Israel’s myriad assortments of political parties are busy launching their manifestos in anticipation of elections in April. Promises of a future era of paradise flow like the winter rains. Meanwhile Israel’s technological achievements and humanitarian contributions are changing lives here and now… writes Michael Kuttner.
HIGH TECH INVESTMENTS SURGE AHEAD
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, one of Israel’s largest defense companies, and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev, are setting up multi-year research collaboration in a variety of fields including cyber security, smart mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Israel’s kibbutzim, the collective communities that were set up at the start of the 20th century and typically dealt in agriculture, have boosted their investments in local startups by 45%, the Kibbutz Association said.
Investments in Israeli startups totaled NIS 110 million (some $30 million) in 2018, in a total of 34 deals. The kibbutz manufacturing enterprises are also investing increased sums to bring innovation into their plants, the statement said. Sales from kibbutz enterprises totaled almost NIS 45 billion and employ over 30,000 members and external workers.
Tech giant Intel Corp will invest 40 billion shekels ($11 billion) over the next five years on a new semiconductor fabrication plant in Israel.
ONCE AGAIN FIRST TO THE RESCUE
Brazilian firefighters and more than 100 Israeli rescue workers poked sticks into treacherous mud looking for bodies after a dam that burst and spilled a flood of iron ore waste.
According to Israel’s Ambassador to Brazil Yossi Shelli, the Israeli teams “have equipment that looks for mobile phone signals under the ground. They will see where there are signals and will see if people are buried there.”
He said that Israel was the only country to send an aid mission to the region.
MEDICAL EXPORT TO REACH NEW HIGHS
The Israeli government has given its long-awaited approval for the medical cannabis export law, paving the way for the country to become a leading medical cannabis exporter and participant in a thriving sector that is expected to soar to $33 billion by 2022.
The Israeli Health Ministry announced that following long deliberations, an inter-ministerial committee made up of officials from the health, finance, public security, foreign affairs, tourism, and agriculture ministries, recommended exports be allowed to proceed to “turn medical cannabis into a medical product like any other product that patients receive according to labels and dosages.”
Israel has over the years become a powerhouse of medical cannabis.
FRONT LINE ONCOLOGY TREATMENT NOW AVAILABLE TO ISRAELI PATIENTS
Frontline state of the art treatment for cancer patients is now available as part of Israel’s universal health system.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel.
[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]