Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydin said on Thursday about the meeting between Pakistani and Israeli foreign ministers in Istanbul. Pakistani FM Khursheed Kasuri and Israeli FM Silvan Shalom met in Istanbul upon initiatives of President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

Israel Produces Hydrogen Fuel Through Solar Technology. Innovative solar technology that may offer a 'green' solution to the production of hydrogen fuel has been successfully tested on a large scale at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rechovot. The technology also promises to facilitate the storage and transportation of hydrogen. The chemical process behind the technology was originally developed at Weizmann, and it has been scaled up in collaboration with European scientists. The process generates no pollution, and the resultant zinc can be easily stored and transported, and converted to hydrogen on demand. In addition, the zinc can be used directly, for example, in zinc-air batteries, which serve as efficient converters of chemical to electrical energy. Thus, the method offers a way of storing solar energy in chemical form and releasing it as needed. Results of the experiments will be reported in August at the 2005 Solar World Congress of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) in Orlando, Florida. The new solar technology produces an easily storable intermediate energy source form from metal ore, such as zinc oxide. With the help of concentrated sunlight, the ore is heated to about 1,200°C in a solar reactor in the presence of wood charcoal. The process splits the ore, releasing oxygen and creating gaseous zinc, which is then condensed to a powder. Zinc powder can later be reacted with water, yielding hydrogen, to be used as fuel, and zinc oxide, which is recycled back to zinc in the solar plant. In recent experiments, the 300-kilowatt installation produced 45 kilograms of zinc powder from zinc oxide in one hour, exceeding projected goals.

Israeli Doctor’s Revolutionary New Bandage Will Save Lives. Dr. Sody Naimer, an Israeli doctor, has developed a remarkable new bandage called ELastic ADhesive Bandage (ELAD) that appears to be superior to standard bandages and tourniquets in stopping hemorrhaging. As a family doctor in the Gush Katif region, Naimer became an expert in dealing with many types of serious injuries suffered by victims of car accidents as well as by soldiers who have been injured by gunfire or shrapnel. Research shows that almost 50% of battlefield fatalities are due to hemorrhaging and that almost 20% of those victims could have been saved with better methods of hemorrhage control. The ELAD bandage addresses some of the current limitations in methods for controlling bleeding. Direct compression, while effective, prevents rescuers from providing the patient with other lifesaving care because the pressure needs to be constant. The ELAD bandage is currently saving lives in Israel and South Africa. The bandage is under consideration by the Israeli military and the Red Cross. If it enters mass production, its low price and superior performance may make its impact even more far reaching."

50 year-old Israeli marathoner . Fifty-year-old Haile Satayin continued to turn heads as he finished 21st overall in the marathon at the athletics world championships in Finland. Satayin, the Israeli-record holder, burst onto the world scene last year when he crossed the finish line 20th at the Olympics in Athens. His impressive time of two hours, 17 minutes, and 26 seconds was amazingly just one second slower than his Olympic result.

Israeli film wins top prize at Copenhagen festival. 'Live and Become', the story of an Ethiopian child who is sent to Israel passing as a Jew to save him from famine, won the best film award at the Copenhagen International Film Festival on Saturday. The film, a French-Israeli production and one of 10 European works in competition, also won the festival's Golden Swan award for best screenplay. 'Live and Become' is based on an Israeli operation named 'Moses', under which thousands of Jewish children were evacuated from Ethiopia during that country's 1984 famine and resettled in Israel.

Israeli author Amos Oz receives Goethe Prize . The highest honour bestowed by the central German city of Frankfurt, the Goethe Prize has been in existence since 1927. Previous recipients included Sigmund Freund (1930) and Ingmar Bergman (1976).

More Ethiopians Israel Bound. Ariel Sharon’s announcement that the Israeli government will double the rate of Ethiopian Jewish immigration to Israel is being called a breakthrough by those who long have lobbied to help the Falash Mura. The bill is projected at close to $2 billion — an estimated $100,000 for each of the 20,000 Ethiopians eligible to immigrate.

Israel, Egypt look to sign $2.5B gas deal. Israel's Eastern Mediterranean Gas expects to sign a deal with Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. to import Egyptian gas.

Israeli study: genes key to late motherhood. Why can some 45-year-olds easily have a baby while much younger women have difficulty becoming pregnant? The answer, say Israeli researchers, could lie in their genes.

Israeli researchers growing date palm from 2,000-year-old seed. Israeli researchers have germinated a sapling date palm from seeds 2,000 years old, in a bid to find new medicines that will benefit future generations.

Israeli researchers coax liver cells to produce insulin. Adult liver cells can be redirected to produce insulin in response to glucose levels, according to the results of an Israeli study released last week. The scientists at Tel Aviv's Sheba Medical Center have successfully modified liver cells to produce insulin that, when transplanted into mice, brought diabetes under control. The researchers hope that one day the method will allow the use of a diabetes patient's own liver cells to treat their condition.

Israeli researchers discover natural reservoir for cholera bacteria. In a "breakthrough" in the understanding of cholera that would make it possible to predict when epidemics will strike, Israeli researchers have discovered that the natural reservoir for cholera bacteria is in bodies of water with gelatin coverings of the eggs of a certain kind of insect.

New Israeli treatment improves blood flow. Israeli doctors performed the first operation of its kind, injecting genes which stimulated the growth of new blood vessels into a cardiac patient, said a spokesman for Rabin Medical Center in Tel Aviv. This experiment marks a major breakthrough in the field of genetics and catheterization.

Turkey to buy $200m. of Israeli UAVs. Turkey’s Defense Ministry chose the Israel Aircraft Industries’ Heron drone and Elbit System’s ground stations over the US General Atomics Aeronautical System’s Predator. The Heron is a multi-role drone used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The deal involves some 10 ground stations, each one with three or four UAVs. TheTurkish army, navy and air forces are all to use them. The Heron is manufactured by IAI’s Malat Division, which says it has a range of 1,000 kilometers and can carry a 250-kilogram payload. With a 16-meter wingspan, the Heron can fly for up to 52 hours of continuous flight and reach an altitude of 30,000 feet, according to IAI. The Heron is a long-endurance system meant to provide real-time strategic intelligence. The fourth-generation platform, with new fully automatic take-off and landing features, provides deep-penetration, wide-area, real-time intelligence. Among other international customers for the Heron is India. IAI has in the past sold Turkey Harpy killer drones. Elbit and IAI have also cooperated in the past on a number of defense deals including the upgrade of Turkey’s F-4 fighter jets."

Putin's Residence to Get Israeli Defenses. Security officers for Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered $10,000 worth of sophisticated locking devices from the Israel-based MultiLock company, for installation in Mr. Putin's Moscow residence. The Russian president's house is to be secured with 60 MultiLock devices, after Russian security officials examined many competing proposals for the operation. Sources at MultiLock, based in Yavneh, explained that the system sold to Russia includes a lock integrated with a sophisticated electromechanical safety-catch mechanism which includes an electronic combination secured with cutting-edge encoding.

Young Israeli robot builders. Once again the Israelis took home top prizes at the 12th annual Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest at Trinity College in Hartford. Forty Israeli high school seniors competed in the April 9-10 contest, which featured hundreds of participants of all ages and from several countries. The goal of the contest is to build a robot that can find its way through a maze of four rooms, locate a room with a lighted candle and extinguish the flame. Israeli teams took home the top four prizes in the High School Entry Division for first time entrants. 'Building these robots combines the use of mechanical engineering and electronic and computer science. It is very complicated to build a robot which will do all the tasks required in the competition,' said Eli Kolberg, robotics teacher and member of the Robotics Steering Committee of the Minister of Education in Israel.

Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population.

  • Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.
  • Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
  • Israel has the highest per capita ratio of scientific publications in the world by a large margin, as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
  • In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the US (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
  • Israel is ranked #2 in the world for VC funds right behind the US.
  • Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
  • Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies
  • Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 is over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
  • With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
  • With an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16s, Israel has the largest fleet of the aircraft outside of the US.
  • Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola-Israel. Motorola built its largest development center worldwide in Israel.
  • Windows NT software was developed by Microsoft-Israel.
  • The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
  • Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
  • AOL's instant message program was designed by an Israeli software company.
  • Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
  • On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups
  • Israel has the largest raptor migration in the world, with hundreds of thousands of African birds of prey crossing as they fan out into Asia.
  • Twenty-four percent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees -- ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland -- and 12 percent hold advanced degrees.