Untold Stories of Israeli Innovation

GrowingCropsMarcella Rosen knew what she had to do. Standing on the sidelines while the state of Israel was being denigrated just wouldn’t work for the marketing professional from New York. If the news about Israel is almost always negative, she’d do something about it.

She’d share untold news. And that’s how Untold News (www.untoldnews.org) was born.

Untold News gathers and disseminates positive stories about the myriad ways Israeli innovation brings help, hope, and healing to the world. Rosen is passionate about sharing all this and more:

“While everyone has been focused on the country’s decades of military conflicts, Israel has quietly become the most energetic, ambitious, go-go incubator of entrepreneurialism and invention the planet has ever seen.

It’s true: Israel is a barrier-breaking dynamo of a kind never before witnessed in history. Acre-for-acre, citizen-for-citizen, no place is churning out more ideas, more products, more procedures and devices and technologies than this tiny strip of land along the Mediterranean. And the work that Israel is turning out is saving and improving lives around the world, every day.”

Anyone who’s visited an Israeli hospital, or seen the way the nation is reclaiming the desert (prepare to gasp if you get the chance to visit the Dead Sea region, and gaze upon acre-after-acre of palm groves, rising from what was once the moonscape of southern Israel) knows that Rosen is correct in making the case that Israel is no brutal occupier and oppressor of human rights. In fact, the tiny dynamo is all about virtue and compassion and startling innovation.

In fact, Rosen’s book, Tiny Dynamo, is a quick read crammed-full of fascinating facts. Consider the fact that in the U.S. alone, a staggering 90,000 people die each year from hospital infections. Worldwide, the figure climbs to one million.

Part of the problem is not so easily fixed: unwashed hands, door handles, or airborne germs. Aharon Gedanken chose to focus on those problem areas that can be remedied. He realized that fabrics used in hospitals—pajamas, sheets, gowns—could be redone in such a way that infections didn’t spread that way anymore.

A chemist at the Bar-Ilan University Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Gedanken created an anti-bacterial “coating” that soaks into the very fabric of a gown, sheet, etc.

Or consider the stunning achievements Israelis have made with drip irrigation. In a region where water is a prized and rare commodity, Israeli agriculturalists have been able to grow vast crops, using a fraction of the water supply other countries use.

It’s no secret that Jewish immigrants to Palestine and later, Israel, took a bleak plot of ground and turned it into a country where now, more tulips are exported from Israel than from Holland! A drip irrigation system developed by a company called Netafim has produced a world-class system for more efficiently irrigating crops.

For example, in 1965, a standard drip irrigation system used from two to four liters of water per hour—a revolutionary improvement. Yet today, a Netafim system uses only a half-liter per hour!

For Rosen, this kind of brilliance must be shouted from the rooftops:

“Unfortunately, the media doesn’t really give you a chance to develop an informed opinion about Israel — or many other countries, for that matter — because, in the press, ‘If it bleeds it leads’ — and the Middle East certainly does bleed. So that’s all you hear.

But the truth is this: while the world’s attention has for decades been focused on one single dimension of Israeli life, something entirely different has been taking place away from the cameras: Israel has quietly become the little country that changed the world — and your life — for the better . . . without you even knowing it.”

At a time when terrorism is cresting, Israel rises to meet the challenge. It was just announced that the Israeli Air Force has increased its overall effectiveness by 400 percent. An impressive achievement to be sure. Yet Rosen dreams of a reality beyond war:

“If tiny, beleaguered Israel can generate these kinds of results under its current circumstances, imagine what would happen — imagine what it could achieve — if it were released from the shackles of warfare. If this little country of fewer than eight million souls could focus the entirety of its energy and resources and resilience on the problems and puzzles facing us all, how much better a place would this world be?”

It’s an important question, and one that perhaps should be asked among the “land-for-peace” activists, who have been courting failure for more than two decades.

Why not join a winning team and strive for actually improving our beleaguered world? That’s what the good folks at Untold News are doing every day.

Jim Fletcher is a writer and researcher, and long-time pro Israel activist. He can be reached at jim1fletcher@yahoo.com.

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  • wileyvet

    Just added the site to my favourites in my Israel folder. Thank you. Also, I just watched an amazing video from 2008, called Visions of Israel, narrated by Itzhak Perlman. It is a fly over film showing the remarkable scenery of Israel. It highlights Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Lake Kinnaret , The Dead Sea, Negev and lots of other wonderful sights. What an achievement in so short of time. It is my sincerest desire to visit Israel soon and see those same sights in person.

    • Reuven Reuveni

      you will be always most welcome

  • http://www.chaverimisrael.org Norbert Haag

    Another reason the left hates Israel. Israel shows that even a hampered mixed economy like theirs can achieve more than any marxist government has ever put into work.

    What could Israel become with a real free market and their neighbours in check is every leftists nightmare.

  • Americana

    I follow a few of the Israeli permaculture farms that are trying “to green the desert.” Something they’re doing very successfully w/permaculture techniques helping to create rich soil that can be maintained in the desert given the right plantings to help retain the transpiration moisture from the plants, swales to hold the soil and prevent it being scoured away by the wind, etc.

    Israel is not a free market? Since when? Or are you talking about her relative isolation and not trading fully w/her Arab neighbors as much as should be done?

    • Raymond_in_DC

      Israel has made great strides as it’s moved from its socialist beginnings, but it’s still hampered by government regulation, an unprofessional bureaucracy, obstructionist unions, and cronyism. One entrepreneur recently related how much easier it was to set up a solar farm in Rwanda than in Israel.

      • Americana

        You are kidding me! I would never have suspected that was the case that any of those things would be prevalent there. I CAN understand government regulation because it’s very easy to let highly pollution heavy businesses become an issue, but obstructionist unions and cronyism?? I would never have imagined they’d be a problem for Israel.

        • Raymond_in_DC

          Mind you, things are not as bad as they were 20 years ago before a series of pro-market reforms were instituted. But this interview shows they still have a way to go.

          http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-yosef-abramowitz-settles-score-with-israeli-bureaucracy-1000941378

          I’d hardly suggest there’s no place for regulation. But when a few unions can threaten the electricity supply or the working of the ports, when the offspring of well-connected politicians get lucrative contracts, and restrictions are placed on imports of cheaper dairy products, you don’t have a truly free and open market.

          • Americana

            Ah, gotcha. Glancing at the link now…

  • pennant8

    I remember watching an old “March of Times” newsreel in grainy black and white film about the determination of the Jewish refugees arriving in “Palestine” shortly after WWII. You could already see a change in the landscape taking place even back then. Remarkably, the narrator of the film made a comment about the Arab population just sitting around watching all this industrious activity.

    • johannesarcher

      Doers verses whingers

  • Hard Little Machine

    So also nocamels.com and israel21c.org

    • Americana

      Thanx for even more links to this kind of stuff! I’m an AVID gardener who’s got a permaculture farm, can you tell??? ;)

  • Mickey Oberman

    I believe the Islamic states leaders are in mortal fear of Israel’s success being an inducement for their downtrodden populations to strive for the freedoms that alone can encourage the acquisition knowledge that will lead to such success.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Like the say…

      The best revenge is success.

      And Israel is a Success.

      And “paleswinians” are a FAIL.

  • behindthemasque

    Just wondering if this irrigation model, which I heard of years ago, is being used in parts of Africa? It would be awesome to see results there also. My father always talked about the accomplishments of Israel and was particularly struck by the fact that Israel had, ‘Created a fertile paradise out of dry, dead desert.’

    • Americana

      Yes, there have also been some significant permaculture attempts and irrigation advances in northern and southern Africa. I’ll get some links for you! It will be interesting to see what happens w/the recent discovery of the enormous underground aquifer that lies beneath a few contiguous African nations. Similar to our central Oglala Aquifer located in the Dakotas, it should be able to be used to assist w/African agriculture for a very long time if well-managed. But there’s a cautionary tale to these deep aquifers as well, we’ve diminished the Oglala by 0ver 2/3 since beginning our irrigation-intensive agriculture in the 60s.

      • behindthemasque

        Very interesting..would love to see the links.

    • Raymond_in_DC

      Yes, Israel’s drip irrigation is currently sold in over 100 countries, including many countries in Africa. I recently visited the Netafim plant and was told they’re even selling in Arab countries, but without the “Made in Israel” markings. They run a number of extensive projects in developing countries in Africa and Asia.

  • Lanna

    Israel is a productive nation…they don’t sit around plotting who they can get even with, or being hateful and waste their time on planning to destroy people’s lives…they make a difference in life for their people, and create, invent, and perfect so many technologies and water treatments, medicines, the list is endless! That’s why we respect them…..The Left is hated and pathetic because they are their own worst enemy, their strategies are a non-winning formula of desolation!

  • Bklyn Farmer

    A great read along this line is:

    The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State (Israeli History, Politics and Society) by Jonathan Adelman

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Rise-Israel-Revolutionary-Politics/product-reviews/0415775108/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    • Americana

      Again, thanx, Bklyn Farmer! Keep ‘em coming guys! I live for this stuff…

      BF, are you actually one of those doing rooftop or hydroponic farming in NYC? Tell us about your own operation. I’m also someone who’s fascinated w/LIVING WALLS, the concept of putting plants into structural designs to meld w/the surface of a building. I’ll get some links for the Frenchman who came up w/this concept in case you aren’t familiar w/his work. It’s been fascinating to watch his career evolution.

      • Bklyn Farmer

        Hi Americana,
        Grew up in Brooklyn but latter on I’ve been fortunate to have my own farm. Started with wool sheep and processed the fiber as time passed we have collected an assortment of farm animals.

        • Americana

          So where did you move to in order to have a farm, somewhere out on Long Island? I thought that Long Island was simply no longer affordable for ordinary people. There was one very, very lucky painter I’ve heard of who managed to buy a COMPOUND of THREE ENORMOUS WOODEN BARNS. They were in pretty good knick considering and she and her husband didn’t have all that much work to do to restore them. Lots to do to transform the interiors but the woods used for the structural timbers were all hardwoods like original AMERICAN CHESTNUT and ROCK MAPLE so they’d held up well… They were simply gorgeous material to work with for the architect.

          I’ve been wondering about getting some sheep or goats but we have a very large coyote population and I would likely need a couple of guardian dogs (breeds like Kuvasz or Komondor or something) to leave out w/the flocks. But given that my farm abuts hunting land and that hunters will often drive deer right up to my fence lines or even cross into my pastures and hay field if they’ve wounded a deer and need to kill it, I’d hate to run the risk of leaving large guardian dog breeds out there without direct supervision. Look at Snake Meadow Hill Farm’s web site. She’s a friend who lives down in Rhode Island and Conn. Her farm straddles the state line.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    I wonder how many liters of H2O per hour the drip-irrigation systems of drought-stricken western Kansas, Colorado, and California use? I’ll bet its more than half a liter. And petroleum engineer Richard Vinegar has perfected a method for Israel to retrieve oil from shale, without using water. With 600 billion barrels of oil bearing shale under the Bab-El Wad, this should prove very useful. Israel is truly inspiring, in a myriad of ways. I hate to ruin the party, but what happens when Iran goes nuclear?

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    American guys over 55 – when you have to get that colonoscopy remember it was ISRAELI researchers who invented that slender, felxible tube with a camera on the end to do the job instead of the traditional ‘telephone pole up the ketser’ men have dreaded for years.

    • Mickey Oberman

      Never mind telephone pole.
      How about the telescopic forefinger of a proctologist.
      (Grits and grinds teeth.}

  • Nabukuduriuzhur

    When the Lord makes a promise, He doesn’t go half-way.

    Ezekiel 36 predicted the return of Israel from all over the world back to the land of Israel. Verses 8 to 11 promise that the land will become even more fruitful than it was before the land was overgrazed and deforested by Arab and Ottoman. Read it. There’s few things more interesting than a fulfilled prophecy of God and one of them is when the prophecy is still in the process of being fulfilled.

    And it has happened since the mid 1850s when Israelis first started buying up the then empty lands from the Turks and started terraforming them.

    Ironically, a major instrument of Israel’s change from a fertile land in the First Century to the moonscape it became by the 1600s was the humble sheep. Allowed to eat all the grass and the bark of trees, it doesn’t take long to remove all of the ground cover.

  • Father Dacius

    The land of milk and honey.

  • Dyer’s Eve

    It all boils down to jealousy. Envy is the centrepiece of Bolshevism. That is what it is. The left hate you if you are clever (better than them), yet they despise you if you’re a fool (the mirror on them). Envy is a turd, and the Bolshevist left are caked in it. Uselessness and shiftlessness are, unfortunately, a part of the human condition. More’s the pity. However, we press on. You go show ‘em, Israel! Show the whole f**king world!!!! You have friends. Love ya!

  • SoCalMike

    The loathsome Left despises Israel as much as they despise traditional America.
    Productivity, strength, morality, and efficiency are vices to the Left that have to be turned into indolence, weakness, immorality and waste.

  • banjo kid

    If the Lord be with you who can stand against you .

  • Webb Cook

    Israel once offered to give the so-called Palestinians land in the Negev. They considered the offer an insult and turned it down. Today a rich green carpet of cropland is rolling ever southward from the top of the Negev, watered by extremely efficient center-pivot irrigation systems.

  • Bert

    There is also the immense contribution that Israeli intelligence services and technologies have been to the U.S. economy and to U.S. security. Astonishingly the Israeli government it too dumb to even publish this truth and the ever hostile U.S. State Dept. prefers to ignore this. The political left including the Jewish left also ignores this as well. Their agenda is driven by a deep hatred for Judaism itself because Judaism believes in G-d and opposes idol worship and degeneracy. The left understands that they cannot kill G-d directly and the next best thing is to work towards the elimination of Israel. Israeli achievements only increase their hatred.

  • Diane DeMarco

    A wonderful article! Just imagine the possibilities if Israel wasn’t being hampered by hatred, violence, murder and war. They could probably discover a cure for cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease and so many other fatal diseases. More encouraging were the positive comments written below. It warms my heart to have read them.